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GO Theatre In Nottingham

Theatre in Nottingham After a hard day sightseeing, it’s time to sit back, put your feet up and be entertained at one of Nottingham’s top theatre venues.

If a hit musical extravaganza direct from the West End sets your pulse racing then book your seat at the city’s Theatre Royal [map], which is part of the Royal Centre complex.

Built in 1865 at a cost of £15,000, the Royal was designed by architect C.J Phipps and was dubbed one of the most luxurious theatres of its day. During the 1920s and 30s the theatre played host to numerous Hollywood-style musicals and pantomimes, along with exciting new drama, opera and dance. However, by the late 1960's it had become run down and had a reputation for some of the worst backstage conditions in the country. So in 1969, Nottingham City Council bought the building and set about restoring it to its former glory.

The beautifully renovated Theatre Royal as we know it today reopened in 1978, boasting elegant foyers and bars, a 1,186 seat auditorium and technically upgraded backstage facilities. Now regarded as one of the best touring venues in the country, the theatre now attracts major touring dramas, operas, ballets, West End musicals and stages an annual pantomime.

Right next door to the Theatre Royal you’ll find the Royal Concert Hall [map] on the site of the old Empire Theatre, which was demolished in 1969. This state-of-the-art concert hall opened to much acclaim in 1982, boasting an air-conditioned auditorium for 2,499 people and a versatile sound and lighting system. Now one of the country’s most popular concert venues, the Royal Concert Hall plays host to leading orchestras, comedians and dance acts, along with rock bands and international pop stars.

Situated on Wellington Circus, the Nottingham Playhouse [map] is the city’s other premiere theatre venue, which stages contemporary drama and dance productions.

The Playhouse was originally housed in a converted cinema in Goldsmith Street, where it won a loyal local following and national acclaim for its creative productions. In the 1950s the theatre moved to its present home, which was granted Grade II* listed building status in 1996. The Playhouse’s auditorium seats 750 people making it an ideal setting for more intimate dramas, concerts and exhibitions.

Outside on the forecourt is the hugely popular Sky Mirror sculpture, which was designed by Anish Kapoor, which has won national praise.

Established in 1948, the Nottingham Arts Theatre [map] on George Street is a registered charity providing entertainment, training and development to the world of performing arts. These days more than 250 volunteers produce and perform in the eight-show season, bringing some of the best classic and contemporary dramas, operas, musicals and pantomimes to the city’s stage.

And if all that is not enough to keep you going, why not check out the Lakeside Arts Centre [map] on the University of Nottingham campus. Here you’ll find the Djanolgy Theatre, which hosts a magnificent programme of visiting contemporary drama, dance, jazz and world music, as well as literary events and foreign language film screenings.

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