Curtain up on season at city's pop-up theatre
IT'S curtain down on the city stage – and curtain up on a pop-up theatre in Cattedown.
The Theatre Royal Plymouth today reveals a busy summer programme of shows in a specially built temporary auditorium at TR2.
The spotlight will be on the new stage at the production and education centre while the Theatre Royal is closed from mid-April to September for a £7million redevelopment.
Fourteen shows will run at TR2, which will also have its own box office and a cafe/ restaurant for showgoers.
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The scale of the pop-up theatre doesn't allow for the succession of blockbuster musicals which usually dominated the summer season at the Theatre Royal.
Instead TR2 will host performances that would normally be staged at the Drum, the Theatre Royal's second space.
The mix includes work by professional visiting companies alongside the theatre's community and education projects.
Stand-out shows include two award-winning plays in one night and the visit of an Edinburgh Fringe award-winner.
Chapel Street follows two young people on a boozy, foul-mouthed but funny night out. The work won author Luke Barnes a Brighton Fringe emerging talent award.
That is paired with Soho Theatre Young Writer award-winner Charlotte Josephine's Bitch Boxer, a look at the debut of female fighters at the London Olympics. The shows will run June 11-15.
After The Rainfall is an examination of the British rule in Egypt, from Edinburgh Fringe winners Curious Directive (June 4-8).
Other TR2 pop-up shows include White Peacock, a play for young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (April 23-27), and the 2013 National Connections festival of writing for schools in which Stoke Damerel and Callington community colleges and the Theatre Royal's Young Company are taking part (May 7-11).
The acclaimed celebration of the power of speech-making, Bigmouth, will play May 14-18 and the next generation of performers from the Theatre and Performance Department at Plymouth University will put their work on in University Student Showcase, May 22-24.
Non-fiction storytelling will get the audience involved when The Forest And The Field visits (May 28-June 1), while a reinvention of a classic story, Little Red Riding Hood, is for anybody aged three-plus (May 29-June 1).
Community theatre takes centre stage with Platform 13, a selection of short, new plays from the Theatre Royal's People's Company (June 26), South West suffragette history project Oxygen (June 28 and 29) and the Playhouse schools mini-season (July 10-12). New company Our Space present The Edge (July 18-20) and the Theatre Royal Young Company step up with Girls Like That, an exploration of the pressure on women from new technology (August 14-17).
The £7million building project will see the complete refurbishment of the front-of-house areas of the Theatre Royal. A main aim is to increase energy efficiency and cut bills by 40 per cent.
There will be new cladding and glazing, an extended main entrance and foyer area, and two new function rooms, one with a balcony overlooking Royal Parade. The work includes a performance workshop space in the basement, housing the theatre's creative learning team allowing them to work with young people and disadvantaged communities at the main theatre base.
The first big production of the autumn when the Theatre Royal reopens will be the start of the UK and Ireland tour of multi-award-winning play War Horse. The arrival of the stage adaptation of Devon author Michael Morpurgo's novel shows the huge appetite for theatre at the city venue – the two-week run is already sold out.