London Coliseum, Home of ENO, UK

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J&C Joel were contracted to take part in a major, historically accurate refurbishment of one of the world’s most iconic venues, the London Coliseum.

Home of the English National Opera, the work carried out by J&C Joel, who are experts in the refurbishment of theatres designed by prolific theatre architect Frank Matcham, was part of the biggest refurbishment of the theatre since it opened its doors in 1904.

Proscenium and front of house curtains were manufactured in bespoke wool Mohair Velvet, all inlaid with tassels, fringing and ornate appliqué work, which was chosen specifically for the refurbishment, as similar velvet would have dressed the Coliseum’s stage in the early 1900’s. This bespoke velvet was also used in the manufacture of drapes used to dress the seating boxes around the venue.

The appliqué work carried out on the Coliseum’s tympanum had never before been attempted by J&C Joel, given that the London Coliseum has the widest proscenium arch in London. Fabric artists embellished the Coliseum’s 18m wide, 500kg tympanum with intricate tasselling and embroidery, including a large golden eagle appliqué made from satin.