Welcome to today’s (slightly delayed) post in the series Celebrating London Theatres. Today I am looking at venues beginning with “R”.
Taking its name from the 19th century Viennese coffee house, the Red Hedgehog in Highgate is an independently-run small concert and theatre space situated opposite Highgate station. It opened in 2006 and presents mainly classical concerts and fringe theatre, as well as comedy, variety nights and musical comedy. There is also a cafe and gallery space.
Situated on the edge of Little Green in Richmond upon Thames, this provincial theatre opened in 1899 and is now Grade II* listed. Owned by ATG, it presents touring shows and pre-West End productions, plus a popular annual pantomime.
Set by the riverside in Hammersmith, the Riverside Studios reopened this year after a five-year period of closure, demolition and rebuilding. The complex now comprises three studio theatres (seating 180, 380 and 444 respectively), a 200-seat cinema, plus restaurant and bars.
The theatre opened in 2008 on the High Street in Kingston upon Thames, developed as part of a project supported by director Sir Peter Hall and broadcaster David Jacobs. It features a shallow thrust stage and a pit area, and stages many homegrown productions. The current artistic director is Christopher Haydon.
Making use of the unique space dating from 1587, where plays by the likes of Shakespeare and Marlowe were performed, the Rose Playhouse was rediscovered in 1989 and benefitted from an extremely high-profile campaign “Save The Rose”. Now an English Heritage Scheduled Monument, the Rose hosts events and performances throughout the year. It is located on Park Street, SE1.
The Rosemary Branch Theatre, a pub theatre is Islington, was opened in 1996 in a former Victorian music hall. It seats sixty people. The current artistic director is Scarlett Plouviez, and resident companies include Degenerate Fox, Adventurers Wanted, and The Alliance. The Rosemary Branch is a hub for new performance, and in 2019 launched the Shrill Voices programme, showcasing new writing by rising female voices in British theatre.
The Royal Court opened in 1870, with its current premises built in 1888 (as the New Court). It is located next to Sloane Square station. It’s a non-commercial West End theatre with an international reputation, and has been owned by the English Stage Company since 1956.
With two theatre spaces (Jerwood Downstairs and Jerwood Upstairs, seating approx 400 and 70 respectively), the Royal Court can present a variety of work. Notably, in 1973, the Upstairs Theatre presented the premiere of The Rocky Horror Show, and the plays of Sarah Kane were first shown in the Downstairs Theatre. The current artistic director is Vicky Featherstone.
The Roundhouse, in Chalk Farm, opened in 1964 as a performing arts and concert venue. It is located in a Grade II* listed former railway engine shed. The most recent version of the Roundhouse opened in 2006. The current chief executive and artistic director is Marcus Davey. The Roundhouse operates a Young Creatives scheme for 11-25 year olds based in the Paul Hamlyn Roundhouse Studios.
Royal Albert Hall
Opened in 1871, the Royal Albert Hall (RAH) is a major concert hall and performance venue in South Kensington. It is the home each summer of the BBC Proms, as well as presenting a range of in-house and touring events (including classical and rock concerts, ballet and opera, and award ceremonies). As well as the main hall, venues include the Elgar Room, Verdi Italian restaurant, and the Door 9 Porch.
Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House (ROH) is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden. It is the home of the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet.
The present building is the third theatre on the site and dates from 1858 (extensively reconstructed in the 1990s). The main auditorium is Grade I listed. The flexible Linbury Studio Theatre is used for smaller-scale performances and can accommodate up to 400 patrons.
The Rudolf Steiner Theatre is a 220-seat theatre on Park Road, NW1 which is part of the Rudolf Steiner House. The house itself was built between 1926 and 1937 and is Grade II listed. Steiner (1861-1925) was an Austrian visionary philosopher, lecturer, artist, social reformer, and architect.