€6 million facelift for Royal Theatre

The Royal Theatre in Castlebar is set to become Ireland’s second largest arts venue, after plans to create a 3,500 person capacity venue for the arts, music, theatre and social events were revealed at a function in Castlebar on Friday night last. Pat & Mary Jennings revealed the €6 million plan to refurbish the Royal Theatre, increasing capacity from 1500 seated to 2000, and from 2000 standing to 3500. Work on the refurbishment is set to commence early next spring and will be ready for Summer 2008.  Included in these new plans is a west end production stage with a new fly tower over the existing stage, which will have flying facilities (sets housed in the roof area). There will be three levels of changing rooms at the back of the stage, a new roof over the auditorium which will be approximately two metres higher than the existing roof, a glazed pedestrian bridge link at the first floor from the western side of the Theatre to existing glazed pedestrian bridge and new retractable upholstered seating. The refurbishment will cost in the region of €6 million.  The Royal Theatre is currently the third largest entertainment venue in the country but once the refurbishment plan is finalized it will be the second largest venue. Due to the increased capacity of the Theatre a new dedicated Ticket Box Office is set to open in August 2007 and will be situated adjacent to the Royal Theatre.