Page last updated at 06:24 GMT, Sunday, 31 August 2008 07:24 UK

RSC launches 1m theatre appeal

Royal Shakespeare Theatre
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre opened in 1932

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has launched an appeal to raise 1m in public donations to help rebuild its main theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The theatre closed for redevelopment in 2007 and the RSC has already received more than 100m towards the work.

Now the company is seeking a further 10m and is hoping 1m will come from public donations.

Donors will be able to sponsor a brick for 50, or have a seat in the theatre in Warwickshire named after them.

Art deco

The transformation of the Grade II listed building started last year and should be completed by 2010.

The new auditorium will incorporate the art deco facade of the 1932 theatre.

Plans include a "thrust" stage for the main theatre, a 108ft (33m) tower at the entrance and a riverside walkway.

The RSC has already raised 102m, including 50m from the Arts Council of England and 22m in private pledges.

The RSC has a long history of raising money from private sources.

When fire severely damaged the original Stratford theatre in 1926, it was rebuilt following an international emergency appeal.

And in the 1980s the nearby Swan Theatre was paid for entirely by an American philanthropist, Fred Koch.

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