What makes a theatre special? More specifically, what makes the Albany theatre unique from all the others? We sat down with our Technical Manager, Ben Wallace, to find out. He helped devise a list of all the technical things that make us different, and arguably more interesting than other London theatres and arts centres.
Alexander Wolfe Live at the Albany
1) First off, the shape of our theatre.
Our main theatre is not your average rectangular theatre. It is a 16-sided polygon called a ‘hexadecagon.’ It is more often referred to as a theatre-in-the-round though. All of the theatre spaces and some of the rooms for hire at the Albany are irregular in shape, including our Red Room, Studio and Cafe.
2) Our main theatre has a hugely versatile lighting rig.
With 144 channels of dimming, there are a lot of options for creating the perfect lighting for any show or event taking place in our main theatre.
3) Enormously flexible seating.
Our main theatre has an extremely flexible capacity. It holds up to 550 people standing, 290 people in rows and 200 in cabaret style. There are two levels of seating and the chairs are free-moving and therefore can accommodate any arrangement needed; perfect again for most any type of performance.
The same can also be said of our Red Room and Studio – there is absolutely no fixed seating anywhere at the Albany.
4) The grid, where all the technical magic happens, is located straight above the entire theatre space.
Circus Bites Back in the theatre
This again offers flexibility and creative freedom for productions to arrange sets in whatever manner needed or desired.
5) Our main theatre can record 48 channels of audio from the stage.
In laymen’s terms, this means we can record music quite well. Speaking of which, English singer-songwriter Alexander Wolfe‘s Skeletons was recorded live here, have a listen:
Alexander Wolfe recording live
6) As an added bonus, our theatre bar is actually located inside the theatre on the second level.
Having the bar so close is rather convenient for our audiences who then don’t have to cram themselves down corridors to grab a drink or snack during intervals, however it can be a slight hindrance during performances when bar staff cannot clean up. Oh well… you win some, you lose some.
The current Albany building was rebuilt in 1981 following a fire, making it a 33-year-old Deptford fixture that really takes the local community to heart. All of these unique technical bits allow us to put on a varied and diverse mix of programming for our neighbouring audience, which means Ben and the rest of our technical team never have to do the same thing twice.
We hope you love our vastly flexible and distinctive theatre as much as we do!
Cabaret performance in the cafe
For more information on room hires and performance hire, please visit our website.
Allison Gold, Marketing Assistant, The Albany