Promo: April 6th 2019. Nottingham Theatre Royal Open Day to celebrate Heritage success.


On Saturday 6 April 2019, from 9.30am to 1pm, the Theatre Royal Nottingham will be opening its doors for a free Open Day.

Featuring backstage tours, street theatre, live music and displays, the Open Day is an opportunity for the public to glimpse behind the scenes of the region’s largest touring venue, and to celebrate the achievements of the venue’s heritage work over the past two years.

In 2017, the Theatre Royal, in partnership with the University of Nottingham, received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to establish a new programme of archive and heritage work for the venue.

This included recruiting and training over 50 volunteers; organising and cataloguing the Theatre Royal’s own physical archive; conducting oral history interviews with actors, performers, staff, audience members and others to preserve memories and stories of the Theatre Royal; establishing a series of special heritage talks and events and the creation of a brand new digital archive at making our history much more widely available.

“This has been a very special project to be part of. I’ve met many interesting people through the Oral History ‘interviews’, discovering the story of our wonderful theatre from different, and unique, perspectives.” Liz Macdonald, Oral History Volunteer

Two years ago, when I first volunteered for this project, we were literally faced with a dusty room at the top of the stairs, accessible only to a few. Now we have a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of treasures accessible to everyone at What an exciting journey we have had.” Gloria Bone, Archive Volunteer

During the Open Day, there will be an opportunity for people to peruse many original items from our archive, dating back to when the Theatre Royal’s doors first opened in 1865. Display boards will showcase some of the heritage work that has taken place over the last two years and of course people will be able to dive deep into the digital archive.

Victorian-themed street theatre company, Circo Rum Ba Ba, will provide entertainment in the foyers, as well as some very special canine friends from last year’s Nottingham Puppet Festival.

Following our 150th anniversary celebrations in 2015, this heritage legacy project was a chance for us to finally realise our ambition to creatively engage with our history,says David Longford, Creative Learning Manager for the Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall. “There is still a lot more work to do and we have some exciting ideas to develop, but this Open Day will be an opportunity to thank volunteers, funders and partners in what we have achieved so far.”

All events are free at the Theatre Royal’s Open Day, including the backstage tours. Last tour leaves at 12.45pm. Pre-booking not required, apart from the accessible backstage tours for those with access requirements: Wheelchair tour at 11am and BSL interpreted tour at 12pm. Places are limited for these accessible tours so we recommend booking in advance at or 0115 989 5555.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.


Supported by the work of researchers at the University of Nottingham, the Theatre Royal’s digital archive guides users through the venue’s history, either chronologically via a timeline or by exploring broader themes such as Pantomime, Theatre During the Wars, Onstage & Backstage and Building the Theatre. As well as historic posters, programmes, playbills, letters and postcards from the late 19th century onwards, the website also includes many oral histories to listen to recorded with actors, staff and audience members sharing their backstage stories and anecdotes. The digital archive allows users to explore these fascinating artefacts and to delve deeper via related links on each website page.


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