Royal Court Theatre

Alex Saint

The Royal Court occupies a singular place in Scouse culture. Its fortunes have, in many ways, mirrored the city’s own. Once a grand Art Deco music hall (opened in 1938), the theatre sunk into a steady decline in the 1980s.

By the mid-1990s the plaster was peeling in great waves from the theatre’s ornate moulded ceilings. With its windows resembling arrow slits, and the less-than-processional route into its dismal foyer, the Royal Court was a place that reeked of faded memories and mouldy greasepaint. However, recently the theatre has enjoyed something of a renaissance, following a multi-million pound refurb in 2005. Now, the theatre stages mostly home-grown comedies, somewhat mannered and self-conscious reflections of an inward-looking city. It’s a genre some in the city have dubbed ‘scouseploitation’: A Nightmare on Lime Street, Slappers and Slapheads, Brick up the Mersey Tunnels et al (many written by Kirby wordsmith Nicky Alt). The in-jokes, blunt edged humour and prosaic subject matter mightn’t be to everyone’s taste. But here’s the thing: the shows are always sell outs, and the theatre’s coffers have never looked so good.

1 Roe StreetLiverpoolL1 1HL View map
Telephone: Bookings 0870 787 1866 Visit Now


Wheelchair access to stalls only

Services and Facilities

Pre-theatre dining, heritage tours

What's on near Royal Court Theatre

Old Dock Tours, Liverpool

The Old Dock tour is a treat for younger and older visitors alike, fans of Liverpool’s maritime past, and anybody curious about local history.

£8.50 with concessions

Where to go near Royal Court Theatre

City Centre
Liverpool Playhouse

The Liverpool Playhouse theatre retains much of its 1911 structure, and has a varied programme of events from a rock’n’roll panto, to live poetry and comedy.


Bacino pizza and cicchetti bring a slice of Naples cuisine to Liverpool. With tasty dishes and lots of drinks options.

City Centre
Walker Art Gallery

The Walker Art Gallery is a small but perfectly formed traditional gallery. It houses an impressive collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative art from 13th century to present day. 

Liverpool Central Library
City Centre
Liverpool Central Library

The final building in the World Heritage Site of William Brown Street to be revamped, the wonderfully restored Central Library takes pride of place in Liverpool’s architecturally stunning Cultural Quarter alongside St George’s Hall, Walker Art Gallery and World Museum.

Culture Guides