Bums on seats
The principle for the seating was that each seat within the auditorium must be able to function as a standalone element with the possibility of being used in any position within the multiple formats. All of the seats were designed to be the same dimension and to be able to be fixed to any location within the auditorium, providing a "democratic" seat for every patron, a seat for everyman at the Everyman. The complexities of theatre buildings meant that to achieve a fully accessible theatre there are in fact 3 seat types: 437 Everyman seats, 12 transfer arm seats (to allow wheelchair users to occupy the space by having a removable arm to one side) and 27 high seats that allow for the rear two rows of the facing stalls seats to achieve a large flat floor area for accessibility.
The initial design for the seating again drew inspiration from the existing room, although the seats in the old space were not in prime condition or even similar to the new ones: there were old pews on the sides of the thrust and a mixture of old cinema and theatre seats facing the stage. However, there was one seat type in the space that embodied the spirit of the roo: the cinema seats that had been reclaimed and made up a large proportion of the seats became the inspiration of the new seating, informing the shaping and texture of the design.
The processes that led us from this initial design to the seating within the space involved a close collaboration with the architect, client team and seating manufacturer Kirwin & Simpson, who worked with the team to develop the design for the seating. The development for the design went through the same processes as the building as a whole, starting from concept sketches through models, sample panels and prototypes before the finished seating finally became a key part of the new Everyman.
Gavin Green - Head of Theatre Design, Charcoalblue