The Era
Saturday, 2nd September, 1899

The Irving Theatre, Seacombe

The greatest interest is being shown in the erection and prospective opening of the new theatre at Seacombe, Cheshire, on the shores of the Mersey, nearly opposite the great seaport of Liverpool. Energy and enterprise have been brought to bear on the erection of a new dramatic centre which is sure to secure the cordial patronage of a large residential population in a portion of the Peninsula of Wirral which is not at present supplied with any amusements, either musical or dramatic.

Mr. James Kiernan, well known in the theatrical world, who is at the head of the scheme, is a man of infinite resource and striking discrimination, the latter quality being shown by the fact that he has adopted one of the most honoured names in the profession--Sir Henry Irving--as the title by which his charming bijou theatre shall be known to future generations.

Every modern improvement and appliance have been brought to bear upon the construction and ramifications of the new Thespian temple, and all the arrangements have had the strict and constant personal superintendence of Mr. Kiernan. He expresses a hope that on the occasion of the opening the great actor who gives the theatre its title will be able in some measure to take part in the inaugural ceremony. Meanwhile workmen are busily engaged in carrying out and completing a building which cannot fail to be a place of legitimate entertainment to many who hitherto been debarred from dramatic and musical enjoyment in the immediate neighbourhood. The district is progressing numerically and otherwise by "leaps and bounds," and all the residents who delight in wholesome and attractive theatrical fare rejoice in the fact that they will so soon have their amusements brought practically to their own doors, instead of having to cross the Mersey or travel a considerable distance by land. The theatre is situated in Victoria Road, Seacombe, one of the leading thoroughfares at the popular riverside resort, and when completed it will be one of the most modern and best appointed of recent times, replete with every convenience and entirely lighted with electricity, the plant and machinery being situated on the premises. The holding capacity of the theatre will be about 2,500 persons, with boxes, orchestra stalls, circle, and gallery. The stage is of the most up-to-date type, and so arranged that the proprietor will be enabled to produce any of the great London successes, having 66ft. from wall to wall and a depth of 40ft. and 70ft. from cellar to gridiron, with the most advanced and approved stage machinery. The convenience of artists is well looked after with fourteen large and commodious dressing-rooms. A handsome green-room for study has been arranged, with every attention to the comfort of those who may visit the theatre. The decorations will be in handsome fibrous plaster, and will be carried out by the celebrated theatrical furnishing company of Messrs A. R. Dean and Co., of Corporation Street, Birmingham. The theatre is surrounded by a high class population, and stands prominently, without a rival place of entertainment of any description for two miles and a half. Mr. Kiernan has named the building the Irving Theatre by special permission of Sir Henry Irving. it is expected that the establishment will be opened in November. and in the meantime several well-known and popular companies have been booked.

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