- ADC Theatre
The ADC Theatre is a theatre in
Cambridge, Englandand also a department of the University of Cambridge. It is owned by the Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club(CUADC), but is currently run as the smallest department of the university, with four permanent staff. It is a producing theatre with the CUADC as its resident company.
auditoriumseats 228 audience members. The auditorium seating was replaced in summer 2008, and the rows are fairly evenly stepped from row A up to row P (with entrances at row A - step-free from the street, via a passenger lift - and row J). The theatre has a well stocked bar, which opens 45 minutes before shows, and often stays open until approximately 2am.
When the CUADC was formed in 1855, the club members raised sufficient funds to buy the freehold on the Hoop Inn in Park Street. This building was subsequently developed into the ADC Theatre over an extended period of time.
In 1933 there was a disastrous fire, which gutted the building. The theatre was quickly rebuilt, and had not changed substantially until the redevelopment programme started in 2002.
The theatre was run by the CUADC until the club ran into financial difficulties in 1974 when the University of Cambridge began to lease the premises from the CUADC and run the theatre, an arrangement that continues to this day.
Many famous actors acted in the theatre at the start of their careers, including
Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Hattie Morahanand Iain Moggach.
In 2002, a redevelopment appeal was launched to improve the building. The bar had been refurbished in summer 2000, prior to the appeal being launched.
In summer 2003, the first phase of the redevelopment was undertaken. This phase resulted in no visible change to the theatre's facilities, as it consisted of necessary work to underpin the building and move services such as water and gas in preparation for the next phase.
In 2004 major modifications to the public areas of the theatre were undertaken. A new toilet block was constructed on an area that was part of the theatre's yard. A large amount of the ground floor was remodeled, resulting in an enlarged foyer and new
box officefor the public, and new management offices, clubroom, production office and backstage kitchen. The theatre's facade was also completely changed.
In summer 2005, a lift was installed to give disabled access to the bar and auditorium. In addition, a corridor was constructed to give audience access to both sides of the auditorium. A bar extension and bar roof terrace were constructed on top of the toilet block built in the previous phase. The installation of the lift meant that the previous ladder access to the lighting and sound boxes could no longer be used. The lighting and sound boxes were rebuilt to allow access to them from the lift.
The final phase, which began in April 2008, concentrates on the backstage area and will result in new dressing rooms, a new set workshop, a soundproof rehearsal room, and a
green room. Offices for the Theatre's full-time staff and resources for those producing shows will be rearranged and expanded. Additionally, new auditorium seating will increase audience comfort and provide a better view of the stage from all seats. While this work is underway, the Theatre is closed to the public, and is expected to reopen in October 2008 for the new academic year.
During the term-time of Cambridge University, there are normally two shows per night: a "Mainshow" starting at 7:45pm and a "Lateshow" starting at 11pm. On Tuesdays, the late slot is normally filled by a one-night show that can range from comedy (such as "Smokers" produced by the
Cambridge Footlights) to "fringe" drama such as original writing. This format is subject to change, and notably performances often take place in the theatre bar on Sunday evenings.
Outside term-time, the theatre often holds one show per week, and closes for periods during the Summer and to a lesser extent the Christmas and Easter holidays. These closures allow essential maintenance work to be undertaken in the theatre.
Groups that frequently use the theatre
During term-time, Cambridge University drama societies such as the CUADC and Footlights use the theatre, as well as College drama societies.
Outside term-time, the theatre is typically used by drama societies based in the city of Cambridge such as BAWDS and the Combined Actors of Cambridge.
* [http://www.adctheatre.com/ ADC Theatre website]
* [http://www.cuadc.org/index.php?id=5 CUADC site] with information about the theatre's history
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