Theatre Royal, Brighton

Venue Type & Location

Theatre

Site Name: Theatre Royal, Brighton
Location: Brighton
County: Sussex
Location Type: Town - in town at determined location

Overview

  • Address: New Road, Brighton. For a current map,
    Click here.



  • Capacity: In 1946, the Theatre Royal had a capacity of 1103, while in 2003 it held 966 spectators. The capacity of the original house has not yet been found.



  • Performance Space Description: While there are many extensive descriptions of the theatre in its later incarnations (see, for example, The Theatres Trust Site), little information has yet been located about the space between 1842 and 1852. In the summer of 1848, however, the Brighton Herald did offer the following brief description of the space upon its reopening for the summer season: “The ceiling and front of the boxes have been painted of a light straw colour, with designs very beautifully executed from Wattreau. The stage boxes have been newly papered, and the whole of them either papered or newly painted” (July 22, 1848).



  • Typical Fare: Between 1842 and 1852, the Theatre Royal hosted all manner of dramatic entertainments, from travesties and melodramas to productions of Shakespeare and of other ‘legitimate’ works. Ballets, operettas, concerts, dancing, magic shows and minstrel performances could also often be found on bills.



  • Performance History

  • According to the Theatre’s website, the original Theatre Royal building was constructed in a brief 10 months during 1806-7. It was officially opened to the public with a production of Hamlet (starring Charles Kemble) on June 27, 1807.



  • It struggled somewhat throughout the early 19th C., and (again, according to the Theatre’s official website), “the risk of financial ruin [was] never very far away”. (Website).



  • The theatre’s fortunes improved when the management was taken over by Henry John Nye Chart in 1854. A major renovation, wherein the auditorium, stage and façade were all altered followed shortly thereafter (in 1866). C.J. Phipps was the architect.



  • While undergoing several more renovations (including major alterations in 1894 and 1927), the theatre has survived up to the present day. It is still in theatrical use.




    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.



    Additional information can be found in the following source (not yet accessed):


    Dale, Antony. The Theatre Royal, Brighton. Stocksfield: Oriel Press, 1980.


    Beth Marquis

  • Events at Theatre Royal, Brighton

    Event Date Venue Location Troupe
    Dramatic 15 August 1842 - 15 August 1842 Brighton, Sussex Elton
    Dramatic 3 October 1842 - 3 October 1842 Brighton, Sussex Wallack, James
    Dramatic 17 October 1842 - 17 October 1842 Brighton, Sussex Othello by Act of Parliament Troupe (Brighton, 42)
    Dramatic 6 February 1843 - 6 February 1843 Brighton, Sussex Brooke, G.V.
    Dramatic 18 September 1844 - 18 September 1844 Brighton, Sussex Wallack, James
    Dramatic 1 October 1844 - 1 October 1844 Brighton, Sussex Slave Troupe (Brighton, 44)
    Dramatic 2 August 1845 - 2 August 1845 Brighton, Sussex Forrest
    Dramatic 3 October 1845 - 3 October 1845 Brighton, Sussex Othello Troupe (Brighton, 45)
    Concert 7 March 1846 - 7 March 1846 Brighton, Sussex Phillips, Henry
    Minstrel Show 18 May 1846 - 23 May 1846 Brighton, Sussex Ethiopian Delineators (Pelham's, 1846)
    Minstrel Show 25 May 1846 - 30 May 1846 Brighton, Sussex Ethiopian Delineators (Pelham's, 1846)
    Dramatic 19 August 1846 - 19 August 1846 Brighton, Sussex Graham, R.E.
    Dramatic 9 September 1846 - 9 September 1846 Brighton, Sussex Aldridge, Ira
    Dramatic 10 September 1846 - 10 September 1846 Brighton, Sussex Aldridge, Ira
    Dramatic 11 September 1846 - 11 September 1846 Brighton, Sussex Aldridge, Ira
    Dramatic 12 September 1846 - 12 September 1846 Brighton, Sussex Aldridge, Ira
    Dramatic 14 September 1846 - 14 September 1846 Brighton, Sussex Aldridge, Ira
    Dramatic 15 September 1846 - 15 September 1846 Brighton, Sussex Aldridge, Ira
    Dramatic 16 September 1846 - 16 September 1846 Brighton, Sussex Aldridge, Ira
    Dramatic 30 November 1846 - 30 November 1846 Brighton, Sussex Green Bushes Troupe (Brighton, 46-7)
    Dramatic 9 January 1847 - 9 January 1847 Brighton, Sussex Green Bushes Troupe (Brighton, 46-7)
    Dramatic 11 January 1847 - 16 January 1847 Brighton, Sussex Ethiopian Delineators (Pelham's, 1847)
    Dramatic 18 January 1847 - 23 January 1847 Brighton, Sussex Ethiopian Delineators (Pelham's, 1847)
    Dramatic 1 February 1847 - 5 February 1847 Brighton, Sussex Foulah Slave Troupe (Brighton, 47)
    Dramatic 8 February 1847 - 8 February 1847 Brighton, Sussex Green Bushes Troupe (Brighton, 46-7)
    Minstrel Show 5 April 1847 - 9 April 1847 Brighton, Sussex Ethiopian Harmonists (1846-47)
    Minstrel Show 12 April 1847 - 16 April 1847 Brighton, Sussex Ethiopian Harmonists (1846-47)
    Minstrel Show 24 April 1847 - 24 April 1847 Brighton, Sussex Ethiopian Harmonists (1846-47)
    Minstrel Show 10 May 1847 - 10 May 1847 Brighton, Sussex Female American Serenaders
    Minstrel Show 24 May 1847 - 29 May 1847 Brighton, Sussex Ethiopian Harmonists (1846-47)
    Minstrel Show 31 May 1847 - 31 May 1847 Brighton, Sussex Ethiopian Harmonists (1846-47)
    Dramatic 7 October 1847 - 7 October 1847 Brighton, Sussex Slave Troupe (Brighton, 47)
    Dramatic 19 October 1847 - 23 October 1847 Brighton, Sussex Mary Blane Troupe (Brighton, 47)
    Dramatic 6 December 1847 - 6 December 1847 Brighton, Sussex Cobham
    Dramatic 16 February 1848 - 16 February 1848 Brighton, Sussex Brooke, G.V.
    Minstrel Show 13 March 1848 - 18 March 1848 Brighton, Sussex Lantum Serenaders
    Dramatic 12 June 1849 - 12 June 1849 Brighton, Sussex Phelps
    Dramatic 4 September 1850 - 4 September 1850 Brighton, Sussex Othello Troupe (Brighton, 50)
    Dramatic 11 September 1850 - 11 September 1850 Brighton, Sussex Othello Troupe (Brighton, 50)
    Dramatic 18 October 1852 - 20 October 1852 Brighton, Sussex Green Bushes Troupe (Brighton, 52)
    Dramatic 25 October 1852 - 30 October 1852 Brighton, Sussex Uncle Tom's Cabin Troupe (Brighton, 52)
    Dramatic 30 October 1852 - 30 October 1852 Brighton, Sussex Green Bushes Troupe (Brighton, 52)
    Dramatic 8 November 1852 - 12 November 1852 Brighton, Sussex Uncle Tom's Cabin Troupe (Brighton, 52)
    Dramatic 13 November 1852 - 13 November 1852 Brighton, Sussex Green Bushes Troupe (Brighton, 52)

    Bibliographic Sources

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

      (Under Brighton - Theatre Royal).

    • University of Bristol, Kathleen Barker Collection. KB/5.
    • Theatre Royal, Brighton Home Page. 05/19/2008 (http://www.theambassadors.com/theatreroyal/index.html)
    • Theatres Trust Website. 03/06/2008 (http://www.theatrestrust.org.uk)

      (Search 'Theatre Royal Brighton')