King's redevelopment approaches halfway point

An update on the King's

We are almost halfway through the King’s redevelopment project, with exciting changes taking place all over the building. The end of the demolition work is in sight, making way for all the new interventions that will transform the theatre into a fully accessible, modern venue.  

If you have passed by the King’s in the last few weeks, you might have noticed the theatre’s new roofline beginning to take shape. The steel installation for the raised fly tower is complete and the new grid and top loading gallery is now in place. The new fly tower is 4.5 metres higher than the original, creating more space above the stage to fly twice the weight of scenery in and out of the audience’s sight. This will enable the King’s to attract a greater variety of productions than ever before.  

KINGS_RENOVATION_ROOF_NEWGRID_2_copyrightAnneleenLindsayNovember2023 (1).jpg
© Anneleen Lindsay

On 7th December 2023 we celebrated the completion of the frame for the fly tower with a steel signing ceremony attended by members of the construction team, design team, architects and key partners and supporters of the project. All guests signed a plaque which will be permanently bolted to the structure to mark this key project milestone.  

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© Neil Hanna

The fly tower is now full of scaffolding which will allow us to remove the old grid and roof from the inside. This ensures that the King’s remains wind and watertight throughout the entire project.  

The back of the old Upper Circle is undergoing a complete transformation, with new steelwork being erected to accommodate: 

  • new ladies’ and gents’ toilets 
  • sound and lighting control rooms 
  • a new lighting gantry to replace the production lighting which was previously hung from the proscenium boxes 
  • a follow spot room 
  • a plant room for heating and ventilation 
  • new audio description and captioning rooms 
© Anneleen Lindsay

This means that, for the first time in the history of the King’s, we will have dedicated facilities to provide audio described performances for visually impaired customers and captioning for D/deaf customers.  

Elsewhere in the building: 

  • The floor of the stalls has been excavated to make room for the new Pit Bar which will be built below the auditorium. 
  • The old Box Office has been stripped out and structural support work has commenced on that corner of the building in preparation for creating a new on-street café, kitchen and new ladies' toilets for the Stalls.  
  • Building work has started in the dressing rooms, where doorways have been altered to enable the replacement of surface mounted wires and pipework, some of which had been obsolete for years.  
© Anneleen Lindsay

Mechanical and electrical services are about to start on site, working on new ventilation ductwork as well as heating and electrical distribution.  

We aim to improve audience circulation in the Dress Circle Bar. Initial plans have been rejected so we are working on alternative solutions to improve the customer experience and staff working conditions, whilst recognising the significant heritage in this important space.  

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