About the Bloomsbury
November 2018 the Bloomsbury Theatre reopened after a 3 year closure for refurbishment. The theatre has retained the intimate auditorium layout, with 541 seats spread over 2 levels, with orchestra pit and fully modernised technical support. The 2018 – 2019 programme includes UCL student performances of opera, musical theatre, drama and music concerts. Arts industry leaders will also be invited to work with UCL Staff to create performances centred around UCL Research to find harmony but also challenge the relationship between science and the arts. Commercial performances will include a wide variety of comedy, drama, music which reflects the vibrant atmosphere of UCL and to also attract and welcome all guests to the Bloomsbury theatre.
The Bloomsbury Studio opened in 2015. It is a flexible flat-floored performance space for up to 70 seated people. The studio has already become a popular venue for stand-up comedy, spoken word, music, dance and small-scale performance. The studio regularly hosts events from University College London including Bright Club, student productions, and research-related events.
The Bloomsbury Theatre Building was officially opened in 1968 as The Central Collegiate Building. The auditorium, which held over 500 people soon became the Collegiate Theatre. It was renamed in 1982 as Bloomsbury Theatre to reflect its geographical location as well as the artistic associations of the name. The main theatre was closed for building works in 2015.
Prior to closure, the main theatre had gained a reputation in a number of fields, from small scale opera work to innovative stand-up comedy. Drawing on its University base, the theatre had developed a reputation for science-based comedy and broader science events. It also provided an early stage for some of this country's greatest comedy talent including Lily Savage, Eddie Izzard, Jo Brand, Jeremy Hardy, Mel and Sue, John Shuttleworth and Sooty! More recently top name comedians such as Ricky Gervais, Jimmy Carr and Harry Hill have chosen Bloomsbury Theatre as a venue for their DVD recordings. The Bloomsbury also hosted many music events such as the Zombies, Adele, Paul Simon and Ray Davies. The Bloomsbury Theatre was built to support student activity and prior to closure hosted 12 weeks a year of student productions from University College London.