Don’t mess with traditional stage

First published in Letters by

MY INITIAL excitement at the news of York Theatre Royal’s proposed refurbishment (The Press, January 23) was tempered when I reached the section concerning the auditorium.

This is apparently to be altered “to increase its intimacy and flexibility and change the audience’s relationship to the stage”.

Leaving aside the ubiquitous management-babble in which such announcements are couched, I would call on York Citizens’ Theatre Trust to ensure that any changes to the auditorium are only made after full consultation with the public of York and that they are consistent with its status as one of the finest examples anywhere of a classic proscenium theatre.

If theatre-goers are so desperate for a flat rather than a raked stage, they can go to the Crucible; if they pine for theatre in the round, they can go to the Stephen Joseph.

Don’t change the Theatre Royal auditorium into something it isn’t and was never intended to be. I fear a repeat of the sort of ‘progress’ which saw the wonderfully quirky and atmospheric Theatre Club Bar converted into the airport departure lounge which is the Kerrigan Room.

Rory Mulvihill, Palmes Close, Naburn, York.

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