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Report - Royal Court Theatre - Liverpool - October 2013 -

Discussion in 'Theatres and Cinemas' started by georgie, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. georgie

    georgie He Never Even Got There
    Regular User

    May 2, 2009
    Likes Received:
    brief history....taken from the royal court website

    The site of the Royal Court Theatre has been at the heart of Liverpool culture for nearly 200 years. It was first opened in 1826 as Cookes New Circus and renamed in 1831 as Cooke’s Amphitheatre of Arts, presenting a programme of opera, music, theatre and ballet.

    It was renamed the Royal Court Theatre in 1881 and was the number one touring venue in Liverpool for popular theatre until the 1970s when it was taken over by Merseyside County Council.

    Vivien Leigh, John Gielgud, Lawrence Olivier, Yul Brynner, Margot Fonteyn, Ken Dodd and Ralph Richardson are just some of the names that appeared on stage during this period. Dame Judi Dench made her acting debut at the Royal Court in 1957 and has recently agreed to be a Patron of the Trust, supporting its campaign to renovate the theatre.

    The theatre was destroyed by fire in 1933 and rebuilt in 1938 in the current Art Deco style of the era. The theatre has exemplary acoustics and sight-lines and boasts the biggest revolve stage outside of the West End. After 1976 the theatre was let on a series of short-term licences to commercial operators. It was primarily used as a rock venue in the latter part of the 20th century, hosting big names such as R.E.M, David Bowie and Oasis, and then as a comedy venue.

    The theatre has undergone something of a renaissance in the last three years. The current operating company have developed a unique style of theatre for Liverpool audiences (and increasingly audiences from outside of the region). Theatre that is produced in Liverpool, starring Liverpool actors, written by Liverpool writers is proving a huge success. In the last year, over 200,000 people have visited the theatre and experienced the unique cabaret-style stalls seating, dinner offer and drinks before the show.

    The combination of a robust operating company, a busy theatre attracting new, suportive local audiences, the formation of the Royal Court Liverpool Trust and support from local agencies (including North West Development Agency, Arts Council North West, English Heritage and Heritage Lottery Fund) is unprecedented in the last 70 years of the theatre. We look forward to working together to secure its future.

    needless to say id never stepped foot inside this building up until a few weeks ago when i went to see the john lennon story with a mate of mine,i googled the theatres history the next day and seen this place do paid tours once a month for just a fiver for a limited time with all proceeds going towards the restoration of the building,so it seemed rude not to book a tour.

    the building so far has had money given to them by the lottery and have managed to restore the downstairs seating with an added bar at the back,the next stage the guide told me was the foyer......the bloke running the tour said they were 10 million short of full restoration

    heres what they say about the tour,although my tour lasted nearly 2 hours

    "The Royal Court is a Grade II listed building

    A magnificent example of one of the best theatres built in the Art Deco style. The Royal Court Liverpool Trust has a £11m scheme to renovate the building.

    This is a chance to see it before the scheme begins. The theatre is one of Liverpool's most enduring and iconic building, and has a rich history including several ghosts past and present.

    "Tours will last around an hour and will be led by an experienced guide. Tours are just £5 with all of the money going towards the restoration of the building. Tickets must be booked in advance as the tours will not take place unless a minimum of five people are booked in. You can book online or call 0870 787 1866."


    all pics taken handheld as the use of a tripod on the tour wasn't really practical so apologies for some shoddy pictures,the light inside wasnt very good so high iso was used



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    part of the counterweight system for the revolving floor now disused and some props from the latest play
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    the theatre currently has a play running called "sons of the desert" and this was one of the actors dressing rooms

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    i overheard a conversation the tour guide was having with a lady on our tour,i just caught the end of it as i approached......the tour guide said "if you can get them out there yours"......referring to these seats.....he said these were what they were going to use and that they were from the park road gaumont apparently but they decided using other seating instead


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    all in all a pretty good tour........if you can put up with some ghost talk,you get to go quite a lot of places within the theatre,get yourself on a tour and show your support
    Maryjane likes this.

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