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Theatre Services - Hayles and Howe

Royal Opera House 

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Royal Opera House





Hayles and Howe are available to help Theatres with their ceiling inspections or certification. Please phone David Harrison on 07768233606 or email

Hayles and Howe have broad experience of inspection, conservation and restoration of ornamental plasterwork and Scagliola in Theatres and public buildings throughout the world and specialise in sensitive remodelling of historic interiors to integrate modern technology

Theatre restoration has for many years been one of Hayles and Howe’s major interests.  As an international company they have enjoyed working on many of the worlds wonderful theatres helping to restore them to their former glories.

Restoration projects in Theatres often requires Hayles and Howe to carry out time consuming, accurate, technical, and careful research to find the original identity of the design and manufacture of the Theatre and its plasterwork.

The Conservation of Theatres is also a major part of Hayles and Howe’s expertise offering a ceiling safety certification and inspection service.  As most Theatres contain a broad mix of building materials collected from each era through which they have passed most old Theatres require some careful treatment to preserve their fibrous plasterwork.  The structure of a fibrous panel, being more than half composed of organic material attached to timber struts, leaves it highly vulnerable to attack by moisture and all forms of cellulose moulds and fungi. The most important part of fibrous conservation is therefore prevention via a regular inspection.  When completing an Inspection of a Theatre ceiling Hayles and Howe access the roof space behind the ceiling to assess its true condition, this space should be cleaned and the structure monitored regularly thus reducing fire damage and keeping the weight of the potential debris at a minimum.  The company will also assess the ventilation, moisture content and where possible any original suspension points of the ceiling and roof for any potential areas of concern.


Download our Theatre Restoration Brochure 

Download the Theatre Restoration pdf for more information

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Theatres Hayles and Howe have worked on Internationally

  • Theatre Royal, Drury Lane - Ceiling survey including rope access inspection and repairs to historic auditorium
  • Maryland Theatre, Hagerstown, MD, USA - Emergency repairs and consolidation to 1915 Thomas Lamb theatre
  • The Dominion Theatre, London - Survey of plasterwork, cleaning back of fibrous ceiling over bar, installation of cornice to match existing and repair to plasterwork
  • Aldwych Theatre - Repairs following the removal of a false proscenium arch, installation of potmenders and survey
  • Apollo Victoria - Plasterwork inspection and consolidation works
  • Kings Theatre, Southsea - Condition survey, report and ceiling certificate for 1907 Matcham theatre
  • Liverpool Playhouse - Temporary repair of damaged grille
  • Cambridge Theatre - Installation of top hat sections for new fall arrest system
  • Duchess Theatre - Plaster repairs to foyer
  • Harrogate Theatre - Survey, condition report and ceiling certificate
  • Gaiety Theatre, Isle of Man - Survey of auditorium and repairs to a statue in an original Matcham theatre
  • Theatre Royal, Haymarket - Ceiling inspection and repairs commissioned by Purcell Architects
  • Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh - Survey of auditorium and repair work to the proscenium arch in an 1883 Phipps theatre
  • Buxton Opera House - Restoration of plasterwork in the Foyer of a beautiful Frank Matcham theatre
  • Bristol Hippodrome - Plasterwork repairs to the domed ceiling and proscenium arch
  • Broadway Theatre, Catford - Repairs to balcony front and proscenium arch of Art Deco auditorium
  • Theatre Royal, Wakefield - Thorough safety survey and report of the plasterwork in this early Matcham theatre
  • Dominion Theatre, London - Survey of the boxes
  • O2 Academy, Brixton - Repair to plasterwork in the bar
  • The Old Vic, London - Refurbishment and re-painting of a fibreglass crest on the roof of the theatre
  • O2 Academy, Bournemouth - Consolidation of candy coating a fibrous plaster apse
  • Shepherds Bush Empire Inspection and Repair
  • Hanover Theatre for Performing Arts, Worcester, Massachusetts - Won the Boston Society of Architects AIA New England Design Award, designed by Lamoureux Pagano Associates.
  • Theatre Royal, Bath - Repairs to the Auditorium and extension of Anaglypta panelled ceiling in the Foyer with principal contractor Midas Interiors
  • Harrogate Theatre - Inspection and issue of Ceiling Certificate
  • The Richmond Theatre, Surrey - Emergency repairs to Frank Matcham auditorium
  • The Dominion Theatre, London  - Cleaning the reverse of the auditorium ceiling and repairs to fibrous plaster
  • The Everyman, Cheltenham - Survey of auditorium and investigation of Scagliola proscenium
  • The Apollo Victoria, London - Repair of Decorative Plaster Fish
  • The Hanover Theatre, USA - Restoration of ornamental and flat plaster including the loge boxes and Auditorium in a 1908 Thomas Lamb theatre. 
  • The Beacon Theatre, New York - Exotic Ornamental Plasterwork repairs and restoration of the Scagliola entrance hall.
  • Cheltenham Ladies College Theatre, Cheltenham - Installation of decorative plasterwork in Tim Foster's new theatre.
  • The Old Vic, London - Refurbishment of the fibrous plaster box fronts which were carefully removed and taken to our workshops.  Here they were remade in fibre glass and re-installed in May.
  • The Apollo, Victoria - Rope access survey, external and internal
  • The Apollo, Hammersmith - Emergency repairs
  • The Astoria 1 and 2 - Plaster repairs to both theatres.
  • The Leeds Grand - Replacement of the decorative render scheme
  • Dominion Dance Studio - Refurbishment of the decorative light well in the foyer of the top studio
  • Astoria - Survey and report
  •  King’s Theatre, Southsea - Major restoration of this 95% original Frank Matcham Theatre.  Hayles and Howe have been involved in this project for many years see Press Release and Theatre Restoration pdf for more details
  • Shaftesbury - Restoration of auditorium dome to ensure safety after a ceiling Inspection and a Ceiling Certificate
  • Harrogate Theatre - Inspection and Ceiling Inspection
  • Dominion Theatre - Inspection and certification
  • Leas Cliff Hall - Full survey and Ceiling certificate
  • Palace Theatre Manchester - Survey prompted by cracking in balcony fronts
  • Odeon - Inspection and minor remedial work
  • Curzon Cinema Tin Plate  - Restoration Schedule researched and defined
  • Everyman Cheltenham - Report on plaster condition together with an exploration of the paint proscenium arch, to establish it to be scagliola
  • Forum Ceiling - Inspection and Certification
  • National Theatre, Washington, District of Columbia 
  • New Theatre Royal Portsmouth - Removal of Balcony fronts and renovation of scagliola elements
  • Royal Opera House, Scarborough - Removal and storage of the proscenium arch prior to demolition of the building
  • Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, York, Pennsylvania
  • Hippodrome Performing Arts Center, Baltimore, Maryland  January
  • AFI Silver Theatre, Silver Spring, Maryland 
  • Comedy Theatre - Emergency repair
  • Wyndhams Theatre - Proscenium Arch repairs
  • Theatre Royal Wakefield - Survey Report and Ceiling Certification
  • Harrogate Royal Hall - Consultation, condition assessment, cost analysis, lincrusta/anaglypta assessment with Full Condition Report and recommendations Piccadilly Emergency Repair work during dark period
  • Theatre Royal Stratford East - Survey and condition report.
  • Buxton Opera House - Full refurbishment of a Frank Matcham Opera House  
  • Blackpool Grand Theatre - Full refurbishment of a Frank Matcham Theatre
  • Gaiety Theatre, Isle of Man - Frank Matcham masterpiece conserved and restored both internally and externally.  Hayles and Howe were involved with this project over a ten year period
  • Apollo Hammersmith - Refurbishment of Balcony fronts, proscenium arch and ceilings
  • The New Victory Theatre, 42nd Street, New York, NY 
  • The Stanley Warner Theatre,12th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington  
  • The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden - Conservation of 1850’s Auditorium plasterwork and the Royal Box. Complete refurbishment of auditorium plasterwork including the dome. The dome included hatches of 4 x 3m in fibre glass within the lattice section
  • Regent Theatre, Stoke on Trent –Total restoration of 1930’s fibrous plaster interior
  • Bristol Hippodrome Theatre – Fibrous plaster restoration behind ceiling dome
  • Blackpool circus and ballroom
  • Theatre Royal Newcastle – Introduction of steel guides to protect proscenium grille for the Royal Opera Company.  General refurbishment and redecoration of the proscenium arch.  A Frank Matcham Theatre.


Ornamental plasterwork and scagliola, decorative plaster and 
fibrous plaster specialists Hayles and Howe
Theatre Services - Hayles and Howe



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