The Music Hall and Theatre History Site
Dedicated to Arthur Lloyd, 1839 - 1904.


The Royal Globe Theatre, Newcastle Street, London

Also known as - The Globe Theatre

See Theatreland MapsThe Royal Globe Theatre was situated on Newcastle Street in London, and opened on Saturday the 5th of December 1868. The Building News and Engineering Journal reported briefly on the opening of the Theatre in their 11th of December 1868 edition saying:- 'The Globe Theatre, in Newcastle-street, Strand, which has been erected on part of the site of the unfinished Strand Hotel, was opened on Saturday week. The lessee, Mr. Sefton Parry, has been his own architect in the matter, he feeling himself qualified so to act from his large experiences of theatre building, both in England and America. Construction may not suffer by such an arrangement, but aesthetics may. The theatre is a circular building, thus in a degree conforming to its name. The boxes are on a level with the street pavement, but the pit and stage are 12ft. below the surface of the ground. The new house is about equal to the Olympic in size, but the accommodation is said to be far superior, and the ornamentation more attractive. Nearly 2,000 spectators can be accommodated, all of whom will have a clear view of the stage. The works were executed by Mr. S. Simpson, who also built the new Holborn theatre.'

The above text in quotes was first published in the Building News and Engineering Journal, 11th of December 1868.

The Royal Globe Theatre should not be confused with Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on the South Bank, or the previously named Globe Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, which is now called the Gielgud Theatre.

A Programme for 'Bootles' Baby' at the Globe Theatre on May the 8th 1888 - Click for details.

Above - A Programme for 'Bootles' Baby' at the Globe Theatre on May the 8th 1888 - More details below.

The Theatre was altered and redecorated in 1870 and reopened with a production of the farce 'Board and Residence' by Conway Edwards, and the romantic drama 'Marco Spada' by Palgrave Simpson. The ERA reported on the changes to the Theatre in their 9th of October 1870 edition saying:- 'Thoroughly redecorated, and partly reconstructed, this now very elegant and commodious Theatre opened last night for the season under the Management of Miss Alleyne, who for the first time occupies the important post of Theatrical Directress.

The improvements made in the interior are considerable, and are to be at once recognised. The closing in of the dress-circle not only enables the front of the house to assume a more elegant aspect, but removes that objectionable current of cold air which used to sweep round the corridor with the entrance of every box visitor.

The stalls are furnished with large lobbies, the seats in the pit have been advantageously re-arranged, and the ten new private boxes, which have been added, afford the moat luxurious comfort to the occupants. The ceiling has been raised, the "sunlight" placed in a much more desirable position, and new staircases constructed to lead to the upper boxes, which command an excellent view of the stage.

The plans, remarkable for their ingenuity, have been carried out under the entire direction of Mr. Walter Emden, architect; and with the elegant decorations by Mr. E. W. Bradwell, of Great Portland-street, most brilliantly and tastefully executed, the general effect is admirable, redounding greatly to the credit of both the gentlemen thus associated.

A most encouraging sign of the judgement of the new Manageress is the selection of Mr. Walter Lacy for the important post of Stage-Manager, and of Mr. W. S. Emden for the equally responsible position of Acting-Manager. Their long experience, and the high esteem in which they are respectively held by the public, will be of direct value to the new undertaking.'

The above text in quotes was first published in the ERA, 9th of October 1870.

The Theatre was again altered in 1890, this time to the designs of the well known Theatre Architect C. J. Phipps. The Theatre's owner at the time, George Paget, had the Theatre altered in the interest of safety. The changes were chiefly about adding additional exits, and a new and larger approach to the stalls, but a display of old china was also added in the main entrance, and a tapestry was installed at the back of the dress circle.

Programme for 'The Glass Of Fashion' at The Royal Globe Theatre - Monday 26th November, 1883.In the book 'Old and New London', published in 1897, they carried a piece on the Globe Theatre which read:- 'The property of "Lyons Inn" was sold about the Year 1863, and on its site now stand two theatres, the Globe," as if in memory of Shakespeare's theatre and the "Opera Comique."

Right - A Programme for 'The Glass Of Fashion' at The Royal Globe Theatre on Monday the 26th of November, 1883.

The Globe Theatre which covers its western portion, was built and opened in 1868. It has a narrow frontage in Newcastle Street. On this site the Architectural Association had its first home. The theatre was built from the instructions of Mr. Sefton Parry, the proprietor, and will seat 1,500 persons. The auditorium is effectively decorated in relief, and has a domed ceiling, with a sunlight in the centre.

Programme for 'The Pickpocket' at The Royal Globe Theatre - Sunday 27th November, 1886.The site having been excavated very considerably for the proposed hotel, the floor of the pit has been made many feet below the line of the street, and is approached by a steep flight of steps from Wych Street. In Wych Street also are the entrances to the gallery stairs, and that to the "royal box".

Left - A Programme for 'The Pickpocket' at The Royal Globe Theatre on Sunday the 27th of November, 1886.

The ordinary boxes are entered from Newcastle Street, and are on a level with the street, so that stairs are avoided. Here, too, enter the occupants of the stalls. The seats are all fairly commodious, and conveniently placed, so that all that is passing on the stage can be distinctly seen and heard from any part of the house. The house opened with Mr. H. J. Byron's comedy of "Cyril's Success," which in itself proved a great success from a financial point of view.'

The above textual extract in quotes was first published in 'Old And New London' in 1897.

Whych Street 1901 - Click to enlargeSee Theatreland MapsThe Globe Theatre was demolished when London's Aldwych, named after the Old Wych Street, was constructed.This vast operation began in the last years of the nineteenth century and was not finally completed until after the First World War. Four theatres were demolished during the early stages of the work. The Olympic Theatre in Wych Street and the Opera Comique in the Strand were closed in 1899, the Globe Theatre in Newcastle Street shut its doors in 1902. This was followed by the closure of the Gaiety Theatre in the Strand in June of the same year.

Detail from a Programme for 'Bootles' Baby' at the Globe Theatre on May the 8th 1888

Above - A page from a Programme for 'Bootles' Baby' at the Globe Theatre on May the 8th 1888

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