Theatre opened on 6 June 1807

Theatre Royal, Brighton
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Please note that this text is an extract from a reference work written in 1990.  As a result, some of the content may not reflect recent research, changes and events.

a) ESTABLISHMENT: The town’s principal theatre was built for Mr Hewitt Cobb at a cost of £12,000 to replace his Duke Street theatre. The foundation stone was laid on 24 September 1806 by the manager, John Brunton, and the classical building, with its three-storey facade and Doric colonnade, opened on 6 June 1807 simply as the ‘new theatre’. An audience of about 1,200 could be accommodated in the highly decorated interior, which had two tiers of boxes, and the first of many quality productions they saw were Hamlet and The Weather-Cock, with the celebrated Mr and Mrs Charles Kemble in the leading roles. Gas-lighting was installed in 1819.

Any numerical cross-references in the text above refer to resources in the Sources and Bibliography section of the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Tim Carder.

The following resource(s) is quoted as a general source for the information above: 123,235

Comments about this page

  • I have a postcard with a picture of Peggy Worth on a Theatre Royal, Brighton, postcard. She is in the play ‘Peggy, be careful!’ which started on December 10th, 1923. It is signed by her with a date of Dec. 17, 1923. Do you know anything about her? Was this her real name?

    By Pam Cowper (02/05/2005)
  • I have postcard of Marie Stevens from the Theatre Royal, Brighton, where she played ‘Little Bo Peep’ in pantomime 1866-1867. Does anyone know anything about her and for which theatrical troupe she belonged? Thank you.

    By Matt Newton (04/11/2005)
  • Hewitt Cobb, the owner of the Brighton Theatre/Theatre Royal from 1794 to 1822, was my 4 x Great Grand Uncle. My website here may be of interest.

    By Reg Mayhew (08/03/2007)
  • In 1774 the original barn which was used as a playhouse was replaced by a ‘more respectable’ building and, in 1777, Mr Fox of the Covent Garden Theatre became the leassee for 15 years, at the annual sum of £63. But, due to its success, the present building replaced the upgraded barn by Cobb who lived in Clements Hill, London and this new theatre was managed by a Mr Vinning.

    By Mark Farley (09/02/2009)
  • My Grandfather and Grandmother both worked at the Theatre Royal, my Grandfather was a carpenter who made scenery and my Grandmother was a seamstress making costumes for the people in the shows. My Grandfather was called Thomas Alfred Jarvis and my Grandmother was called Laura or Louisa Maud Jarvis (nee Taylor).  If anybody has any information that mentions their time at the Theatre Royal, could you e-mail me please as I am tracing that side of my dads family. Thank you kindly.

    By Theresa Whittle (28/04/2017)

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