Jump to content

ROH reconfiguration plans


Recommended Posts

[This has been copied over from the "Ceremony of Innocence" thread because it looked as though the discussion might derail that thread - Alison]

 

How interesting.

 

Is it possible to summarise what the ROH re -development plan is?

It  seems like yesterday they re opened after the last one!

Edited by alison
To provide additional information
Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the London Ballet Circle, and about a month ago in press interviews, Alex Beard explained that, among other things, they are going to reconfigure the Linbury to make it a proper second theatre and integrate the terrace at Amphitheatre level to increase the circulation area up there.

 

The Insight evening itself was interesting, not least because of Liam Scarlett's coaching and articulate response to questions. However, the event differed little in structure from last week's 'in rehearsal' session. There was a time when 'insights' provided a deeper exploration of the 'story', the music and the choreographer's thinking than now appears to be the case - and i regret that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How interesting.

 

Is it possible to summarise what the ROH re -development plan is?

It  seems like yesterday they re opened after the last one!

 

They are tweaking a few spaces (the plans are on the walls opposite the ROH shop). For example, there will be an additional 'rooftop' ballet studio, refurbishing the Clore studio, and the Macmillan rehearsal studio (I think). They are also extending and/or shifting the restaurant into the veranda space (at Amphitheatre bar level), and then extending the bar floor space along the veranda towards the windows where the costume dept is. I assume the revolving door there will be moved along to allow us to get out into the fresh air, if there is room. There is also a plan for a cloakroom up at that level (I assume in the corner of the current restaurant, nearest the big escalator) which would leave the restaurant a more regular shape.

It also looks like they are doing some sort of extension work in Bow St already, between the revolving door near the box office/Linbury entrance, and the main doors and foyer (opposite the Stalls entrance). Not sure what that is for - its one of things I'll have to have a glare at this evening before the show. It might just be some maintenance on the awful embedded uplighters they have buried in the pavement there.

Corrections to the above and more info if there is any, after I've been to ROH this evening...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They are tweaking a few spaces (the plans are on the walls opposite the ROH shop). For example, there will be an additional 'rooftop' ballet studio, refurbishing the Clore studio, and the Macmillan rehearsal studio (I think). They are also extending and/or shifting the restaurant into the veranda space (at Amphitheatre bar level), and then extending the bar floor space along the veranda towards the windows where the costume dept is. I assume the revolving door there will be moved along to allow us to get out into the fresh air, if there is room. There is also a plan for a cloakroom up at that level (I assume in the corner of the current restaurant, nearest the big escalator) which would leave the restaurant a more regular shape.

Oh great :(. Is it going to be possible to get *any* fresh air any more without having to leave the building entirely?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

At the London Ballet Circle, and about a month ago in press interviews, Alex Beard explained that, among other things, they are going to reconfigure the Linbury to make it a proper second theatre and integrate the terrace at Amphitheatre level to increase the circulation area up there.

 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rather oddly, the plans are available to view if you go there in person, but there is nothing on the web site that shows them. There is an advert for a job vacancy to manage the process

 

http://recruitment.roh.org.uk/vacancyView.php?requirementId=1501

 

it "aims to significantly improve access, permeability and facilities for daytime programming, while bringing the Linbury Studio Theatre to the fore as a world class mid-scale theatre and the artistic laboratory of both The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera. It will also be a catalyst for further development of the Royal Opera House`s Learning and Participation programme"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is grand that they have decided to go forward with these plans privately ..... assuming that this does not, however, put any additional pressure on ticket prices.  Having paid £12 per an upper amphi standing ticket for Andrea Chenier I was, I fear, all but winded.  To sit in even the worst slips seat (e.g., little or no view) for such costs some £18.  Frightening.    

Edited by Bruce Wall
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well restoring the cloakroom for the Amphitheatre audience is a move in the right direction. Not having to fight your way through the scrum in the cloakroom area will make things far more civilised for those of us in the cheap/cheaper seats. Perhaps the audience in the posh seats has complained about being forced to rub shoulders with the hoi poloi..It seems somewhat unlikely that the powers that be have suddenly registered,after all this time the potential danger for a nasty and costly accident occurring as people try to get to the appropriate door to retrieve their belongings..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

refurbishing the Clore studio, ...

 

If they refurbish the Clore I very much hope they will improve the seating for those watching rehearsals up there.  It is incredibly cramped and uncomfortable (sitting on those benches for more than 45 minutes or an hour can sometiimes be excruciatingly painful) and its seating capacity is too limited.  I doubt that it would ever happen, but it would be wonderful to get a version of the Clore with Linbury-type seating and greater capacity.  Given the popularity of "insights" events and the chronic issues with many of those who are interested being unable to get tickets, this seems like an area that could really do with some improvement.  I'm lucky enough to get to most of the Clore events, but think it is a shame how few people get to experience them.  At least they seem to be running more of the insights events in the Linbury, but given its own performance and rehearsal schedule it is unlikely they could move all these events there.

Edited by barton22
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rather oddly, the plans are available to view if you go there in person, but there is nothing on the web site that shows them. There is an advert for a job vacancy to manage the process

 

http://recruitment.roh.org.uk/vacancyView.php?requirementId=1501

 

it "aims to significantly improve access, permeability and facilities for daytime programming, while bringing the Linbury Studio Theatre to the fore as a world class mid-scale theatre and the artistic laboratory of both The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera. It will also be a catalyst for further development of the Royal Opera House`s Learning and Participation programme"

 

"permeability"???? better bring your umbrellas.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If they refurbish the Clore I very much hope they will improve the seating for those watching rehearsals up there.  It is incredibly cramped and uncomfortable (sitting on those benches for more than 45 minutes or an hour can sometiimes be excruciatingly painful) and its seating capacity is too limited.  I doubt that it would ever happen, but it would be wonderful to get a version of the Clore with Linbury-type seating and greater capacity.  Given the popularity of "insights" events and the chronic issues with many of those who are interested being unable to get tickets, this seems like an area that could really do with some improvement.  I'm lucky enough to get to most of the Clore events, but think it is a shame how few people get to experience them.  At least they seem to be running more of the insights events in the Linbury, but given its own performance and rehearsal schedule it is unlikely they could move all these events there.

It sounds like that's what is going to happen. But the floor space reduced for full rehearsal purposes, hence the new rooftop studio

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is a pity that most Insights are in the evening thus denying those of us non-London based fans the chance to attend.  What happened to the Intro to Ballet Days?  There hasn't been one of those for years now.  I have only been to a couple but they were always fascinating and I learned a lot.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the plans are on the wall opposite the ROH Shop, then what's happened to Black History Month? That *is* this month, isn't it?

 

Perhaps - even at this very minute - the ROH are working on re-developing that too! :)   Who knows, it may - as with so many other things - be 'under wraps'.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More on this in a piece rom Alex Beard in the Standard, complete with some illustrations

 

http://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/theatre/open-up-alex-beard-on-new-plans-to-make-the-royal-opera-house-more-accessible-9828249.html

 

 

Note that this says

"An Open Up display in the Foyer of the Royal Opera House, WC2 (roh.org.uk), is open 10am-7pm daily, until Friday November 7. Royal Opera House staff will be present to answer any questions, 3pm-7pm, Mon-Fri, and 10am-1pm on Sat."

 

So you can put your views on this to them directly .

Edited by Lynette H
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a quick look at this at the weekend while I was up there, and found it rather unclear, and difficult to envisage where everything was (and I'm someone who's not exactly unused to deciphering technical drawings). What *did* strike me quite forcefully was the various references to increased retail and restauration (I think that's the English word?) opportunities, which are clearly quite a major consideration.

 

A few things which remain in my memory: the Linbury to be upgraded (presumably retaining its flexibility, although that isn't made clear, but then the exhibition doesn't really go into detail about much (apart from the get-in and get-out and other arrangements during the building works, which - together with the briefness of the duration of the exhibition - makes me think it's more aimed at local residents who can just pop in and have a look, rather than ROH regulars who might well not be there for the couple of weeks it's on). The Linbury is to have seating installed in the slips, by the looks of things, although there's no indication about what will happen to the standing places.

The amphitheatre terrace will be largely blocked off and glazed over, apart from a small section right at the far end, and the restaurant will be extended into it. The mention of lowering the parapets makes it sound as though the glazing must be permanent and non-openable, because otherwise there would surely be a serious safety risk? There will be a new balcony provided at the Bow Street end of the Floral Hall, but I'd guess that would probably only be about as wide as the one at the Festival Hall, and wouldn't be able to take seating. Actually, several of the drawings to me looked more like the lower regions of the Festival Hall than anything else, which was slightly disconcerting.

 

If the plans aren't online anywhere, then I think that's a real shame: after all, many of the ROH's patrons probably take more than a couple of weeks between visits, and I'm sure they would appreciate their chance to have a say, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Linbury is to have seating installed in the slips, by the looks of things, although there's no indication about what will happen to the standing places.

 

 

Too chez.  

 

I had, myself, considered writing a note in light of the ACE funding (albeit that it has been slightly reduced over the next three years it still remains the most heavy subsidy of any cultural institution in the UK [and from purely a monetary value the USA as well]) inquiring as to an 'equivalent access provision' for the impoverished ... (oh, I'm SO sorry - in ROH speak I should perhaps best say the 'general public'.)  It seems to me that there will be approximately ten standing spaces on the Linbury's U stream (where you must be tall enough to see over the gaggle of heads themselves having to lean forward to see the full stage) as opposed to the current nomination in access of near forty in the current Linbury on its variety of levels.  I wonder if that would go against the original 'Sainsbury Family' funding provisions?  Perhaps not.  

 

Then, I thought (to only me, myself and I of course) what really is the point?  They will do, of course, what they will do in this regard .... as they have in the past .... and regardless of what we write .... and we - buried in the ever increasing proletariat ranks  - will have to settle and be grateful for our slice of an ever more heated scrum.  I believe this may be - in future notations - referred to as 'our right' if not our downright 'privilege' .... or so it certainly seems in regard. say, to such matters as as the stalls circle standing room in the main house.  (I, myself, can no longer comment on that however.  I sadly find I can no longer afford even that on any regular basis.  Now - on those rare occasions when I - a general booker no longer affording the 'friendly' ranks of privilege' - can snatch a place for something seemingly special  - it is ... as perhaps the ROH team best intend ... a 'special' treat.  I am, I promise, deeply appreciative on those occasions .... HUGELY .... but remain even now oh, so grateful to know that I can - even in my dogged and doddering age - still 'remember that ROH of yore'.  The one I first came to know and love.   :)  )

Edited by Bruce Wall
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What depresses me most is that the combination of old and new which was such a success when the ROH opened will get lost in a mass of restaurants, tea-rooms, cafes, and what-not, at least now you can still get a feel of the history of the place, especially on the amphitheatre terrace with that wonderful view over the market.  There did seem to be an open section left in the middle, with both ends glazed over, but will you have to buy food and drink to get onto it? And does the Floral Hall stay the same? Think the new cloakroom in the amphitheatre will be for the restaurant not theatre goers, but we will see.

 

Think it's deliberate only putting the plans up for a short while, quite a clever move. This talk of it being open for the people is all very well, but most of them won't be able to afford the ticket prices anyway.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for ACE funding Mr Beard told London Ballet Circle that the company is far less dependent on state subsidy as a proportion of its income than was once the case.If I recall correctly he said that ticket sales and subsidy each provided about a quarter of its income and the rest came from donations and gifts. The intention is to reduce reliance on ACE funding even further  .In order to do that they have to find other sources of income.It looks as if the opera house is trying to cash in on its position in the middle of a tourist honey pot. If that is the reason for the proposed changes then the opera house will end up being even more of "an ace caff" with a theatre attached than it did when it was reopened after refurbishment. 

 

The present arrangements cause problems for anyone in the Amphitheatre who wants to get out to stretch their legs,meet friends or grab a drink of water during the interval because so much of the floor space in the bar area immediately accessible to them is taken up by a handful of tables.I never cease to be amazed by the caterers' ingenuity and skill in positioning their tables to cause maximum inconvenience to a large proportion of the audience in order to enable a few people to share a bottle of wine or to eat.If the proposals mean more room for the Amphitheatre audience to get to the bar area then loss of part of the balcony facing the Piazza may be a price worth paying. If it means that the Amphitheatre audience is to be confined to an even smaller area in order to satisfy the demands of the audience in the more expensive seats then Amphitheatre ticket holders will be in a far worse position than they were before the redevelopment. Then at least the audience in the upper part of the house had its own areas with no fear of encroachment by those in the more expensive seats. The idea behind the redevelopment was, we were told, that the audience in the cheaper seats would have access to the facilities in the rest of the house not that the audience that already had access to those facilities would be able to commandeer the limited space available to those in the Amphitheatre. 

 

If you are trying to get more private money to fund the operations of the two resident companies you are more likely to be concerned with the comfort and enjoyment of that part of the audience who has that sort of money than the discomfort or exclusion of any other part of the audience. Or am I being cynical?

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very depressed at the awful thought of losing the amphi terrace- that is SUCH  a lovely spot and always a great place to take people who are new to ROH- somewhere to get some air, the lovely view, and you only have to stand there for 5 minutes to hear all the cries of delight from people coming out on it for the first time. I have so many memories of standing there-

how can one convey deep concern?

 

"Retail"

- why does the phrase -' the price of everything and the value of nothing ' spring to mind?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Couldn't agree more about the amphi terrace, I love it,  When I come on my own I always make a point of getting there early and going out onto to the terrace to relax and enjoy the ambience of the surroundings before the performance.  Sitting inside is just not the same. I'm out there in all weathers with gloves and a hat if necessary. 

Edited by JennyTaylor
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Open Up will make our landmark building somewhere not only to see our work but also a place where people can learn and engage more directly with our art forms. You might come to see a performance in the auditorium or studios, just have a coffee at our new ground-floor café and catch some of our young artists in a pop-up concert, join a costume-making workshop, or simply soak up the atmosphere from our refurbished amphitheatre terrace restaurant with its views over Covent Garden’s bustling Piazza.

 

This makes it sound as though you can go for a meal without actually buying a ticket for a performance!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really?  I thought the Amphitheatre restaurant was purely for ticket holders.

 

I know you can go in to the other bits during the day.  I used to take visitors to London for coffee in the Floral Hall, it is so wonderful when the sun shines. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...