NIMAX THEATRES SIGN TO OPERATE NEW THEATRE FORMERLY THE LONDON ASTORIA
| By London Theatre Direct
A new 350 seat West End theatre is planned as part of the Crossrail redevelopment around Tottenham Court Road Station. Previously the site was home to the London Astoria which was demolished in 2009.
The developers, property company Derwent London have submitted a planning application to include retail, office, residential units as well as the theatre. However there is a long way to go yet, as first they have to wait for completion of the Tottenham Court Road Station which is due to be finished in 2017.
Nimax Theatres have signed an agreement with the developers and hope to build a flexible auditorium, which will have four main configuarations - end on, half thrust, full thrust and in the round. They want it to be London's first small, purpose built, in the round theatre which will become an asset for the whole theatre community. Nimax Chief excutive Nica Burns said, "Derwent and I have signed a heads of agreement. I’m utterly committed to it, very excited and really love both the building, and the theatre that we’re now hoping that Westminster will give us permission to put in it.
If permission is granted, the as yet to be named theatre will be the smallest theatre join Nimax's existing stable of theatres - Apollo, Duchess, Garrick, Lyric and Vaudeville. The theatre plans have been designed by Ian Albery who took charge of the extremely successful conversion of the Donmar Warehouse.
Commenting on the redevelopment scheme, Mayor of London Boris Johnson added: “The east end of Oxford Street has long deserved the economic boost, improved public space and glamour these plans will deliver. It will be a gleaming example of the opportunities that will follow the route of this new line, as well as offering the facility to zoom from one side of London to the other at record speed.”