Tag Archives: Theatres

York Mystery Plays – theatre on the streets

The concept of a touring theatre group is nothing new. Its origins go back much further. Ever since Antiquity, plays have been performed, and in the absence of great amphitheatres, towns and cities were home to pageants and feasts, bringing music and drama to the streets. Perhaps the most famed of these are the mystery […]

X – Crossing the stage

X is a bit of cheat. Less letter, more symbolic. The cross. I’ve covered some terminology used by the theatre, and today, I’m crossing the stage. Turns out there are lots of ways to cross the stage. If you want to move without being seen, then use the scenery or unlit areas – or  as […]

The Windmill “we never close” and the war theatres.

What happened to theatres during war time? It’s something that feels particularly relevant given the level of disruption with which we are currently living. During WWI theatre was considered morale boosting for both civilians at home and soldiers. Entertainment was valued, although some also criticised its continuation as bad taste when so many were dying […]

Vaudeville and variety shows

In 1870, on The Strand, a new theatre opened. Built on the site of a failing billiard hall, behind two houses, Vaudeville theatre was crammed onto the site. It required access through a little labyrinth of passages, and had hardly any front of house or backstage. It seated over a thousand people on three tiers. […]

Upstage – the theatre words

There’s a huge amount of theatre craft, it’s a topic that I haven’t really covered because I’ve focused on the buildings. There is also the terminology, the theatre words. I’m picking one, and see where it takes me. Upstage. The easiest definition is that it involves moving to the back of the stage, as opposed […]

Theatres Royal – the patent theatre

Letter T of my Theatres through the Ages is an obvious one! I’ve mentioned the patent theatres a few times on my posts. The royal patent is a legal instrument issued by the monarch to grant a monopoly. It’s usually applied to inventions, but it also was given to theatres, licensing them in effect to […]

Sadler’s Wells – the home of dance

My theme – British theatre through the ages – has so far covered many forms of entertainment, but to date, I’ve omitted one key one: dance. So today, I’m off to Sadler’s Wells, home of ballet and dance. However, given the theatre’s long history, dance is a relatively recent arrival at Sadler’s Wells. In fact […]

Royal Lyceum Edinburgh – the dramatic theatre

Theatres are all about people. The actors, the audience, the backstage crew, the writers and directors (and the ghosts…) Don’t forget the money – the producers and the owners who take a risk to build theatres and put on shows. The Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh is another one of CJ Phipps creations and was […]

Palace Theatre, the house of entertainment.

When I think of theatres I think of plays – comic, dramatic, tragic or controversial. Yet so many theatres began life entertaining with music, circus and pantomime. The Palace Theatre (not to be confused with the Victoria Palace) on Charing Cross Road, which was built in 1891, was no exception, it was originally called Royal […]

The Old Vic – for those who dare

It’s a nickname, Old Vic, and it’s been around for a long time, since at least 1880. It stands for Royal Victoria Theatre. But that wasn’t its first name. Just like the Royal family, the theatre had a Germanic name – Royal Coburg Theatre. Designed in 1818 by Rudolph Cabanel, a German architect, the theatre […]

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