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The Shakespeare Theatre, Fraser Street, Liverpool

Later - The New Shakespeare Theatre / The Pigalle Theatre Club

Liverpool Theatres Index

Sketch of the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool - From 'The Playgoer' of 1901 - Courtesy Iain Wotherspoon.

Above - Sketch of the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool - From 'The Playgoer' of 1901 - Courtesy Iain Wotherspoon.

Programme cover for Wentworth Croke's Pantomime production of 'Jack And Jill' at the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool in 1911.The Shakespeare Theatre in Fraser Street, Liverpool was built by J. H. Havelock Sutton and opened in 1888. Sutton also built the Park Palace, Liverpool, which is still standing despite being in a very sorry state. The Shakespeare had a huge capacity on opening of over three and a half thousand people.

Right - A Programme cover for Wentworth Croke's Pantomime production of 'Jack And Jill' at the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool in 1911.

Kelly's Directory of Liverpool of 1894 tells us that the Shakespeare Theatre was lit by Electric light and Ventilated behind and before the curtain, and that during the winter months the Theatre was heated by hot water.

The Foyer was lined and paneled with beautifully carved Dantric oak representing scenes and characters from Shakespeare's plays.

A programme for 'La Revue Pigalle' at the Pigalle Theatre, Liverpool in 1956-57 - Courtesy Roy Cross.Special attention was also paid to the prevention of fire, concrete being largely used for the construction of the Theatre, and over the stage were two large water mains called 'Sprinklers.'

The stage was separated from the auditorium by a patent asbestos and iron fire proof curtain weighing five tons, and by iron doors.

Left - A programme for 'La Revue Pigalle' at the Pigalle Theatre, Liverpool in 1956-57 - Courtesy Roy Cross.

Sam Wanamaker took over the Theatre in 1957 and renamed it the New Shakespeare, producing 'legitimate' theatre there. It was also briefly known as the Pigalle Theatre Club. Despite their best endeavours however, neither venture lasted very long and the Theatre was demolished in 1976 after a major fire destroyed much of the building.

The Auditorium of the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool - From Theatre World, June 1962 - Courtesy Maurice Poole

Above - The Auditorium of the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool - From Theatre World, June 1962 - Courtesy Maurice Poole

Four early Programmes for the Shakespeare Theatre

A Programme for the week of October 15th 1906 at the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool - Click to see Entire ProgrammeA Programme for 'Cinderella' at the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool on December 26th 1907 - Click to see entire programmeA Programme for 'A Pair of Silk Stockings' at the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool on October 5th 1914 - Click to see entire programmeA Variety Programme for the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool  -  Click to see entire programme

 

Above - Four early Programmes for the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool - Courtesy Roy Cross - Hover Cursor over programmes for details and Click the covers to see the entire programmes enlarged.

A postcard view of the Finale of 'Cinderella', taking place in the ballroom set at the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool in 1906-1907

A postcard view of what looks to be the Finale of 'Cinderella', taking place in the ballroom set at the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool in 1906-1907 - Courtesy Alun Pugh

Above - A postcard view of what looks to be the Finale of 'Cinderella', taking place in the ballroom set at the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool in 1906-1907 - Courtesy Alun Pugh.

An Interior photograph of the Lounge of the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool

An Interior photograph of the Lounge of the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool - From 'The Playgoer' of 1901 - Courtesy Iain Wotherspoon.

Above - An Interior photograph of the Lounge of the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool - From 'The Playgoer' of 1901 - Courtesy Iain Wotherspoon.

Shakespeare Theatre Seating Plan for 1914

 A Seating Plan for the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool in 1914 - From a programme for 'A Pair of Silk Stockings' at the Shakespeare Theatre on October 15th 1914 - Courtesy Roy Cross

Above - A Seating Plan for the Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool in 1914 - From a programme for 'A Pair of Silk Stockings' at the Shakespeare Theatre on October 15th 1914 - Courtesy Roy Cross.

An advertisement for Cranes Music Centre's Selmar Concert Organ which was installed at the Pigalle Theatre in the 1950s

An advertisement for Cranes Music Centre's Selmar Concert Organ which was installed at the Pigalle Theatre in the 1950s - From a programme for 'La Revue Pigalle' at the Pigalle Theatre, Liverpool in 1956-57 - Courtesy Roy Cross.

Above - An advertisement for Cranes Music Centre's Selmar Concert Organ which was installed at the Pigalle Theatre in the 1950s - From a programme for 'La Revue Pigalle' at the Pigalle Theatre, Liverpool in 1956-57 - Courtesy Roy Cross.

A Poster for a Twice Nightly Variety show at the Shakespeare Theatre of Varieties, Liverpool for the week commencing Monday the 13th of February 1956

A Poster for a Twice Nightly Variety show at the Shakespeare Theatre of Varieties, Liverpool for the week commencing Monday the 13th of February 1956 - Courtesy Chris Woodward.

Above - A Poster for a Twice Nightly Variety show at the Shakespeare Theatre of Varieties, Liverpool for the week commencing Monday the 13th of February 1956 - Courtesy Chris Woodward.

A Poster for a Twice Nightly Variety show at the Shakespeare Theatre of Varieties, Liverpool, probably 1953

A Poster for a Twice Nightly Variety show at the Shakespeare Theatre of Varieties, Liverpool, probably 1953 - Courtesy Chris Woodward.

Above - A Poster for a Twice Nightly Variety show at the Shakespeare Theatre of Varieties, Liverpool, probably 1953 - Courtesy Chris Woodward.

There are some details of the Shakespeare Theatre and many images of the Pantomime 'Dick Whittington' being staged there in 1909 at the website It's Behind You.Com here.

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

Other Pages that may be of Interest