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The London Coliseum

Frank Matcham

alias English National Opera, Coliseum Theatre
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)1904 | construction



Frank Matcham's London Coliseum (1904) represents the next step after the fully developed nineteenth-century opera house - The introduction of cantilevering and the abolition of boxes has made possible three immensely deep galleries, every seat of which faces approximately forward. But this brings with it new problems which Matcham fails to solve entirely satisfactorily. Rather than leave the side walls bare, he adds a few pseudo-boxes, the uppermost perched unhappily on the canopies of those beneath. And the two awkward corners that remain next to the proscenium arch are disguised by the desperate expedient of placing lion-drawn chariots on them. Nevertheless, Matcham possessed the secret of theatrical glamour, which overrules all objections.


In: Tidworth, Simon : Theatres: An Illustrated History. London 1973 p. 184





Author: Simon Tidworth

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