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Royal Opera House to open Purfleet production workshop for tours
11:07am Tuesday 11th September 2012 in News
THE Royal Opera House is opening its Purfleet production workshop up for public tours, and it’s a cultural gem not to be missed.
Not only is there the chance to see the skilled professionals who make the amazing scenery and props for the fantastic shows at the Royal Opera House, there’s also a chance to soak up a piece of Thurrock’s history.
For those who don’t know, the High House Production Park, off Vellacott Close, sits in the grounds of the Grade II listed High House Farm.
Alongside the mid 16th century manor house, and the complex’s oldest original building, the coachman’s house, is the particularly precious dovecote, which used to house more than 500 doves, and is
elevated with its “Scheduled Ancient Monument” status.
The farm’s rich and varied history is explained in detail by the expert tour guides, and without giving too much away, there’s even the chance to see some 18th century “tagging” along the tour.
Even if you don’t fancy the full tour, the site, which includes beautiful walled gardens, a delightful orchard, cafe, and modern play area for kids, is completely open to the public at all times, and is a lovely spot to settle and spend a sunny afternoon.
It’s not just history awaiting those who plump for the full tour, but the chance to see future sets for ROH ballets and operas before they hit the Covent Garden stage.
Inside you will see carpenters carving, painters working on huge backdrops, and metalworkers all beavering away to make the set designers’ dreams a reality.
The teams are working on world-class theatre sets for up to three different productions at a time.
Visitors can take in all this from the very same viewing galleries that the artists and crafts people use to view their huge masterpieces from above.
Tour tickets for the Royal Opera House Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop are £7 for adults, £6 for senior citizens, students, or the unemployed, and £5 for children under 16.
For group bookings of ten or more, tickets are reduced to £5.50 each.
For dates and times of tours, go online to www.roh.org.uk/visit/tours/thurrock-tours.
Tickets can be booked by calling 02073044000.