Stage is set for theatre’s return to action

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  • New Theatre Royal has been subject of a £4.5m refurbishment
  • The first show will be a new version of The Great Gatsby, opening on October 15
  • The theatre will include a studio space named in tribute to Antony Minghella
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The curtain is finally set to rise on a new era at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth.

Tickets for the city centre theatre’s opening shows are now on sale following a refurbishment project costing more than £4.5m to restore it to its former glory and bring it into the 21st century.

The first show at the venue in four years will be a glamorous new adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age classic, The Great Gatsby from the nationally- acclaimed Blackeyed Theatre on October 15.

Much-loved US comedian Ruby Wax is also due to grace the stage on November 24 with her latest show Sane New World.

Sheena Hulme, operations director at the theatre, said: ‘This is just the start of an exciting new programme of events that will give audiences a taster of what is to come next year when we launch our full spring/summer programme.

‘This will include world-class professional drama, dance, music, comedy and children’s performances and events – there will be something for everyone to enjoy.’

New Theatre Royal chief executive Caroline Sharman celebrates its impending opening '''Picture: Ian Hargreaves (151215-3)

New Theatre Royal chief executive Caroline Sharman celebrates its impending opening '''Picture: Ian Hargreaves (151215-3)

The theatre can now hold 700 and has had extensive work carried out to restore the stage, fly-tower and backstage area, while also improving accessibility to the theatre.

The rebuild also brings with it new café and bar areas as well as a new studio space, a legacy to Antony Minghella, who studied in Portsmouth and went on to have a 30-year career as a director, producer and actor.

Caroline Sharman, the theatre’s CEO, added: ‘The revival of New Theatre Royal is about much more than the restoration of the beloved, historic building – it is about supporting the creation of jobs, driving traffic to local businesses and developing a new state-of-the art space for the community to enjoy.’

Tickets for both shows start from £20, available online at newtheatreroyal.com or from the box office on (023) 9264 9000.

This is just the start of an exciting new programme of events that will give audiences a taster of what is to come next year when we launch our full spring/summer programme

Sheena Hulme, operations director at The New Theatre Royal
New Theatre Royal chief executive Caroline Sharman celebrates its impending reopening

New Theatre Royal chief executive Caroline Sharman celebrates its impending reopening