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RSC receives £20m for Stratford theatre conversion

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The Royal Shakespeare Company has been awarded £20 million towards the proposed £100 million regeneration of its national base.

Regional development agency Advantage West Midlands has added its grant to the £50 million already promised to the company by Arts Council England. The remaining money will now be sought from the private and commercial sectors.

The project will see the company’s 1932 Grade II listed Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon converted into a modern interpretation of an Elizabethan courtyard theatre, with a thrust stage auditorium seating around 1,000 people.

It will include improvements to the front of house facilities, with enhanced provision for disabled access, bars, restaurants, toilets and exhibition space. Backstage facilities will also be expanded. The Swan and The Other Place theatres will be retained and a new dedicated space for the company’s educational activity will be created. Work is expected to begin in April 2007.

Meanwhile, the RSC is set to stage a revival of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible on February 10. Iain Glen will take the central role of John Proctor and the production will be directed by Dominic Cooke.

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