The original Other Place
The original Other Place
© RSC

The Royal Shakespeare Company begins work this month on reinstating its experimental studio theatre The Other Place.

The new space, which will feature a 200-seat studio theatre, will open in 2016 to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. It's being funded by a £3million Lottery grant from the Arts Council.

"I am hugely excited about re-imagining The Other Place as a vibrant, creative space, embodying the challenging and alternative spirit of the original," said RSC deputy artistic director Erica Whyman, who is overseeing the project.

"It will be an exemplary home for theatre artists, and a space where students, our actors, visiting theatre makers and our audiences can really feel part of the 'engine room' of the RSC. The theatre will house a beautiful new studio theatre and multi-functional spaces for rehearsal, teaching, research, technical fit-out, digital capture, conferences and entertaining."

Lifting a lid: Erica Whyman
Erica Whyman

The RSC has also unveiled a new five-year collaboration with the University of Birmingham. It will see three practice-led research projects in The Other Place each year, in which students, academics and artists "develop, critique and respond to provocations".

Whyman said: "Our collaboration with the University of Birmingham is a brilliant opportunity for students to get right into the heart of the RSC, using the theatre and its resources as part of their undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Their presence, alongside our artists, will bring a real energy to the building."

Originally built in 1973, The Other Place was home to the RSC's developmental and new work, housing many landmark productions starring the likes of Judi Dench, Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren.

The theatre closed in 2006 to make way for the temporary Courtyard Theatre, where the RSC performed during the redevelopment of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.