Hull New Theatre facelift revealed and it looks stunning
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 31 Jul 2017
The stage is now set for Hull New Theatre's dramatic return to business after a £16m facelift.
These stunning images of the refurbished venue reveal what theatregoers will see when the curtain goes up on September 16 for a sold-out show by The Royal Ballet.
From an extended main auditorium with more comfortable seats and all-important increased leg room to a new-look restaurant and bars, the 18-month transformation has been completed on schedule and on budget.
Behind the scenes, the theatre's backstage area has been completely revamped with a much larger 27 metre-high flytower and a new set of dressings rooms.
Contractors Esteem and Sewell Construction will officially hand the building back to the city councilnext week after a preview event for invited guests which featured two performances by young dancers from the Hull-based Northern Academy of Performing Arts.
City officials say the project is aimed at making the theatre more attractive to larger touring productions thanks to its extended facilities.
City council leader Councillor Steve Brady said theatre's facelift was a great example of "hard graft" by all those involved.
"I would like to thank Esteem, Sewell Construction, and the many council staff involved for their fantastic work and commitment, not only to the theatre, but to the neighbouring University Technical College and to the surrounding area.
Hull New Theatre (Image: Kate Woolhouse)
"Their professionalism and competency has meant that the project has come in on schedule and is already making a hugely positive difference to this area of the city centre.
“This investment will be a catalyst to ensuring the theatre is in the best possible position to cement its reputation as one of the best receiving theatres in the UK , ensuring we secure a lasting legacy from our year as UK City of Culture.”
The age of the main theatre theatre building was one of the main challenges of the project.
Originally built in the early 1830s as the Assembly Rooms, it was converted into a theatre in 1939.
Apart from the fly tower, the most noticeable new feature is the addition of an extension on the site of the former fire station fronting Kingston Square.
The ground floor bar has a new look
The extension will form a new disabled-friendly entrance to the theatre and will feature a new ground-floor bar, ticket office and first floor function area.
Mark Boothby, project manager for Sewell, said: "It has been a very challenging job to work on because of the age of the building but also a very rewarding one now we have reached the hand-over point.
"I am also very pleased we have delivered it safely because the technical nature of some of the work we had to do."
Esteem chairman Richard King said: "Hull New Theatre is one of the most distinctive and beautiful buildings in the city and it’s an honour to be entrusted by the council to carry out the transformation of this prestigious venue which means so much to the community.
“It is breathtakingly beautiful and I’m very proud of the work the team has done here."
The new ground floor bar at Hull New Theatre
Ahead of the official opening, people will have the chance to see the refurbished theatre in all its glory during the annual Heritage Open Days event in early September.