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The Georgian Theatre; Stockton-on-Tees

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The Georgian Theatre is a Grade II listed theatre in Stockton-on-Tees, England and is one of the oldest Georgian provincial theatres in the country. (The oldest Georgian theatre in its original working form is the Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond, Yorkshire.) And not many can make a claim like that!

The theatre has a capacity of 200 standing or 150 seated and is situated in the ‘Cultural Quarter’ of Stockton town centre, which is centred on Green Dragon Yard; but unless you become a regular its a bit of a beggar to find, especially for 1st-timers. However, when you do get there and the right door, you have to do a double take as it’s as if Newcastle;s Cluny and Darlington’s Forum have been squashed into one. The building was originally a tithe barn and became a theatre in 1766: going through various uses and stages of disrepair, at one point up until the l1te 1950s even used as a sweet factory. Then, in 1993 it was handed over to the Stockton Music & Arts Collective (part of the Tees Music Alliance since 2006) and in 2007, refurbished to what it is now.

The bar isn’t as large as The Forum, but it’s cosy, atmospheric… The performance room does just about equal The Forum’s for size though, maybe higher roof space. Seating isn’t fixed but 150 seems an optimum number. Good sized stage, little modest on the lighting though the gantry looks to have room for more if requested. The sound however, for this occasion anyway (The Mentulls), was 1st class; punchy but not deafening…  While not the landmark The Arc is, it certainly makes up for in atmosphere. I’ve seen some good shows at The Arc, but in comparison, it’s like visiting an Out-patients compared to this little corner….

     

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