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The Theatre Royal, Moor Street, Birmingham

Formerly - The Grecian Ampitheatre

See also in this area - The Moor Street Theatre

Birmingham Index

The New Theatre Royal was situated on Moor Street in Birmingham and opened on the 20th of May 1861 with a production of 'Giselle or The Night Dancers', followed by the Burletta of 'The Alhambra or The King's Three Daughters and the Spanish Knights'. The Theatre was a conversion of the former Grecian Ampitheatre, previously run by Alderman Briggs, and was designed by an architect called Mr. Holmes. The auditorium of the New Theatre Royal had accommodation for some 3,100 people in its Pit, Boxes, and Gallery.

A six month Theatrical License for the Theatre was issued to John Coleman Chute at a Special Session at the Public Office on Tuesday the 19th of March 1861. Some opposition from the management of the nearby Theatre Royal on New Street was taken into account but eventually it was decided that Birmingham had a large enough population to accommodate both Theatres.

An article on the Licensing Session reported in the ERA of the 24th of March 1861 stated that John Chute had:- 'commenced his theatrical career in Dublin in the year 1839, since which time he had appeared at York, Leeds, Leicester, Stafford, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Bath, Bristol, and as Manager had fulfilled engagements with various first-class artistes, including Mr. Charles Kean, Mr. Phelps, and Sir William and Lady Don. He had been a Manager for seven years at Bath, Bristol, Swansea, Cardiff, Wolverhampton, and Newcastle-under-Lyme, and his brother was Lessee and Manager of the Bath and Bristol Theatres, and a gentleman of respectability and reputation in the theatrical world.'- The ERA, 24th of March 1861.

A few weeks after the Theatre opened the celebrated Tragedian T. C. King and his daughter Bessie King were engaged at the new Theatre by John Chute in June 1861, when they performed in 'William Tell' and 'A Wife for the Day'. The Theatre was said to have been 'fully attended'. T. C. King would later become the father in law to Arthur Lloyd when Arthur Married King's other daughter Katty King in 1871.

Despite it early distinguished beginnings the Moor Street Theatre Royal was a victim of the rise of the Music Halls in the area and closed just 3 years later in 1864.

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 collated and kindly sent in for inclusion by B.F.

 

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