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Photo credits: Graeme Peacock

About Newcastle Theatre Royal

With an impressive history to its name, Newcastle Theatre Royal was granted Royal licensing by King George III, opening in its original location at Drury Lane, Mosley Street in 1788.

Becoming one of the country's most beloved theatres, it was then moved to Grey Street in new city plans by Grainger and Dobson, where it continued to gain prominence in the city, as well as throughout the rest of the country.

The theatre became known for its architectural excellence throughout, with a fine auditorium built in 1901 by architect Frank Matcham, after a fire destroyed part of the original interior.

Nurturing both the performance arts and history within its walls, the theatre has welcomed a number of famous names over its time, including Henry Irving, Laurence Olivier, Judy Dench, and even Hollywood icons such as Orson Welles, Charlton Heston, and Jack Lemmon.

Celebrating 175 years

In 2012, Newcastle Theatre Royal celebrated its 175th anniversary, which warranted a special celebration in its honour.

Grey Street saw an exciting buzz of entertainment, as the city celebrated an iconic part of its history which included street theatre, a fireworks display, and a gala performance coordinated by the theatre with the help of producer Michael Harrison.

There were also tours of the theatre and its newly refurbished auditorium on offer for guests.

Photo credits: Graeme Peacock

Photo credits: Jimmy McIntyre

Taking history into the future

The theatre has seen many renovations over its time, though it remains one of only nine Grade 1 Listed theatres in the country since it opened in 1837.

After a six-month renovation in 2011, the theatre reconstructed the iconic Edwardian design of Matcham's work in 1901, bringing back reprinted wallpapers, restoring former tilework and carpets featuring original patterns, and period light fittings, as well as other ornamental touches.

A new lighting installation was added to showcase the theatre's new look in all its glory, and backstage refurbishment was also completed to upgrade the dressing rooms.

Spectacular spectators

One of the most important factors in the success of theatres such as Newcastle Theatre Royal, is you! Theatre-goers continue to support the industry and keep it going, resulting in constantly developing entertainment programmes and events.

From the moment the orchestra lifts their instruments and the curtain begins to rise, the excitement and anticipation of the theatre is generally unmatched. We're excited to support the fantastic work of Newcastle Theatre Royal in bringing quality performances and entertainment to hundreds upon thousands of spectators in the region.

All about the show

"We wanted to have a long-term approach to the Theatre Royal. It is an iconic institution in the North East and indeed nationally, with some of the top plays, ballets, and operas. So we thought we'd do a long-term arrangement with them, we've got plenty of businesses in Newcastle, and it will raise the profile of Bristol Street Motors."

Robert Forrester
Chief Executive, Bristol Street Motors

"It's fantastic to be partnering with Bristol Street Motors - a really recognised, important quality brand in the North East and across the UK. It was really tough for us in the pandemic as it was for theatres across the UK - we were closed for 18 months."

"So this financial support is giving us really strong foundation to get through that recovery period so that we can start to really thrive again."

"The partnership is really important to us, not only the financial support as we are coming out of the pandemic, but also the recognition - Bristol Street Motors recognising the importance of culture and creativity, in the city, for audiences, for the community, and that partnership is really key for us."

Marianne Locatori
Chief Executive, Newcastle Theatre Royal

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