Following six years of development, the newly completed Rose of Kingston theatre will open on 16 January 2008 with Sir Peter Hall directing an English Touring Theatre production of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya.
The new theatre in Charter Quay, Kingston, is built to a design inspired by the Elizabethan Rose theatre on London’s Bankside which staged many of Shakespeare’s early plays. Hall was appointed director of the Rose of Kingston in 2003 and staged Theatre Royal Bath’s production of As You Like It in the unfinished building in 2004. Commenting on the completion of the theatre, Hall said: “It is an outstanding theatre and a great achievement. I am proud to be a part of it.”
With currently no Arts Council or Lottery revenue funding, ongoing programming at the Rose relies on fundraising. Hall said: “It is our hope that with our completed theatre and this exploratory programme, we can encourage further financial support for this exciting new venue. This theatre will be the cultural heart of Kingston, it will bring significantly more people to the borough and it will provide unique opportunities to enthuse the next generation of theatre audiences and practitioners.”
Following Uncle Vanya, which embarks on a UK tour after opening at the new theatre, the inaugural season at the Rose of Kingston continues with productions of Jeff Baron’s play Visiting Mr Green, musical Blonde Bombshells Of 1943, Birmingham Stage Company’s production of George’s Marvellous Medicine, Romeo And Juliet by Northern Broadsides and a National Youth Music Theatre/Kingston University production of The Ragged Child. A series of one-off music and comedy events is also planned.
Full details of all productions will be announced in November, with public booking opening on 12 November.