The New Theatre

York Theatre Royal

Plays were performed throughout the 18th century.  In the early years, strolling players staged productions at St Anthony’s Hall, while plays were put on in the market hall after it was built in 1705.

A stage was constructed in Lord Ingram’s mansion in 1734 with the support of the corporation.

It was 1744 when the first playhouse was built on the site of the present Theatre Royal, over and among the ruins of the medieval St Leonard’s Hospital.  It was enlarged 20 years later to seat 550.  The theatre has seen various improvements since and now seats 1400.

Tate Wilkinson took over what was known as the New Theatre in 1766, and under his stewardship it went on to great success.  It was granted a Royal Patent in 1769 and was renamed the Theatre Royal.

Famous actors like Mrs Siddons and John Philip Kemble appeared regularly.


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