Outbuilding of Georgian Theatre Royal, 1972
|Address||Victoria Road, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL10 4DW
Richmond, North Yorkshire
|Owner||Georgian Theatre Royal Trust|
It was built in 1788 by the actor-manager Samuel Butler (died 1812 ) and was one of his circuit of theatres, the others being located in Beverley, Harrogate, Kendal, Northallerton, Ripon, Ulverston and Whitby, though none of these are now open. Regular performances at the theatre continued until 1830, when performances became less frequent and in 1848 it was let as an auction house. The Georgian Theatre Royal was reopened by a non-profit trust in 1963, it was expanded in 1996 and had major restoration works, including the addition of a museum, costing £1.6 million in 2002, reopening once again in 2003. August 2016 saw the opening of The Georgian Theatre Royal Experience, a small but perfectly formed museum, detailing the history of the theatre and displaying artifacts from the theatre's collection, as well as The Woodland Scene, reported to be the oldest surviving stage scenery in the world. In addition, the Paul Iles Learning Centre was reopened following extensive renovation, and now houses The Georgian Theatre Royal Youth Theatre as well as many events including volunteer open days, book groups and costume making sessions.
It is now fully restored and seats 214. The building is Grade I listed. and has hosted Georgian star Edmund Kean, and other figures such as Dame Sybil Thorndike, Joyce Grenfell and Alan Bennett. The venue also houses a 180-member youth theatre. The Theatre Royal possesses the oldest known set of theatrical scenery in existence. Known as 'The Woodland Scene', it was painted in a workshop in Royston, Hertfordshire and dates back to around 1820.Dame Judi Dench is the theatre's president and Hamish Ogston and Sir Thomas Allen are vice-presidents.
On 1 May 2013 it launched a funding campaign to save it from closure. It was seeking to raise an initial £122,500.
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