Lighthouse of Alexandria
The Theatre Royal is a Grade I listed building situated on Grey Street in Newcastle upon Tyne. It was designed by local architects John and Benjamin Green as part of Richard Grainger's grand design for the centre of Newcastle, and was opened on 20 February 1837 with a performance of The Merchant of Venice . Following a performance of William Shakespeare's play Macbeth , a huge fire destroyed the interior of the building in 1899. It had its interior redesigned by Frank Matcham and reopened on 31 December 1901. The theatre's restaurant is named after Matcham. Externally, the building is exactly as it was when it was first built. It underwent a major refurbishment and restoration in the latter part of the 1980s, reopening on 11 January 1988 with a performance of A Man For All Seasons starring Charlton Heston. The theatre hosts a variety of shows, including ballet, contemporary dance, drama, musicals and opera. The Royal Shakespeare Company visits annually, and considers the Theatre Royal its northern base. The Christmas pantomime is also very popular. Almost all of the shows that come to the Theatre Royal are part of a national British tour, and in a typical year the theatre will have 30 to 35 visiting shows. For the annual pantomime, and any visiting musicals and opera performances, there is a sizeable orchestral pit available. This can seat 60 musicians if necessary. The stage itself is also of substantial size, and can house 50 singers, dancers, actors and musicians. Over 100 people work at theatre, which is reputedly haunted by ghost a female from the 19th century nicknamed 'The Grey Lady'. According to legend she fell from the upper circle while reaching out to an actor she was in live with, who was rehearsing on the stage.

The Original Theatre Royal
Newcastle's original Theatre Royal opened on 21 January 1788. Its location on Mosley Street obstructed plans for the redevelopment of the city centre (as it was on the route of Grey Street), so it was demolished to make way for the present building. One of the theatre's most successful managers at this time was Stephen Kemble of the famous Kemble family, who managed the theatre from 1791 to 1806. The original theatre's final performance was on 25 June 1836.

Technical details
The theatre has a proscenium stage, and accommodates a variable orchestra pit on 2 lifts - which reduces the stall seating. The audience is seated on four levels: stalls (501), grand circle (252), upper circle (249) and gallery (247).

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