Planning for the Theatre Royal Marrakech began in the 1970’s, with Tunisian architect Charles Boccara being chosen for the project. Construction took longer than anticipated due to design and budget issues. A full 25 years later, on 19 September, 2001, the exterior, reception and 1200-seat outdoor amphitheatre were completed and inaugurated by His Majesty King Mohamed VI. The accompanying 800-seat opera house is yet to be completed.
From the outside, inspired by Roman art, the Theatre Royal Marrakech is a stunning piece of architecture with its imposing cupola and columns. Unfortunately once inside, the story is not so grand. Only the outdoor amphitheatre is available to host events, and with less than ideal acoustics it does not do justice to artistic events such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Morocco.
Renovations to the Theatre are reportedly on the list of major projects for the city of Marrakech but to date no start date has been given.
Despite its shortcomings, the Theatre Royal is a focal point for cultural events in the red city, hosting shows, receptions, concerts, theatre and ballet and other exhibitions throughout the year.
The Theatre Royal is located in the modern quarter of Gueliz, opposite the Marrakech Train Station.