Theatre Royal, Williamson Square

Venue Type & Location

Theatre

Site Name: Theatre Royal, Williamson Square
Location: Liverpool
County: Lancashire
Location Type: Town - in town at determined location

Overview

  • Address: Williamson Square, Liverpool.
    Click here for map.



  • Performance Space Description: The Theatre Royal was a stone building with a semicircular front adorned with the King’s Arms. In Annals of the Liverpool Stage, R.J. Broadbent cites the following description of the auditorium after the building’s reconstruction in 1803: “The shape of the interior is nearly that of a horse-shoe, the performance may be very wel [sic] seen, and the lowest whisper, if articulate, distinctly heard. We could wish the proscenium had been less richly ornamented, for, however beautifully executed, it does not entirely harmonise with the light, elegant decorations of the other parts of the house. The fronts of the boxes are painted with a sort of lattice work silvered, and medallions beautifully executed. The supporters of the boxes are light, well-proportioned, cast-iron pillars, gilded. There are four-and-twenty of the handsomest lustres we ever saw; twelve of which, somewhat larger than the others, are suspended at equal distances round the lower tier; eight round the second tier, and four above those, round the third or highest tier”” (110-111).



  • Typical Fare: During the years covered by this database, performances at the Theatre Royal included tragedies, comedies, pantomimes, operas, magic shows, and melodramas, amongst other things. Many of the biggest stars of the day graced the theatre’s stage, including Fanny Kemble, William Macready, James Anderson, Sarah Siddons, Jenny Lind and Charles Dickens. (See Broadbent’s Annals of the Liverpool Stage for a more detailed breakdown of the entertainments offered at this venue).



  • Performance History

  • The Theatre Royal was constructed in 1772 at a total cost of 6,000 pounds. These funds were gathered from thirty subscribers, who purchased shares of 200 pounds apiece. Sir William Chambers was the architect.



  • At the end of 1802, the theatre was rebuilt and enlarged. The new building was opened in June of 1803 with a performance of Speed the Plough and No Song, No Supper.


  • The theatre was put up for auction in 1885, and it changed hands several times before being transformed into a cold storage. In 1965, the building was razed to make way for a road.




    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

  • Events at Theatre Royal, Williamson Square

    Event Date Venue Location Troupe
    Dramatic 15 July 1842 - 15 July 1842 Liverpool, Lancashire Hammond, W.J.
    Dramatic 19 August 1842 - 19 August 1842 Liverpool, Lancashire Butler, Samuel
    Dramatic 13 September 1842 - 13 September 1842 Liverpool, Lancashire Slave Troupe (Liverpool, 1842), Brooke, G.V.
    Dramatic 14 September 1842 - 14 September 1842 Liverpool, Lancashire Brooke, G.V.
    Dramatic 16 December 1842 - 16 December 1842 Liverpool, Lancashire Indian Maid Troupe (Liverpool, 1842), Nano, Signor Hervio
    Dramatic 20 January 1843 - 20 January 1843 Liverpool, Lancashire Hoskins, W.
    Dramatic 24 January 1843 - 24 January 1843 Liverpool, Lancashire Slave Troupe (Liverpool, 1843), Stuart (The Slave)
    Dramatic 27 February 1843 - 27 February 1843 Liverpool, Lancashire Ternan
    Dramatic 3 November 1845 - 8 November 1845 Liverpool, Lancashire Aldridge, Ira
    Dramatic 19 February 1846 - 19 February 1846 Liverpool, Lancashire Anderson, James
    Dramatic 9 May 1846 - 9 May 1846 Liverpool, Lancashire Green Bushes Troupe (Liverpool, 1846), Fitzwilliam, Mrs.
    Dramatic 25 May 1846 - 25 May 1846 Liverpool, Lancashire Aldridge, Ira
    Dramatic 26 May 1846 - 26 May 1846 Liverpool, Lancashire Aldridge, Ira
    Dramatic 27 May 1846 - 27 May 1846 Liverpool, Lancashire Aldridge, Ira, Robinson Crusoe Troupe (Liverpool, 46)
    Dramatic 2 June 1846 - 2 June 1846 Liverpool, Lancashire Aldridge, Ira
    Dramatic 3 June 1846 - 4 June 1846 Liverpool, Lancashire Robinson Crusoe Troupe (Liverpool, 46), Aldridge, Ira
    Dramatic 5 June 1846 - 6 June 1846 Liverpool, Lancashire Aldridge, Ira
    Variety 4 November 1847 - 4 November 1847 Liverpool, Lancashire Bosjesmans, Tyler, J.S.
    Dramatic 7 December 1847 - 11 December 1847 Liverpool, Lancashire Aldridge, Ira
    Dramatic 28 December 1847 - 1 January 1848 Liverpool, Lancashire Aldridge, Ira
    Dramatic 6 March 1848 - 11 March 1848 Liverpool, Lancashire Aldridge, Ira
    Minstrel Show 17 April 1848 - 22 April 1848 Liverpool, Lancashire New Orleans Ethiopian Serenaders
    Circus 12 June 1848 - 17 June 1848 Liverpool, Lancashire Van Amburgh, the Lion King
    Minstrel Show 7 November 1848 - 11 November 1848 Liverpool, Lancashire Ethiopian Serenaders (1848-49)
    Minstrel Show 13 November 1848 - 18 November 1848 Liverpool, Lancashire Ethiopian Serenaders (1848-49)
    Minstrel Show 20 November 1848 - 25 November 1848 Liverpool, Lancashire Ethiopian Serenaders (1848-49)
    Minstrel Show 27 November 1848 - 2 December 1848 Liverpool, Lancashire Ethiopian Serenaders (1848-49)
    Minstrel Show 4 December 1848 - 9 December 1848 Liverpool, Lancashire Ethiopian Serenaders (1848-49)
    Minstrel Show 11 December 1848 - 18 December 1848 Liverpool, Lancashire Ethiopian Serenaders (1848-49)
    Dramatic 22 October 1852 - 23 October 1852 Liverpool, Lancashire Royal Marionette Theatre (inc. Ebony Marionettes)
    Dramatic 24 October 1852 - 29 October 1852 Liverpool, Lancashire Royal Marionette Theatre (inc. Ebony Marionettes)
    Minstrel Show 8 November 1852 - 13 November 1852 Liverpool, Lancashire Black Serenaders, The

    Bibliographic Sources

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

      (Under Liverpool - Theatre Royal...)

    • Borsay, Peter. The English Urban Renaissance. Culture and Society in the Provincial Town, 1660-1770. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002.
    • Broadbent, R.J. Annals of the Liverpool Stage. Liverpool: Edward Howell, 1908.
    • Carthalia - Theatres on Postcards Website. 09/14/2008 (http://www.andreas-praefcke.de/carthalia/index.html)
    • Era (London) November 5, 1848: 11: 4.
      Info in Record:
      • Liverpool Journal November 4, 1848: 2: 6.
        Info in Record:
        • surrounding performances at venue ? (not transcribed)
      • Midwinter, Eric. Old Liverpool. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1971.
      • Old Liverpool Theatres Website. 03/14/2008 (http://www.old-liverpool.co.uk/theatres.html)
      • The Picture of Liverpool, Or Stranger’s Guide. Liverpool: Thomas Taylor, 1835.