Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

City of Nottingham (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SK 56796 39939



SK5639NE WELLINGTON CIRCUS 646-1/19/824 (South East side) 14/07/94 Nottingham Playhouse


Repertory theatre. 1961-3. By Peter Moro. Reinforced concrete. A square plan with a 2-storey foyer to Wellington Circus, which drops sharply with the fall of the hill to the rear to allow backstage workshops and dressing room space. Projecting arm to left contains rehearsal room, and bars and restaurants held by separate lessees and not of special interest. From within this square body rises the circular auditorium with stalls and a single circle, and behind it a higher flytower. EXTERIOR: glazed ground floor with above it the first floor treated as a low, horizontal band, chequer-patterned with opaque white panels and dark glazing - the pattern of light and dark is reversed at night. The effect serves to entice one into the interior. Foyer with open tread staircases and a balcony following the perimeter of the square outside walls; the round drum of the auditorium is largely left free, save for a sculpture by Geofrey Clarke. Circular auditorium clad with black timber treated as a series of vertical slats that continues the theme of the exterior whilst serving also as a covering for extra wiring or lighting. Proscenium-arch stage is adaptable as apron or thrust stage which can be raised over the orchestra pit and the front stalls; the surrounding row of seats can be adjusted round this altered form; a novelty in 1963. A circular grid serves this apron stage whilst contributing to the architectural form of the interior. HISTORICAL NOTE: the Nottingham Playhouse was the first theatre in England to break away from the conventional proscenium stage. It marks the beginning of a new and extremely successful period for the British theatre. Stylistically it is a crucial link between the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal National Theatre whilst standing as the supreme example of the new and successful wave of repertory theatres built outside London. (Interbuild : July 1959: 38-40; Architect's Journal : 2 Sep 1959: 209-10; Architect's Journal : 1 Jan 1964: 27-44; Architect and Building News : 11 Dec & 18 Dec 1963; Concrete Quarterly : October 1964: 2-5).

Listing NGR: SK5679639939


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
'The Architect and Building News' in 11 December, (1963)
'The Architect and Building News' in 18 December, (1963)
'Architects Journal' in 1 January, (1964), 27-44
'Interbuild' in July, (1959), 38-40
'Architects Journal' in 2 September, (1959), 209-10
'Concrete Quarterly' in October, (1964), 2-5


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 24 Jul 2002
Reference: IOE01/07872/29
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Alan Greaves. Source Historic England Archive
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