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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Tea Chests to Theatre – The Cutty Sark Studio Theatre

This morning I was lucky enough to attend the Cutty Sark Michael Edwards Studio Theatre preview and see how the lower hold converts from a room of child friendly activities, introductory videos and piles of tea chests to a stage fit for caberet. Commissioned by its namesake the Studio theatre has been hiding within and beneath the tea chests of the ships lower hold since the re- launch of the world famous tea clipper in April 2012. The stage had already been set for our arrival but we were soon so to see it swiftly taken down by a three burly men and one power tool to transform the space back to a gallery.

Director of the Museum Richard Dougherty sees that this transformation of the ships lower hold into a theatre is a new was to re-imagine the space that once was occupied by cargo. With the striking backdrop of the original 1869 steel girders and planks of wood the set provides a new form of live interpretation. Instead of role-playing actors, comics will renovate a normally cramped and dark space into one of light entertainment, reaching out to new audiences and allowing visitors to jump aboard the ship out of hours – plus they’ll even be serving beer at the ‘Even Keel’ Bar beneath the ship.

The Studio Theatre opens on the 29th January and across the opening fortnight acts like Ross Noble and Matthew Stirling will be taking to this very quirky stage.

 All events can be found on The Ministry’s calendar of events page

Find out more about the Cutty Sark:

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