The new theatre was opened on January 18, 1875, with an amateur performance. Before the play began, the band of the Rifle Corps played God Save the Queen, and Captain Castle came forward to recite a prologue he had written. It went as follows:
Good gracious! Where am I ? What a surprise!
Say, have I lost my reason or my eyes ?
Ladies and Gentlemen, I appeal to you,
Where's the old Theatre we so well knew ?
Where the old boxes, oft a piteous sight ;
The wretched chandeliers that gave no light ?
Where's the old gallery ? Where the drafty pit ?
In both where smokers once were want to sit.
Where's the old act-drop ? Where the Shaky stage ?
You'll ne'er see them again, that I'll engage,
For we have changed all these.......