24 February 2023 / Books

Preview this year’s Annual Publication!

The STR is delighted to announce that the Annual Publication for this year, 2022-2023, will be

THEATRE SPACES 1920-2020 – Finding the Fun in Functionalism

 by Iain Mackintosh

Published in partnership with Bloomsbury-Methuen, this will be sent to members during April – check your membership and join or renew now to receive your free copy!

In addition, if you are coming to the Annual Address on May 24 (book here), you will be able to purchase copies at the special price of £24 each instead of the RRP of £29.99. Note that the STR Bookshop and Annual Publication page will be updated with all details shortly.

In this lavishly illustrated hands-on account of the creation of new theatre spaces spanning a century, Iain Mackintosh offers a compelling history that is part memoir, part impassioned call to rethink the design of our theatre spaces and the future of live theatre. As the originator of theatre designs as diverse as the Cottesloe in 1977, Glyndebourne in 1994, the Orange Tree Theatre in 1991, the Martha Cohen Theatre in 1985 and the Tina Packer Playhouse in 2001, he discovered why the same show worked in some theatres but not in others.

It is this unique blend of experience that informs this account of many of the best-known theatre spaces in Britain, besides many international examples including the Guthrie Theater Minneapolis and the Oslo Opera House. Running throughout is a consideration of factors which have shaped design thinking during this time and which demand attention today. After the long theatre closures driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, Mackintosh argues that now is the time to discover the routes travelled over the last century.

“Iain Mackintosh describes his book as a memoir, but it is also a comprehensive handbook for theatre makers and audiences the world over. A one stop shop for anyone interested in how the delicate and vital relationship between audience and performance has evolved over centuries. Upon his shoulders I have stood for 30 years. Essential reading.” Stephen Daldry, Stage, film and television director and producer.

“It’s an amazingly detailed account of great value to anyone performing on stage today and a necessity for future architects.” Dame Eileen Atkins, Actor and screenwriter.

“Like the man himself, Iain Mackintosh’s memoir is erudite, trenchant, occasionally infuriating but always entertaining, enthusiastic and informative. Anyone who wants to understand more deeply the complexities and subtleties of theatre architecture should read this book.” Steve Tompkins, Architect, Haworth Tompkins.

Iain Mackintosh co-founded the Prospect Theatre Company in 1961, taking 75 productions to over a hundred theatres around the world. He then became a designer of theatre spaces in any countries with Theatre Projects Consultants and has been invited as a guest speaker to conferences across five continents.

Published by Bloomsbury-Methuen in partnership with the Society for Theatre Research, the book features a foreword by Sir Richard Eyre, Director of the National Theatre, 1987–1997.