Comedy venue hunts for interior designers

By Clare Dowdy

NEWS

Organisers of the proposed National Museum of Comedy project in Lancashire will be holding a competition to appoint interior designers for the project.

Competition details have yet to be finalised by The Morecambe Comedy Company, which has put together a bid applying for funds from the Millennium Commission.

The project includes two new buildings in Morecambe, Lancashire – a permanent exhibition centre with a theatre called the Laughter Pavilion, which will be incorporated into Morecambe’s Winter Gardens building, and a British comedy archive likely to be housed at Lancaster University.

London consultancy Cobbold Knox is project managing the scheme, with John Sunderland as project designer and architect Mark Fisher as temporary structure designer.

The scheme’s project leader Jeremy Gomm also foresees a centre in London in an existing museum. This will be called London’s Laughing and will include theatre space. Touring comedy exhibitions are also planned.

“The Millennium Commission [which has been approached for funding] favours the idea of a competition for tendering” for all three buildings, says Gomm.

The project’s feasibility study is due to be ready by next May with completion planned by the end of the century.

Meanwhile, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber is proposing to build a theatre and adjoining art gallery on a carpark site at London’s South Bank, funded by his Really Useful Group (RUG).

An architect and an interior designer have not yet been appointed to the project. RUG would, however, like to involve architect Sir Richard Rogers, who is currently overseeing improvements to the South Bank area, to work on the scheme.

The spokesman is unsure whether a separate interiors team will be appointed for the project or whether the architect will also be responsible for the theatre and gallery interiors, due to be up and running by the end of 1997.

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