Much as we are the best friends in Blue Sail we do disagree from time to time. And this is one of those times where I find myself taking a very different view to Graham, specifically on the new(ish) Royal Shakespeare Theatre. I’ll say right up front (for the avoidance of doubt) that I love it.
I love the layers of history apparent in the building; the art deco and modernist references – some original, some new; the intriguing nature of the space; the curved walls; the natural materials; the vantage points and views to the inside and outside. For me the building reveals itself in all manner of ways. Just like the plays of Shakespeare himself.
The Rooftop Restaurant is a fantastic space – and the bars are lovely too, especially the one next to the Swan. My 16 year old thought the ‘distressed’ walls of the upstairs restaurant were totally cool and took pics of them to use in her art work.
I would agree with the limitations of the cafe however – the space is undoubtedly tight and the queues are fearsome. I do think however this is due in part to how it is organised and run – introduce a couple of Italian baristas there and they would get things moving a lot quicker.
So I for one am very glad they didn’t knock it down and start again (much as I love bold, new buildings). And it seems to be doing that thing that all good art does – getting people talking.