The theatre, which was one of the first school auditoria in the UK, has a traditional layout of tiered, fixed seating. But the seats being replaced, although just ten years old, were already in bad shape. David Fells, Theatre Manager says, “The design was basically very poor – backs were ripping and seat pans were collapsing. We were holding the chairs together with ratchets!”
Fortunately the Recital chair fitted the bill with its contemporary design and elegant timber finishes. David Fells explains, “Audience Systems were offering the right price and quality, and exactly the type of seat we wanted. We were really keen on the wooden panels to protect the upholstery and lend the auditorium a light, bright look.”
Seeing the chair installed, it’s hard to believe that it’s compatible with retractable platforms. Such seats have traditionally been functional and minimalist in design to ensure that they can be stored between the platforms when the seating tiers are closed away. The Recital’s ingenuity lies in the way the armrest pivots and the end panel telescopes, allowing the complete chair to fold down into a surprisingly small space. As a result Recital is compatible with standard row rises and depths.
All at the Redgrave Theatre are certainly delighted with the finished installation. “We had really positive feedback from staff and senior management at the college – the seats look great and feel sturdy and solid, “ says David Fells. “I am confident that in ten years’ time, they will still look good!”