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Building work to begin at Gloucester's new professional Olympus Theatre in Barton Street

By citizenmike  |  Posted: December 22, 2013

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The Picturedrome - now the Olympus Theatre

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The curtain will go up on building work at Gloucester’s new professional theatre in the New Year.

Windows will be installed to open up the front of the Olympus Theatre, once known as the Picturedrome, in Barton Street.

The theatre has stood derelict but ambitious plans by businessmen Phil McCormick and Saqib Rasul will see it open its doors next year as an arts centre.

The two men have won planning permission to convert the bar area into a restaurant and they have plans to create new studio spaces, which will be used by University of Gloucestershire students five days a week.

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But the centre is also being used as a springboard for the writing of three new plays.

Playwrights have been meeting at the theatre to collaborate on the Three Kings Tour. The plays will tell the stories of three lines of royalty.

It will start in early 2015 with Lion In Winter, followed by King John, and Henry III will form the conclusion, with a UK tour from June to October 2015. It will conclude at Gloucester Cathedral in 2016 with a single performance of Henry III on October 15 – 800 years to the day from his coronation there.

Mr McCormick said: “This is a big challeng but worth it for this unique set of plays.

“We are excited about what lies ahead in 2014. There’s a lot of work to do.”

A six-week course for wannabe playwrights will launch at the theatre from January 18. Visit glostheatre.co.uk.

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