Theatre ConsultingThe Lion King - Disney Corporation

Milton Keynes Theatre

The Chan Centre, Vancouver

St. James’s Cavalier Theatre, Malta

Esplanade Theatre Complex, Singapore

Yuen Long Theatre Hong kong

Our Consulting Work

Our work around the globe has ranged from advising cities, universities, commercial companies and regional authorities what they should build or acquire in the way of cultural or entertainment facilities, to preparing a complete and costed programme of activities to establish a new building.

While many theatre consultants concentrate their work with architects and designers on the actual building and the technical facilities required, our speciality is focused on the creation and production of the live theatrical experience.

Our history of producing, co-producing and investing in over 250 productions in the past 50 years provides us with the experience necessary to give incisive consulting advice on entertainment facilities and buildings which few other theatre consultants have achieved.

Here are some highlights of our work

Disney Development Corporation
The Disney Development Corporation had successfully entered the theatrical scene on Broadway and wanted to extend its venture into London’s West End. We acted as Disney’s consultants, creating an extensive overview of London’s West End theatre scene, a comprehensive financial analysis of running a major West End theatre and a fully-costed draft programme. On the basis of this report, Disney bought the Lyceum Theatre and produced “The Lion King” which is still running there very successfully.

Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes did not know what to build to meet the demand for an entertainment and cultural venue. Thus we surveyed all the local arts groups, regional committees and a cross-section of the population and as a result of our recommendations in our report, a major theatre was built to house touring opera, drama, dance companies and commercial productions pre- and post- West End.

Athens had built the shell of a new Concert Hall. We were contacted by the Chairman of the Board, Christopher Lambriakis (also Chairman of Olympic Airways and some of Greece’s leading newspapers). Their request to us was to contract international singers and orchestras ready to perform within months. We pointed out that most of their named artists were booked several years in advance and we were invited out to see their building. We pointed out that the building was years away from being ready as a concert hall- the only orchestra entrance available would not even accommodate a grand piano. After our consultation with the Minister of Culture, Melina Mercouri, money was found to rebuild the structure as a magnificent Concert Hall, which now flourishes.

Portland, USA
The Portland Centre for the Performing Arts consists of three separate buildings – the Keller Auditorium (2992 seats), the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and the Antoinette Hatfield Hall. We were consulted about the costing of a programme of classical concerts, pop, jazz, rock, folk and gospel music, dance, theatre, films and conferences. Antoinette Hatfield Hall comprises the Newmark and the Winingstad theatres. Theatre Projects advised on the building of an Edwardian-style theatre seating 880, a Shakespearean courtyard theatre and a black box style theatre.

We acted as consultants on the creation of a centralised box office system, also the interior colourings and the management of catering, which included the first use of portable drinks bars to be brought into the foyers in the intervals – an idea which has since been adopted at venues around the world. We also advised on creating a competition for a sculpture to dominate the central rotunda area.

Vancouver, Canada
We were appointed as consultants to the Chan Centre - a planned arts venue commissioned in the early 1990s to meet the needs of the University of British Columbia and to provide a concert hall for the region of Canada centred by Vancouver. Theatre Projects and Artec designed an acoustically superior, medium-sized concert hall. Our job as consultants involved much research, understanding the needs of the indigenous cultural organisations and community, looking at past arts success and establishing future requirements to ensure that the buildings met the needs of the community. We advised on its programming for touring arts productions and conferences as well as ensuring its use by University students of music, theatre and film. The Chan Centre opened in the Spring of 1997 to enthusiastic response and continues successfully today as an established multi-purpose venue.

The Government of Malta had been hoping to rebuild its Opera House in Valletta since the end of the Second World War. We were consulted about this and advised on the possibility of building a multi-purpose theatre since opera only played a few weeks each year. Whilst on a surveying trip to the bombed site, we looked at the adjacent St. James’s Cavalier which was an old fortress housing the Government printing presses. After much research, we recommended that it be converted into an arts centre, which is now a thriving venue with a theatre in the round (inside an ancient water cauldron), also an art gallery, a recital room, a cinema and a café.

Following on from our work in Malta, the Chairman of the Board of the Astra Theatre in Gozo approached us. They were refurbishing this venue after a fire. As the theatre was used extensively for opera and drama productions it was essential to ensure that the acoustics were perfected. We worked together with Larry Kirkegaard, one of the world’s foremost acoustical designers, who joined us from Chicago in time to launch the reopening with La Boheme with Josef Calleja who had started his career at the Astra Theatre.

The City University (London) commissioned us to judge the award of scholarships to students from Singapore wishing to join the Arts Management programme. Whilst there, we were approached by the Singapore Government to advise on proposals to build an Arts Centre on the Esplanade. From our feasibility study, Theatre Projects were commissioned to design the new Singapore Arts centre drawing extensively on the indigenous architecture of South East Asia. We emphasised throughout the project, until its construction began in 1997, that the whole concept could bring together the East / West collaboration in the buildings and in the programming. The Theatre on the Bay opened in October 2002, encompassing three theatre spaces- a main theatre, a lyric theatre and a general purpose performance space - and continues its successful programme of bringing together the best of East and West.

Hong Kong
Each of Hong Kong’s various districts devised productions for themselves exclusively and staged them in their own local venues. We were approached by the Department of Culture of Hong Kong to facilitate exchanges of shows within the various districts - to create, in effect a touring circuit of venues for productions in Hong Kong. Our work included much discussion and consultation within the various bodies involved and we made progress in encouraging the establishment of a cooperative group of local producers who shared their productions throughout the various venues to the benefit of all districts of Hong Kong. This proposal was then handed over to the Department of Culture of Hong Kong for them to progress.

To discuss your particular consultancy needs, please contact us directly or through our
Contact page.