Theatre Royal Newcastle Upon Tyne
 
   
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The original Theatre Royal

The original Theatre Royal was opened on the 21st January 1788 and was located on Mosley Street, next to Drury Lane.

The location of the original Theatre Royal obstructed the plans for a bold and adventurous building development by Richard Grainger. A deal was struck between the Theatre Royal proprietors and Mr Grainger on the understanding that, along with a hefty compensation fee for the closure of the old theatre, a new and larger Theatre Royal would be constructed.

The Mosley Street Theatre Royal’s final performance was on 25th June 1836.

The New Theatre Royal

The Theatre Royal, Grey Street opened on 20th February 1837. The bells of St Nicholas and St John were rung on opening night.

Mr Griffiths (an infamous actor of the period) delivered a specially written address after the overture and National Anthem in preparation for the main presentation, The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare.

The 1899 Fire

In 1899 the Theatre Royal was destroyed by fire following a performance of Macbeth. Theatrical superstition dictates that this play is always referred to as "the Scottish play". This is because actors were suspicious that the proprietors of their theatre were only putting on that play to draw an audience when times were bad, and therefore associated that play with the possibility of being out of work.

The structural walls of the theatre remained but the auditorium and stage were devastated by the blaze.

The Theatre Royal rose from the ashes and was splendidly re-designed by Frank Matcham, the eminent theatre architect. The Theatre Royal reopened on 31st December 1901 with pantomime, The Forty Thieves.

A major refurbishment

During 1986 -1988 the Theatre Royal underwent £6.5 million refurbishment which saw the theatre close its doors for 20 months. The Theatre Royal re-opened 11th January 1988 with Robert Bolt’s A Man For All Seasons starring Charlton Heston.

Into the 21st Century

The Theatre Royal is undergoing further £6 million development in 2006-2007 when the stage is being extended and new and improved technical facilities are installed. This is part of a larger project involving extending the theatres facilities into the old Barclays Bank building on Market Street, creating a new Education Centre, Box Office and bar and bistro, revitalising the theatre building and consolidating our position as one of the great theatres of Europe

The Theatre Royal is one of only five Grade I listed theatre’s outside of London; one of the most historic, cultural landmarks in the country it continues to dominate the heart of Newcastle’s Grainger Town.