Royal Court Theatre
Built in the 12th century, the Royal Court Theatre was originally the site of a water well. In 1826 circus owner, John Cooke, bought the site for his circuses, plays, operas and concerts, and it became known as 'Cooke's Royal Amphitheatre of Arts.' During this time, Pablo Fanque, the black circus performer and proprietor immortalised in the Beatles song, Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! performed here as a part of William Batty's circus. In 1881, the building was redesigned by Henry Sumner as a regular theatre and it was re-opened as the Royal Court. With no televisions and no cinema, Liverpool audiences of the late 19th Century flocked to the theatre. Liverpool possessed no less than 26 theatres and 38 music halls. The main theatres towards the end of the century were the Prince Of Wales in Clayton Square (opened 1861) the Shakespeare Theatre off London Road (opened 1866) and the Royal Court Theatre.