Paul Cooper and Sue Jesson (Front of House & Heritage Group Volunteers) are a couple whose love blossomed during the time they spent at the theatre. They did not know each other before meeting at the theatre; after losing both of their spouses within a couple of months of each other in 2015, they joined the theatre family in 2016 (also within a few months of each other). 2017 was spent just chatting whenever they worked together and in January 2018 they started going out together platonically. It wasn’t long until they realised that things had changed and the rest, as they say, is history. Now, they have decided to celebrate the 200th Anniversary in quite an unusual way! Paul and Sue will be watching a show at every Theatre Royal in the UK in 2019!
Theatre Royal Norwich
Theatre Royal York
Theatre Royal Windsor
As far as they are aware there are twenty Theatre Royals still operating under that name in 2019. The Theatre Royal in Drury Lane will be a problem as that is shut until 2020 for refurbishment but had a production showing in January 2019. A suggestion has been made that if Sue stands on the stage and sings a song then the criteria for a visit will have been fulfilled! Although having sung in choirs Sue is putting up a bit of resistance to that suggestion. Paul cannot do it as according to him his voice could clear an auditorium faster than a fire alarm!
To date four Theatre Royals have been visited. Naturally Sleeping Beauty here was the first on the list but they have also visited Norwich (Aladdin), York (40 Years A Dame – which was a panto) and Windsor (Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat).
Aladdin at Norwich Theatre Royal
40 Years a Dame at York Theatre Royal
Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat at Windsor Theatre Royal
Luckily most of the theatres are in regional clumps so can be visited over a few days as long as there is a show on. Margate stands alone but that is only a couple of hours from here and the visit is planned as a day trip. Plymouth is a bit of hike but Paul and Sue have a holiday in Cornwall booked and will ‘knock it off’ at some point then. At Bath they will see Blithe Spirit, coincidently at the same time the play is being shown here.
They will keep us updated as to their progress.