We are thrilled to announce the Durham Universities major investment in theatre.

Today, Durham University has declared plans for a £2.4 million redevelopment to renovate and restore our building, the home of Durham Student Theatre during term time, The Assembly Rooms Theatre.

This development will see a dramatic change to our building for the society in years to come. The redevelopment will drastically improve disabled access to the 220-seat venue, restore the 150 year old theatre’s original ceiling, and refurbish its Box Office area. The renovated playhouse will also include improvements to the workshop, dressing room, and toilet facilities for future students to enjoy.

This renovation could not have been possible without the investment from the university to restore the historic building and continue to cultivate and promote arts in the region.

Durham University’s Director of Experience Durham, Quentin Sloper, said:

“The Assembly Rooms is a beacon of art, creativity, and performance – not just in Durham, but across the region. I’m delighted to announce this investment, which will make this popular and iconic local venue even better.”

Did you know…

The Assembly Rooms was first built in 1869 and served as the city’s first cinema, before Durham University acquired the site in 1930. Outside of term time, the theatre accommodates professional touring companies as well as a number of stand-up and sketch comedy groups that perform throughout the year.

What do the renovations include?

The £2.4 investment will include the following exciting changes:

  • Disabled Access
  • Restoration to the historic ceiling and walls
  • Internal redecoration throughout
  • Refurbishment of all toilets
  • Replacing existing heating system
  • Renewing the theatre seating
  • Renewal and repair of all windows and doors

What’s in store for the building?

In light of these renovations – it is likely that the building will be closed from August 2018 until September 2019.

But FRET NOT!  Durham Student Theatre will certainly not be halted by the renovations. Although the society may see a slight drop in the number of production, there will be new slots created for the show usually programmed in the building as well as the extensive stores remain accessible during the period of closure. As they say – the show must go on!


But WAIT – There’s more!

In addition to these necessary repairs we are also hoping to fundraise an additional £300,000 to make some wonderful and important changes to the building. These changes will include:

  • Reconfiguration of the Box office
  • Creation of a bar / café
  • Access control throughout the building.

However, we can only raise this amount with your help! We are searching high and low for funding – and you can help!

We have various donation packages ranging from £100 for your name to be handwritten on the workshop wall to £60,000 to name the new bar / café area.

Donating is easy – simply follow the link here and you’re away!