Dernier & Hamlyn’s work recreates history at Theatre Royal Newcastle

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    Using archive photography to develop accurate recreations of the light fittings that were installed at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle in the early 20th Century, Dernier & Hamlyn recently recreated a sunburner for the auditorium of the Theatre Royal in Newcastle. Retaining all the beauty of the original fitting, whilst taking advantage of the latest lighting technology, the sunburner was manufactured at Dernier & Hamlyn’s South London factory alongside a further 150 fittings for the theatre. Dernier & Hamlyn’s work included ceiling lights in the main auditorium made in cast brass and featuring leaf patterns as well as fifty wall lights for the main foyer and staircase and chandeliers that have been fitted throughout the building formed using cast brass and handblown glass.The original sunburner was installed in 1901 at the Theatre Royal as part of celebrated theatre architect Frank Matcham’s classic Edwardian design, and used gas lighting. The magnificent new light uses a combination of fibre optics and colour-changeable LED’s that can be altered to suit the required mood. In addition, the ceramic bowls that sat above the gaslights have been replaced by white sprayed metal castings to reduce the weight of the fitting and its cost, both important factors for public buildings today.

    Chief Executive of Newcastle Theatre Royal Philip Bernays comments:
    “The new sunburner looks splendid and is a very important part of the successful restoration project that has been achieved. “

    Dernier & Hamlyn worked in partnership on this project with historic theatre consultants TheatreSearch and used archive photography of the original fittings to recreate both the sunburner and other decorative lighting throughout the theatre.

    Theatresearch Managing Director David Wilmore comments:
    “We chose Dernier & Hamlyn for this project because of their reputation for painstaking work to recreate historic light fittings and are delighted with the results.”

    Daniel Fountain / 03.10.2011

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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