March 2017: Tim is pleased to announce that the structure of the Tricycle Theatre auditorium, which he designed with Iain Mackintosh in 1979, has been saved and will become a new theatre for The Valley Park School in Maidstone, Kent, a comprehensive school, who will use it to create a new theatre in an old gym building. In deciding they should have it, Tim was particularly influenced by the support of Anthony Drewe of Stiles & Drewe, who are patrons of the performing arts at the school and reminded him of their first production of ‘Just So’ at The Tricycle in 1990. The School will acquire a world-class theatre at a fraction of the cost of a new building.
The Tricycle was the first theatre Tim designed as a young architect, and he remained closely associated with the building for over 35 years, rebuilding the theatre after the disastrous 1987 fire and then adding the award winning cinema and rehearsal room extension in 1998. He was also a member of the board for 12 years. Tim was determined that the current management should not simply throw it in a skip and he is grateful to them for allowing Foster Wilson to remove it and find it a new home.
Tim said “Some may say that after 36 years it has had a good run for its money and it is time for a change. I however feel it embodies timeless theatrical principles that are as valid today as they were when it was built. Being built from a standard scaffold system it was low cost and unpretentious but its form was derived from the 18thC Georgian Theatre in Richmond Yorkshire, which gave it a theatrical power, which has been emulated worldwide. Theatres with side galleries which embrace the stage and connect the audience to the actor are now the norm but in 1980 they were relatively novel, with the likes of The Young Vic and The Cottesloe leading the way. Despite its small size the theatre is capable of housing both the epic and the intimate.
We now live in an age of ‘pop up’ theatre and an auditorium which can be loaded on the back of a lorry and moved to a new location is an idea that has found its time. It is not a new idea however – just as Burbage moved the Globe from Shoreditch to Southwark so we are moving the Tricycle from Kilburn to Kent.”