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The Robin Howard Dance Theatre is undergoing exciting changes at the moment.

The Theatre’s last refurbishment was over a decade ago and the planned changes will make the space more comfortable and flexible for audiences and artists alike. New seating will be installed, which will improve sightlines, comfort and allow us to accommodate more wheelchair users. The new seating system will also offer much more flexibility in terms of potential configurations, allowing artists to present work in a variety of different settings e.g. promenade, in the round, black box. Alongside this we will be introducing a reserved seating system for the theatre. This means you will be able to choose the seats you want to sit in by booking in advance.

Improvements will also be made to the lighting rig, to make it cheaper and safer to make changes to the stage lighting between performances. If you’ve ever sat at the back of the theatre during a performance you may have noticed the large vents above you. But what you might not know is that the air handling system often has to be switched off during performances because of the disruptive humming sound it emits. The new system will be both silent and effective in keeping the space cool, so we hope that our audiences will appreciate the completion of this work.

Part of the work being undertaken at the same time is implementing key energy efficiency measures across the building. The replacement of the some of our old Crittall windows and the installation of new hot water boilers have already begun. These are changes recommended by the Carbon Trust to help us better achieve our sustainability targets, and will also help to reduce energy costs for the organisation in the long run. We are able to undertake this work thanks to the Arts Council capital grant and financial support from The Wolfson Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation.

From the start of 2014 the theatre should look and feel a little different. Come along in the New Year to experience it for yourself and let us know what you think.

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