The challenge of creating and enhancing a stimulating environment for the performer that engages with its audience is one of many aspects AMPC excel in both in new and existing auditoria.
Royal Shakespeare Company
In 2004 Anne Minors was asked to review the RSC’s early feasibility study into an auditorium form that the RSC wanted. The AMPC study included a review of thrust stage theatres, their particular relationship with an audience; early Elizabethan stage dimensions and dimensional requirements for Shakespeare’s plays and fight scenes; the combination of sightline points that good seats should see; bracketing of different widths between side balconies and the relative merits of each; acoustic merits of solid balconies and the visual connection between audience and actor of partially open balconies. Anne evaluated and modified the RSC plans into a three dimensional 1000 seat thrust stage design that worked and that could be contained within the existing RST building whilst retaining the parts of the Elizabeth Scott building that were considered of value by the Conservation Study. This first AMPC study was called Optimising the View and Audience Experience -The Close Theatre and was carried out in collaboration with Tom Piper, scenographer of the RSC and Flip Tanner of the Technical Department. The second part of the study was called Maximising the Seat Count within the Existing Theatre. The conclusions of these study were mocked up at full scale in the side stage of the Royal Opera House using scaffolding sheets and balloons as audience heads to confirm its validity to the RSC artistic and executive team.
A further AMPC study was carried out to establish whether the The Close Theatre template arrived at in the first study could be built on the carpark alongside The Other Place. This site required that the side balconies were close in order to get circulation behind them. AMPC looked at two versions of the thrust theatre form for this site or the Transition Building as it was known – a curved balcony front and seating rows or a facetted balcony front and rows.
From these initial concepts, the Courtyard Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre were and are being developed, by Ian Richie architects and Bennetts Associates respectively.
Hull Truck Theatre, UK, Opened in Spring 2009
Purpose built theatre to replace the existing facility which was displaced by a town centre redevelopment. Main auditorium enlarged by 50% within an octagonal space (439 seats). Single tier studio auditorium within a rectangular space (134 seats). Whole complex naturally ventilated from geothermal source. Hull Truck website
The Egg, Bath 2005
Young Person's and Children's flexible auditorium elliptically shaped with one tier; it offers the users range of possibilities -rehearsals, performances of the spoken word, music and amplified sound in end stage, thrust, in-the-round, flat floor and cabaret formats. Seating capacity 120. Feature in Sightline Magazine, 2006. The Egg website
"It steers well clear of the 'black box' studio approach to theatre design whilst achieving a high degree of flexibility. " Paul Connolly Theatres
"Since the seating is remarkably squashy, comfortable and trimmed with leather, the auditorium looks less lke an egg and more like an elegantly gloved hand extended in welcome." Paul York in Sightline, Summer 2006 issue
Great Newport Street
Redevelopment of the Arts Theatre in Soho, London. Creating a highly adaptable 300 seat entertainment space where the audience flow from performance to bar to restaurant / club / gallery / dancing area, choosing to remain on the site for the whole evenings entertainment.
Northwich Cultural Centre
With DLA Architects, AMPC and Sound Space Design contributed to a winning scheme chosen from a public exhibition of designs selected from 112 submissions, for a new, market-like gathering space in the heart of Northwich.