Bahrain to build new $40 million theatre
Manama, December 25, 2007
A BD15 million ($40 million) multipurpose theatre is to be built in Bahrain, officials announced yesterday.
The National Theatre Company of Bahrain will have a stage 18 metres wide and a capacity to seat 1,000 spectators on three levels.
The theatre, funded under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad, will overlook the lagoon beside the Bahrain National Museum in Manama.
A conceptual design for the project was launched by officials at the museum yesterday.
"The project started three or fours years ago, but had to be put on hold and the design is a development of the work that was done then," Works and Housing Ministry housing affairs special projects head Tony Robinson told a Press conference.
"The theatre will have a lobby that will accommodate displays and functions.
"The stage has an opening that is 18 metres wide, so it can accommodate orchestral events.
"The seating will be on three levels and disabled people will have access to the ground floor."
The Works and Housing Ministry has appointed UK-based Theatre Project Consultants, he said.
Construction on the theatre is expected to begin in June next year and will be completed by June 2010.
The opening will be planned to coincide with a visit by the World Heritage Committee, said Culture and National Heritage Assistant Under-Secretary Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa.
Bahraini theatre specialist Kalthoom Amin said there was a huge demand for a theatre from actors and performers who wanted to showcase their talents.
"The theatre will also open its doors to groups from abroad and this will be a very good opportunity for actors in Bahrain to meet these people," noted Amin.
She said the theatre was needed because the Cultural Hall struggled to provide all the lighting and facilities that were required by large groups, especially during the Spring of Culture festival.
"During the last year most of our events were house full and people had to go home because there were not enough seats for them, since the Cultural Hall has only 670 seats. So the new theatre will give them a chance," she said.
"There are about two to three theatre festivals in Bahrain and each lasts about 10 days, so there is a big need for the National Theatre Company.
"The Spring of Culture and International Music Festival will now be staged in this theatre." - TradeArabia News Service