The Theatre Royal, Wakefield is a beautiful Victorian Theatre built by the renowned theatre architect Frank Matcham who also designed the London Palladium, Hackney Empire and the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool. It was his smallest design (499 seats) but has all the feature associated with its larger sibblings.
The staff at the theatre are great. Most of the front of house staff are voluteers and work there for the love of it, and you can tell. Their in house professional pantomime each year doesn't have the money spent on it like the big commercial productions but makes up for all that with an enormous amount of talent and enthusiasm.
The variety of productions they presnt is only limited by it's size. You can't have a big budget West End production in a hall that size, the prices would be enormous.
Go and see something here. If you don't like the show you'll certainly fall in love with the building!
I have visited the Theatre Royal many times and in my opinion it's one of the nicest theatres you could visit. Yes, it's old, and yes, it's small (actually one of the reasons it's so special: I seem to remember hearing somewhere it's the smallest surviving theatre Frank Matchem built). However, it is really unique and has a character that I think exceeds that of the bigger theatres in London's west end. There is a real feeling of history, added to by the beautiful architecture and interior design. The small size means you get a decent view wherever you sit, and they have a good range of shows - from music tribute acts to serious dramas, comedy and pantomimes! The theatre also has a good (though rather miniature) cafe, and does sell absolutely fantastic ice cream during the intervals. Only small complaint is that they could do with a few more toilets to avoid the queues!
I've seen a number of shows at the Theatre Royal, all of them with enjoyment, a number on the yearly week's/fortnight's 'season ticket' offer, where you can get a discounted ticket to get in on multiple nights. (A very good offer that results in exposure to shows you might never have seen otherwise, which I think is a very stimulating cross-pollinating experience). The place is on a fairly small scale, the bar is tiny (and busy!), and the seats up in the boxes and 'gods' fairly cramped. This isn't so bad if you're a little female, but was often not so good for my long-legged male companion. He toughed it out, though, helped by beer and the excellent ice-cream sold at the Royal. It's well worth a visit, and again I especially recommend the multiple-nights tickets.
My 5 year old son and I took a first visit to this theatre at Christmas to see Beauty and the Beast. We parked a few streets up from the theatre and this was pay and display. We then walked the short distance back down to the entrance. I found the ticket prices to be reasonable. The theatre is lovely inside, very ornate with stained glass and plenty of original features. We sat on the middle tier at the front. I was warned that there wasn't much leg room at the front, but we were fine.
The stage was very clear to see and the theatre was just the right size, as you could see everything clearly from every angle. The production itself was a lot more professional than I expected and kept my son completely entertained for a few hours.
All of the staff were very friendly and helpful. The bar served well priced drinks and squash for the children.
I liked it so much, I have booked to go again, this time for an adults night though. Plenty on throughout the year, and you can book online. Well worth a visit.
I got married on stage at this Theatre, we were the first Wedding there and it couldnt have gone any better. The staff were fantastic, all my guests loved the unusual and original choice of Wedding venue and the Theatre is so pretty and dramatic it made the perfect venue, all my guests were seated in the stalls and the Wedding party on the stage. A perfect dream wedding. Well worth a visit as its such a historic building. Thankyou for making our day so perfect!
If you come to Wakefield via train and walk out of the station up Westgate you will hit this impressive building only a minutes walk from the main entrance. That's how easy it is to find Wakefield Theatre Royal and Opera House. It is a good sized theatre and I have been there a few times, both times to see musicals, but I remember going to see pantos there when I was small. It's been modernised since and is fully accessible to disabled users and people with buggies. The prices are good and the range of attractions is good, something for kids and something for grown ups too. There is parking nearby and you can get to the bus station in only 10 minutes too. Well worth the visit.
It is just a wonderful building that stages some super shows - watch out for the panto, annual drama festival and the youth musicals - all are treats!
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