Review of the UCL Bloomsbury Theatre
19 February 2016
A review of the future use of the UCL Bloomsbury Theatre, considering how the space can best be used for cultural activities at UCL over the longer term, will kick off next week with a meeting with the student societies who use the theatre.
UCL's Public and Cultural Engagement Unit (PACE) held an open Q&A with the student societies on 4 February and has subsequently also met with the UCLU Activities and Events Officer to agree a consultation framework that will enable students to input on how a remodelled and reimagined theatre might better serve the needs of UCL and its students in the future.
UCL will also work with students to secure alternative venues for performances during this extended period of closure as it has done previously, and consider how best the Bloomsbury Studio can be used over the period of closure to mitigate the loss of the main performance space. The use of the studio during this time will also form part of the review.
The theatre has been closed since June of last year after planned building works impacted on a known asbestos problem, requiring performances to be suspended until further notice. It has been difficult to predict the length of the closure given the complexity of the work needed to make the site fit for purpose, though the reopening was initially scheduled for early 2016.
Given the substantial scale of the work required to reinstate the auditorium, UCL decided to embark on a review of whether the 1967 theatre configuration is still right for users' needs, or whether other options should be explored. As a result, the reopening has been delayed until January 2018 at the earliest. The studio and other parts of the building are unaffected.
The interests of students will be front and centre of this review, and we will also be extending the consultation process to include UCL staff.
If you wish to take part or comment, you can email the UCL Public and Cultural Engagement team via: firstname.lastname@example.org. We expect that the initial consultation and options analysis will be complete by Easter, after which a decision will be taken on a preferred option.
Simon Cane, Director, UCL Public and Cultural Engagement