The National Theatre's scenic studio Paintframe has thrown open its doors to the public, housing performances for the first time. Emerging playwrights season Double Feature opens tonight (4 August, previews from 18 July 2011), hosting the second of two consecutive press nights.

Formed of two pairs of plays, the season has been scheduled for the NT Cottesloe, but was moved to allow an extended run of Alecky Blythe’s acclaimed documentary musical London Road which now continues until 27 August 2011.

The season comprises Sam Holcroft's Edgar and Annabel and DC Moore's The Swan playing alternate nights with Prasanna Puwanarajah's Nightwatchman and Tom Basden's There Is a War. All four plays share an ensemble cast which includes Pippa Bennett-Warner, Karina Fernandez, Trystan Gravelle, Nitin Kundra and Stephanie Street, accompanied by a live band.

The vast room, which has been converted into a studio theatre space complete with box office and bar, is part of the NT’s scenic studios and is normally where large set canvases are hung and decorated.

The National Theatre has said Double Feature will be the “first and only time” the Paintframe is used as a performance environment.

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The NT Paintframe before the transformation for Double Feature. Photo credit: Johan Persson


The NT Paintframe during technical rehearsals. Photo credit: Johan Persson


The NT Paintframe set for Nightwatchman. Photo credit: Johan Persson


The NT Paintframe set set for There is a War. Photo credit: Johan Persson