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Live Theatre


Founded by actor Tim Healy in 1973 as a radical theatre company taking plays to audiences in non-theatrical locations, Live Theatre acquired a 125-year lease in 1982 on an 18th-century bonded warehouse and adjacent almshouses on the Tyne quayside at 27 Broad Chare and 7/8 Trinity Chare. Lottery funding in the 1990s allowed the acquisition and redevelopment of 25b Broad Chare to create a box office, cafe, bar facilities, and office space as well as creating disability access to the main venue. Subsequent redevelopment, begun in 2005, increased the size of the building and by 2007 Live Theatre had incorporated 29 Broad Chare, a Grade 2-listed former bonded warehouse built around 1720 and the last of the historic quayside buildings remaining to be refurbished. Commercial partnerships saw the opening of the Broad Chare pub in 2011 and The Schoolhouse office complex in 2013. Live Theatre has a brick industrial facade with minimal detail and bricks of varying bonds and a Welsh slate roof. The lookum above the eaves is converted to a window as are loading doors at each level below. The four historic buildings, linked with an addition built within the old courtyard, were built on the site of earlier houses and incorporate some of the original materials and structures, parts of which date back to the 1500s. The building includes an undercroft which has been opened up to create a flexible space adjacent to the cafe/bar. There are two performance spaces. The Main Theatre has a capacity of 170. Seating is divided into the cabaret area, made up of a flexible mix of tables and free standing chairs situated directly in front of the stage, along with three rows of seating on the ground floor and two rows of tiered fixed seating in the balcony. Rising into the rafters on the third floor there is a Writers’ room containing the original warehouse hoist, a large rehearsal room and a studio theatre seating up to 60 people in a flexible space.

Built / Converted
Dates of use
  • 1994 : continuing
Current state
Current use
27 Broad Chare, Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 3DQ, England
Further details
Other names
  • 1700 - 1799 Design/Construction: C1720 as warehouses
    - Architect
  • 1994 Use: continuing
  • 1994 Alteration: converted to theatre
    - Architect
  • 2007 Alteration: Redevelopment
    Db Consultants
    - Consultant
    Waring And Netts
    - Architect
  • Capacity
  • Listing
Stage type
Building dimensions: -
Stage dimensions: 6.1m (20ft) x 6.1m (20ft) no wings
Proscenium width: -
Height to grid: 4.7m
Inside proscenium: -
Orchestra pit: no pit; two dressing rooms