The Theatre Royal was built to replace the Old Orchard Street Theatre, funded by a Tontine and elaborately decorated. The architect was George Dance the Younger, with John Palmer carrying out much of the work. It opened with a performance of Shakespeare's Richard III and hosted performances by many leading actors, including Dorothea Jordan, William Macready, and Edmund Kean. In 1979 the theatre was bought by a trust and, following public donations, it underwent refurbishment, with the rebuilding of the stage and the installation of a new taller fly tower for scenery and lighting. In 1997 a new 120-seat theatre, known as the Ustinov Studio, was opened. Further restoration work to the main auditorium was needed in 2010. In 2005 a children's theatre known as The Egg was opened. The complex also includes bars and restaurants.
Come and see Theatre Royal Bath from all sorts of new angles on one of our public tours, running throughout the year.
As well as the Main House, the tours also include backstage areas and a potted history of the Theatre Royal Bath. The tours are led by a Blue Badge Guide and last around an hour.
The main house is a beautiful Victorian auditorium designed by the famous architects Charles Phipps and Frank Matcham.
The theatre reopened in October 2015 following an extensive refurbishment project that included improvements to the stage, fly tower, and backstage area. The capacity of the main house has also been increased to just under 700 seats.
The main house stage has been graced by many iconic figures over the years, including Laurel and Hardy, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, and Sarah Bernhardt; it also featured in the famous Ken Russell film, The Boyfriend and is one of the last few remaining Phipps/Matcham theatres in operation.
It has a year-round program of the best theatre, dance, opera, ballet, and pantomime.
The New Theatre Royal StageHouse is a flexible and immersive performance space for cutting-edge theatre. For performances in the StageHouse, both the show and the audience will be on the stage.
The Minghella Studio is named after and dedicated to the life and work of Antony Minghella CBE, who lived on the Isle of Wight, studied in Portsmouth, and went on to have a 30-year career as a director, producer, and actor. It aims to use this space to nurture new artistic talent and enable them to produce high-quality work.
In 1997, a studio theatre was built at the rear of the building on Monmouth Street, called the Ustinov Studio, named after the actor Peter Ustinov. The front of the building is decorated with a bronze winged figure which was designed by his son, Igor Ustinov, entitled Hopefully. The 150-seat auditorium was originally a space for the youth theatre and small-scale touring productions, but the Ustinov program soon expanded to encompass classical concerts, stand-up comedy, and in-house productions. To accommodate the technical needs of these productions, a refurbishment was planned to take place throughout 2007, improving the backstage & technical facilities, the foyer, bar, and auditorium. The Ustinov Studio re-opened in February 2008, with their production of Breakfast With Mugabe, starring Joseph Marcell, Miles Anderson, and Nicholas Bailey.
In 2005 another new theatre was opened behind the Theatre Royal, The Egg, which provides professional theatre productions for children and their families, alongside workshops and youth theatre productions. It includes a cafe, which is also the venue for children's and family events, and occasional teenage arts events.
The Matcham Bar and Phipps Cafe Bar are open 45 minutes before a performance and have a range of wines, spirits, beer, and soft and hot drinks available to purchase, as well as a variety of snacks.
Visit this wonderful place to spend a splendid evening for great pleasure and comfort level.www.theatreroyal.org.uk/