Planning Permission secured for new theatre to house ‘Soldier of Orange – The Musical’ in London’s Royal Docks!

Planning permission has been granted by Newham Council for a 1,150 seat theatre to be built in London’s Royal Docks.

The new venue, named Royal Docks Theatre, is to be the purpose-built home for the acclaimed historical Dutch theatre experience, Soldier of Orange – The Musical, which is coming to London for the very first time having been seen by over 3 million people in Holland, broken all Dutch theatre records, and celebrated nine years of sold-out shows.

Soldier of Orange – The Musical is based on the autobiography of Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema, a renowned Dutch resistance fighter and British RAF war pilot, who chronicled his remarkable WWII experiences in his book of the same name.

Situated within the heart of the history and one of London’s heaviest bombed areas during The Blitz, the WWII theatrical experience will be at the centre of the Royal Dock’s regeneration.

The planning permission granted was for a temporary 1,150 seat theatre for 5 years, plus a restaurant, meaning the creation of up to 150 new jobs across construction, hospitality and for the production itself.

Soldier of Orange’s pioneering use of 360-degree ‘SceneAround’ staging – a revolutionary theatre technology especially engineered for this production and to be used in the UK for the first time – pulls the audience directly into Erik’s story, delivering a unique theatrical experience.

As the story unfolds, the entire seating platform rotates along a 360-degree panoramic set, by turns revealing an actual 150-foot-wide coastline with sea, sand and rainstorms, student dorms, interrogation cells, a palace and a real DC3 Dakota Airplane.

Producer Fred Boot of NEW Productions commented:

“London was the location of our Queen in exile during the war. The UK plays a significant role in our history and this WWII story. Therefore, the UK has always had our priority and we are very pleased with this development for such a relevant location. The production and script are slightly adapted for an international audience, to ensure that it reflects the show as it has been embraced in Holland. We are looking forward to sharing this universal story of a group of friends, forced by war to make life-changing choices. It is a celebration of the time that the Allies came together to fight for our freedom and democracy.”

Jeremy Brock, Theu Boermans & Fred Boot at the new UK site for Soldier Of Orange – The Musical. Photo by Jim Marks

The UK production will be directed by renowned Dutch director Theu Boermans. The book is written by Edwin de Vries, with music and lyrics written by Americans Tom Harriman and Pamela Phillips Oland, and set design by Bernhard Hammer.

This first English production is adapted for the British stage by Jeremy Brock. The Associate producer is Mark de Kruijk.

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