The Lyceum Theatre Crewe

Lyceum Theatre CreweThe present Lyceum Theatre we all know today stands on the site of a Roman Catholic church which was built in the early 1850’s for irish immigrant railway workers.

This church served the Catholic community within Crewe up until 1876 when a new church was built on what we know as Saint Mary’s Street.

The old church well on Heath Street still exists under the stage of the Lyceum to this day.

Lyceum Theatre CreweWhen the new church was completed the old church was acquired by a local farmer named Mr Thomas Cliffe who then allowed a local printer named Henry Taylor to turn the old church building into a theatre which opened in 1882.

Mr Henry Taylor was then very keen to have a proper theatre building on the site on Heath Street and with the help of some local businessmen formed the Crewe Lyceum Theatre Buildings company which resulted in the opening of the New Lyceum Theatre on the 21st November 1887 with a new seating capacity of 1,250.

The auditorium was then refitted in 1908 to increase the number of boxes and was then reopened as the Opera House.

The Fire

Lyceum Theatre CreweSadly on 11th March 1910 a fire broke out and completely destroyed the building.

The shareholders decided to completely rebuild the theatre after which it was then reopened on 6th September 1911 which most of remains today.

Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council bought the theatre in 1955.

The Haunting

The Lyceum Theatre boasts of no fewer than 3 ghosts.

The first is said to be of a conscience-stricken monk who is said to wander the lower areas of the auditorium. Legend has it that he also haunts the Three Lamps pub which backs onto the theatre.

The next two are an old forgotten actor who is said to haunt the area by the stage door and there is also speculation of a ballet dancer who is said to have hung herself in the dressing room.

The theatre was exorcized in 1969 but has seemed to have had no effect as in the 1970s the actor and dancer are said to have appeared in front of a whole cast who were on stage and saw the pair standing at the back of one of the boxes watching the performance.

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