THEATRE ROYAL FOYERS
Client: Really Useful Theatres Group
Location: Theatre Royal, London, UK
2012 was the bicentenary of the Grade I listed Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The foyers hosted a series of events to celebrate the occasion. Lee/Fitzgerald were asked to submit proposals for the refurbishment of this important sequence of spaces. The decorations were very tired and lacked coherence – they suffered from an accretive maintenance regime that had overlain the restrained character of the original Georgian design. An interior design by a stage set artist in 1993 saw the introduction of dark red wallpaper and carpets that overpower the interior losing much of the fine detail and proportion – this is particularly evident in the Grand Saloon which is the most ornate of the foyer spaces.
By rebalancing the contrasts between colour and texture the spaces would be lightened and architectural detail rediscovered. The proposals involved considerable research into the history of the theatre – particulary decoration techniques appropriate to the design period. Drape makers, specialist painters (marbling and gold leaf work), fibrous plaster restorers, broadloom carpet makers, chandelier restoration specialists and art restorers were all consulted – all of these trades still exist and are part of the thriving historic restoration undustry. A full construction programme and cost plan was prepared with the designs.