Gordon Craig Theatre
The 501-seat Gordon Craig Theatre is situated within the Stevenage Leisure Centre, a huge rectangular building with flat roof, covered with very large cream tiles; relief is provided by thin blue and yellow horizontal bands round the building and by two grey towers each a third of the way down, one the theatre fly tower, bearing the muses of comedy and tragedy and the name of the theatre, and the other containing the ventilation system for the building. The exterior is not out of place in its surroundings and has good access from the road and railway station; a walkway passes through the building at second-floor level, providing access, which proves a masterful marketing design, since through the internal glass walls, the art gallery/exhibition space, which is most inviting, can be viewed from above. The complex also comprises a large gymnasium, totally adaptable, which with retractable and loose seating can be transformed into a 1200-seat concert hall, rehearsal rooms and performance areas, bars, a restaurant, and ancilliary rooms for conferencing. The foyers and refreshment areas are fitted throughout with quality theatre carpet.
The theatre is named after Edward Gordon Craig who was born in Stevenage. It has a plain, fan-shaped auditorium with excellent sightlines. It is a modern, fully-equipped touring house with fourteen dressing rooms, and has an intimate atmosphere; it is also used for cinema. Of interest is the 1932 Christie organ originally installed at the Carlton, Liverpool and then at the Stratford Social Club, rebuilt by Hill, Norman and Beard in 1987, with console now adaptable to orchestra pit or to on-stage position.
Probably the best-designed civic entertainment centre of its type in the country.
- 1975 : Theatre
- Owner/Management: Stevenage Borough Council
- 1975 Design/Construction:Borough Architect- Architect
- 1975 Use: Theatre
- ListingNot listed