News From DLT Entertainment

Shaftesbury Theatre Reveals Next Phase of Its £10 Million Plus Transformation

Includes: New 1911 Stalls Bar, Locates 3.5 Metres Below Street Level; New Hospitality Suite; Improvements to Auditorium; State of the Art Air-Conditioning System;New Lift and 13 New Spaces For Wheelchairs

London: 26th October 2022: The Grade 2 listed Shaftesbury Theatre, the largest of the independent theatres in the West End, is undergoing dramatic and innovative extension and improvement to secure its position as one of London’s leading theatrical forces, with a building designed for the 21st Century.

Founded in 2015, Hannah Layton Management is home to a boutique roster of both emerging and established comedic Writer-Performers. The company is dedicated to building unique, dynamic and long-term careers by working closely with talent to realise a shared vision of success.

At this time Camden Council published early detail of their West End Project, which included the restoration of Princes Circus, pedestrianizing Bloomsbury Street to the Theatre’s west and enlarging the pavement on the south. This planted the seed for expanding the Shaftesbury Theatre, including the development of the land under the road.

Bennetts Associates were briefed to develop the new spaces, creating bars and workspaces whilst also addressing accessibility and comfort in the auditorium. Now, in October 2022, the next stage of the £10 million re-development designed by Bennetts can be revealed. It includes:

  • The refashioning of the auditorium, providing separation between the Stalls and new spaces.
  • The new 1911 Stalls bar, celebrating the Theatre’s opening year. This new bar is approximately 26 metres long and 7 metres wide and 3.5 metres below street level
  • The Taffner Suite for private hospitality, in honour of Don Taffner Sr.
  • New toilets; 29 ladies, 23 gents and 2 accessible
  • Re-roofing to include energy efficient insulation
  • A state-of-the-art air conditioning system using heat capture to reduce energy costs
  • An overhaul of the historic ceilings including working platforms in the technical void above the dome ceiling
  • A lift that allows people with mobility difficulties to access the Stalls
  • 13 spaces for wheelchairs; with new removable seats that will eventually replace all seats throughout the auditorium
  • New stores, offices and a kitchen.

The redesignated Princes Circus will be landscaped by Camden, which will include a daytime delivery bay and an evening taxi rank. This places the Theatre in a secure and safe environment where, subject to the Borough’s consent, the Theatre will create an outdoor food counter with a designated seating area.

In the immediate future, a further £½ million will be spent on replacing the Stalls ladies’ toilets and refurbishing and enlarging the Circle bar, to be renamed after Bertie Crewe, the Theatre’s original architect. The Grand bar will become the Melville, named after the brothers who built the New Princes Theatre in 1911, and in the Royal Circle a new hospitality area named after the playwright and actor, Ray Cooney, who created the company that owns the Theatre.

here are two further phases of major work planned in the years ahead, including redecoration, carpeting and reseating in the auditorium, and external repairs and improvements, including a new main entrance opening onto Princes Circus and the installation of digital signage both above and below the canopy.

-- Ends--

Further information:
Nada Zakula, on behalf of DLT Entertainment: | +44 07831 766 086
david.Bloom, on behalf of DLT: | +44 07980 297 299


About DLT Entertainment:
With headquarters in London and New York, DLT Entertainment Ltd. is engaged in every aspect of television distribution and production around the world, as well as stage production in the US and in the UK where it owns London’s Shaftesbury Theatre Theatre and talent representation business with ownership positions in MMB Creative, The Soho Agency, Blue Book Artist Management, Andrew Roach Talent and The Galton Agency.

Founded in 1963 as a distribution company by Don Taffner Sr., the company added television production to its portfolio in 1977. It has enjoyed terrific success in its fifty-six year history with legendary hits on both sides of the Atlantic including the multiple award-winning and BBC Trust praised sitcom My Family, As Time Goes By, Three’s Company, Too Close For Comfort and Meet My Folks. In addition, DLT has built a reputation as a leading distribution company with classics such as The Benny Hill Show, The World at War, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood, The Russ Abbot Show, Michel LeGrand and Friends, and Dara O’Briain’s Go 8 Bit.

In 2018 DLT expanded its own production activities in the United Kingdom through the acquisition of Vera Productions whose past productions include Getting On, Million Pound Jewellers, Bremner, Bird, and Fortune, and numerous Dispatches such as President Trump’s Dirty Secrets and Politicians for Hire: Cashing in on Brexit. 2020 saw further expansion with an investment in Mark Watson’s Impatient Productions.

2020 saw the creation of a podcasting division with the release of When No One’s Watching featuring Richardson & Matt Willis and recently produced Very Modern Quests starring Alice Levine's for Audible.

DLT is also a significant player in the artist management business with key investments in The Soho Agency, Milburn Browning Associates, Blue Book Artist Management, The Galton Agency, and Andrew Roach Talent.

The Shaftesbury Theatre in London, where & Juliet continues its West End run, is owned by DLT.

About the Shaftesbury Theatre:
The largest independent theatre in the West End, and the last theatre to be built on Shaftesbury Avenue, it first opened in 1911 and named the Princes Theatre. There is further information about its history here. It is the largest independent theatre in the West End.

Donald Taffner Jr became chairman in 2011, succeeding his father, Don Taffner Sr. Jointly, they have been the custodians of the Theatre for almost 40 years. The current success of the Company, led by James Williams since 2004, has allowed the significant re-investment of profits in the building.

As the award-winning musical & Juliet continues its hugely successful run at the Shaftesbury Theatre, the viability of the venue has never been stronger. The Theatre now attracts highly regarded productions, is home to many one-off events on Sundays, has the new 1911 space that will be used for daytime event and conference work and, in time, hopes to be able to populate the new Princes Circus. Internally, it is more accessible, has increased bar capacity which, together with the new hospitality spaces, will be able to provide a food offer alongside its bar function.

About Bennetts Associates:

The practice has completed a diverse portfolio of cultural, workplace and education projects in both the public and private sector, ranging from masterplans to small historic buildings. As one of the UK’s leading practices, its work has been celebrated with more than 190 awards over 30 years and has recently earned Building Design’s Office Architect of the Year 2020 award. Bennetts Associates is an employee-owned trust and a B Corp with studios in London, Edinburgh, and Manchester.

Bennetts Associates is responsible for many prominent projects, most recently the Meta Office at King’s Cross and Woolwich Works in London, Storyhouse in Chester, the Bayes Centre for the University of Edinburgh, and Jaguar Land Rover in Warwickshire.

As an architecture practice, Bennetts Associates leads in sustainability - in April 2019 they became the world’s first architects to secure Science Based Target approval and commit to the UN’s Climate Neutral Now campaign. The practice is a founding member of the UK Green Building Council and the first architecture practice in the world to report company impacts using the GRI Guidelines.

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