Star Suchet marks theatre anniversary

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David Suchet has unveiled a commemorative plaque at the Theatre Royal Nottingham to celebrate the building’s 150th anniversary, which it will reach in September.

The plaque, which was commissioned by Nottingham Civic Society, is affixed to the Theatre Royal’s portico, and reads:

This admirably appointed and beautiful edifice

Originally designed and built by

Charles J Phipps 1865

and

Frank Matcham 1897

The two Victorian architects responsible for the Theatre Royal’s iconic columned portico and stunning Victorian auditorium are commemorated on the plaque: Charles J Phipps, who built the Theatre Royal in 1865, and Frank Matcham who redesigned the auditorium, foyers and backstage areas in 1897.

The quote is taken from a speech made on the Theatre Royal’s opening night on 25 September 1865 by the theatre’s first manager, Walter Montgomery.

Hilary Silvester, chairman of the Nottingham Civic Society, said, “We are absolutely delighted to have this opportunity to celebrate the 150th birthday of this wonderful building.

“The Theatre Royal is such an important part of the cityscape. It is one of the best buildings in Nottingham.”

David Suchet recently appeared at the Theatre Royal Nottingham as Lady Bracknell in a new production of The Importance of Being Earnest.

After unveiling the plaque in front of a crowd of local dignitaries, theatre staff and members of the public, he said: “I consider it a huge honour to unveil this plaque which commemorates 150 years of this fantastic Theatre Royal Nottingham.”

Robert Sanderson, the Theatre Royal’s current managing director, said: “We are delighted that the Civic Society have very generously produced a plaque to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the theatre and we are even more delighted that David Suchet, one of this country’s most acclaimed actors, has unveiled it for us.

“It’s been another wonderful celebratory event as part of our 150th year.

“Victorian theatres are very special.

“They are beautiful buildings and also wonderful spaces for actors to perform in. Our job is to make sure that the Theatre Royal is still being used and enjoyed in another 150 years’ time.”