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Old Theatre Royal

What is it?

Built in 1750, it was the most important theatre outside of London, especially for the period 1790-1805, before the new Theatre Royal opened in Beaufort Square. The building became a Roman Catholic chapel in 1809 before being converted for use as the Freemasons' Hall in 1866. [Forsyth 2003

Where is it in Bath?

The building is in Old Orchard Street:
Location of plaque at old Theatre Royal

Old Theatre Royal plaque

The text reads

"This building, erected in 1750, was formerly the Theatre Royal managed by the celebrated John Palmer, M.P. originator of the mail coach system and holder of the first Royal Patent ever granted to a provincial theatre.  To its stock company, for a period of four years (1778-82) belonged the renowned Sarah Siddons, with her husband and sister. Here also appeared her brothers John Philip Kemble and Stephen Kemble. Here John Henderson and R.W. Ellison both made their first appearances on the stage and were for a long time leading actors. Samuel Foote, George Frederick Cooke, William Dimond, Benjamin Incledon, George and Mrs Bartley, and many other famous players also acted in this theatre, which was closed in 1805. This tablet was erected by the Corporation of Bath 1937."

Location map of plaque:
Old Theatre Royal plaque location map



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