This Victorian theatre was built in just six months! Originally called the Royal Comedy Theatre when it opened, the Royal was dropped by 1884. Major reconstruction took place in the mid-1950's and the theatre re-opened on 14 December 1955. The disadvantage that this old theatre has though is the use of columns to support the circles - leading to many of the seats being 'restricted view' (around 791 seats).
The theatre is perhaps most noted for the part it played in the late 1950's overturning stage censorship: Up until 1968 the Lord Chamberlain had the right to ban any play if the language or subject matter was deemed to be unsuitable, so in the 1956 'The New Watergate Club' was formed at the Comedy where banned plays could be presented under 'club' conditions - and without censorship - plays produced in this way included Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge, Robert Anderson's Tea and Sympathy and Tennessee William's Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. By the late 1950's the Lord Chamberlain relented, the club closed, and the Comedy was able to present Peter Shaffer's controversial play Five Finger Exercise which went on to enjoy a run of two years.
More recent productions include the award winning comedy Steaming and the award winning musical Little Shop of Horrors both which occupied the theatre in the early 1980's. Kay Mellor's award winning comedy A Passionate Woman opened here on 7 November 1994 and run for 9 months.
6 Panton Street
Members of Mandy who have worked for Comedy Theatre