Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Thursday, 4 December 2008

Shakespeare theatre 'topped out'


The ceremony highlights the laying of the final concrete onto the roof

A topping out ceremony has been held at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The grade II-listed 1932 building is being rebuilt and will feature a 1,000-seat theatre which will bring the audience much closer to the stage.

It has been closed since April 2007 while the revamp takes place, but is on schedule to reopen in 2010.

It will also include improved public spaces, a riverside path, new artists' facilities and a theatre tower.

Peter Wilson, project director, said: "Today is a celebration of all the hard work, exceptional skill and determination that has gone into the construction of the new theatre so far.

"We can now see the shape of our future home and the 'topping out' ceremony is a major milestone in its construction.

"There's still a long way to go, but I'm pleased to say that the building is currently on schedule to open in 2010."

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