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Trafalgar stages remarkable return to its 1930s heritage

Venue's multimillion-pound refurbishment ahead of planned full reopening with Jersey Boys

21 June, 2021 — By Tom Foot

The new-look Trafalgar Theatre with a 630-seat auditorium

THE Trafalgar Theatre, formerly Trafalgar Studios, has had a multimillion-pound refurbishment, returning the venue back to its original heritage 1930s design.

The 630-seat auditorium, bar and foyer was unveiled this week ahead of a planned full reopening in late July.

The main space is set in deep mono­chrome with silver, bronze and gold trimmings and a new version of the original green and yellow carpet on the seats.

A balcony front, which had been kept in storage for decades, has been restored and refitted, along with the grand ceiling and proscenium arch.

Theatre owner Sir Howard Panter said: “Underneath the shell of the Trafalgar Studios, there was a remarkable Art Deco building, and through the painstaking restoration work we have completed alongside all the relevant historical partners, we have a beautiful genuinely unique theatre fit for 21st century audiences.

Jersey Boys

“The theatre is complete and ready, the set is built, the cast are signed and we now just long to be allowed to let the audience return and enjoy being back in the theatre.”

Jersey Boys will be the first show at the theatre when it opens on July 28.

The government was due to allow capacity crowds back into theatres this month but a surge in Covid-19 infections has caused delays to the “roadmap”.

Theatres across the West End have been hoping to reopen from June 21, following the lifting of social distancing restrictions. Most playhouses cannot operate at a profit without a full house.

Co-founded by Sir Howard and Dame Rosemary Squire in 2017, Trafalgar Entertainment owns the Trafalgar Theatre, Theatre Royal Sydney and the soon-to-open Olympia Theatre.

Dame Rosemary said the project had been a “great reset” for the theatre, adding: “Trafalgar Theatre, in its many guises, has always been a culturally important building, whether serving as a television studio, a museum or a theatre.”

The redevelopment of Trafalgar Theatre was overseen by the award-winning Foster Wilson Size.

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