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© Mr Brendan Oxlade LRPS

IoE Number: 359745
Photographer: Mr Brendan Oxlade LRPS
Date Photographed: 25 October 2001
Date listed: 14 March 1975
Date of last amendment: 14 March 1975
Grade II*

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.


5J3490SE WILLIAMSON SQUARE 393/53/1362 Playhouse Theatre 14.03.1975 II* Theatre 1865, interior remodelled 1912 by Professor Stantey Adshead, extended 1966-68 by Hall, O'Donahue & Wilson. Stucco with slate roof. 3 storey, 7-bay front. 3-bay centre breaks forward under broken pediment. Entablatures to floors. Ground floor central triple entrance with angle pilasters and fanlights in architrave. End bay paired round headed entrances. 3 blind round windows to eachside of centre. lst floor has flat composite pilastrade, centre emphasised by paired pilasters at ends. Windows with panelled aprons, pilasters, cornices; round windows over. Windows to centre bays have balustraded windows with tympana under relieving arches. 2nd floor has oculi between panelled pilasters to central bays, bullseye windows to flanking bays. End bays have cupolas on short Tuscan colonnade. Addition to left of reinforced concrete with glass cladding provided new foyer and cloakroom on ground floor with box office, restaurant and bar spaces above. To rear large open workshop and studio theatre plus further dressing rooms. Ground floor facade has sets of double entrance doors, above are two cylindrical cantilevered projections largely clad in glass. Interior: Auditorium has tiers of balconies on cast iron columns; decoration in Neo-Greek style. Additional foyer, restaurant and bars have exposed shuttered concrete walling with suspended steel staircases bolted through the shuttered walling. The Architects'journal described the refreshment areas as a brilliant concept, joyously realised, which exploits asymmetrical volumes and evervarying spaces yet achieves unity and also balance with the adjoining Victorian facade.' The original theatre is significant as an early and rare work by one of the pioneers of the Liverpool School of Architecture, in the Grecian style favoured by the school at that date; it is also historicalty important as one of the first repertory theatres in Britain. The foyers added a vivacious tone making the theatre a place to see and be seen' in the true sprit of 1960's theatre going, a true citizens' theatre. Source Architects'journal, 4 December 1968, pp. 1327

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