If you live in or around Brighton, the chances are you know the Theatre Royal.

The Grade II listed building was first opened in 1807 and has been a cornerstone of the community ever since.

John Baldock, the general manager of the Theatre Royal, says that the history of the venue is what keeps people coming back: “People have got a connection with the venue; from when they were kids, their parents or grandparents bringing them.”

The building continues to be as busy now as ever before, with touring stage shows, one night performances and everything in between seemingly taking to the stage in New Road.

John says that it is the range of shows, the scenic nature of Brighton itself and its background of showcasing acts that keeps tours coming back. John says: “It’s lovely that producers want to bring the work to Brighton, they want to come to this venue.

“Actors and performers love the city, they love the audience and their responsive nature. It keeps the building alive, because a lot of these places could be sat empty.

“I think it’s about what we offer and the heritage of the building. Everybody who is anybody has come through these doors at some point in their career; producers and actors all love that.

“We’re one of the key regional touring venues because, pre-West-End and post-West-End, we’ve got a close proximity to London, the reputation of the building, the vibrancy and excitement of the city.”

Of course the near 1,000 seater venue is over 200 years old, and with that does come with drawbacks.

However, John says the team will always do their best to accommodate show and adds: “We’re 211 years old, so there’s only certain weights that we can suspend above the stage. If you know the theatre, then you’ll know that the get in doors in Bond Street are probably some of the smallest get in doors of any theatre in the country. If a show has huge set pieces that won’t fit through our doors, it’s pointless.

“The crews and performers, they get incredibly well looked after.

“It’s a full experience, performing in Brighton.”

He adds that it is the age of the venue that makes it unique, and that whilst he likes modern venues he feels they don’t have the same appeal. He says: “People want to bring their shows to Brighton, because they can do them in this big, traditional venue which is full of life and stories, other modern venues don’t have that charm.

“There’s shows that will tour to us and do great business and then go somewhere like Milton Keynes which is only 16 years old.

“I’m fond of modern venues, but you go to a modern venue and you could be anywhere. When you’re on stage here and you’ve got the smell and sound and you can hear the seagulls as you’re stood on stage, you know where you are. You’re firmly rooted in the Theatre Royal, Brighton.”

The Reason I’m sitting with John is to discuss the new brochure the theatre has just released which documents all their showcase events from August to well into 2019.

In the digital age we live in, print can sometimes get lost.

However, John believes there is still a place for their print based brochure, and that it improves their business overall: He says: “A lot of people think print is dead, I would personally disagree, I think there’s room for print and digital. A lot of people like the longevity of a piece of print, they like something that falls through their door that they can sit and look through. The distribution on it is huge, we print them three times a year and it’s our biggest marketing tool. You automatically see a spike in sales, from people who maybe haven’t checked online, but see it in this.”

For John there is one great joy of his role and working at the Theatre Royal. He adds: “It’s nice to stand at the back of the auditorium and watch people having a great time; they’re not being challenged, they’re just being entertained.”