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The Theatre Royal, Anlaby Road, Hull

Hull Theatres Index

The Theatre Royal on Anlaby Road, Hull opened in November 1869 and was built to replace the old Theatre Royal on Humber Street which had been destroyed by fire on the 6th of February 1869.

The ERA reported on the Anlaby Road Theatre in their 19th of November 1869 edition saying:- 'The vacancy left in our town by the destruction of the old theatre promises to be worthily replaced by the new building on the Anlaby-road. The artisans are still hard at work upon its decoration and improvement, and although now open for dramatic representations which have been well attended during the week, Monday next will see the completion of the new arrangements for the better lighting of this large building; and the addition of orchestra stalls and pit stalls, for the higher classes of its patrons, who have hitherto only been provided with seats in the dress circle, a considerable distance from the stage. This will be a great improvement, in affording a range of prices suitable to all classes of society.

In cold weather the building is kept comfortably warm by hot air pipes, and the stage is being fitted with all the modern inventions and resources to ensure display and effect. The manager, Mr White, seems determined to spare no pains to ensure the comfort of, and polite attention to, visitors; and the proprietor, Mr Duval, may be congratulated upon having secured his valuable aid, his intention being to secure the latest and most popular of London successes, either in stars or dramas, regardless of expense.

The extra "attractions" commence on Monday next, with Miss Edith Sandford and her wonderfully-trained horse "Etna," in the romantic and spectacular drama "Firefly," which will be produced with new scenery, magnificent costumes, and a large staff of auxiliaries. Miss Sandford's representations have excited such enthusiasm in London, Sheffield, Liverpool, Glasgow, Leeds, and other provincial towns - on many occasions hundreds having been unable to gain admission - and the press have so unanimously praised her in her triple capacity as authoress, actress, and equestrienne, that we cannot doubt a similar success awaits her here, and that "Firefly" will prove one of the greatest attractions the management could have secured. The drama itself, replete with interest and startling situations, terminates with a "great fire scene," in the construction of which no less than three tons of platforms and scenery are employed, which Miss Sandford brings with her. The scene represents the Falls of Arva, near Algiers, attained by a precipitous path up a cliff, covered with tropical foliage, which, fired by an attack upon the French camp by the Arabs, is ascended by "Firefly" upon her horse, to rescue the child of the Arab chief, captive in a blazing hut, both horse and rider being literally surrounded by flames, explosions of artillery, &c., &c. A sensational effect, without parallel in the annals of the stage; a feat of daring on the part of Miss Sandford, and an exhibition of reliance upon her beautiful horse, which will no doubt be enthusiastically appreciated, as it well deserves to be.

Next week we shall be enabled to give a further and more detailed account of "Firefly" and Miss Sandford, whose costumes are, we understand, of the most faultless and elegant description.'

The above text in quotes was first published in the ERA, 19th November 1869.

The Anlaby Road Theatre Royal opened in November 1869 but was replaced by a new Theatre Royal in Paragon Street, Hull a few years later in 1871.

Archive newspaper reports on this page were kindly collated and sent in for inclusion by B.F.

If you have any more information or images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

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