• Architecture
  • Arts

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds


This theatre is the only remaining working theatre from the Regency period in the UK. Built in 1819, and Grade I listed, it was owned and designed by the nationally renowned architect, William Wilkins. Having previously published a historical study of the building entitled 'Theatre of Proportion' in the Architectural Review in 1988, we were asked to restore it to its former glory.

In the auditorium original features have been carefully refurbished and a new decorative scheme introduced. Technical improvements, including comfort cooling, are also sensitively incorporated to ensure its continued success as a sustainable theatre, hosting a great variety of medium sized productions. A foyer extension on an adjoining garden improves facilities for audiences, and provides interpretation space to explain the building’s unique qualities.

“Is there a more beautiful theatre in Britain? I doubt it.” - Michael Billington

Project Details:

Carefully restoring the country's last functional Regency theatre.

Client: Theatre Royal, Bury St. Edmunds

Construction Value: £3.7m

Completion: 2007

Location: Bury St Edmunds


  • Civic Trust Awards 2008: Commended
  • RIBA Awards 2008, East Region: Shortlisted
  • FX International Interior Design Awards 2008, Leisure or Entertainment Venue: Finalist
  • Suffolk Preservation Society Awards 2008, Award for Better Environment: Winner
  • Suffolk Association of Architects Craftsmanship Awards 2008, Restoration: Winner
  • USITT Architecture Awards 2008: Honor Award
  • Museum and Heritage Awards 2008, Restoration and Conservation: Highly Commended

Image: Peter Cook