Hardcover224 PagesSize: 250 × 190 mm
150 B&W illustrations and 22 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781848222151Publication: January 01, 2020

Play On: Contemporary Theatre Architecture in Britain

Alistair Fair


  • The book provides the first detailed overview of contemporary theatre architecture in Britain
  • The well-illustrated case studies reveal best practice which should be of interest to those commissioning and designing new cultural and/or public buildings 
  • Several examples including the National Theatre, Scottish Opera, the Everyman in Liverpool and the recently opened Bridge Theatre in London and their designers (including Haworth Tompkins, Page/Park, Richard Murphy and Denys Lasdun) have international profile and appeal

This book documents and celebrates Britain’s contemporary theatre architecture. It is about the conception, design, and delivery of spaces for drama between c. 2008 and 2018, a period of economic recession and financial austerity which has nonetheless seen a significant number of well received theatre-building projects.

Intended not only for theatre enthusiasts but also individuals and organisations who may be contemplating a capital project of their own, Play On provides detailed ‘contemporary histories’ of ten recent projects. It includes new theatres, like Liverpool’s prize-winning Everyman Theatre and Cast in Doncaster, as well as major refurbishment and restoration schemes such as the National Theatre in London and the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow. Architects whose work is discussed include Haworth Tompkins, Aedas Arts Team, Bennetts Associates, Richard Murphy Architects, and Page\Park. An extended introductory section sets the case studies in their historical and contemporary contexts, and draws out key themes, including sustainability, accessibility, and the need for theatres to be efficient yet welcoming ‘public’ spaces.

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