A temporary home earmarked for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is to begin staging plays while the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is refurbished.
The Courtyard Theatre was extended from The Other Place
The 1,000-seat Courtyard Theatre is an extension of the RSC's studio venue The Other Place in Stratford-upon-Avon.
It opens officially on Wednesday with performances of all three parts of Henry VI, directed by Michael Boyd.
Mr Boyd, artistic director of the RSC, praised the Courtyard for its intimate placing of audience and performers.
He told BBC News: "You can get more people into a smaller space, closer to the stage, so there's no problem with seeing what's actually on an actor's face.
Michael Boyd is directing Henry VI at the Courtyard Theatre
"Now I think what's special about the theatre is the interaction between the audience and the actor - the live event, the honest conversation between a performer and a member of the audience."
The Courtyard now boasts a complete reseating, new toilets, air conditioning and the installation of a lift for the first time in the Other Place complex.
It is intended as a prototype for the interior transformation of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, which is being refurbished along with the Swan theatre at a cost of £100m.
Work on the venues is intended to start in Spring 2007, with completion scheduled for 2010.