Edinburgh Adelphi Theatre

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Venue Type & Location


Site Name: Edinburgh Adelphi Theatre
Location: Edinburgh
County: Edinburgh
Location Type: Town - in town at determined location


  • Address: Broughton Street, Edinburgh (next to St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral; junction of Broughton Street, York Place, Leith Street and Leith Walk.)
    Click here for map

  • Alternate Names: Jones & Parkers Circus (pre-1793), Corri's Rooms, The Pantheon, The Caledonian, Queen’s Theatre & Opera House, Theatre Royal (post-1859)

  • Capacity: The 1857 building held 1700 spectators. Information on the capacity of the previous performance spaces has yet to be found.

  • Performance Space Description: The Adelphi featured a proscenium stage, which James Dibdin claims (in Annals of the Edinburgh Stage) was not as large as that at the nearby Theatre Royal. Further research as to the specific characteristics of this performance space during the years covered by this database is still required.

  • Typical Fare: Between 1842 and 1852, an evening’s entertainment at the Adelphi would frequently consist of popular dramatic pieces (e.g. Baron Munchausen, The Last Ship, Oliver Twist) interspersed with performances by musicians and dancers. A detailed account of the performances and performers at the theatre throughout its history can be found in Annals of the Edinburgh Stage.
  • Performance History

  • The building which would house the Adelphi first opened in 1788 as a Circus. It was converted for theatrical use in 1793.

  • This first building was destroyed by fire in 1853. It was then re-opened in 1855, only to be completely re-designed and re-constructed as the Queen’s Theatre and Opera House in 1857.

  • In 1859, the patent previously held by the Theatre Royal, Shakespeare Street [which was being demolished] was transferred to the Queen’s, and it thereafter became known as the Theatre Royal.

  • In the succeeding decades, the theatre was destroyed by fire three times (in 1865, 1876 and 1884), but was restored after each incident. After yet another fire in 1946, it was never rebuilt.

    Please see the 'Bibliographic Sources' link at right for a complete listing of materials (both primary and secondary) from which the above information was compiled.

    Beth Marquis

  • Troupes at Edinburgh Adelphi Theatre

    Events at Edinburgh Adelphi Theatre

    Event Date Venue Location Troupe
    Dramatic 24 July 1843 - 29 July 1843 Edinburgh, Edinburgh Sweeney, J.W.
    Dramatic 21 August 1848 - 26 August 1848 Edinburgh, Edinburgh Aldridge, Ira
    Exhibition 9 October 1848 - 14 October 1848 Edinburgh, Edinburgh Bosjesmans
    Dramatic 27 August 1849 - 27 August 1849 Edinburgh, Edinburgh Ethiopian Serenaders (1849-50)
    Dramatic 28 August 1849 - 28 August 1849 Edinburgh, Edinburgh Ethiopian Serenaders (1849-50)
    Dramatic 29 August 1849 - 1 September 1849 Edinburgh, Edinburgh Ethiopian Serenaders (1849-50)
    Dramatic 22 July 1850 - 27 July 1850 Edinburgh, Edinburgh Aldridge, Ira
    Dramatic 14 July 1851 - 19 July 1851 Edinburgh, Edinburgh Aldridge, Ira
    Dramatic 21 July 1851 - 21 July 1851 Edinburgh, Edinburgh Aldridge, Ira
    Minstrel Show 20 October 1851 - 25 October 1851 Edinburgh, Edinburgh Saker

    Bibliographic Sources

    • Arthur Lloyd Website. 05/22/2008 (http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/)

      (Under Edinburgh - Adelphi Theatre)

    • Dibdin, James C. Annals of the Edinburgh Stage. Edinburgh: R. Cameron, 1888.
    • Edinburgh City Libraries, Capital Collections Website. 03/06/2008 (http://www.capitalcollections.org.uk/)
    • Edinburgh News September 1, 1849: 4: 4.
      Info in Record:
      • other (venue season)
    • Edinburgh News and Literary Chronicle September 1, 1849: 1: 1.
      Info in Record:
      • other performances at venue
      • other (venue season)
    • Edinburgh News and Literary Chronicle August 25, 1849: 1: 1.
      Info in Record:
      • additional performances at venue:

        (“This Present Evening, Saturday, August 25, 1849, Will be performed, The Lonely Man of the Ocean, or the Night Before the Bridal. After which, The Rival Dukes. To conclude with, Oliver Twist!!”)
    • Theatres Trust Website. 03/06/2008 (http://www.theatrestrust.org.uk)

      (Search 'Edinburgh Adelphi')