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Building is the real star of the show; The new belgrade IT'S all change at the new-look Belgrade Theatre and people will be able to enjoy the new venue from September 3. Theatre writer MARION McMULLEN offers a peek at what's in store.


THE curtain is going up on Coventry's transformed Belgrade Theatre.

It has taken 18 months work and pounds 11 million pounds, but the 1958 building is now ready to keep city audiences entertained for the next 50 years.

The venue at the heart of the city has been completely refurbished and is about to embark on a new era.

The original elements of the listed building have been retained, but the theatre now boasts a seven storey extension and a studio theatre called B2.

The reopening was delayed last year because of building delays, but artistic director Hamish Glen hope audiences will believe the new theatre was worth waiting for.

A pounds 995,000 award from the Heritage Lottery Fund has also helped to create a new exhibition space and education and has gone to restoring parts of the original Grade II listed building.

There is a new double-height glazed main entrance into the Belgrade at Bond Street, lifts to all floors, more toilets and a refurbished restaurant and cafe.

Behind the scenes there are new rehearsal rooms and a new ventilation system has been fitted into the 850-seat main house.

Even the foyer chandeliers have been taken down and given a clean and the mosaic walls have been restored to their former glory.

The new building design has been created by London architects Stanton Williams, whose award-winning projects include the refurbishment of the National Theatre in London and The Gas Hall in Birmingham.


TAKE YOUR SEATS... The seating plans for both touring shows and Belgrade produced shows (far left) and the theatre seen from the Belgrade Plaza car park (left).;READY FOR ACTION... Scenes from inside and outside the fantastic new Belgrade Theatre.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 25, 2007
Previous Article:The B2 studio; The new belgrade.
Next Article:101 shining stars of the Belgrade; The new belgrade SOME of the most famous names in showbusiness have trodden the boards at Coventry's Belgrade...

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