Box Office: 01904 623568

Search

Search by Genre

Drama

Under Milk Wood

Under Milk Wood

Tue 22 Apr - Sat 26 Apr

A Number

A Number

Thu 01 May - Sat 24 May

David Copperfield

David Copperfield

Tue 27 May

Blithe Spirit

Blithe Spirit

Fri 09 May - Sat 31 May

Morecambe

Morecambe

Tue 03 Jun - Sat 07 Jun

The Book

The Book

Thu 05 Jun - Sat 07 Jun

Mystery Plays For Our Age

Mystery Plays For Our Age

Fri 06 Jun - Sun 08 Jun

Chariots Of Fire

Chariots Of Fire

Mon 16 Jun - Sat 21 Jun

Cis And Barbiche

Cis And Barbiche

Thu 03 Jul - Sat 05 Jul

A Taste Of Honey

A Taste Of Honey

Tue 08 Jul - Sat 12 Jul

Thirty Little Plays About Life

Thirty Little Plays About Life

Fri 11 Jul - Sat 12 Jul

Summer Showcase

Summer Showcase

Sat 12 Jul

Family

Monday's Child

Monday's Child

Tue 22 Apr - Tue 10 Jun

Tube

Tube

Tue 10 Jun

Science Museum Live: The Energy Show

Science Museum Live: The Energy Show

Wed 11 Jun - Thu 12 Jun

Peter And The Wolf

Peter And The Wolf

Fri 13 Jun

Singamajigs

Singamajigs

Tue 04 Mar - Tue 01 Jul

Story Makers

Story Makers

Wed 19 Feb - Wed 09 Jul

Sing and Sign Stage 1 (6-18 Months)

Sing and Sign Stage 1 (6-18 Months)

Mon 17 Feb - Mon 21 Jul

Sing And Sign Stage 2 (1 - 2½ Years)

Sing And Sign Stage 2 (1 - 2½ Years)

Mon 17 Feb - Mon 21 Jul

The Wind In The Willows

The Wind In The Willows

Thu 31 Jul - Sat 30 Aug

Old Mother Goose

Old Mother Goose

Thu 11 Dec - Sat 31 Jan

Comedy

Under Milk Wood

Under Milk Wood

Tue 22 Apr - Sat 26 Apr

Blithe Spirit

Blithe Spirit

Fri 09 May - Sat 31 May

Morecambe

Morecambe

Tue 03 Jun - Sat 07 Jun

Dance

Pantomime

Old Mother Goose

Old Mother Goose

Thu 11 Dec - Sat 31 Jan

Contemporary Drama

Away From Home

Away From Home

Thu 29 May - Fri 30 May

The Book

The Book

Thu 05 Jun - Sat 07 Jun

General

A Number

A Number

Thu 01 May - Sat 24 May

Blithe Spirit

Blithe Spirit

Fri 09 May - Sat 31 May

The Book

The Book

Thu 05 Jun - Sat 07 Jun

Community Amateur

The Gondoliers

The Gondoliers

Sat 26 Apr

Words & Whippets

Words & Whippets

Wed 28 May

Pinocchio The Musical

Pinocchio The Musical

Wed 25 Jun - Sat 28 Jun

Avenue Q

Avenue Q

Tue 24 Jun - Sat 28 Jun

Rehearsed Reading

Music

Musicals

Toni And The Guys

Toni And The Guys

Fri 20 Jun - Sat 21 Jun

Avenue Q

Avenue Q

Tue 24 Jun - Sat 28 Jun

Opera

Tales of Love

Tales of Love

Wed 04 Jun - Fri 06 Jun

Childrens

Monday's Child

Monday's Child

Tue 22 Apr - Tue 10 Jun

Tube

Tube

Tue 10 Jun

Science Museum Live: The Energy Show

Science Museum Live: The Energy Show

Wed 11 Jun - Thu 12 Jun

Peter And The Wolf

Peter And The Wolf

Fri 13 Jun

Singamajigs

Singamajigs

Tue 04 Mar - Tue 01 Jul

Story Makers

Story Makers

Wed 19 Feb - Wed 09 Jul

Sing and Sign Stage 1 (6-18 Months)

Sing and Sign Stage 1 (6-18 Months)

Mon 17 Feb - Mon 21 Jul

Sing And Sign Stage 2 (1 - 2½ Years)

Sing And Sign Stage 2 (1 - 2½ Years)

Mon 17 Feb - Mon 21 Jul

The Wind In The Willows

The Wind In The Willows

Thu 31 Jul - Sat 30 Aug

Physical Theatre

Workshop

Spiltmilk say Dance

Spiltmilk say Dance

Wed 21 May

Words & Whippets

Words & Whippets

Wed 28 May

Poetry Workshop

Poetry Workshop

Wed 28 May

Play In A Day

Play In A Day

Thu 29 May

Project Q

Project Q

Fri 21 Feb - Fri 30 May

Singamajigs

Singamajigs

Tue 04 Mar - Tue 01 Jul

Play Reading Circle

Play Reading Circle

Wed 19 Feb - Wed 02 Jul

Story Makers

Story Makers

Wed 19 Feb - Wed 09 Jul

Sing and Sign Stage 1 (6-18 Months)

Sing and Sign Stage 1 (6-18 Months)

Mon 17 Feb - Mon 21 Jul

Sing And Sign Stage 2 (1 - 2½ Years)

Sing And Sign Stage 2 (1 - 2½ Years)

Mon 17 Feb - Mon 21 Jul

Behind the Stage Door: Exploring York Theatre Royal, Part III

Tue 30 Oct 2012

Behind the Stage Door: Exploring York Theatre Royal, Part III

n a setting of mushroom-inspired architecture, stuffed with ghost stories, superstitions and hidden confectionary in every crevice, the story of one of York’s most significant artistic hubs has almost played out to its final act in parts I and II of the ‘Exploring York Theatre Royal’ series. Yet before the orchestra pack their bags and the heavy crimson curtains meet on this tour led by Head of Communications, Abbi Wright, more faces of this shapeshifting space and one of York’s most glamorous secrets must be revealed.

Steeped in Victorian tradition, the Theatre Royal auditorium as we see it today still rings with the opulent charm of yesteryear with the fixed proscenium stage, rich red seats and those secluded stage boxes from which audiences would enjoy variety acts, farces, musicals and the cycle of performances presented by rep companies. But whilst the audience may be able to sprawl contentedly in their seats, the performers on the York Theatre Royal stage are tasked to work extra hard, manoeuvring their way across what is one of the highest raked (or sloped) stages in the country. Raked so greatly because of skewed sight sightlines in the theatre, many companies, including Birmingham Royal Ballet, have to take extra rehearsals upon this stage so as to avoid any ballerina accidentally sliding into the orchestra pit.

Yet whilst the auditorium itself may still be enraptured in the Victorian past, behind the stage lurks an even earlier period of history. For here sits a reminder of York’s all-pervading medieval past with a Roman well situated below the stage boards on which so many actors have tread. Moving behind the stage, a wall reveals arrow slits thought to be left from the days when York defended the Royal Mint. Set up prior to the Viking invasions in England, coins, and most famously farthings, continued to be produced in our city throughout the Saxon and Norman period making it surely York’s hottest spot for a metal detector roam ever.

Therefore very literally built on money in a time of land struggles, another part of the theatre that shares a very similar history is the De Grey Rooms. Snuggled alongside the theatre and today used primarily as a rehearsal space, the De Grey rooms, built in 1841-2 and designed by famed railway architect George Townsend Andrews, were originally used as a social and events meeting place for the Yorkshire Hussars. Named after Thomas Philip de Grey, a colonel-commandant of the regiment, the rooms later played host to a programme of non-military revels, concerts, balls and dances whilst also serving at one stage as a doctor’s surgery (certainly the poshest doctors' I've ever seen). Purchased by the York Conservation Trust in 2005 and given a pricey face-lift, the upstairs ballroom, a heady glittering space of twinkling chandeliers and Disney-like fantasy, is now used as a space for weddings, functions and swing dancing.

And for such a sparkling space that undoubtedly owes itself to the little-needed excuse to get glammed up, the theatre’s costume department is nearby at hand with the basement of the De Grey Rooms opening up to a treasure trove of theatrical outfitting. Lining the descent to the costume cellar, sketches bursting with colour and imaginative extravagance preface the mine of costumes, big and small, understated and overstated, which line rack after rack in this secret little girl’s paradise.

And with that the curtain goes down on The Yorker's nosy around of York Theatre Royal. But this is most certainly not the final act for this building with ambitious plans already in place for a major renovation that will change the face of this nationally acclaimed theatre once again for the 21st century.

Read the article on The Yorker website.

 

click here to find out more