The Cheese Grater is thrilled to reveal that we don’t need to write an article about Bloomsbury Theatre’s renovation as it is surprisingly running right on time.
The university’s biggest asset to student arts was closed in the autumn of 2015 when asbestos was found to be literally everywhere. Student performances have since been farmed out to theatres like the Shaw – a perfect equivalent, being of a similar size, capacity, and having similar amounts of asbestos – and the Bloomsbury Studio, which has none of these things, but is quite nice.
Given UCL’s track record with student theatres (turning the old Garage theatre into a cafe without replacing it), nobody was optimistic, especially when plans were revealed to convert much of the Bloomsbury into lecture – and cafe – space during renovations.
Happily, after much consultation with the student Arts societies over the last two years, these plans were scrapped, and the new theatre is to be bigger and better than ever before (apparently), with an operating model that actually allows for more student productions.
The enabling works (stripping the theatre down of asbestos, seats, vents, asbestos, etc.) have been handled over the summer, with major building to commence this autumn.
The theatre is intended to open in October 2018, coinciding with its 50th anniversary, with the first student shows performed in November.