Leeds Grand Theatre
The Grand Theatre took many of it's design inspirations from continental influences, in particular the gothic, ecclesiastical spires. The exterior is in a mixture of Romanesque and Scottish baronial styles, while the interior has such gothic motifs as fan-vaulting and clustered columns.
Traditionally, only those sitting in the best seats were allowed to use the theatre's main entrance. All other patrons were ushered through side entrances in order for the class-conscious Victorians to remain separated from people below their ranks.
The Dress Circle and Boxes were furnished with free standing chairs, and all other parts of the house had benches. They ranged from upholstered, in the Upper Circle, to plain wooden and back-less in the Gallery which cost a shilling admission. ‘Packers’ were employed to maximise the number of people sitting on these wooden benches making the experience all the more cramped…and hot!
The first performance at the theatre was Much Ado About Nothing on 18 November 1878 and stars that have trodden the boards over the years have included Sarah Bernhardt, Ellen Terry, Julie Andrews, Felicity Kendal, Morecambe and Wise and Laurence Olivier.
The theatre can seat 1550 at full capacity, the auditorium provides a home for performances of all types, with an enormous range of notable dance, drama, comedy and music productions have been seen at the Grand.
Leeds Grand Theatre & Opera House Ltd,
46 New Briggate,