Tyne & Wear

Newcastle theatre auction attracts bidders

Theatre Royal
Image caption The restoration is due to be completed by September

An auction to give people a chance to own a piece of Newcastle theatre history raised £4,000.

The city's Theatre Royal is closing for a £4.75m revamp and many items were put under the hammer.

Hundreds of people were at the auction with the highest bid £270 for a seat with a Sir Ian McKellen name plaque and the lowest £5 for a brass light.

The restoration of the Grade I listed theatre is due to take until September and includes new seating and lighting.

The auction included items which were not originals from the theatre, which opened in 1837.

The revamp aim is to return the venue to the style of Frank Matcham's 1901 auditorium design.

A theatre spokeswoman said: "It was really good. There were a lot of competitive bids. There was a sense of excitement and a bit of a festive atmosphere."

Money from the sale will go towards the revamp or theatre upkeep.

Bidders will be able to pick up their purchases on 15 March once the final shows have been staged.

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