Assembly Rooms theatre reopens

By Anna Marshall

Durham Student Theatre’s official venue The Assembly Rooms has reopened on The Bailey, after over a year of renovations.

The building work cost £2.4 million, and has improved accessibility for those with disabilities, as well as a refurbished auditorium and a thorough redecoration.

“We needed this space. The lighting and technical capacities of The Assembly Rooms is far better than most venues in Durham we have been having to use for the past year. It’s exciting being the first show to perform after it reopens. For people who haven’t seen this venue before, it’s a great opportunity”, explained John Duffett, producer of Suffragette Theatre Company’s Five Kinds of Silence, who were moving into the venue on Monday.

 “We’ll be putting on our first show this Wednesday, about a mother and her two daughters who come together to kill the father”, Duffett continued, “It explores how it came to be that they killed their father, looking at the circle of abuse surrounding this man”.

The Assembly Rooms has been out of use for the past year, forcing Durham Student Theatre (DST) to broaden the scope of temporary performance spaces they could use. With their theatre space now returned to them, DST are expecting this to be an even bigger and better year for the Durham drama scene.

“Although drama is not a course at Durham, there are a great many people who are involved directly or indirectly with DST. I know personally many people who want to get into writing, or producing, or acting, but also we’re so lucky to have the opportunity to see so much drama. We can allow people to have an experience they’ll never forget”, explained Duffett.

Five Kinds of Silence by Shelagh Stephenson will be the first show to be performed at the Assembly Rooms on Wednesday 30th October, with repeat performances on Thursday 31st and Friday 1st November.

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