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New West End theatre @sohoplace unveiled by Nica Burns

The venue will open in the autumn

Nica Burns in @sohoplace
© Geraint Lewis

West End producer and theatre owner Nica Burns has unveiled her new theatre, named @sohoplace.

The venue, the first newly constructed West End theatre in 50 years, is owned by Burns and operated by Nimax Theatres. It will open in the autumn, with the first production to be announced soon.

The theatre, which features a 602-seat auditorium configured in-the-round, is adjacent to the site of the old Astoria theatre which was demolished to build Crossrail. It sits directly above the new Elizabeth line and the existing Northern and Central lines at Tottenham Court Road station.

"I wanted to create a theatre which could add a different dimension to our vibrant West End landscape," said Burns. "I asked our greatest theatre creatives two questions: If we could build a new theatre in the heart of the West End, what would you like it to be? What additional facilities would be on your wish list?

"The incredible team of engineers pulled off the greatest of structural feats, building over a major underground transport hub - a challenging place to build a theatre - achieving perfect acoustics and no vibrations."

The new theatre
© Tim Soar

Burns added that the interior of @sohoplace was inspired by her visit to the ancient Greek theatre in Epidaurus when young, which she called "one of the greatest theatres in the world".

@sohoplace is part Derwent London's £300 million regeneration scheme, totalling 285,000 square feet and also comprising offices, retail outlets and a new piazza.

The project has been designed by architect Simon Allford, founder of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and current president of RIBA. He commented: "@sohoplace is undoubtedly the most complex and delightful project I have ever worked on: the highly engineered architecture and design of a Swiss watch but built on an urban scale."