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The Theatre Royal was a patent theatre located in Cork City, Ireland.[1]

Theatre Royal, Cork
Theatre Royal, Cork is located in Ireland
Theatre Royal, Cork
Theatre Royal, Cork
Location within Ireland
AddressGeorge's Street (now Oliver Plunkett Street)
Coordinates51°53′52″N 8°28′14″W / 51.897829°N 8.470485°W / 51.897829; -8.470485Coordinates: 51°53′52″N 8°28′14″W / 51.897829°N 8.470485°W / 51.897829; -8.470485
Typepatent theatre
Current useGeneral Post Office
Years active1760–1840; 1867–75


The Theatre Royal was founded by local actor Spranger Barry in 1760. It was modelled on the Crow Street Theatre, Dublin.

The theatre was destroyed by fire on April Fool's Day 1840. In 1853 it was rebuilt, and in the 1860s it was refurbished under the direction of Sir John Benson, and re-opened on 26 December 1867.

In 1875 the theatre was sold to the postal service and Cork's GPO opened on the site in 1877.[2][3] The last three plays performed were James Sheridan Knowles' Virginius; William Shakespeare's Hamlet; and John Wilson's Belphegor.[4]


An 1867 description from the Illustrated London News:

The theatre is constructed to hold two thousand persons, and is divided into two tiers of boxes, a capacious pit, stalls, private boxes, and a spacious gallery, from which latter “coign of vantage” an excellent view of the stage is afforded, while the tenants of the boxes are screened from the view of the gods – an important consideration in a town where gallery criticism is often extended unceremoniously to the well-dressed class of visitors.[5]


  1. ^ "The New Theatre Royal, Cork".
  2. ^ "1867 - Theatre Royal, Cork - Architecture of Cork City, Lost Buildings of Ireland - Archiseek - Irish Architecture". 15 January 2011.
  3. ^ "The 'Polopticomorama': Bringing the American Civil War to Life in Irish Theatres, 1863". 9 October 2015.
  4. ^ McCarthy, Kieran (7 September 2015). "Little Book of Cork". History Press – via Google Books.
  5. ^