Nimax Theatres has announced its new theatre in Central London, to be called @sohoplace.
It is the first new build West End theatre to open in 50 years, and has been built in a brand new £300m complex of buildings by Derwent London, on the site of the old Astoria cinema, theatre and nightclub close to Tottenham Court Road station. The Astoria was demolished to make way for the new Elizabeth Line.
The theatre’s location is on Soho Place, which is – incredibly – the the first new street name in Soho for 72 years.
The theatre itself is a state-of-the-art new venue, that has a flexible 602-seat auditorium that will open for its first season in a ‘in the round’ configuration. Sightlines and acoustics are said to be perfect.
The building also features a creatives floor with a rehearsal room, actors’Green Room, bar and terrace, and the ground floor has a public restaurant and bar.
The culmination of a 12-year project, the theatre is owned by Nica Burns and operated by Nimax Theatres, and plans to open in the autumn. The first production is yet to be announced.
Nica Burns said in a press statement that: “I wanted to create a theatre which could add a different dimension to our vibrant West End landscape. I asked our greatest theatre creatives two questions: If we could build a new theatre in the heart of the West End, what would you like it to be? What additional facilities would be on your wish list? They dreamt of a flexible auditorium, perfect acoustics and audience / stage intimacy. An ability to create on-site with the dream of a rehearsal room, a Green Room and a bar all in the same building. So that’s what we built – with a few extras including an outside terrace.”
“The incredible team of engineers pulled off the greatest of structural feats, building over a major underground transport hub – a challenging place to build a theatre – achieving perfect acoustics and no vibrations. I am incredibly privileged to be working with Derwent London who hand-picked the most outstanding team – all leaders and innovators in their sectors – to deliver this challenging build:
The theatre’s architect was Simon Allford, founder of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.