Plans to build a 1,150-seat venue in London that will house a Dutch musical have been granted planning permission by Newham council.
The venue, which will be named Royal Docks Theatre, will be purpose-built for the UK premiere of Soldier of Orange – The Musical, which is set during the Second World War and has been running for nearly a decade in the Netherlands.
This week, Newham council granted planning permission to the producers of the show, New Productions, enabling the construction of a temporary theatre with a five-year tenure and an onsite restaurant.
The venue, situated on an unused site at London’s Royal Docks, will use 360-degree ‘SceneAround’ staging, which seats the audience on a platform that rotates around a panoramic set that includes a 150ft coastline and a real plane.
New Productions said the “revolutionary technology” has been especially created for the production and will be the first time it has been seen in the UK.
Newham’s mayor Rokhsana Fiaz said: “It’s a real privilege to welcome this world-class production to Newham and to London.
“It’s an exciting addition to our new plans for a dynamic and vibrant cultural offer in our borough and highlights our commitment to offer residents access to a rich, diverse and creative range of events and activities in Newham.
“It’s also a fantastic example of how an unused site can be transformed through meanwhile temporary uses,” she added.
Soldier of Orange is based on the autobiography of Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema, a Dutch resistance fighter and British RAF pilot, who chronicled his wartime experiences in a book of the same name.
The show originated in 2010 in a purpose-built theatre at a former military base near Amsterdam.
Producer Fred Boot said: “The UK has always had our priority and we are very pleased with this development for such a relevant location. The production and script are slightly adapted for an international audience, to ensure that it reflects the show as it has been embraced in Holland.
“We are looking forward to sharing this universal story of a group of friends, forced by war to make life-changing choices. It is a celebration of the time that the Allies came together to fight for our freedom and democracy.”
The musical has a book by Edwin de Vries and music and lyrics by Tom Harriman and Pamela Phillips Oland. It has been adapted into English for this production by Jeremy Brock.