The New Theatre, Cardiff is one of the primary performance venues of Wales’ capital. It is located near Cathays Park in Cardiff city centre on Park Place.
The theatre hosts a variety of touring productions like musicals, children’s shows and plays, as well as a Christmas pantomime every year. With its capacity of 1,144 seats, the theatre is capable of hosting large-scale productions to anticipating audiences. Since 1975, it has been a Grade II listed building.
Made from brick and Bath Stone, theatrical architects Ernest Runtz and Ford designed the building under Robert Redford’s order, opening its doors to the public on 10th December 1906. At the time, the theatre had one of the largest stages in the country; 76-foot wide, 54-foot deep, with 57 feet distance between the stage and the hanging pulley grind.
Herbert Beerbohm Tree’s company conducted the first public show here - a magnificent performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. They repeated the performance on 13th and 15th December, with the latter being a matinee show. In the venue’s first week, a few other plays graced the stage, including The Man Who Was, Trilby, Colonel Newcome, and Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Many famous artists have graced the New Theatre, Cardiff. Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Tommy Cooper, Laurel & Hardy, Sarah Bernhardt, and Tessie O’Shea are a few of them. On 26th March 1965, the venue was the site for the world premiere of Harold Pinter’s play The Homecoming.