Vestibule entrance leading to a flat floored auditorium, flanked on each side by six bays of windows, with narrow balcony at rear of the room. The main feature of the auditorium is the signed Royal Doulton proscenium arch by W J Neatby, a striking composition, depicting two pre-Raphaelite female figures playing musical instruments and seated amidst swirling branches with flowers festooned around a tree trunk. The central cartouche of the proscenium arch is a female mask. Dyson, the architect, and Neatby were also both associated with the new Victoria Royal Infirmary in Newcastle, which has a fine collection of Doulton tile pictures.
Neatby’s other theatrical work included a set of 28 panels with paintings of women in pre-Raphaelite costumes for the Winter Gardens in Blackpool; a set of medallions illustrating the history of costume for the Theatre Royal, Birmingham; the modelling of the plaster pendentives in the dome of the Gaiety Theatre London (1903); and the mermaid panels at the Palace Theatre, Plymouth. He also designed the tiled interior of Harrods Food Hall in London.
The stage of St Nicholas Hospital Theatre is fully equipped with timber fly floors and grid. There is no substage machinery, and no evidence of scenic grooves as at Wakefield, Stanley Royd. Backstage there is a small suite of purpose-built dressing rooms.
- 1897 : continuing
- 1897 Design/Construction:John W Dyson- Architect
- 1897 Use: continuing
- 1898 Design/Construction:W J Neatby- Consultantproscenium arch (Royal Doulton glazed tiles)
- 1992 Owner/Management: Hospital Trust, owners; First Act Theatre, management/lessees.