Theatre ConsultantsCharcoalblue
ClientRoyal Opera House
Photo CreditHufton + Crow
ArchitectStanton Williams

Linbury Theatre

Royal Opera House Open Up

The West End’s newest and most intimate venue, Linbury Theatre, reopens its doors to the public beginning December 2018. After undergoing renovations since 2016, Linbury Theatre’s new design enhances the guest experience at the iconic Covent Garden building. As part of Royal Opera House’s Open Up project and in an effort to make the Opera House a more welcoming building, the refurbishment included a new café, restaurant, shop and daytime activities that celebrate the art forms of dance and opera. The  Linbury Theatre’s 2018 renovation focused on building a world-class stage for the Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera and its collaborating artists and partners as well as creating impressive spaces for innovative, bespoke private and corporate events.

Linbury Theatre’s 2018 renovation
Linbury Theatre’s 2018 renovation

To provide Linbury Theatre with a world-class auditorium, TAIT worked closely with the Royal Opera House for power flying solutions, Stanton Williams (Architects), and Theatre Consultants, Charcoalblue, to deliver reconfigurable staging. TAIT’s scope was delivered in two phases:

The first phase involved engineering and manufacturing four versatile elevators used to create different configurations of the auditorium and stage. These elevators were installed into the auditorium’s pit area and can be used to create a flat floor as well as various raked layouts. To create raked seating layouts at the front of the theatre, the elevators are used in conjunction with seating wagons, demountable steps and pit rail barriers.

The second phase involved providing the theatre with a new overhead rigging grid equipped with a modern power flying system responsible for safely moving show scenery into place. To do so, TAIT installed 20 fly bars operated by BT2-300 winches and 6 variable speed chain hoists. The overhead grid was designed to accommodate the BT2-300 winches with wire ropes running under the grid to allow easy inspection and access to install additional show specific rigging equipment through hinged pressed steel panels. The chain hoists can be easily moved around the grid to the required locations without being obstructed by the wire ropes.

With a well-established relationship, the Royal Opera House has relied on TAIT’s automation platform in Linbury Theatre since 1999. As part of Linbury Theatre’s 2018 renovation, TAIT updated the auditoriums automation products to meet the latest safety standards including safety functions certified to SIL3. TAIT’s automation platform is responsible for operating all of the newly renovated elements such as the auditoriums elevators and power flying system.

Linbury Theatre’s 2018 renovation
Fun Fact: the Royal Opera House Open Up project won a RIBA London Award in 2019!