Follow Us on Twitter

The NT's new production building to be named The Max Rayne Centre

Theatre news

THE NATIONAL Theatre has announced that their new production building will be named the Max Rayne Centre, in acknowledgement of Max Rayne’s contribution to the National Theatre and a significant gift from The Rayne Foundation.

Lord (Max) Rayne was the National Theatre’s longest-serving Chairman, overseeing the company for 18 years from 1971 – 1988, including its move from the Old Vic to the South Bank.

The Max Rayne Centre will open in 2014, immediately behind the National Theatre on Upper Ground.

The Centre is the lynchpin of a key aspect of the NT Future scheme, allowing the National to bring together production departments currently scattered throughout the building: locating those working with modern technology such as sound, video, lighting and digital drawing, alongside the more traditional crafts of prop-making, paint, carpentry, metal-work and armoury.

It will house a new paint studio, production offices, design and project studios, with workspaces available for emerging theatre-makers associated with the NT Studio. A high-level public walkway will link this backstage world with the Dorfman Theatre foyer and the new Clore Learning Centre, twinning production and design with education and participation and offering the public an unprecedented view into the NT’s unique production workshops.

The Centre’s eastern aspect will be glazed to give passers-by views of scenic artists at work, and internally the high-level walkway will end in a public viewing gallery over the new paint studio.

Nicholas Hytner, Director of the National Theatre, said:

‘Max Rayne’s service to the National Theatre is legendary. His 18 years as Chairman spanned the Directorships of Laurence Olivier, Peter Hall and Richard Eyre; on leaving, he instituted a charitable NT Endowment Fund. We are delighted that his name will be commemorated in recognition of his immense contribution to the National, and are grateful to The Rayne Foundation for their generous gift.’

The Rayne Foundation donation takes NT Future’s fundraising total to over £68 million. In this context, the original £70 million target has been raised to £80 million, making it possible to absorb increased construction costs as well as take advantage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to broaden the ambition of the campaign: increasing and improving the extent of the new landscaping around the building, redeveloping the ageing dressing room block, overhauling and updating IT systems, and refurbishing the Olivier foyers and toilets.