Work on the restoration of the Theatre is nearing completion but was paused to allow the Prom to take place, welcoming the BBC Concert Orchestra and the BBC Singers, conducted by Jane Glover for a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury which premiered in 1875, the same year the Theatre first opened.
FCBStudios are leading a significant refurbishment of the East Wing of Alexandra Palace, undertaking a series of far-reaching interventions to create spaces that are fit for a diversity of uses they have never seen before. While the fabric of the building is consolidated and processes of deterioration addressed, the objective is not to restore but to conserve largely as found – to present these fragile spaces in a state of ‘arrested decay’. In this way a sense of perspective, of looking back into the Theatre’s 140-year history of spectacle, neglect and re-birth, is preserved.
Matt Somerville, Associate at FCBStudios said ‘This weekend’s performance has been enormously rewarding for all involved and the result of a team effort of monumental proportions. In the space of a couple of days, we’ve seen the place transform from a building site to a living theatre, reverberating with music and applause. Everyone can now see where we’re going with the final stages of completion, and I think we’ve all been given an emotional boost to get there.’
Jane Glover said ‘The building itself is fabulous. The acoustic is extraordinarily good and we felt that there is such history in the building which has lain dormant for 70 years or so. It has a wonderful atmosphere, and what was exciting as we came in and started making music in there, was that the building began to breathe again!’
The theatre will open fully in December 2018, and tickets for performances are available now.