Tricycle Theatre gifts entire auditorium to Kent school

The Tricycle Theatre in London's 240-seat auditorium, which is to be dismantled and replaced
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The Tricycle Theatre's former auditorium and stage is to be given in its entirety to a school in Kent.

Last year, The Stage reported that the structure would be given away for free following its removal from the Tricycle, which is undergoing a major redevelopment.

Designed by architect Tim Foster when the Tricycle was built in 1979, the 240-seat auditorium will become a new theatre for the Valley Park School in Maidstone.

Foster said the idea that a theatre can be "loaded on the back of a truck and moved to a new location" was one "that has found its time".

The auditorium and stage will be reassembled in an old gym building, with the school paying just for the costs associated with transporting and rebuilding the theatre.

Vic Ashdown, head teacher at Valley Park, added that he was "delighted" the theatre would be finding a new home at the school.

He said: "The new theatre will also enhance the outstanding work that happens within the performing arts department here at our school, providing yet more unforgettable experiences for our students and becoming a valuable creative resource for our local community."

Composers George Stiles and Anthony Drewe are patrons of the school's performing arts department, and also presented the first production of their musical Just So at the Tricycle in 1990.

Drewe said the pair were "unbelievably happy and proud" that the school would benefit from the theatre.

Tricycle artistic director Indhu Rubasingham added: "It is wonderful news that Tim has found a new home for the Tricycle auditorium. We hope that the pupils of Valley Park School will continue to create magic within the amazing theatre space that served us for so many years.”

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