The Queen’s Theatre is a theatre in Barnstaple. It assumed its current form in 1993, but the history of theatre in Barnstaple can be traced back to at least 1435, when minstrels, players, jugglers and buffoons were an established feature of Barnstaple’s annual fair. Documents indicate that in 1605 a touring troupe, the King’s Players visited, and it is believed that William Shakespeare was one of their members.[according to whom?]
John Gay, a renowned contributor in the theatre world, best known for the ‘Beggar’s Opera’ was born in Barnstaple. Barnstaple’s first theatre was built in Honey Pot Lane (now Theatre Lane) in 1760.
By 1832, it had become ‘ruinous’ and was forced to close. A new theatre, ‘The Grecian Hall’, opened in 1834. Renamed ‘The Theatre Royal’ around 1860, it regularly staged popular musicals and musical comedies. By 1880 this too had closed, although performances continued at a large room above the Corn Market (the site of the present theatre) which had served as a music hall since 1854.