UK – Liverpool – Royal Court Theatre

Dates: October 1938 – present 

From a plaque in the foyer:
Opened as Cooke’s New Circus, 27th February 1826
Remodelled and Named Cooke’s Royal Amphitheatre of Arts in 1830
Remodelled and Named Royal Court Theatre and Reopened September 1881
Acquired by Robert Arthur Theatres Company Ltd July 1897
Entirely Rebuilt and Opened October 1938
Acquired by Howard & Wyndham Ltd 30th April 1941
(Chairman and Managing Director A.Stewart Cruikshank)
To Commemorate the completion of the restoration of this theatre by Liverpool Royal Court Theatre Foundation together with the people of Merseyside 19 October 2001

Official website: https://liverpoolsroyalcourt.com/the-building/

The building has been refurbished to improve front of house and the auditorium as well as upgrading backstage areas.

Equipment

From The British Theatre Directory, 1987-88
Proscenium Stage: Flat. Pros opening 9.74m, Ht Pros 8.98m. Depth from S/line 12.18m. Ht grid 17.97m. 70 lines cwt. Flying ht 17.67m, length bars 12.18m. 
Switchboard: Strand Grand Master 94 Ways. FOH 12 x Patt.73, 8  x T84, 6 Battens 4 ccts each, floats 4 ccts 8 ends centres. 6 dips PS & OP. 2 Spot Bars 12 x Patt 743. Flood Bar 12 x Patt.49
Sound: BOSE PA FOH, 12 into 2 stereo mixer. FX Sprks PS & OP

Heritage Equipment

We’re hugely grateful to staff at the Royal Court for showing us around, and for preserving this wonderful heritage equipment. 

Lighting Control

The Grand Master lighting control is on a perch 8 feet in the air at the side of the stage (SR). It was in use until the 1980s (from 1938 when the venue opened), and is still in place now.
More photos and information about the Grand Master at Liverpool

Grand Master in context
Grand Master in context (June 2021)
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Grand Master front view
Grand Master front view (June 2021)
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Stage Machinery

The original 1938 revolve (10.52m wide) has recently been refurbished (?2017) and is regularly used.
The revolve fills the stage, with only around 2.5m downstage, and around 1m upstage clear of the revolve. 
A central pivot point under the stage supports the weight of the stage, and a wire rope around the outside runs through a winch to a (modernised) electric motor. 
More photos and information about the Revolve at Liverpool

Revolve at the Liverpool Royal Court Theatre, as seen from substage
Revolve at the Liverpool Royal Court Theatre, as seen from substage (June 2021)
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Trap Door in the Revolve
Trap Door in the Revolve (June 2021)
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Trap DSL

Drop & Slide original mechanism with a new lift mechanism 

Sunspot Arc Followspot

On display in upper circle foyer. 

Exhibits from this venue in the Backstage Heritage Collection

  • Grand Master at Liverpool Royal Court (1938)
  • Revolve at Liverpool Royal Court Theatre (1938)
  • Links to information about equipment at Royal Court Liverpool over the years

  • Grand Master Board (Strand)
  • Documents

    Photo: Grand Master at Liverpool Royal Court Theatre featuring Charlie Bristow
    Photo: Grand Master at Liverpool Royal Court Theatre featuring Charlie Bristow 
    Click on thumbnail to enlarge
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    From Frederick Brown Collection

    Royal Court Liverpool - Arthur Lloyd 
    [External Website]
    From Arthur Lloyd website

    ETNow - Royal Court Liverpool to save energy (September 2017)
    [External Website]
    From ETNow

    Location


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