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Frank Matcham's Masterpieces (to include the Theatre Royal Newcatle Simon Rees Monday 10 June 2019

Frank Matcham (1854-1920) was the architect of many of Britain’s best-known theatres, including the Hackney Empire, Buxton Opera House, Belfast Grand Opera House, Bristol Hippodrome, The Gaiety Theatre in Douglas, Isle of Man, and the London Coliseum. Simon Rees has worked in many of these theatres and gives an insider’s view of Matcham’s architectural legacy. The lecture is illustrated by present-day and period photographs, postcards from the turn of the century, and Matcham’s own fascinatingly detailed architectural drawings. The lecture will include detailed references to the Theatre Royal Newcastle.


Simon studied at Colchester Royal Grammar School and Trinity College, Cambridge, receiving a BA and an MA in English Literature. He taught in Italy and Japan, exploring the art and architecture of both countries. From 1989 to 2012 he was Dramaturg at the Welsh National Opera in Cardiff, working with set, costume and props designers and giving lectures on their work in opera production. He is now a freelance writer and lecturer and lectures widely on opera, art history and literature. He has published several novels, including the award-winning The Devil's Looking-Glass, and in addition poems and opera librettos.