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Street address: 25 Albert Drive, Glasgow G41 2PE, Scotland, United Kingdom
Telephone: 44 (0) 141 422 2023
Fax: 44 (0) 141 423 1194 ``
Contact: Steve Slater Senior Producer
Contact: Kevin Meek Theatre Operations Manager
Contact: Graham Shand Technical Manager
Contact: Lorraine Wilson Visual Arts Officer
Opening hours: 10am-8pm Tue-Sat, 12pm-6pm Sun, closed Mon
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible, assistance available, induction loops, audio guides, large print material on request, provision for guide dogs, staff training
Tramway is Scotland’s most internationally acclaimed venue for contemporary visual and performing art. This reputation is founded upon its commitment to the presentation of the most innovative work by Scottish and international artists. The very distinctive architecture, character and history of the venue itself have ensured that Tramway is a unique place to produce and experience the best in contemporary art.
The building began life in 1893 as the Coplawhill tramshed, which served in the early years of the 20th century as the city’s main tram terminus, depot and factory. Following the demise of the trams in Glasgow in the early 1960s, the building was transformed into the Museum of Transport, Glasgow, but in 1986 this museum was relocated from Albert Drive in the south side of the city to Kelvinhall in Glasgow’s west end. Consequently, the vacant building faced demolition until ambitious plans were developed during the late 1980s in preparation for Glasgow’s year as City of Culture in 1990.
Tramway was launched as a direct result of the search for a venue which had the capacity to house what would be, in 1988, the only UK performances of Peter Brook’s Mahabharata. The unrivalled scale of the former tramsheds, and the flexibility offered by its industrial architecture, meant that the building was uniquely placed to house such a momentous production. In 1989 the acclaimed British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy staged his now internationally-renowned project Snowballs in Summer in what would become Tramway’s principal gallery space.
This early programme was consolidated during 1990 with the return of Peter Brook, the first visit to Glasgow of the Canadian Director Robert Lepage and the development of a major exhibitions programme including a solo show by the British artist David Mach and a group show of work by Italian artists: Temperamenti. Tramway’s full potential as a major international venue was realised during 1990, and in 1991 The Independent noted that ‘The brightest legacy of Glasgow’s year as City of Culture is surely the survival of Tramway.’
Since 1990, Tramway has given equal focus to work by international and Scottish artists. Both the performing and visual arts programmes have commissioned new work and created opportunities for local artists to present their work within an international context. As a result, Tramway has played a central role in the support, development and promotion of work by Scottish artists. Many Glasgow-based visual artists – now acclaimed internationally – were given their first major solo exhibitions at Tramway: Douglas Gordon’s 24 Hour Psycho was commissioned by Tramway in 1993 and Christine Borland’s exhibition From Life was shown in 1994.
Well-established companies such as Suspect Culture, Theatre Cryptic, Theatre Babel and Boilerhouse all benefited from support through Tramway’s 'Dark Light' commissions programme during the 1990s, followed by a new and even younger generation of companies and individuals such as Vanishing Point, Pauline Goldsmith and Anna Krzystek. All of them, pushing the boundaries of innovation and experimentation, challenging and redefining theatre and performance for the new century.
In 1998 Tramway was awarded Scottish Arts Council National Lottery funding to facilitate the development of this vast building. In June 2000, the venue reopened with improved and better-equipped theatre and exhibition spaces and – in the newly opened stable spaces on the first floor – a café bar, residency, rehearsal and workshop spaces.
Tramway’s artistic programme since June 2000 has aimed to maintain and build upon its already enviable reputation. Return visits by Robert LePage, The Wooster Group, and Les Ballet C de la B have been augmented by exciting new international work from Zero Visibility, Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes, Victoria Theater, Akram Khan and Reckless Sleepers. Major international visual artists, such as Thomas Hirschhorn, Pierre Huyghe, Philippe Parreno, Raymond Pettibon, João Penalva and Pipilotti Rist have all shown at Tramway in the past two years. The international exhibition ran in parallel with a programme devoted to Scottish artists: Henry VIII’s Wives, Ilana Halperin, Janice McNab, Alan Michael, Sally Osborn, Mary Redmond, Carol Rhodes, David Sherry, Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan are only a few of the artists to have shown in all three of Tramway’s visual arts spaces.
Tramway 1
Type of venue: Multipurpose venue
Main use: Drama, opera, dance
Seating: 600 seats total comprising 378 (flexible) at level 1, 222 (fixed) at level 2, plus space for 12 wheelchairs, 6 standard seats lost through use
Performing area: 26m W (10m between side pillars) x 20m D x 7.5m H to grid within total area 40m x 26m, suitable for dance using Harlequin dance floor, backstage crossover, stage heated, get-in via rear of stage through scene dock, stage level, roller shutter doors 3.6m x 3.4m
Suspension equipment: Overhead grid, fixing points as required; tab track
Soft hangings: Black house curtain, black tabs, traverse curtain, legs and borders
Lighting: ETC Expression 2 300 channel control desk operated from control room at rear of auditorium, 100 x 2.5kw Strand Act 6 dimmers, 60 x 5kw Strand Act 3 dimmers; no supply for temporary board; adequate selection of lanterns including Profiles - Source 4 36 deg x 30, Source 4 26 deg x 10, Source 4 15/30 deg x 12, Prelude 650w x 15; Fresnels - Cantana 1K x 25, ADB 2K x 20, Quartet MK2 x 30; Floods - 1K x 12, Par 64 x 50; PCs - Selecon 1K x 10; 18 Birdies
Sound: Soundcraft Venue 24:8:2 desk operated from control room at rear of auditorium, 3 x Meyer Processor, 5 x Caudio (SR 404), 2 x Patch Bay (mobile amp racks also available), 6 x UPA Meyer speakers, 2x USW Subs (mobile speakers also available); mics, tape systems and CD players available but must be booked in advance
Sound: SM desk, position variable, with cue lights and headsets, 10 outstations, show relay/tannoy to dressing rooms; Tallescope, Zarges ladder, cherry picker
Film / video equipment: 6 x Phillips C-Smart LCD Projectors; SGVA 1000 Lumens; 2 x Barco 701; 1 x 9’ x 12’ back projection screen w frames; 3 x 6’ x 9’ back projection screen w frames; 1 x 10’ x 6’ front projection screen (rigid); 2 x 10’ x 6’ front projection screen
Backstage: 3 dressing rooms accommodating 69 persons total, wardrobe, laundry, accessible by wheelchair; accessible toilet; 6 resident technicians, casuals also available
Climate control: Air-conditioned and heated
Tramway 2
Type of venue: Multpurpose venue
Main use: Art exhibitions, generally not used for perfornances
Dimensions: 57m W x 27m D x 7.7m H to grid, flat concrete stage floor suitable for dance using Harlequin dance floor
Installation system: Hammer-and-nail into plaster walls, 38 wall panels
Lighting: Zero 88 control desk, 24 x 2.5kw dimmers, 29 x white sodium fittings
Film / video equipment: Shared with Tramway 1
Climate control: Air conditioned and heated
Tramway 4
Type of venue: Multipurpose venue
Main use: Performance gallery
Seating: 100 seats total, space for 5 wheelchairs
Performing area: 8m W x 32m D x 4.67m H to grid, flat fully-sprung wooden floor, grey/black lino available
Soft hangings: Black masking
Lighting: ETC 125 Express control desk, 60 x 2.5kw dimmers; no supply for temporary board; adequate selection of lanterns including Profiles - Source 4 36 deg x 30, Source 4 26 deg x 10, Source 4 15/30 deg x 12, Prelude 650w x 15; Fresnels - Cantana 1K x 25, ADB 2K x 20, Quartet MK2 x 30; Floods - 1K x 12, Par 64 x 50; PCs - Selecon 1K x 10; 18 Birdies
Sound: Shared with Tramway 1
Film / video equipment: Shared with Tramway 1
Backstage: Shared with Tramway 1
Climate control: Air-conditioned and heated
Other facilities
8m W x 32m D rehearsal studios and 8m W x 32m D dance studio available to hire
 developed in association with
British Council logo (1)
Date updated: 3 September 2007
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