The Theatre Inn

Devonport’s first theatre opened in 1762, four years after Plymouth’s first proper theatre. Called simply ‘Dock Theatre’ – Devonport was then still known as Plymouth Dock – it was, at first, in direct competition with its Plymouth counterpart although in time, it would appear, the Dock establishment developed a racier reputation with its mainly Services-based audience displaying a marked preference for ‘bluer’ humour. At first not legally allowed to show complete plays (two London theatres had a monopoly on that), it would feature extracts, typically from Shakespeare, along with songs, dances and other diversions. The Theatre Inn, as you might expect, was alongside and but appears to have been a victim of redevelopment – it stood at the beginning of Cumberland Street, right at the main entrance into the Town from Stonehouse and Plymouth – in the middle of the nineteenth century. The Theatre itself was a little more fortunate, surviving through to the end of the century.


1812 - William Shepherd
1822 - Williams Weeks
1822 - Thomas Andrew