Visitors are invited to discover a fascinating world of first nights, props, costumes and showbiz from days gone by when Richmond’s Georgian Theatre Royal opens its doors next week for the start of a new season of tours.
The Georgian Theatre Experience - which tells the story of the UK’s oldest working theatre in its original form – is one of the region’s newest tourist attractions having re-launched in July 2016 following an extensive redevelopment programme.
The attraction has been a huge hit with locals and tourists alike and finished last season (alternating with Richmond Castle) as the first of 23 things to do in the town on the popular online tourist site Trip Advisor.
This year’s tour season starts on Monday 13 February with guided visits running on the hour from 10.00am until 4pm, Monday to Saturday, until mid-November.
Visitors to The Georgian Theatre Experience are able to take a full guided tour of the auditorium, dressing rooms and stage, as well as spend time in the state-of-the-art exhibition area. This not only reveals what life was like for a Georgian actor but also conjures the sights and sounds of eighteenth century England in a rural market town.
The exhibition is home to the recently restored Woodland Scene – Britain’s oldest surviving stage scenery painted between 1818 and 1836 – as well as old playbills, scripts and photographs. There are also opportunities to dress up in authentic costumes and even tread the boards of the historic stage itself.
“We are looking forward to welcoming lots of visitors to the Theatre in the months ahead and are excited to be embarking on our first full season since our re-opening last summer,” said Clare Allen, Chief Executive of The Georgian Theatre Royal. “Each tour is led by one of our amazing volunteer guides who enthusiastically bring the Theatre to life with entertaining tales of those who were both on and off the stage.
“Many people know us as a popular performance venue but equally we are an important daytime heritage attraction. Indeed, the two go hand-in-hand and often visitors touring the Theatre find themselves sharing the excitement of a performance in rehearsal as they step inside the auditorium,” she added.
The Georgian Theatre Experience can be accessed from the main entrance of the Theatre on Victoria Road. Entrance costs only £5 per person (£2 for children) and tickets are valid for 12 months to enable repeat visits.