The Theatre Royal, 1935

“Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
There’s a land that I’ve heard of once in a lullaby…”

Project Overview

The 1935 Theatre Royal was synonymous with dreams of an ideal world and ‘joie de vivre’: a place where one could escape to, relax and spend hours entertained by magical stage shows, music and films, as well as eating and drinking and socialising within the venue’s tea rooms and bars. Its magnificent decor, dazzling lighting system that bathed the auditorium in a multitude of different colours and bespoke illuminated Compton Organ with a full orchestral repertoire, that rose from the pit in a rainbow of lights, encapsulated the very spirit and atmosphere of this type of venue, which was built across the British Isles at this time: the 1935 Theatre Royal was the largest of its kind in this region.

As part of this project a digital visualisation of the Theatre Royal on its opening night, 23rd September 1935, will be created from surviving historical sources that have been discovered to date. The work represents the first ever undertaking in tackling the challenge of collating, piecing together and synthesising many different types of historical evidence to begin digitally reconstructing this complex and intriguing building, which still lives so vividly in the minds of a huge section of the population. The newly created visualisation will be used for the oral history aspect of research: former staff, performers and audience members, will be invited to interactively explore the digital model. By using virtual spaces to stimulate memories it is hoped to acquire a better understanding of the role of simulated architectural spaces in shaping the theatrical experience-as-remembered. At the same time, it is hoped that these reminiscences may help to augment aspects and areas of the digital model for which there are currently incomplete primary sources to model from. 

Research and Visualisation

About the Theatre

Theatre Royal Art

Conserving Sources

Visualisation Evidence

Modelling the Theatre

Coming Soon

Art Deco Facade

Oral History

Moorish Interior



FP7Supported by the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme