The Theatre Royal in Bury St. Edmunds delivers year-round performances and programming in drama, music, dance and live entertainment. Whether watching Romeo & Juliet or Footloose, the intimate and historic venue provides an authentic theatre experience of a bygone era. The Theatre Royal also offers educational and community programmes and activities, such as guided tours of the theatre, workshops and demonstrations. Through the theatre's ReVist programme, visitors are invited to participate in tours and educational programming on theatre and theatregoing in the early 19th century.
A National Trust property since 1975, the Theatre Royal was originally built in 1819. Designed by renowned architect William Wilkins, the theatre was one of the most sophisticated playhouses of the early 19th century. Wilkins designed some of Britain's most elegant buildings, including the National Gallery in London and Cambridge's Downing College. Purchased in 1920, the Greene King Brewery retains the freehold for the theatre while. The theatre itself is managed by the Bury St. Edmonds Theatre Management Limited.
A Grade 1 listed playhouse, the Theatre Royal is the United Kingdom's last remaining example of a Regency theatre. Throughout its history, the theatre has closed on several occasions because of economic difficulty and declining theatre attendance in the 19th and 20th centuries. The most recent closure was in 2005 as the theatre underwent extensive upgrades and modernisation. The Theatre Royal reopened in 2007 following the full restoration. Today, the theatre reflects its original Edwardian heritage and sophistication.
The Theatre Royal provides spectators with an authentic 19th century theatre experience. At the same time, the theatre features contemporary comforts including a bar and restaurant. Visited by over 80,000 theatregoers each year, the Theatre Royal's auditorium sits approximately 360 spectators. Both in-house productions and pantomimes are showcased at the Theatre Royal.
Prior to performances and during intervals, theatregoers can enjoy hampers in the Greene Room, the Theatre Royal's on-site restaurant. Hampers must be ordered 48 hours in advance of visiting the theatre. The restaurant is open two hours before the start of a performance and during intervals.
The Theatre Royal is located in Bury St. Edmunds, which is situated off the A14 between Cambridge and Ipswich. Situated at the edge of the town centre, the theatre is found opposite the Greene King Brewery Museum on Westgate Street. The theatre is a 10-minute walk from the town's main coach and bus station on St. Andrew's Street North and it is a 20-minute walk from the Bury St. Edmund's rail station.
Parking for the Theatre Royal is available at the Greene King Brewery Museum's staff car park. Parking is permitted 90 minutes before the start of a performance except for weekday matinees. Additional parking is also found on Swan Lane, Angel Hill and Cotton Lane. Limited parking is also available along Westgate Street.
The Theatre Royal may be contacted on 01284 769505 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The mailing address for the theatre is as follows:
The Theatre Royal
Bury St. Edmunds