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Fri October 30 2020

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Major improvements under way at Watford Colosseum

7 Oct 10 Mayor Dorothy Thornhill reveals a star-studded programme of big improvements at one of Watford’s best-loved entertainment venues, ably assisted by representatives of HQ Theatres and Kier London.

A £5m rebuilding and renovation programme has now been launched by the Maple Cross office of Kier London, which will transform The Colosseum, a grade II listed building that has played host to leading names from the world of music and popular entertainment since the thirties. 

World-renowned performers as such as Genesis, Elton John, The Kinks, The Who, Slade, Robbie Williams, Oasis, Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo have been on stage. Soundtrack recordings made at the celebrated venue include The Sound of Music and Lord of the Rings, while classical recordings include Julian Lloyd Webber's performance of Elgar's Cello Concerto, conducted by Yehudi Menuhin. Also, The Colosseum has regularly hosted performances by the BBC Concert Orchestra, including Friday Night is Music Night, as well as top radio comedy shows like I Haven’t a Clue and Just a Minute.

Now the ever-popular venue is taking a break until next summer, while Kier carries out a major renewal and improvement programme. 

Top of the bill will be a dazzling two-storey glass-fronted foyer, housing a new box office, café, restaurant and customer lift; a refurbished auditorium with new retractable, loose and fixed seating for up to 400, plus new sound and lighting systems. 

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The Colosseum’s small hall will also be completely refurbished with new flooring and a bar area while sympathetically retaining its original features. 

The improvements are being funded by Watford Borough Council and managed by HQ Theatres to ensure the Colosseum remains centre stage as a world-class venue. 

Norman Elliott, operations director for Kier London’s Maple Cross office, said: “As a locally-based regional construction business we are proud to be playing our part in reviving one of the area’s best-known entertainment venues, working to provide audiences of the future with the best standards of comfort and quality of enjoyment.”

Image: Watford Mayor Dorothy Thornhill with, from left, Kier London operations director Norman Elliott, project manager Neil Dimond, HQ Theatres chief executive Derek Nicholls, and Colosseum director Giles Ballisat. 

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