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History

Built on its current site in 1805, the Theatre Royal Bath is one of the oldest working theatres in the country.

1705 Bath’s first theatre was built by George Trim, a small and cramped theatre which made little or no profit.

1738 Thirty years later the theatre was demolished, to make room for a building that was to become the Mineral Water Hospital. Some plays were perfomed during this time at Simpson’s Rooms.

1723 ‘The New Theatre’, in Kingsmead Street, opened – closing for the last time in 1751. Just before its closure the Prince and Princess of Wales patronised the theatre.

1750 A new theatre, in Orchard Street, opened on 27th October , with a performance of Shakespeare’s Henry IV.

1768 By a special act of parliament a Royal Patent was granted. Bath has a Theatre Royal for the first time. It is also the first ‘Theatre Royal’ outside London. The Theatre’s repuation was growing, and a season in Bath was as important for famous actors as a London billing.

1804 Plans for a new and improved Theatre in Beaufort Square are made.

1805 Orchard Street Theatre closed, to be converted into a Catholic church in 1809. Today it is a Masonic Hall.

Just one year from its conception, the new building was completed. It was designed by George Dance, professor of architecture at the Royal Academy. The theatre opened on 12th October 1805 with a performance of Richard III.



 

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