Theatre Royal, Wakefield
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|Theatre Royal and Opera House|
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Wakefield
Location within West Yorkshire
|Owner||Wakefield Theatre Trust|
|Years active||1894–1954, 1981 to present|
Today's theatre was designed in 1894 as the Wakefield Opera House, by theatre architect Frank Matcham, and was built for a price of £13,000. The Theatre Royal Wakefield is the smallest remaining of Matcham's theatres.
In the 1920s the theatre had to compete against cinemas and in the summer live shows were replaced by films. In 1954 the theatre closed and became a picture house, and a few years later, a bingo hall. However, in 1981 it reopened as the Wakefield Theatre Royal under chairman Sir Rodney Walker. Support was given to revitalise the theatre from city leaders and music and drama amateurs and professionals.
Theatre Royal Wakefield operates as both a producing and a receiving house. In 2011 British playwright John Godber joined the Theatre as Creative Director, and the Theatre now plays a producing role for The John Godber Company.
Theatre Royal Wakefield works with young people, with its Performance Academy operating across two sites in Wakefield and Pontefract. It runs dance, music and drama training for children aged from 5 to 19, and its youth company, Wakefield Youth Music Theatre, consists of local teenagers aged from 11 to 19.
- Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1258906)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
- "Theatre has a rich history". The Wakefield Express. Johnston Press. 22 August 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
- "Theatre Royal Wakefield". The Theatres Trust. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
- Woolman, Natalie (21 March 2011). "John Godber leaves Hull Truck for Wakefield Theatre Royal". The Stage. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
- "Theatre Closer to £2.6million Refurb". Wakefield Express. 21 October 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
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