• Welcome to this forum . We are a worldwide group with a common interest in Birmingham and its history. While here, please follow a few simple rules. We ask that you respect other members, thank those who have helped you and please keep your contributions on-topic with the thread.

    We do hope you enjoy your visit. BHF Admin Team

Birmingham Theatre Royal


Super Moderator
Staff member
image.jpeg Sadly, just 3 months later the balustrades were stolen from the garden. You do wonder if the publicity contributed to their loss. Viv.
Some lovely pictures and perhaps this little story wouldn't be out of place here. I certainly haven't seen it quoted on here before and it was one of many told by Frederick William Humphreys, who was Musical Director of the Theatre Royal for 42 years during the second half of the 19th Century.

After the rebuild of 1820, there were no stalls and the pit extended around the orchestra to the stage. In those days, patrons of the Theatre were keen, if not always kindly, critics and their mode of expressing their sentiments was louder and rougher than in more recent times.

It was quite a popular amusement with them to interrupt the most pathetic periods of the play by dropping an empty mineral water bottle from the top tier. The object was to hit the big drum, but if the bottle descended on the artist with the drumstick, no one was perturbed except himself, and the house would much appreciate the inaccurate aim! :tongue:

[Taken from Mr Humphreys' obituary in the Birmingham Gazette & Express dated 1909]

Maurice :friendly_wink:

The cost of seeing a top-tier game of football is the equivalent of a theatre ticket. At a footy game many fans spend 90 minutes abusing referees or players for their poor performance. At the theatre, when the standard is very low, the audience sits in silence. Let's bring back the missiles!


master brummie
From another thread - one of a series of newspaper photos about the demolition of the theatre ... :)
In 1957 a Birmingham Mail photographer climbed down into the hole left by the demolition of the Theatre Royal and photographed a small crowd looking in. I suppose it shows typical clothing worn by Brummies for city centre shopping in those days and all their clothes would have been made in Britain.


master brummie
When permission was granted by BCC to re-develop the theatre site for retail use the proposal was to rebuild the Theatre Royal in the vicinity of the Hippodrome/ Alexandra Theatre, to create a mini-Birmingham Theatre land.
Last edited: