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Glasgow, 119 Gorbals Street, Her Majesty's Theatre

Theatre (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Glasgow, 119 Gorbals Street, Her Majesty's Theatre

Classification Theatre (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Royal Princess's Theatre; Citizens' Theatre; Citizens Theatre

Canmore ID 165314

Site Number NS56SE 712

NGR NS 59055 64253

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Glasgow, City Of
  • Parish Govan (City Of Glasgow)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District City Of Glasgow
  • Former County Lanarkshire

Recording Your Heritage Online

Citizens' Theatre, 119 Gorbals Street, 1878, Campbell Douglas & Sellars

Built as Her Majesty's Theatre. New façade with John Mossman statues, rescued from the old parapet, above the entrance and foyer, 1989, Building Design Partnership. The red elephants were part of Joseph Sharp's 1887 fairground-style redecoration. Brilliant refurbished auditorium interior of cast-iron columns, ornate capitals and box fronts, with rich panelled plaster ceiling.

Taken from "Greater Glasgow: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Sam Small, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press

Architecture Notes

ARCHITECT: Campbell Douglas & Sellars 1878

David Hamilton's columns and statuary on principal facade originally formed part of the portico of Union Bank, 191 Ingram Street.

(Undated) information in NMRS.

Her Majesty's Theatre from 1878. The Royal Princess's Theatre until 1945. Seating capacity 1,000. Glasgow Citizens' Theatre company founded 1943, performing in the Athenaeum Theatre, Buchanan Street until 1945 (see NS56NE 230). Columns and statues removed from facade 1976. New glazed front, entrance atrium and foyer by Building Design Partnership 1990.

G D Byatt 1956; B Edwards 1990.



The Citizens’ Theatre was recorded in 2016 prior to a period of major demolition and alteration. The auditorium was originally part of the 1878 Her Majesty’s Theatre, later the Royal Princess’s Theatre, the building became the Citizens in the post war years when it became the official home of the Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre Company, which remains as one of the few producing theatres in Scotland. The earliest frontage, which reused the 1841 David Hamilton columns from his design for the Union Bank, Ingram Street was destroyed in 1977 as part of the clearance of the surrounding Gorbals tenements, a new frontage replaced this in 1989 with the surviving sculptural figures now on show in the current foyer space, as are elephants and caryatid relics from the Palace Theatre which once stood next door.

The current scheme will replace the frontage and foyer spaces, creating access to all the seating levels, it is intended to improve ventilation and safety in the stage house and access for scenery on to the stage. There will also be the opportunity to show some of the historic surviving stage machinery, such as the working paint frame where scenery flats (back sheets) are raised and lowered to paint using a counter weight system. Much of the surviving machinery, such as the drums and traps are not easily accessible as they are above and below stage level, but these are probably now unique survivors in Scotland. The theatre is intended to remain open during its restoration and areas of the stores will become circulation spaces for the duration.


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