New theatrical productions, new theatre – the former sounds like a good enough reason to undertake the building of the latter, and it could all have been so straightforward. But luckily for the patrons of the Southbank’s National Theatre, a bit more imagination went into this temporary addition to the long-standing 1970s building.
Plugging a gap while the Cottesloe Theatre is redeveloped, this big red slap in the face is called The Shed due to its wooden slat structure. Although only due to stay until February 2014, it’s a big brute, succeeding not only in holding its own with the permanent concrete, brutalist beauty of the surrounding theatre buildings; but adding a wallop of much needed colour to an otherwise dour grey environment. In fact, we like the Haworth Tompkins-designed building so much we’re sorry it’s eventually got to come down. Look out for a list of upcoming productions at The Shed on theshed.nationaltheatre.org.uk.