Revamped Donmar Warehouse reopens its doors

Donmar Warehouse. Photo: Richard Davenport

Donmar Warehouse has re-opened the doors of its auditorium and public spaces after the completion of essential building works. The theatre's production of Love and Other Acts of Violence will be the first full theatrical performance to run at the theatre since it was forced to close during the first national lockdown. The recorded audio piece Blindness played in the theatre following the easing of restrictions and prior to building works commencing.

Formerly used as a hop warehouse, a rehearsal studio and a banana ripening depot, the building was first converted into a theatre in the 1970s, and became the Donmar Warehouse in the 1990s. 

Speaking about the reopening, the Artistic Director of Donmar Warehouse, Michael Longhurst said, “We are thrilled to be reopening our building this month after this period of enforced closure due to Covid, followed by building works. These renovations have been long in the planning, and adapted following the impact of the pandemic but I’m so pleased that we have managed to achieve something so positive in very challenging circumstances. We are grateful to the funders and supporters whose generosity have enabled us to create a more welcoming, accessible theatre that is now future proofed with state of the art ventilation and electrical systems. I cannot wait to see audiences and artists using our new spaces and gathering together to create and witness fantastic theatre, starting with our opening production of Cordelia Lynn’s Love and Other Acts of Violence – see you there!”

The works have replaced key infrastructure within the building, significantly improving its reliability and accessibility for audiences, artists and staff. The architect for the project is Haworth Tompkins.

There has been a spatial reconfiguration of the old venue, which had several iterations since its conversion to a theatre. This has involved opening up the spaces to improve the flow for audiences, and increase natural light across the venue.

Other new features include accessibility improvements including street level access and ramp, and new lift with wider door access and redesigned front of house spaces with increased accessibility and facilities, including extra toilets and the introduction of a café. The seats in the auditorium have also been refurbished.

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