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History The Old Rep, built in 1913, was built as a permanent home for distinguished theatre director Barry Jackson’s Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company. It was the first purpose-built repertory theatre in the UK. Construction on the Old Rep began in October 1912. Built day and night for four months, it was opened on 15 February 1913 with a performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, preceded by a reading by Barry Jackson, of the poem ‘The Mighty Line’, by John Drinkwater. Many of the current features are original from the theatre's first opening, which gives this venue a wonderful sense of authenticity. A blue plaque dedicated to our founder Sir Barry Jackson can be seen on the front of the Old Rep, high above the entrance. The theatre is built on a small site between Station Street and Hinckley Street (Birmingham) necessitating a steeply raked auditorium which exists to this day, giving every seat in the house an excellent view of the stage.
Laurence Olivier, Peggy Ashcroft, Percy Rhodes and Carrie Baillie outside The Rep in 1922.
The founder Sir Barry Jackson outside the theatre in 1927.
Michael Gambon, Alison Key and Brian Cox in Othello, 1968.
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