The 5 best Glasgow Theatres
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The first buildings used for theatrical performances in Scotland were amphitheatres introduced by the Romans in Newstead (Scottish Borders) and Inveresk (East Lothian), who copied theatres from ancient Greece.
But Glasgow modern theatres as we enjoy now can be found from 1843. The Theatres Act removed the existing patent monopoly and allowed a theatre license to be granted to any person, encouraging the building of new theatres.
During the following decades, many theatres were demolished and replaced by larger halls to accommodate larger audiences.
In 1895 Howard & Wyndham Ltd was founded in Glasgow. The company was a theatre owning, production and management company that owned the Theatre Royal Glasgow. It also built and opened the King’s Theatre in Glasgow in 1904.
In the 1960s, Howard & Wyndham Ltd sold its theatres in Glasgow to the city council, except the Alhambra Theatre Glasgow (closed in 1969).
After World War II, television and cinema led to decreasing audiences, which resulted in the demolition of many theatres while others were converted to different uses. Just a few survived.
In the 1960s and 70s, local councils were the main builders of new theatres, often integrated into civic complexes that included other amenities and were built in a more functional architectural style.
Admire the Theatre Royal
Located in the corner of Hope Street and Cowcaddens Road, it is the oldest theatre in Glasgow and the largest in Scotland still in operation. It was opened in 1867 as the Royal Colosseum & Opera House but in 1869 the name changed to the Theatre Royal.
Designed by George Bell and destroyed by fire in 1879, this A listed building was purchased by the Scottish Opera in 1974, Ambassador Theatre Group took over the management of the Theatre in 2005.
Since 2012 a transformation has begun, keeping the Victorian auditorium and adding a stylish contemporary building extension with metal, concrete and glass panels.
The Theatre Royal presents a wide variety of drama, dance, comedy, opera and musical theatre.
Oldest theatre in Glasgow, the largest in Scotland.
Visit the King’s Theatre
The King’s Theatre was designed by the architect Frank Matcham and opened on 12 September 1904. It is located in the corner of Bath Street and Elmbank Street.
It was built of blocks carved of Dumfriesshire red sandstone and even after various restorations and renovations remaintaines much of the original class of the interior. It seats 1758 people in a free mix of Baroque and Rococo. and is watched over by Peely and Wally, the two cherubs at the peak of the arch above the stage.
Glasgow City Council is the current owner of this A-listed building and since 2002 Ambassador Theatre Group has taken the management, presenting first class musicals and pantomime alongside a wider range of drama, dance and comedy.
Possibly the best UK Christmas pantomime to be seen there.
Enjoy Citizens Theatre
The Citizens Theatre, based just south of the Clyde in the Gorbals area and designed by Campbell Douglas,was opened in 1878 as the Royal Princess’s Theatre.
The building has supported a lot of renovations and expansions but still remains some of the original Victorian architectural features as the arch stage and the oldest original working understage machinery in the United Kingdom. Now it includes a main auditorium, and two studio theatres.
When it opened, the theatre presented melodrama, variety and pantomimes.Currently shows mixture of contemporary versions of classic plays and new Scottish drama and produces from professional productions to participatory work with amateur people.
The oldest original working understage machinery in the UK.
Discover The Pavilion Theatre
The Pavilion Theatre, designed by Bertie Crewe, was opened as a music hall at the corner of Renfield Street and Renfrew Street in 1904, and is one of Glasgow’s oldest theatres.
The theatre has been altered little since its inception. The facade was designed in a French Renaissance style, using salmon-pink terracotta, and the interior features Rococo terrazzo flooring, lead light glazing and mahogany wood finish.
It is protected as a category A listed building and is the only privately run theatre in Scotland and one of a few independent theatres in the UK. The theatre mainly runs populist productions, variety plays, melodrama and pantomimes, as well as alternative comedians and touring bands on the ‘nostalgia’ circuit.
The only privately run theatre in Scotland.
Go ´A Play, a Pie and a Pint´ at Òran Mór
Situated on the corner of Byres Road and Great Western Road, opposite the Botanic Gardens, Kelvinside Parish Church was built in 1862 by J.J. Stevenson.
Closed and refurbished in 2002, it reopened its doors as Òran Mór in 2004. Currently, Òran Mór, Gaelic words meaning ‘great melody of life’ or ‘big song’, is a cultural centre, meeting place and entertainment venue in the heart of Glasgow’s West End. It contains two bars, two restaurants, a nightclub and a private event space available for hire.
The theatre space is situated in the basement venue area of Òran Mór and presents the successful “A Play, A Pie and A Pint” seasons offering 38 new plays a year since 2004.
Huge successful ´A play, a pie and a pint´ seasons.
Research led by SUZANNAH HENDERSON ׀
Date of the Research: 16-30 MARCH 2018 ׀
Publication date: 31 MARCH 2018
Review date: 31 MARCH 2019
Scope of the research & essential inclusion criteria:
|It exists today.||Open to the public.|
3 Exterior condition.
4 Interior condition.
5 Diversity of the productions.
6 Number of productions.
7 Quality of the productions.
9 Stage visibility.
12 Public relevance.
Premium Validation criteria:
15 Visit tours.
16 Theatre promotion.
18 Friendly staff.
19 Other activities.
20 Other features.