History can help us gain a better understanding of places and people. It's always nice to know more about various places and about their past cultural life. Thanks to the internet, history has become widely available, so you can easily take a glimpse into the past of your local community by performing an online search.
The History Of Theatre In Birmingham
The history of Birmingham theatre dates back to the 1740s, the Moor Street Theatre being the first permanent venue of this kind. This venue was marked on the 1751 map of Birmingham developed by Samuel Bradford. The building featured two galleries, a balcony and a pit, as well as backstage equipment that enabled high quality performances. Before 1740, dramatic performances used to take place on the street.
Once the new construction was ready to welcome its audience, it has attracted notable individuals such as David Garrick. The 1744 repertoire included some of Shakespeare's most popular plays, as well as some of the creations of John Vanbrugh and William Congreve. The novelty was that actors were dressed in costumes that were representative for the time and the culture of each play.
The People Just Could Not Get Enough
Less than 150 later, Birmingham had no less than 10 theatres focusing on various specialties such as modern and classical drama, melodrama, pantomime, variety acts and circus. This evolution shows that people in Birmingham were interested in culture and entertainment opportunities.
Unfortunately, the Second World War brought the closing of all theatres in Birmingham, due to the imminent bombing threats. Even though this situation lasted for only a couple of weeks, the audience wasn't that eager to attend evening performances, so these venues closed again. Plays in the Park were the most notable performances, as they were an excellent way to evade the dangers of the war.
These performances took place in parks, during mornings. As there was no risk of getting hit by bombs, people preferred this type of show to traditional ones that implied sitting in a building in the city center.
The People of Birmingham Love The Theatre
After the war, people got back to their old habits, and theatre performances became popular again. During the 1980s, Birmingham and Manchester were the cities featuring the biggest number of theatre venues after London. As a matter of fact, they only had three venues each.
This shows the country's development from artistic point of view. It also explains the attraction of many intellectuals and culture lovers to Birmingham.
The history of Birmingham theatre culminates with contemporary drama, opera, dance, as well as touring companies and venues such as;
The Old Rep
Broad St, Birmingham B1 2EP
Old Joint Stock Theatre
4 Temple Row W, Birmingham B2 5NY
Sheepcote St, Birmingham B16 8AE
Gibb Street, Digbeth, B9 4AA
Tare only a few of the places where art lovers can enjoy professional drama performances. Dance and opera are also very well represented today, The Birmingham Royal Ballet being one of the three most important ballet companies in the UK, and the only one located outside London.
This is only a brief glimpse into the evolution of Birmingham theatre. If you want to know more, you should include some local resources in your research endeavours.