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The Other Place: Royal Shakespeare Company


Originally erected in 1963 as a venue for understudy rehearsals and experimental work under the direction of Michel St Denis, Associate Director of the RSC, the building was first known as The Studio. It was used for the educational Theatregoround group in the mid-1960s but it was with the appointment of Buzz Goodbody as its Artistic Director that the modest corrugated aluminium shed came to be used for public performances, opening as The Other Place in April 1974. Despite its lack of basic amenities (no showers for performers, no refreshments for audiences), the "tin hut" saw some of the RSC's most imaginative work on Shakespeare and a wide range of other classic and modern writers. The building closed and was demolished in late 1989 and a new theatre, designed by Michael Reardon and equipped with better facilities for audiences, performers and technicians, opened on an adjoining site in August 1991. The new building was equipped with two extra rehearsal spaces, the Michel St Denis and Buzz Goodbody studios, which enabled it to be used for a much wider range of activities including festivals, conferences and educational workshops while retaining the auditorium as a performance space. The second building staged its last performances in November 2001 and was cleared for use by other departments in March 2002. It has since been used for occasional performances. Dates of Artistic Directors of TOP: Buzz Goodbody 1974-5, Barry Kyle 1975 (following death of Buzz Goodbody), Trevor Nunn 1976, Ron Daniels 1977-89, Tony Hill 1991-5, Katie Mitchell 1996-8, Steven Pimlott 1998-2001. TOP archives have arrived as two deliveries, one after the closure of original theatre in 1989-90, and the second after the closure of second building as a theatre, in March 2002. Both deliveries consisted of administrative archives relating to the productions which had taken place in the building as well as other material such as correspondence, reports of meetings, discussions on procedures in the building and information about conferences, workshops and special events which took place. The second building, being much larger than the first, allowed for a much wider range of activities to take place. The two deliveries have been listed separately although there is some overlap in that some production files for the first building appeared in the archives of the second building. Both sets of archives were deposited by the administrator of The Other Place until March 2002, Bronwyn Robertson.