Loving the Theatre Royal Brighton’s makeover

Grade II listed building ‘The Theatre Royal Brighton’ has revealed the fruits of its restoration project and it looks fabulous! The theatre which is managed by ATG entertainment have also unveiled a brand new sign and logo.

Since January 2023, a specialist team have been working to restore the columns and balcony that make up the colonnade facade on New Road to their historically authentic terracotta splendour.

Visitors to the theatre will soon be able to step out onto the balcony from the Royal Circle bar and patrons of The Colonnade Bar will be able to enjoy a drink sat outdoors under the colonnade.

We are incredibly proud of the long and rich history of our beautiful venue and are delighted to reach this huge milestone in our restoration project. This investment not only improves the experience of everyone visiting our venue in the present, but also protects the theatre for future generations to enjoy”.

Sophie Denney, Theatre Director of Theatre Royal Brighton

Grade II* listed Theatre Royal Brighton is one of the oldest and most distinguished theatres in the country. First established in 1764 and on its current site at the heart of Brighton’s cultural quarter since 1807, it has been in almost continual operation to the present day. It holds its listed status due to rarity of type and historic interest as the third oldest surviving purpose-built theatre in England. As a receiving house the theatre hosts a wide range of pre and post West End touring plays and musicals as well as ballet, opera, music, comedy, family shows and an extensive Creative Learning programme. According to Historic England “all great British actors have performed here and many international artists”.

The building itself is a visible record of changes in architectural taste and theatrical practice over the last two centuries. It was given its royal assent by The Prince Regent, an enthusiastic theatregoer, and opened on New Road on 26 June 1807 with a performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet starring Charles Kemble, one of the most famous actors of his day, in the title role. In 1866 the auditorium was redesigned and the gallery level added by architect C J Phipps. It was refronted in 1894 by C E Clayton and the auditorium was last re-decorated circa 1926 by Sprague and Barton. Until now… 

This multi-million-pound investment has extended to the interior of Theatre Royal Brighton. Work completed inside includes reseating the Stalls to increase comfort and accessible seating options, refurbishing the accessible toilet on the Stalls level, upgrading the Royal Circle toilets, refreshing the décor throughout the building and upgrading the electrics and plumbing. All of this is with the intention of future proofing the venue for generations to come and ensuring the comfort of all visiting patrons, cast and crew.

Programme of Events

The Colonnade Bar opening hours:
13:00 – 23:00 Sun – Thu & 13:00 – 00:00 Fri & Sat
Website: thecolonnadebrighton.co.uk

Theatre Royal Brighton Box Office opening hours:
Box office opens 90 minutes before the start of a performance and remains open 15 minutes after curtain up. In addition it is open on Thursdays from 12 – 4.30pm on non show days and 12 – 8pm on show days.