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The New Theatre, Kingston Square, Hull

Formerly - The Assembly Rooms

Hull Theatres Index

 A Google Streetview image of the New Theatre, Hull - Click to Interact

Above - A Google Streetview image of the New Theatre, Hull - Click to Interact

Late 1940s Programme for 'Message for Margaret' at the New Theatre, Hull - Click to see Entire Programme.The New Theatre which stands on Kingston Square, Hull today opened on the 16th of October 1939 with the Hull Repertory Company production of 'Me and My Girl'. The Theatre was a reconstruction of the former Assembly Rooms which had first been built by R. H. Sharp over 100 years earlier in 1834. The New Theatre was built as the new home for the Hull Repertory Company who had previously been using the Little Theatre next door since 1924.

In 1939 the Company's then Director Peppino Santangelo, who had turned the Organisation's fortunes around since taking the reigns, set about the reconstruction of the former Assembly Rooms into the New Theatre which involved it being gutted internally and then converted into a Theatre by W. B. Wheatley and the well known Theatre Architect Robert Cromie.

Right - A Late 1940s Programme for 'Message for Margaret' at the New Theatre, Hull - Click to see the Entire Programme. And some interesting information from the programme can be found below.

The Theatre originally had one balcony and a box either side but the balcony was far from the stage and the auditorium was considered to be unnaturally wide.

The auditorium of the New Theatre, Hull - Courtesy Calvin Parker

Above - The auditorium of the New Theatre, Hull - Courtesy Calvin Parker

A photograph of the auditorium of New Theatre, Hull during the get in for 'The Full Monty' in April 2009 - Courtesy Marcus Heald

Above - A photograph of the auditorium of New Theatre, Hull during the get in for 'The Full Monty' in April 2009 - Courtesy Marcus Heald

The New Theatre, Hull in the 1960s - From a programme for the New Theatre - Courtesy Marcus HealdIn the late 1960s the Theatre's stage was deepened and the orchestra pit enlarged, whilst at the same time the auditorium was improved with new seating.

Right - The New Theatre, Hull in the 1960s - From a programme for the New Theatre - Courtesy Marcus Heald.

In the 1980s the original entrance and portico of the Theatre were glazed in so that the FOH areas could be enlarged and enhanced.

The Theatre was closed in January 2016, at the end of the pantomime season, for an 18 month £16 million refurbishment, funded by Hull City Council and the Arts Council. The refurbishment was carried out by local contractors Sewell Construction, whose extensive works focused mainly on the Theatre's back stage areas. This involved the demolition and rebuild of the entire Stage House from the proscenium arch to the back of the stage, including the under-stage areas, dressing rooms, and fly tower.

A Google StreetView Image showing the New Theatre Hull during its refurbishment in 2016 / 17 - Click to Interact.

Above - A Google StreetView Image showing the New Theatre Hull during its refurbishment in 2016 / 17 - Click to Interact.

The New Theatre, Hull after demolition of its Stage House in May 2016 - Courtesy Marcus Heald.

Above - The New Theatre, Hull after demolition of its Stage House in May 2016. The Theatre's Iron Curtain can be seen covered in plastic sheeting to preserve it. The Theatre's Orchestra pit and Auditorium are just visible, below the Iron, these were preserved in the redevelopment of the Theatre - Photo Courtesy Marcus Heald.

The New Theatre, Hull during demolition of its Stage House in May 2016 - Courtesy Marcus Heald. The replacement Stage House used part of the site of the Central Fire Station behind the Theatre allowing the stage to be rebuilt on a larger scale, with a deeper basement and a 5 metre taller fly tower, which had previously been inadequate. The improvements also included new stage loading bays with stage level access for trailers, a new Foyer, a Restaurant, and a new street level Stalls Bar to replace the former basement one. At the same time the stalls seating was redesigned, increasing the capacity of the Theatre by 100. The new Stalls Bar, Restaurant, and Foyer are adjacent to the original Foyer in a new building to the left of the Theatre's Main Entrance, which improves and increases the Theatre's front of house space.

Right - The New Theatre, Hull during demolition of its Stage House in May 2016 - Courtesy Marcus Heald.

Hull was named the UK City Of Culture in 2017, and throughout the time the Theatre was closed, the only other purpose built Theatre open in the city had been the Hull Truck Theatre, so when the official reopening of the New Theatre happened on the 16th September 2017, it wasn't a moment too soon.

The Theatre reopened on schedule with a special performance from The Royal Ballet, which was also broadcast live to a big screen in Queens Gardens in Hull where another 5,000 people could watch the performance. After the show, some of its dancers, many of whom were from Hull themselves, boarded a Classic Hull Bus to tour around Queens Gardens to take a Curtain Call for the extended audience there.

The Auditorium of the New Theatre, Hull after refurbishment of the Theatre in 2017 - Courtesy Marcus Heald.

Avove - The Auditorium of the New Theatre, Hull after refurbishment of the Theatre in 2017 - Courtesy Marcus Heald.

The Theatre is today a Grade II Listed Building, with a capacity of 1,189. You may like to visit the Theatre's own Website here.

There is more information and some more images for the New Theatre below.

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

A selection of programmes for the Hull Little and New Theatres - Courtesy Dave Wilson.

Above - A selection of programmes for the Hull Little and New Theatres - Courtesy Dave Wilson.

A photograph of the stage of New Theatre, Hull during production for 'The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas', an amateur show with Vicki Michelle (Yvette from Allo Allo) taking the lead, in the Theatre's 70th Anniversary week of the 12th of October 2009 - Courtesy Marcus Heald

Above - A photograph of the stage of New Theatre, Hull during production for 'The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas', an amateur show with Vicki Michelle (Yvette from Allo Allo) taking the lead, in the Theatre's 70th Anniversary week of the 12th of October 2009 - Courtesy Marcus Heald

The Roof Void above the auditorium of the New Theatre, Hull - Courtesy Calvin Parker

Above - The Roof Void above the auditorium of the New Theatre, Hull - Courtesy Calvin Parker

EDITORIAL BY PEPPINO SANTANGELO

BY ORDER OF THE GOVERNMENT - (NON-POLITICAL)

An article from the 'Message for Margaret' programme shown top of page

The New Theatre, Hull in 2009 - From a programme for the New Theatre - Courtesy Marcus Heald

Above - The New Theatre, Hull in 2009 - From a programme for the New Theatre - Courtesy Marcus Heald

 Commemorative Lapel Pin to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the New Theatre, Hull in 1989.We endeavour-nay, it is our policy-in the Theatre, to be nonpolitical in outlook because we realise that most, if not all, of our patrons have a political consciousness of their own and if any one of these differ materially, or idealistically, from ours we might, instead of reconciling the conflict of opinion, succeed in alienating from ourselves the support which would be ours, if our respective outlook was identical or, at least, non-partisan, and so far as the Theatre is concerned, survival is more important than the possession of an exclusive political doctrine.

Right - Commemorative Lapel Pin to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the New Theatre, Hull in 1989.

Our first hypothesis is that the Theatre has no politics and, therefore, is non-political. The fact that it comprises many individuals who each possess deep rooted political convictions does not invalidate the general truth of the thesis because these convictions are subjugated for a period of time-the period and time of daily employment-to a greater common interest-the interest of living which is the determining factor in formulating any policy, not least, a theatrical policy.

Programme for 'Robinson Crusoe' at the New Theatre, Hull in December 1966 - Courtesy Tom O'Connor.Our second hypothesis is that, collectively, an audience has no politics and, therefore, is non-political. Here again, the fact that the individuals that comprise an audience each have a political conviction of their own precludes the possibility of an audience-unless it be a highly specialised group of people-having identical political opinions. If the political expressions of an audience are heterogeneous in character-like the actors on the stage all speaking together and in different languages-then it cannot be said to speak as one voice politically and, therefore, because it has no specific political conscience, collectively, an audience can be said to have no politics.

Left - A Programme for 'Robinson Crusoe' at the New Theatre, Hull in December 1966 - Courtesy Tom O'Connor.

If these two hypotheses are correct, then it is equally correct to assume in theory, if not in fact, that neither-the Theatre the Audience nor the Audience the Theatre-can offend each other and, therefore, with full knowledge that all hypotheses are subject to Constant review and are considered valid for just so long as they "work" we will expose the core of our philosophy by stating the following:

Because of the over-confidence of a preoccupied Government - we, and you, of proven non-political views imply any Government - the abnormal behaviour of the prophetic mind of a Cabinet Minister - we both refer to any Cabinet Minister-we are made to experience the life of a couponless antarctic Eskimo minus his freedom, his furs, his igloo and his blubber. But, in order to assist a deserving Government - we mean, of course, any Government - in planning the future Utopia, where no-one will work and wages will be high, but more immediately to prevent starvation, from next week onwards, our times of performances will be as follows:- Nightly at 7-15, Thursday and Saturday at 4-15 and 7-30. Someone said somewhere, once, "cum labor omnia vincit " but, we think it was meant as a joke.

PEPPINO SANTANGELO. - From The 'Message for Margaret' programme shown Top of Page.

You may like to visit the Theatre's own Website here.

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

Other Pages that may be of Interest