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The Other Palace

The Other Palace
Photo by Craig Sugden

New musical theatre has a revamped home as The Other Palace in London opens its doors to the best and brightest creative talent in the country.

Formally the St. James Theatre, The Other Palace takes its name from its proximity to Buckingham Palace and will be a home and breeding ground for musicals at various stages of development. It will focus on four key areas – programming, creative use of spaces, musical theatre development and audience engagement.

As the newest addition to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘The Really Useful Theatres Group’, The Other Palace has seen its interior refreshed over the last few months including the box office, reception area, downstairs bar and most significantly a new restaurant offering on the first floor – The Other Naughty Piglet.

To carry out the redesign, leading design practice Shaun Clarkson ID was brought on board. Founder Shaun Clarkson spoke to Premier Hospitality about blending the experimental concept of the theatre with the design changes:

“The whole concept is that the theatre will be an experimental, open forum. Andrew Lloyd Webber wants to have a vehicle for people to come in, stand on a little stage in the bar and do a turn on the piano.

“We’re complimenting this experimental theme by working with a restaurant brand called The Naughty Piglets. We came up with a concept that worked with their food and brand which is quite theatrical. The restaurant space on the first floor has been completely refurbished, opening the kitchen up and creating a completely new ambience.

“The restaurant concept is a good one because I think it will attract a younger crowd. It had to feel welcoming and warm, which previously it didn’t, and it had to feel current but not intimidating. The hope is that this atmosphere will be extended to lunchtime trade.”

To achieve this inviting atmosphere, timber and copper feature prominently as the main materials in the restaurant. Practical considerations also had to be taken into account, particularly interval trade where upwards of 400 people might want a drink in just a 30 minute window.

Founded in Brixton by husband and wife team Joe and Margaux Sharratt, Naughty Piglets opened in 2015. The Other Naughty Piglet will serve fresh, seasonal and creative small plates combined with an extensive choice of natural wines.

The main theatre will be the heart of The Other Palace, where the programme will consist of full productions, work in progress productions and festivals of new work. By day, the studio will be available for composers, librettists, lyricists, directors and choreographers to discover and create new material. By night the space will build on the current St. James Studio model to offer a diverse programme including cabaret, music, musical theatre and crossover acts.

Speaking at the beginning of the work, Andrew Lloyd Webber said:

“I very much hope that writers and producers will use The Other Palace as a space in the heart of London where they can try out and refine new material without the distraction of complicated sets and automation.

“We hope to offer audiences the opportunity to observe early developmental work through to finished productions and look forward to welcoming both artists and audiences to our new home in SW1.”

Shaun Clarkson ID is one of the leading interior design practices in the UK, working with global and boutique brands to create unique and acclaimed work. Shaun added:

“We’re used to working on large scale projects such as this and know the importance of meeting deadlines. It’s a great new client for myself and the company.”

Details of upcoming shows at the theatre can be found at https://www.theotherpalace.co.uk/.

The Other Palace
Photo by Craig Sugden

Vendimia Lighting Co.

Vendimia Lighting Co. specialise in bespoke design led lighting solutions, with a particular focus on vintage and retro designs, within both the commercial and residential sectors. The family-run business was established in 2010 and over the past seven years has worked with a range of clients, including Soho House, ScandiKitchen Trading Ltd and Monk Bar Group, amongst others.

Most recently, Vendimia Lighting Co. has been involved in The Other Palace. Working on this project, Vendimia Lighting Co. was involved in the lighting scheme, starting with the conceptual design and taking it through to the manufacture and supply of bespoke lighting installations.

Vendimia Lighting Co. Managing Director, Luke Midgley, said:

“This was a high profile project led by a highly creative team that shared our vision for unique and standout lighting installations. This opportunity provided us with a platform to showcase what can be created from our product range when you add a little artistic flair. Building on the success of this project we very much look forward to working with the team at Shaun Clarkson ID again.”

Luke added:

“At Vendimia Lighting Co. we are proud of our ability to exceed expectations, be that with regards to price, quality or our ability to respond to our clients’ needs. All of us at Vendimia Lighting Co. are obsessed with client satisfaction, as we fully understand the benefits this will bring to the company, so going that ‘extra mile’ is a way of life for us.”

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