Theatre Royal

Location Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Services Civil and structural engineering
Sector Lifestyle 
Client Theatre Royal
Architect Nappers (phase 1), Sansome Hall Architects (phase 2)
Imagery © Sally Ann Norman

Paul Hards

T +44 (0)191 213 4536

Cundall was involved in both phases of the refurbishment of this Grade I listed theatre in Newcastle city centre. The first phase was completed in 2007, and the second phase in 2011.

Phase 1 saw an extension, using the adjacent building formerly occupied by a bank and creating an extra 76m² of stage space necessary for modern productions. A new flying system for moving 'scenery' was also installed, while uplifting the weight capacity of each bar in the process. In order to facilitate this, the existing timber floor was replaced with new GRP mesh grating. The remainder of the former Barclays Bank building was transformed into new spaces, meant to be utilized as a learning centre, box office, café bistro and new reception suite. These were meant to enhance visitors' experience and diversify the theatre's revenue streams.

Phase 2 saw the restoration of the auditorium. The refurbishment has as far as possible been undertaken in accordance with the original architect Frank Matcham’s design principles, whilst also improving theatre goers’ comfort and the technical capabilities of the theatre. This phase also involved reviewing the effects of significant modifications to the site's original structure. The justification of the roof structure in order to support the loads applied by the new building services plant was key.

In all phases of the refurbishment, the programme remained critical and the solutions proposed required thorough liaisons with the principal contractor and relevant sub-contractors.

  • Civic Trust Awards 2013 - Commendation
  • Winner of the Building Covservation category at North East RICS Renaissance Awards 2012
  • RIBA Regional Awards 2012 - Hadrian Awards
  • RIBA North East Conservation Awards 2012