Our main house is a beautiful Victorian auditorium designed by the famous architects Charles Phipps and Frank Matcham. The theatre reopened in October 2015 following an extensive refurbishment project that included improvements to the stage, fly-tower and backstage area. The capacity of the main house has also been increased to just under 700 seats.
The main house stage has been graced by many iconic figures over the years, including Laurel and Hardy, Dame Peggy Ashcroft and Sarah Bernhardt; it also featured in the famous Ken Russell film, The Boyfriend and is one of the last few remaining Phipps/Matcham theatres in operation.
The auditorium consists of three levels of the original four with the God’s level serving only as a technical facility. Historically the theatre suffered extensive fire damage and subsequently the backstage was demolished during the late 80’s, recently the backstage areas have been reconstructed to modern standards to allow for larger touring productions and producing.
The Dress and Upper Circle are both open to the public and the God’s acts as technical station front of house. The Stalls and Dress Circle have folding down theatre seats while the Upper Circle is cushioned.
Total seating is just under 700 and the capacities for the levels are as follows:
• Stalls: 321 (or 309 with Orchestra Pit in)
• Dress Circle: 172
• Dress Circle Boxes: Undergoing restoration
• Upper Circle: 176
• Gallery: Undergoing long term restoration
Traditional Proscenium-arch stage with front orchestra pit, the stage is a modern construction onto an original 1884/1900 Phipps/Matcham Theatre. Direct side of stage load-in is available for any sized vehicle, two vans can load simultaneously or a single articulated lorry.
• PROSCENIUM – width: 8.94m
• PROSCENIUM – height: 8.50m
• MAXIMUM HEIGHT OF TABS: 7.50m
• STAGE DEPTH – full: 10.75m
• STAGE DEPTH – from Iron: 9.90m
• STAGE DEPTH – in front of Iron: 0.85m
• NORMAL SETTING LINE: Iron-line
• STAGE WIDTH – downstage: 16.38m
• STAGE WIDTH – upstage: 16.82m
We present a mixed programme of Drama, Dance, Music, Stand-up Compedy, Comedic Theatre, Musicals and with innovate use of the stage can alose present smaller scale contemporary and fringe theatre.