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DULUX TRADE Paint Gets The Royal Seal Of Approval

The interior of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon has received a dramatic makeover using a range of Dulux Trade coatings. A tailored palette of striking colours was selected for the auditorium and backstage areas of the prestigious Grade II* listed building by architects, Bennetts Associates, as part of a wider £112.8m transformation.

The main objective of the landmark project was to modernise the iconic theatre, bringing actors and audiences closer together, while retaining its Art Deco character. As such, Bennetts, working with painting contractor, S Lucas and Dulux Trade Specifier Account Manager, Chris Wisson, set out to implement a decorative scheme that blended the contemporary with the traditional.

A key challenge for the project was to develop a colour scheme that gave the new space a modern feel, yet retained the Art Deco style of the original theatre. In addition, the project’s specifiers needed to choose colours that corresponded with the needs and uses of each individual space.

“Colour is used throughout to highlight the different character of spaces in the building, said Simon Erridge from Bennetts Associates. “The muted colour scheme for the restored art-deco interiors was based on historical research, by contrast for the new areas around the auditoria we chose a contemporary palette with a rich and vibrant character.”

Dulux Trade Rum Caramel was applied to the circulation walls of the auditorium to highlight the original features of the theatre, and create a warm and inviting environment for the audience. To continue this feeling up into the eaves while adding a modern twist, S Lucas painted the auditorium ceilings and screens in Dulux Trade Traffic Grey. In contrast to the colours chosen for the auditorium, the dressing room doors within the backstage area were painted in vibrant Red Stallion and Garnet Symphony.

“As well as using colours that supported the overall vision for the theatre, we wanted to select products that are easy to apply, and more importantly, extend maintenance cycles,” said Luke Daniels-Curtis from S Lucas. To achieve this, Dulux Trade Diamond Matt and Dulux Trade Quick Drying Eggshell were selected as they boast excellent application and performance characteristics. In particular, Diamond Matt was chosen for the high traffic areas within the theatre as it can be wiped clean easily without affecting the matt finish, ensuring the paintwork looks fresh for longer.

Concluding, RSC Deputy Project Manager, Simon Harper, added: “This is one of the world's most iconic theatrical sites so it’s important that the colour scheme married the new with the old. The colours bring the building into the 21st century, yet also accentuate the 1930s Art Deco features. The finished result is a stylish performance space that both visitors and performers will enjoy.”

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