© Ms Emma Skeldon
THE THEATRE ROYAL THE COLONNADE PUBLIC HOUSE (NUMBER 10) AND ATTACHED COLONNADE, 8,9 AND 10 NEW ROAD (west side)
BRIGHTON, BRIGHTON AND HOVE, EAST SUSSEX
Ms Emma Skeldon
01 October 2004
20 August 1971
Date of last amendment:
26 August 1999
The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.
TQ3104SW NEW ROAD
577-1/40/573 (West side)
20/08/71 Nos.8, 9 AND 10
The Theatre Royal, The Colonnade
Public House (No.10) and attached
(Formerly Listed as:
Nos.8 AND 9
The Theatre Royal and attached
(Formerly Listed as:
(including colonnade in front) and
10 (The Colonnade Public House))
Formerly known as: Nos 3-8 (consec) & No 10 Colonnade Hotel
(incl. colonnade in front) NEW ROAD.
Formerly known as: The Theatre Royal (incl. colonnade in
front) NEW ROAD.
Includes: No.35 Stage Entrance to the Theatre Royal BOND
Theatre and public house. 1807, altered 1866, 1894, 1926/7.
First theatre on site built in 1807 to designs approved by the
Prince of Wales; the Messrs Hides, who designed the Worthing
Theatre in the same year, may have been the architects.
Auditorium and stage rebuilt and facade extended in 1866 by CJ
Phipps, when Henry John Nye Chart purchased the theatre; the
builder was David Bland of London, and the Clerk of the Works
Reconstruction of exterior and extension into Nos 8 and 9 New
Road (as well as into No.35 Bond Street) in 1894 by CE Clayton
of Clayton and Black, North Street, Brighton; Clayton remained
the theatre architect until 3 years before his death in 1923.
The auditorium redecorated by Sprague and Barton in 1926/7.
MATERIALS: brick in Flemish bond with stucco cement dressing;
the late C19 extension is brick in mixed bonds, with cement
dressings. Parapeted roofs.
EXTERIOR: Nos 8 and 9 are part of the early C19 scheme which
includes Nos 1-7 (consecutive) New Road and Nos 159-161
(consecutive) North Street (qv) and date to the early C19;
these have 3 storeys and attic over basement; 3-window range
between the pair.
The late C19 extension has 4 storeys with dormer over basement
and a 7-window range. The original structure, built just after
the opening of New Road, had a neo-Classical facade with a
colonnade of 5 bays. The only visible remnant of this first
phase is the geometrical stair from the ground to first floors
in the east wall. In the 1866 remodelling a tall top storey
was added for a new gallery as well as the "Conservatory",
which was built out over the colonnade and contained the dress
circle bar. In 1894, the original entrances under the
colonnade were closed off; the theatre was refronted,
heightened and extended into Nos 8 and 9 to provide added room
for offices, a bar, and broad staircases. For the most part,
the present facade dates to this time.
Nos 8 and 9 are fronted by a late C19 colonnade with balcony
above. On the upper floors these houses preserve their early
C19 aspect and are comparable with Nos 1-7 New Road
(consecutive) (qv). The ground floors of Nos 8 and 9 date to
1894 and designed in Clayton's free interpretation of
"Jacobethan" and Italianate forms.
The current elevation of the theatre itself (which also
incorporates No.10) has a centre projecting range of 5
windows, while the end window ranges are slightly set back and
treated as attached towers topped by an ogee cap metal roof;
the towers and centre range are linked on the second and third
floors by arches, the latter enclosed. The first-floor windows
in the centre range are set in an elaborate aedicule
surmounted by a round-arched tympanum filled with a shell
motif; the pair of flanking windows have architraves and are
topped by a floral entablature frieze. These and many other
forms in the elevation are taken from the Flemish Renaissance.
The centre window on the second floor is set in an elaborate
aedicule with a scrolled pediment; sill band to side windows
each of which has a flared lintel. All the third-floor windows
are round arched. Those in the centre section treated as an
arcade with a section of balustrade filling each spandrel,
while each side window has a projecting balcony enclosed by
railings. In this stage shallow corbel shafts rise to frame
the centre windows of the 4th floor, where they support
pilaster brackets, each terminating in an obelisk; there are
remains of scrolled gable to be found above this upper floor.
There are keyed elliptical windows in the 4th floor of the
attached towers; attic, framed in wood, glazed and dating to
c1915, replaced a scrolled parapet. Ground floor has a
colonnade of paired Ionic columns with deep cornice
incorporating pierced balustrade.
INTERIOR: ticket booth and entrance lobby in No.8: panelled
walls and kiosk; 2 flat-arched openings give way to broad open
well stairs. The Colonnade public house has much glazed
terracotta. The auditorium has a flat proscenium arch with
early Royal Arms of an early C19 date in the centre; above
proscenium is a frieze of Jacobean-style strapwork, a remnant
of the Phipps scheme, as are the first- and second-level
omnibus boxes near the stage, along with their flanking,
double giant pilasters. Phipps added a 3-tier gallery
supported on cast-iron columns; its plan was bell-shaped; the
centre chandelier in the ceiling also dates to Phipps' scheme.
A spiral stair of mid C19 date survives to the rear of No.9.
The 1866 colour scheme was purple, cream and buff. Clayton
seems to have left most of Phipps' scheme in place; the frieze
above the proscenium arch may date to 1894. In 1927, however,
the interior assumed its current appearance, with plaster
decoration in a late Louis Seize manner. At the same time,
reinforced concrete lintels were added to strengthen the rear
of the galleries. Barton and Sprague also transformed the plan
of Phipps' galleries adding a reverse curve near the stage
and, in so doing, removed one cast-iron column on each side of
the dress and upper circles. On the first floor of Nos 8 and
9, and the bar in the ground floor of No.9, the 1894 scheme,
with its mix of Renaissance, Jacobean, Flemish and Arts and
Crafts detailing, dominates.
Important features include: panelled doors with stained glass
to conveniences just outside bar and the bar itself. Of note
is the provision by Clayton of a scenery door at the rear of
the site, set in the facade of an early C19 cottage in Bond
Street, No.35, which is included in this listing.
HISTORICAL NOTE: the Theatre Royal's first productions,
"Hamlet" and "The Weather-Cock" featured Mr and Mrs Charles
Kemble. If reports that the structure was lit by gas in 1819
are true, the building would be the first theatre in Britain
to be so illuminated; the Drury Lane was lit by gas in 1820.
In 1854, after a period of decline, Henry "Nye" Chart, an
actor in the theatre's company, became manager. He removed the
Royal box and added some seats. In 1866 he formed a syndicate
to buy the theatre, which was extensively rebuilt over the
summer and autumn of that year, increasing its accommodation
to 1,900. It was at this time that he started to lease No.9
New Road as a property and scenery store. His widow, Elizabeth
Chart, inherited the theatre in 1876. In 1883 she purchased
No.8 New Road for use as her own residence. In 1894 the
Corporation architect, May, demanded alterations to satisfy
safety regulations. At this time the Brighton Theatre Royal
Company, as it had been known since 1889, purchased Nos 35-38
Bond Street; Nos 36-38 were relet as shops (not included). All
but No.35 were resold in 1934. In 1894 electric lights were
installed. Small-scale redecorations undertaken in 1904, 1909
and 1912, when individual seats and a new heating system were
(Carder T: The Encyclopaedia of Brighton: Lewes: 1990-: 182;
Cheshire DF & Brereton C: Curtains!: 97, 98; Dale A: The
Theatre Royal, Brighton: 1980-).