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175 Birthday

175 Years of Theatre Royal 1837 - 2012

HRH The Duke of York, accompanied by Princess Eugenie of York officially opened Newcastle Theatre Royal’s 175th Birthday Celebrations on Thursday, 16 February 2012. 

Their Royal Highnesses visited the historic Theatre and its newly restored auditorium, were briefed on the Theatre’s distinguished past and met craftsmen who worked the £4.9million restoration.  This was followed by a tour of the Theatre’s education and outreach facilities and afterwards they met Theatre donors and supporters, and at 6pm launched the illuminations. 

The Birthday Blaze – a celebration on Grey Street on Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 February 2012

Grey Street was transformed, the Theatre Royal and its surrounds brought to luminous life like never before....  

Mysterious compere the Master of Mischief led the revelling as phantoms of fiction and familiar characters from the Theatre's history inhabited their own fiery worlds along Grey Street playing out scenes for the audience’s delight - the star-crossed lovers, the sisters of fate, the forlorn belle of the ball, a band of thieves, Old Nick and Lady Grey.  Each hour the players came together in a dazzling masquerade while the theatre exploded with light, sound and pyrotechnics.

The Birthday Blaze was commissioned by Theatre Royal Newcastle, created by The World Famous and produced by Pinwheel. 

Click here to watch the video

Feedback from the event:

"awesome street performances, fireworks and free birthday cake!!"

"what an amazing evening.  Thank you sooo much.  It's such a treat to be able to expose my kids to theatre at its best and in such an accessible way.  Thanks again"

"we had a great time fireworks, lights and costumes all FAB!!! Thanks xx"

"Absolutely fantastic job on the birthday celebrations! It was brilliant to see Grey Street lit up with the magic of theatre.."

"thankyou to all involved in tonight birthday blaze we enjoyed every minute good old fashioned entertainment for all the family also just realised what a fantastic building the theatre is very beautiful well done everybody"

"A night to remember"

"I took my daughter tonight it was fabulous, well done to all the performers and staff. It's makes you proud to be Geordie"

Birthday blaze supporters

The 175th Birthday Gala was held on the evening of Sunday, 19 February 2012

A spectacular and magnificent evening of magical entertainment.  The stars of stage and screen came together to celebrate our 175th birthday, and there was cake too!

Hosted by Tim Healy and Denise Welch and joined by the 
Theatre Royal Orchestra and dancers, and produced by Michael Harrison

  • Danny Adams and panto stars Clive Webb,  & Chris Hayward
  • A special appearance by the young stars of Billy Elliott
  • An extract from Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake
  • Allan Stewart with songs from Jolson
  • Christopher Biggins
  • Daniel Koek from Chess
  • The Krankies
  • Graeme Danby
  • Paul Zerdin 

 Photographs by Richard Kenworthy (rich@richardkenworthy.com)