The theatre has a capacity of 432 patrons over 3 tiers within the auditorium which is a traditional horse shoe shape. The stage is the smallest in Ireland and is framed with a Proscenium arch. A special Waterford Crystal chandelier, donated by the company in 1951 decorates the ceiling. In 2007 the theatre closed for extensive renovations and reopened to great acclaim in 2009.
The vestibule is a beautifully renovated Georgian room decorated with 3 Waterford Crystal chandeliers and houses the Waterford Municipal Art collection. The theatre now hosts civil ceremonies in the vestibule and the whole building is available for conferences.
Upstairs in the theatre is the vibrant Cafe Royal which has panoramic views of the Bishop’s Palace gardens, Waterford Crystal and The Mall. The cafe opens Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm, Saturday 10am - 4pm. Pre-show drinks are available with select wines, soft drinks, bottled beers, tea and coffee available from 7pm.
The Theatre Royal aims to become the powerhouse for theatre arts in the south east and has been the traditional venue for local and national entertainment down the generations. It is has hosted the Waterford International Festival of Light Opera since its inception in 1958 and is the home stage for long established amateur societies.
The Theatre Royal is increasingly staging its own work and seeking to tour its own productions within the region with the assistance of Waterford City Council and The Arts Council. Theatre Royal Productions led by Director Ben Barnes brings acclaimed artists and creative teams from Ireland and overseas to work closely with local Waterford talent. The aim is to cultivate indigenous artistic expertise and knowledge whilst also producing world class theatre for the city and the region. Recent work included King Lear Review (2010) and Hamlet Review (2011 & 2012) and productions of Jim Nolan’s Sky Road (2007) Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane (2010), Eugene O’Brien’s Eden (2011) and Shelagh Stephenson’s The Memory of Water (March 2012).
Theatre Royal is right in the heart of Waterford historic Viking Triangle, the building is directly across from Waterford Crystal and is situated alongside Bishops Palace and the Waterford Museum of Treasures on the mall.
Take the historical back-stage tour to learn all about the history of the theatre and what it takes to operate today.