Friday, October 31, 2014
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Gaiety Theatre & Opera House

Open: Welcome Centre:
   Monday - Saturday, 9.30am - 6pm
   Sunday, 10am - 2pm (From May)
Villa Marina Reception: Daily, From 10am
Tours (Apr 21st - Sept 29th 2012): Saturday, 10am START
Price: Prices for 2012
Gaiety Theatre Tours
Adults - 7.50
Children - 3
Family of 4 (2 Adults & 2 Children) - 15
Disabled: Shows: Access, inform box office when booking
Tours: Limited, lots of up and down stairs
Location: Douglas
Parking: Park along the Promenade

History

The Gaiety Theatre was originally a large Pavilion opened in 1893, but shortly after opening it was closed and architect Frank Matcham was commissioned to redesign the building. In 1900 it was reopened as a grand Opera House and Theatre and for the next 14 years it experienced great success. The World Wars came and went, times changed the the theatre began to fall into disrepair as it failed to be commercially profitable.

Throughout the 1950's the Theatre was used as a Cinema and by 1968 plans were on the table for its demolition. The Isle of Man Government acquired the building in 1971 and by 1976 they had begun the much needed restoration. Over the many years which followed on limited funds the building was brought back to his original design. It remains one of the many key heritage buildings for the people of the island as well as a centre for the Preforming Arts.

The theatre underwent a vast amount of restoration between 1990 and 2000. In 1995, during under stage restoration the Corsican Trap was recreated and installed. This specialised trap was to create the appearance of gliding across as well as rising up through the stage. It gives an amazing effect which captivates the audience. This feature of the theatre is the only known original in the British Isles.

Location

Located on the sea front at the end of town most near the centre of the bay. The building is well marked out the outside and is an attraction most locals know well.

By Vehicle:
Travel to Douglas and then along the sea front to Harris Promenade and park along the sea front.

By Bus:
Douglas can be reached using most main bus routes: 1's, 2's, 3's, 4's, 5's, and 6's, as well as many other minor routes. On the island most routes leads to/from Douglas. A promenade stop is closest, but access from the bus station is not too much farther.

By Railway:
By Electric Railway, take the trams heading to Douglas. Then walk along the Promenade to Harris Promenade where the Gaiety Theatre can be found.
(Note: It is a long walk, there are always buses and in the summer a regular service by the Horse Drawn Trams.)

By Steam Railway, take the train to Douglas and then walk along the Quay to the Promenade at the end of it. Then walk along to Harris Promenade where the Gaiety Theatre can be found.

Gaiety Theatre
Harris Promenade
Douglas
Isle of Man
IM1 2HH
Tel Administration: +44 (0) 1624 620046
Tel Box Office: +44 (0) 1624 694555

Visiting the Gaiety Theatre

The Gaiety has seating for up to 800 people. There are different types of seating, including private boxes. The theatre hosts shows year around covering a variety of areas from modern pop and dance to more classical concerts. There are also local and traveling productions.

There are fully guided tours during the summer. The tour lasts about 90 minutes and costs most areas of the theatre. See below for more information.

Cameras and camcorders welcome during tour.

The Tour starts in the Lobby. From there tickets are bought and everyone waits for the tour to begin. A Tour Guide soon appears and begins with the lobby, explaining how the theatre was built with a class system and describes how it worked. There is also a mention of the man who built the theatre, how long it took him, and how he did it.

The tour then moves on up the stairs to the upper circle (balcony seats) and then down into the theatre for front row seats. There is then a detailed explanation of the inside of the theatre, how it was designed, and its restoration.

From there the group moves into the back of the theatre, behind the curtains and onto the stage. After a little talk about the stage and backstage it is down into the basement to see the wooden stage traps and hear about them and how they work.

Moving back up to the stage it is onto the fire escape stairs. The Gaiety was built with stairs designed to move people out fast during a fire. Continuing on up into the top of the theatre far from the stage. Sitting again to hear about this part of the theatre. Once with uncovered wooden benches as seats it was only slightly more comfortable then the ones back slightly which were standing only.

The tour now comes to an end as it moves into a posh refreshments room, where souvenirs are on sale and then down into the lower refreshments room where hot drinks and biscuits are on offer.


Events
Dates: Friday 24 October 2014 - Saturday 01 November 2014
Description: Shrek the Musical. Shrek the Musical, by David Linsay-Abaire. At the Gaiety Theatre. Tickets from £20.00 consessions available, Gaiety Theatre, Harris Promenade, Douglas, 01624600555 http://www.villagaiety.com.
Dates: Thursday 06 November 2014 - Saturday 08 November 2014
Description: Yes Prime Minister. The UK is in crisis, debt is spiralling, unemployment on the rise and the fragile coalition cabinet, led by Prime Minister Jim Hacker, is at breaking point. But salvation may exist in the form of a complex pipeline deal with oil-rich Kumranistan..... Tickets £12.50, concessions £11. 7.30pm. Gaiety Theatre, Harris Promenade, Douglas, 01624600555 http://www.villagaiety.com.
Dates: Tuesday 11 November 2014
Description: An Evening with Michael Farage. Tickets £17.50. Gaiety Theatre, Harris Promenade, Douglas, 01624600555 http://www.villagaiety.com.
More>>
Event information supplied by the Isle of Man Department of Tourism & Leisure (01624 686766)

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Publications
Frank Matcham: Theatre Architect
Brian Mercer Walker
Blackstaff Press Ltd, Hardcover, 20 November, 1980
ISBN: 0856402311
List Price: £5.00
Used Price: £95.76
Third Party Price: £63.00
Buy Now More Info
Full Circle, A: 100 Years of the Gaiety Theatre
Roy McMillan
Keith Uren Publishing, Hardcover, 12 June, 2000
ISBN: 0953862801
List Price: £19.95
Used Price: £25.26
Third Party Price: £20.00
Buy Now More Info
The Gaiety Theatre in Douglas on the Isle of Man

The Gaiety Theatre in Douglas on the Isle of Man

The Gaiety Theatre in Douglas on the Isle of Man

The Gaiety Theatre in Douglas on the Isle of Man

The Gaiety Theatre in Douglas on the Isle of Man

The Gaiety Theatre in Douglas on the Isle of Man

The Gaiety Theatre in Douglas on the Isle of Man

The Gaiety Theatre in Douglas on the Isle of Man

The Gaiety Theatre in Douglas on the Isle of Man

Other Guides by Maxima Systems Ltd: Disney World