Theatre Royal Nottingham

RHWL, Nottingham , 1978


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The original Phipps great portico has been carefully restored 

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  • The original Phipps great portico has been carefully restored    
  • The worst rows of seats at the back of the pit have been removed and replaced by a promenade separated from the stalls by columns - some real some false    
  • A stepped arcade at the first balcony level helps to tie the stage boxes to new black boxes and to unify audience and stage    
  • A dressing room    
  • An entrance to the stalls    
  • A detail of the new facade     
  • Curving walls, rails and chairs provide occasional painterly views    
  • The repainted ceiling and new chandelier    
  • The general manager    
  • A general view of the auditorium    
  • The old vertiginous gallery has been improved by reducing the seating and providing brass rails to lean on    
  • The inevitable safety curtain has been made a more interesting feature by a cherubium orchestra designed by Henry Bardon    
  • The main stair, described by critic Victor Glasstone as ahving an air of 1930s revivalism    
  • The dress circle foyer and bar    
  • The dress circle bar    
  • Site plan    
  • Basement plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Section    
  • The scene in 1904, with the Theatre Royal on the left and Matcham    
  • The complete project of theatre and new concert hall shown as a model superimposed    
  • Model from the north    

The remodelling and renovation of a Victorian theatre with the addition of a new bar and auditorium

Nottingham's Theatre Royal, whose columned portico is visible from the market square, was refurbished with structural improvements behind the retained façade, a reconfiguration of the auditorium and the creation of new backstage areas.

On the stage, the architects inserted new steelwork to support a raised roof and fly tower, keeping the original stage walls and taking the steel through to the foundations. The theatre also had a massive technical upgrade, concealing the new equipment in the refurbishment scheme.

The redecoration of the auditorium attempts to incorporate the best of the era in which renowned theatre designers Phipps and Matcham worked, adopting a scheme of greens inspired by the palette of the aesthetics movement.

An entirely new building houses the backstage facilities, scene dock and side stage. Its undulating façade is designed to complement Phipps' classical entrance and its design was developed and extended for the Royal Concert Hall next door, completed in 1983.


  • Completed: 1978
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £5.8M
  • Tender date: 1975
  • Address: Nottingham Royal Centre, Theatre Square, Nottingham , NG1 5ND , United Kingdom

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