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Liverpool’s cultural history is world famous and the Royal Court Liverpool has been a focus of that.
It originally opened in the late Victorian era, but a fire that ripped through it in the late 20s meant that the theatre was closed for a while. It wasn’t until 1938 that a new art deco theatre was reopened. This is the theatre that remains today.
Launched in 1938, this art deco theatre has been responsible for the launch of many careers. Dame Judi Dench made her professional stage debut here in 1957, in a production of Hamlet for the Old Vic.
However, the theatre is really responsible for the popularity of pantomimes in Liverpool. Its pantomimes used to travel over the rest of the UK, with performances done in the West End, of that year’s Scouse Pantomime, as it become known.
The popularity of pantomime in the city was exemplified by the magazine that was launched in the early part of the 20th century, dedicated exclusively to pantomimes in the city. The Royal Court Theatre was absolutely key to that.
One of the clearest relics of the theatre’s past as primarily a theatre for pantomime, is its extensive counterweight fly system which allows actors to ‘fly’ around the stage. Pretty crucial for any performance of Peter Pan.
The lighting system has also always been second to none and plays a crucial role in bring the dramatics on the stage to live.