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Theatres in Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire

See Also: Leicester Theatres - Loughborough Theatres

The Bath Street Theatre, Ashby de la Zouch

Later - The Theatre Royal - Floral Hall

The site of the Bath Street Theatre, Ashby De La Zouch in 2018 - Courtesy Philip Paine.

Above - The site of the Bath Street Theatre, Ashby De La Zouch in 2018 - Courtesy Philip Paine.

In 1822 a small compact Georgian Playhouse Theatre was constructed on the first floor of a building on Bath Street, Ashby de la Zouch. It's access was via a passageway through a terrace on the main street frontage. The auditorium was fitted with Stage, Boxes, Pit and Gallery and held approximately 250 people, being known as 'The Bath Street Theatre'.

The opening company was led by Mr. Bennett, late of the Sparrow Hill Theatre in Loughborough and manager of the Theatre Royal, Worcester. The opening took place on June the 2nd 1822 and an advert invited the 'Nobility, Gentry and Inhabitants of Ashby' to an engagement for 3 nights of the celebrated and fascinating Actress Miss Foote. Prices were advertised as:- Boxes 3/- (15 pence today); Pit 2/- (10 pence today); and the Gallery at 1/- (5 pence today). There were no half prices offered. Of course these prices seem cheap to us today, but were quite expensive in their day.

William Macready played two short seasons at the Theatre, the first in 1830 and the second in 1835.

In 1837 there was a performance of Shakespeare's 'Richard III', however local reports upon the performance were quite scathing in its poor acting and presentation.

In 1840 Mr. Batty displayed his animals in an exhibition (as he had previously at Leicester and the Sparrow Hill Theatre in Loughborough). The Theatre then seems to have been closed for some time.

The next reference to entertainment presented there was in 1854 when Mr. H Lacey of the Theatres Royal at Worcester and Coventry staged a 6 week season.

In 1860 Mr. W. P. Dewes of the Hasting Rifle Company staged an amateur production, but local reports at the time stated that the Theatre had 'much decay.'

In June of 1862 the Theatre presented 'Othello' when prices were advertised at:- Boxes 2/- (10 pence today); Pit 1/- (5 pence today); and 6d in the Gallery (2.5 pence today).

A Plaque situated on the wall of the building currently on the site of the former Bath Street Theatre / Theatre Royal - Courtesy Philip Paine 2018.By 1867 the Theatre, now known as the Theatre Royal, had fallen out of favour and the internal furnishings removed. The Pit and Stage floor covered over, and it's theatrical use over.

By 1890 it was being used as a furniture store, followed in succession as a Chapel, an Auction Room, and finally advertised as the Floral Hall. The Bath Street Theatre was finally demolished in 1967.

Right - A Plaque situated on the wall of the building currently on the site of the former Bath Street Theatre / Theatre Royal - Courtesy Philip Paine 2018.

The above article on the Bath Street Theatre, Ashby de la Zouch was written for this site by David Garratt in February 2018.

If you have any more information or Images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

Archive newspaper reports on this page were kindly collated and sent in by B.F.

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