The Torch Theatre is a purpose built, small-scale repertory theatre, originally built and opened in April 1977 then from 2006, developed and extended with a Studio Theatre added and re-opened in March 2008.
The Main Theatre is a fixed presentation format with a single rake auditorium of 295 seats facing a proscenium/end stage with adjustable height forestage/orchestra pit and over-stage fly-tower
Over stage are counterweight scenery sets, lighting bars, a film screen and a full set of masking. The counterweight sets are stage left, dressing rooms serve the stage upstage left and the prompt corner is downstage left.
At the rear of the auditorium are two control rooms, one for sound, which can be front open to the auditorium, and one for film projection and lighting control. There are follow spot positions, one in each control room.
The Studio Theatre is an end-stage auditorium, which also allows for the presentation of film. With all of the seating removed it becomes a rectangular flat floor space of approximately 9 x 15 metres.
A key feature in the design of the auditorium is the provision in the floor of a ‘moat’. In theatre mode this has the dual benefit of providing a virtual stage front, which benefits the actor and provides improved sightlines to the stage and film screen for the audience. In flat floor mode the seats in the moat fold down and forward and flooring covers in manageable sections are placed over the entire moat area. The Studio Theatre has 83 seats on retractable tiers plus 19 seats in the moat.
Over the stage and auditorium, eight raise/lower electrically operated scenery/lighting bars are provided and a fixed position roll down film screen. At gallery level and facing the stage is a combined open-plan lighting, sound and film projection control room.
The audio-visual provision includes a high quality EM Acoustics main house PA, Mackie TT24 sound mixing desks, ETC stage lighting systems, film screens by LSI in the Main Theatre and Harkness Screens in the Studio Theatre, film projection by Kinoton, and video projection by Extron and Sanyo. Drapes in both auditoria are by J & C Joel.
The open front control room in the Main Theatre with Andrew Sturley, Technical Manager, driving the audio equipment installed by LSI Projects.
Architectural design: Lawray
Theatre equipment contractor: LSI Projects Ltd
Theatre seats: Figueras International Seating
Retractable seating unit (Studio Theatre): Auditoria Services
Film equipment supply and installation: Omnex Pro-Film.