The Northcott Theatre and Arts Centre was conceived of by G.V. Northcott after the demolition of Exeter’s Theatre Royal in 1962. A site at Exeter University was offered and Sir William Holford and Partners were engaged as architects, with Michael Warre as Theatre Consultant. The theatre opened with a production of The Merchant of Venice on 2nd November 1967. Early directors were known for fostering new writing talent and many famous actors performed there early in their careers. Despite facing cuts, loss of funding and the threat of closure, the future of the theatre is now more secure with a new company, the Exeter Northcott Theatre Company, having been formed with the University of Exeter on 5 June 2010. The theatre celebrated it’s 50th anniversary in 2017.
The Northcott Theatre archive comprises operational and production records spanning the period from its opening in 1967 to its threatened closure in 2010. These include administrative, legal and operational records, information on the technical management of theatre productions, promotional literature and press coverage. There is also a collection of photographic records of productions and actors, along with records of film productions from the earlier Theatre Royal in Exeter.