Victoria/Royal Adelphi Theatre

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Venue Type & Location


Site Name: Victoria/Royal Adelphi Theatre
Location: Liverpool
County: Lancashire
Location Type: Town - in town at determined location


  • Address: Christian Street, near Springfield Street. For a current map, Click Here.

  • Alternate Names: Circus. (1794-1805) Olympic Circus (1805-13), New Olympic Circus (1813-23), Cooke’s Olympic Circus (1823-25), Royal Olympic Circus (1825-31) Queen's Theatre (1831-42), Adelphi Music Hall & Theatre of Varieties (c.1870), New Albert Theatre (1873)

    The theatre was called The Victoria between 1843 and 1845, and as the Theatre Royal, Adelphi between 1846 and its demise in the 1880s. During this latter period it was also known, affectionately, as ‘the Delly’.

  • Performance Space Description: Information about this venue has not yet been compiled; however, some sense of the performance space may be gleaned by following the links at right. In particular:

  • See the 'Bibliographic Sources' link for a provisional list of venue-relevant resources (both primary and secondary). Wherever possible (i.e. when the pertinent text is relatively short and/or easily condensed) this material has been transcribed, and appears beneath the appropriate bibliographic citation.

  • See the 'Events at venue' link for a listing of blackface/minstrelsy-related events that took place in this performance space (with attached bibliographic references).

    Beth Marquis

  • Events at Victoria/Royal Adelphi Theatre

    Event Date Venue Location Troupe
    Minstrel Show 3 February 1845 - 8 February 1845 Liverpool, Lancashire Yankee Mellor
    Minstrel Show 10 February 1845 - 15 February 1845 Liverpool, Lancashire Yankee Mellor
    Dramatic 15 February 1847 - 15 February 1847 Liverpool, Lancashire Lynne, Mr., New Orleans Ethiopian Serenaders
    Dramatic 16 February 1847 - 20 February 1847 Liverpool, Lancashire New Orleans Ethiopian Serenaders
    Dramatic 23 July 1849 - 28 July 1849 Liverpool, Lancashire Harper, E.R.
    Dramatic 24 September 1849 - 29 September 1849 Liverpool, Lancashire Millicent, J., the English Juba, Phillips, Ethiopian Minstrel & Nigger Dancer
    Variety 3 March 1851 - 8 March 1851 Liverpool, Lancashire Pelham, Richard
    Dramatic 31 March 1851 - 5 April 1851 Liverpool, Lancashire Pelham, Richard
    Dramatic 20 August 1851 - 20 August 1851 Liverpool, Lancashire Pelham, Richard
    Dramatic 11 October 1852 - 16 October 1852 Liverpool, Lancashire Uncle Tom's Cabin Troupe (Liverpool-Adelphi, 52)
    Dramatic 18 October 1852 - 23 October 1852 Liverpool, Lancashire Uncle Tom's Cabin Troupe (Liverpool-Adelphi, 52)

    Bibliographic Sources

    • Broadbent, R.J. Annals of the Liverpool Stage. Liverpool: Edward Howell, 1908.


      Mr. Holloway opened the Christian Street playhouse
      under the name of the Victoria. The initial performance
      took place on November 13, 1843,” (191)

      “[…]About 1846, a townsman, W. J. Hammond, who had
      been in partnership with Mr. Raymond at the Liver, and who
      had made an attempt to manage the local Theatre Royal,
      took the theatre under his care. Down to this time the building
      had been outwardly a very plain-looking structure, with
      an ordinary brick front, while the interior had become dirty
      and dingy with time. Mr. Hammond decided to revive the
      departed glories of the house. Accordingly, he gutted the
      building, refitted and decorated the interior in a most beautiful
      manner, and put an ornamental face on the front wall, surmounting
      the whole with several statues, one of which was
      blown down in the 'sixties, and the others afterwards removed.
      He re-opened the house as the new Theatre Royal
      Adelphi, on Easter Monday, April 13, 1846, when Charlotte
      and Susan Cushman appeared as Romeo and Juliet before a
      crowded house, though the prices had been increased, the
      charge for the best seats being 75. 6d. No bonnets were
      allowed in the boxes, there being a retiring-room for ladies.
      The prices of admission were afterwards considerably reduced.[…]” (192)
    • Old Liverpool Theatres Website. 03/14/2008 (

      ”1805 Olympic Circus opened in Christian street. This had succeeded the Philip Astley's circus established at Christian street in 1789
      and seemed to be a venue for a lot of equestrian events. In 1824 a sewer burst and expensive alterations were needed. After an argument over liability between the proprietors and John Cook, proprietor of the circus Cooke decided to build an establishment of his own and bought land at Great Charlotte street, and Roe street. He named it the New Olympic Circus. This later became successively the Royal Ampitheatre and the Royal Court (see below). In 1831 the place was rebuilt and renamed the Queen's Theatre. After various changes it was renamed The Victoria in 1843. Then in 1846 W. J Hammond, formerly of the Liver Theatre Church street and the Theatre Royal rebuilt the interior and reopened it as Theatre Royal Adelphi commonly known as the 'Delly'.”
    • Theatrical Journal (London) November 24, 1852: 375:2.