The Royal Court, Liverpool
The site of the Royal Court Theatre has been at the heart of Liverpool culture for nearly 200 years. It was first opened in 1826 as Cookes New Circus and renamed in 1831 as Cooke’s Amphitheatre of Arts, presenting a programme of
opera, music, theatre and ballet.
It was renamed the Royal Court Theatre in 1881. and was the number one touring venue in Liverpool for popular theatre until the 1970s. Some of the great names that appeared on stage during this period include Vivien Leigh,
John Gielgud, Lawrence Olivier, Yul Brynner, Margot Fonteyn, and Ralph Richardson. Dame Judi Dench made her acting debut at the Royal Court in 1957 and has recently agreed to be a Patron of the Trust, supporting its
campaign to renovate the theatre.
The theatre was destroyed by fire in 1933 and rebuilt in 1938 in the current Art Deco style of the era. The theatre has exemplary acoustics and sight-lines and boasts the biggest revolve stage outside of the West End
After 1976 the theatre was primarily used as a rock venue , hosting big names such as R.E.M, David Bowie and Oasis, and then as a comedy venue.
The theatre has undergone a renaissance in the last three years. The current operating company have developed a unique style of theatre for Liverpool audiences (and increasingly audiences from outside of the region),
that is produced in Liverpool, starring Liverpool actors, and written by Liverpool writers – and it is proving a huge success.
In the last year alone, over 200,000 people have visited the theatre and experienced its unique atmosphere.