From Cowcaddens to the Colosseum, from Hope Street to Hollywood... for entertainment, drama, pantomime, music and song, this is the fascinating story, fully illustrated, of the Theatre Royal, the longest running theatre in Scotland.
Emerging from Music Halls to an Opera House and the national home of Scottish Opera and The Scottish Ballet, the Theatre Royal is the oldest theatre in Glasgow, opening in 1867. It is also the largest example in Britain of the theatre designs of Charles Phipps.
Pantomime, plays, spectaculars, silent films, circuses, ballet, opera and television grew up with the Royal. Original documents, and some 400 illustrations, trace its life and personalities, from its parentage in the 18th century, the influence of the Glover family here and overseas, its links with fine arts and the International Exhibitions, all expressing the confidence of Glasgow and the context of its times.
It is also the birthplace of Howard & Wyndham Ltd, one of Britain`s major theatre companies, thanks to the Simons fruit businesses in Candleriggs, and the birthplace of STV commercial television in Scotland, thanks to Canadian Roy Thomson.
For an encore there is a history of the previous Theatre Royal in Dunlop Street.
It all began with plays and pantomime, the brainchild of James Baylis, a book-keeper in a brewery who found his forte in the footlights, borrowing money to build his magnificent theatre at the top of Hope Street.
The author Graeme Smith has spared no effort in researching the ups and downs of a truly romantic tale. It is a gripping story, a splendid record of our theatrical history and entertainment.
..Let the curtain rise!