Records relating to the Theatre Royal, Hull



Admin History:
The Theatre Royal was opened on Finkle Street in 1769 by an independent stage company owned by Thomas Keregan. The then manager of the company, Tate Wilkinson, oversaw the building of the theatre. The seasons lasted from Oct-Jan and were the second longest of the circuit. The original building was rather inadequate. The street was too narrow and the stage too shallow for the elaborate melodramas so it was replaced in 1810 by another building, designed by Charles Mountain, the younger, on Humber Street. John Wilkinson, Tate's son, was the manager during the period 1803-1814. The Humber Street building's auditorium consisted of a pit, two galleries and two tiers of dress boxes, which could hold some 1700 people, and the upper gallery ran around the whole house. In Oct 1859 the building suffered a huge fire leaving it derelict until it was rebuilt in 1865. 1869 saw another fire rip through and totally destroy the theatre once more after a performance of Robinson Crusoe. Paragon Street became the Theatre Royal's home from 1871-1909 housing 1500 people. It was a small stuccoed structure of the same design as the Globe, London which contained a pit, a dress circle, and six boxes on the first floor, and upper boxes and a gallery on the second. The stage was 40ft deep and 60ft wide, and the ceiling was domed. The Theatre Royal ceased all activity in 1909 when the Paragon Street building eventually closed. It reopened as the Tivoli Music Hall on 5 Aug 1912. The Tivoli survived bomb damage during the Second World War, but closed for live stage shows in 1954.