THE New Theatre Royal returns to action for the first time in more than two-and-a-half years tonight.
The Guildhall Walk theatre, in Portsmouth’s city centre, closed in February 2013 to undergo a massive £4.5m refurbishment and rebuild project.
A new adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, by Blackeyed Theatre, will be the first to grace the theatre’s new stage.
As part of the scheme a huge new fly tower was built, and a new performance space - The Minghella Studio - was created. The main auditorium’s capacity has also been boosted from 500 to 700.
And the scheme has also seen the theatre working closely with the University of Portsmouth - creative arts students moved into the newly built part of the theatre at the start of the current term.
The reopening has been put back several times, and the debut production had originally slated to be The Mudlarkers, written by city councillor Margaret Foster, but this is now expected to be put on some time next year.