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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 June 2006, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
RSC unveils 'transformation' plan
Design for new Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Eighty five percent pf the 100m budget has already been raised
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has revealed outline plans to redesign its theatre complex at Stratford-upon-Avon.

Plans include a 'thrust' stage for the main Royal Shakespeare Theatre, a 33m (108ft) tower marking a new entrance, a public square and a riverside walkway.

Work is due to start in spring 2007 costing 100m, with 85m now raised.

The Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres re-open in 2010. While they are closed plays will be staged at the Courtyard Theatre, a temporary 1,000-seat venue.

The new venue, an extension of the RSC's Other Place studio theatre, is scheduled to open next month.

According to the company, initial designs from project architects Bennetts Associates will "restore the key Art Deco elements of the Grade II listed theatre while creating a more welcoming, combined entrance".

'Bold and modern'

The new stage, designed with theatre consultants Charcoalblue, is intended to "transform the relationship between artists and audiences".

Design for new Royal Shakespeare Theatre
The remaining 15m will be sought from private sources
"We want to move away from the 19th Century proscenium 'picture frame' to a theatre which celebrates interaction," said RSC artistic director Michael Boyd.

"The best way we can achieve this is in a bold, thrust-stage, one-room auditorium - a modern take on the theatres of Shakespeare's day."

The scheme follows the scrapping of controversial plans to demolish the 74-year-old building and replace it with a "theatre village".

The RSC says it has already secured 85 per cent of the funding required, thanks largely to pledges worth 70m from Arts Council England and regional development agency Advantage West Midlands.

The company says it expects to submit a planning and listed building application later this year.

See a model of the new theatre

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