The Old Rep awarded GDS FoH Fund

We are delighted to announce that The Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham is the chosen recipient of the Theatres Trust supported, GDS FoH Fund.


A partnership between award-winning specialist LED lighting manufacturer GDS and the Theatres Trust, the fund offers up to £10,000 of front of house lighting to one small not-for-profit theatre.

We received a huge response with The Old Rep in Birmingham chosen as the lucky recipient. The environmental and cost issues the theatre faces really resonated with GDS, having a great deal of experience working with theatres in a similar position.


The Old Rep Theatre front of house areas to receive a lighting and lighting control upgrade through the GDS FoH Fund
The Old Rep Theatre front of house areas to receive a lighting and lighting control upgrade through the GDS FoH Fund


Opening in 1913 The Old Rep was Britain’s first purpose-built repertory theatre and has played a central role in the early careers of many celebrated actors and theatre-makers including Derek Jacobi, Albert Finney, Julie Christie and Paul Scofield.

The Grade II listed building has been well-preserved and still retains many original features including a mirror rumoured to have been requested by Sir Laurence Olivier himself. Honouring its original purpose, The Old Rep continues to be training ground for the next generation of performers, producers, directors, technicians and arts workers.


The GDS lighting design team will create a new scheme for The Old Rep, to provide an ambient and welcoming environment to the communal spaces.


Gary Stevens, General Manager and Operations Director at The Old Rep said “We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this fund and looking forward to how the project will develop and come to fruition with GDS. Our historic building will look amazing afterwards I am sure. The project once complete will make our public areas shine bright again as over time the fittings have either become either uneconomical to fix or obsolete to obtain and in turn have made the ornate cornice and period features all but disappear”.


A site visit will be arranged for later in the year to allow GDS to assess exactly what will be delivered to support this iconic theatre. You can learn more about The Old Rep Theatre’s high-quality programme of events and community engagement creative projects here:

Theatres Trust is pleased to be a position to link up generous industry specialists like GDS with smaller theatres so that they can offer this vital support. For more details on the expert advice and support offered by the Theatres Trust, see here:


For more details on how GDS can help you to transform your front of house, reception or communal space areas, speak to one of our lighting designers using the contact form below: