Interior of @sohoplace theatre with navy blue seats and warm yellow lighting

Image provided by Philip Vile Haworth Tompkins


Nica Burns, Nimax Theatres


Project Development
Design & Engineering
Machinery Automation
Performer Flying
Service & Support

When the iconic Astoria Theatre was demolished as part of London’s Crossrail project, developer Derwent wanted a partner to create something a little different in its place. Nica Burns of Nimax Theatres relished the opportunity to build a unique venue to contrast with the traditional proscenium arch theaters. TAIT was charged with the ambitious task of designing and delivering the first new theater in the West End for half a century.

Our team's theater design experience was vital to bringing @sohoplace’s unique take on live entertainment to life. We transformed the space to enable transformation from in-the-round to thrust configurations using the removable balcony modules and overhead lifting equipment that are key to the venue’s versatility. We also installed an adaptable flying system featuring flybars, moveable point hoists, and traveling bridges and outfitted the venue with a stage lift capable of handling over four tonnes.
TAIT fabricator working on sohoplace
Man with arms raised on stage at @sohoplace

Image provided by Philip Vile Haworth Tompkins

Each element serves multiple functions. The traveling bridges support lighting fixtures but also serve as a mounting point for the chain hoists used for balcony rigging and provide a section of track for the gantry crane. Several of the densely packed array of BT2 winches in the flying system provide reconfigurable point hoists, and the control system uses custom iQ interface features to deliver an overview of the many safety interlocks.

Control is via our epiQ console, designed for efficient show programming, operation, and integration with other technical departments. This stunning venue uses cutting-edge technology to deliver a breath of fresh air to London’s West End.

Civil Engineers
Theatre Consultants
Allford Hall & Monaghan Morris
Auditorium Architect
Haworth Tompkins
Principal Contractor
Laing O'Rourke
Derwent London
End Client/Building Tenant
Nica Burns, Nimax Theatres
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