Theatre Royal Restoration
14 March - 12 September 2011
The Theatre Royal is one of only nine Grade 1 Listed theatres in England and is regarded by many as the UK’s finest theatre building. Since opening in 1837 the theatre has been renovated many times, and following a major fire after a performance of Macbeth in 1899, the entire auditorium was re-designed by one of the world’s greatest theatre architects, Frank Matcham. In anticipation of our 175th birthday in February 2012, in September 2011 we completed a major six month restoration to recreate Matcham’s classic 1901 Edwardian design.
We used Matcham’s 1901 template for the decorative scheme, reprinting wallpapers, reinstating lost tilework, sourcing original carpet patterns and using extensive gold leaf work. Specialist workshops reproduced period light fittings, brassware and ornamentation. And seating was reconfigured, with new seats in all areas – 1901 in style, but modern in comfort.
Grey Street Portico
Damaged by the elements and recent severe winters, the famous portico was in urgent need of repair. As well as conservation measures, a new lighting system was installed to show off the splendour of the iconic main entrance.
Our 2011 £5m restoration would not have been possible without the generosity and longstanding support of you, our audience. As an independent charitable trust (charity no 504473), we depend on public support, and with £1.75 from every Theatre ticket going into our Heritage Fund, we can continue to ensure that the magnificent Theatre Royal is preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.
We are also extremely grateful to all those who have lent their support to the Theatre by becoming a 175 anniversary patron, a 175 anniversary partner or by naming a seat or making a donation.
In addition, we would like to thank the following organisations and individuals for their kind contribution towards the restoration of the Theatre Royal. We are immensely grateful to them for their generous support.
The Friends of the Theatre Royal
The Barbour Foundation
The Heritage Lottery Fund
Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust
The Garfield Weston Foundation
The Sir James Knott Trust
J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust
The Monument Trust, one of the Sainsbury Family charitable trusts
The Gillian Dickinson Charitable Trust
RFF Gibson Charitable Trust
Percy Hedley 1990 Charitable Trust
The Storrow Stott Charitable Trust
The Late Joyce Ashton Thwaites
Images courtesy of Rory Gibson and Sally Ann Norman