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Any space a theatre - our modular seating project

Mahogany Opera Group regularly tours opera across the country and one of our aims is to ensure that our productions are open for people of many backgrounds to encounter and enjoy. It helps inform our creative approaches to our work and has led us to present opera in many different spaces and places across the UK and beyond.

As we continue to explore what opera can be and who it is for, we want to place our work in many different contexts, from traditional theatre spaces to those not originally designed for this kind of use. However, these unusual spaces often come with challenges to staging work, occasionally making them unviable or uneconomical for performances.

When looking at ways to overcome these challenges, we quickly hit up the idea of creating a flexible modular seating structure that would allow us to transform any space into an intimate theatre setting, broadening the possibilities of where we can tour our work. And so, working with Laslett Studio we’ve brought this idea to life.

The modules that we’ve conceived create a theatre space for up to 180 audience members, and can be used in a number of configurations. As we worked together on the design, we agreed that in was important that building materials should be reclaimed and that the modules can be easily assembled and stored. This has led to a finished product made from reclaimed ply that can be stored in flatpack and is easily slotted together in a couple of hours.

We recently road-tested the seating, turning the Chainstore at Trinity Buoy Wharf into a small theatre for our performance of Folie à Deux . Check out some images below. We’re now looking at making the seating available for hire to other touring theatre companies so that more theatre can happen in extraordinary spaces.

If you would like to find out more about this project, contact us on enquiries@mahoganyopera.co.uk.

 
We've created a brand new modular seating structure for touring productions to help take our work to even more unusual spaces. Find out more.
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