1774 – An Enlarged House - Old Theatre Royal

In 1774, the Theatre Royal in Old Orchard Street was enlarged and remodelled to cope with the growing demand from theatre-goers.   The work was well received, as can be gathered from this contemporary letter to the ‘Bath Journal’ from “An Old Inhabitant”

The house is in every respect highly improved both in convenience and beauty.  The considerable enlargement of it backwards has enabled it to accommodate more Company.  The heat formerly so complained of will be deferr’d by a new ventilator erected at the top of the building; this will supply a quantity of fresh air equally diffus’d over the whole house.  In cold weather it will, I suppose, be kept shut.

The House is likewise now furnished with a large Lobby or Crush Room and proper Retiring Rooms; the Pit is rose higher, and the space betwixt the seats enlarg’d and made more convenient.  The Dome that was so injurious in many parts of the Theatre both to the sight and hearing, and its furniture of Apollo and the Muses, so preposterously mix’d with the Gothic architecture, is remov’d.

The Grecian Orders are now introduc’d, so much more proper to a Theatre than the Gothic.  The Stage itself appears much enlarg’d, and the whole building improv’d in such a manner that not only the Performers, but the Audience appear to greater advantage.