The Georgian Theatre Royal opened in 1788 and was in operation until 1830 when it was converted into an auction house. It reopened as a theatre in 1963 and had minor improvements done over the years. Trustees for the theatre dreamed about a much larger renovation project—fully restoring the theatre to its original beauty. A 2002 National Lottery funding grant provided the means for that renovation, which included painstaking research into how the theatre looked in its earliest years.
Using historical precedents and the theatre’s own archive materials for reference, the auditorium was restored to its original look while modern updates to the seating, lighting, and stage machinery created more flexibility and comfort for users and patrons. Architectural additions to the building also provide new front of house and backstage areas, including a new box office, dressing room, bar, and foyer. This historic gem is the UK’s oldest working theatre in its original form and a key venue in the historic development of the English theatre.
- 214-seat drama theatre