Theatre Royal, Bath

place and theatre royal

Closed aged c. 55

The Theatre Royal in Bath, England, was built in 1805. A Grade II* listed building, it has been described by the Theatres Trust as "One of the most important surviving examples of Georgian theatre architecture". It has a capacity for an audience of around 900. The Theatre Royal was built to replace the Old Orchard Street Theatre, funded by a Tontine and elaborately decorated. The architect was George Dance the Younger, with John Palmer carrying out much of the work. It opened with a performance of Shakespeare's Richard III and hosted performances by many leading actors of the time including Dorothea Jordan, William Macready and Edmund Kean. A major fire in 1862 destroyed the interior of the building and was quickly followed by a rebuilding programme by Charles J. Phipps, which included the construction of the current entrance. Further redecoration was undertaken in 1892; more extensive building work, including a new staircase and the installation of electric lighting, followed in 1902. Despite performances by casts including Sarah Bernhardt, the ballerina Anna Pavlova and Mrs. Patrick Campbell, the theatre was rarely very profitable. During World War II Donald Wolfit, Irene Vanbrugh, John Gielgud and Sybil Thorndike appeared, with shows including Noël Coward's Private Lives and Blithe Spirit, a performance by Ballet Rambert and light entertainment such as Charley's Aunt, but audiences declined. In 1979 the theatre was bought by a trust and, following public donations, it underwent refurbishment, with the rebuilding of the stage and the installation of a new taller fly tower for scenery and lighting. In 1997 a new 120-seat theatre, known as the Ustinov Studio, was opened. Further restoration work to the main auditorium was needed in 2010. In 2005 a children's theatre known as The Egg was opened. The complex also includes bars and restaurants.

Wikidata Wikipedia

Commemorated on 2 plaques

This building, erected in 1750, was formerly the Theatre Royal managed by the celebrated John Palmer MP, originator of the mail coach system and holder of the first Royal Patent ever granted to a provincial theatre, to its stock company, for a period of four years (1778-82) belonged the renowned Sarah Siddons, with her husband and sister. Here also appeared her brothers, John Philip Kemble and Stephen Kemble. Here John Henderson and R. W. Elliston both made their first appearances on the stage and were for a long time leading actors. Samuel Foote, George Frederick Cooke, William Dimond, Benjamin Engledon, George and Mrs. Bartley, and many other famous players also acted in this theatre, which was closed in 1805.

Old Orchard Street, Bath, United Kingdom where it sited (1750-1805)

Theatre Royal Built 1805 George Dance the Younger John Palmer Restored 1863 C J Phipps Restored 1982 Donald Armstrong Carl Toms

Sawclose, Bath, United Kingdom where it sited