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Globe opens doors on 340-seat indoor Sam Wanamaker Theatre

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Shakespeare's Globe has given the first glimpse of its new indoor Jacobean theatre, which will be called the Sam Wanamaker Theatre in honour of the man who masterminded the original Globe reconstruction.

Unveiling the building at a press conference this morning, artistic director Dominic Dromgoole said the construction of a 340-seat indoor space marked the "fulfilment of Sam Wanamaker's vision for the Globe".

Artist's impression of the Sam Wanamaker Theatre

The venue, which is being built adjacent to the outdoor theatre, is projected to open in January 2014. As previously reported, it's being constructed based on a set of plans that were found in Worcester College Oxford in the 1960s and are believed to be by Renaissance architect Inigo Jones' protégé John Webb.

Dromgoole said the Sam Wanamaker Theatre, which will be lit by candlelight and enable the Globe to stage productions year-round, "will allow the Globe to continue its experimental vision of going back to the future."

Chair of the Architecture Research Group (ARG) Dr Farah Karim-Cooper said: "This theatre will allow us finally to achieve Sam’s mission to build both types of theatre Shakespeare worked in so that, through performance and research, we can continue to discover how these plays worked in their original environment."

A fundraising campaign by the Globe has enabled the £7.5million project to be developed thus far without any government support - £1million is still needed, with a final fundraising campaign being launched today.

Dominic Dromgoole (centre) and members of the construction team

Details of the first season will be announced in April next year, with Dromgoole revealing plans for a "broad range" of ticket prices, from £10 standing slots to premium boxes. Fundraising ambassador Marcus Coles said he anticipates that tickets will be "among the hottest in town".

As well as plays, the Sam Wanamaker Theatre will also host a number of other events including concerts and early opera productions.

The arrangement of the candles is being designed in consultation with Bristol University professor Martin White, who revealed today that fire officers have been involved in the process "from day one".

After the press conference journalists were given a tour of the theatre which, when completed, will seat 340 people with two tiers of galleried seating and a pit seating area. It will also feature a rehearsal space in the attic, in line with Jacobean practices.

Shakespeare’s Globe chief executive Neil Constable said: "We are thrilled at the generosity of our supporters to this unique and groundbreaking project... We look forward to our many national and international supporters joining us on the next stage of the Globe’s remarkable journey."

For more information on the Sam Wanamaker Theatre, visit www.shakespearesglobe.com


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