Our main house is a beautiful Victorian auditorium designed by the famous architects Charles Phipps and Frank Matcham, and is one of the last few remaining Phipps/Matcham theatres in operation.
The theatre reopened in October 2015 following an extensive refurbishment project that included improvements to the stage, fly-tower and backstage area, and the capacity of the auditorium was returned to just over 600 seats, .
The Stalls, Dress and Upper Circle are all open to the public while the original God’s tier is currently inaccessible. The Stalls and Dress Circle have fold down theatre seats while the Upper Circle has cushioned seats with no backs. We hope in the near future to be able to finish restoring and be able to use the Dress Circle Boxes.
Our traditional Proscenium-arch stage with orchestra pit, is a modern construction of an original 1884/1900 Phipps/Matcham Theatre, with access to the stage for load-in available via Spring Lane at the side of the building.
The main house stage has been graced by many iconic figures over the years, including Laurel and Hardy, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Laurence Olivier and Sarah Bernhardt; it also featured in the famous Ken Russell film, The Boyfriend. More recently our lovely theatre has seen performances from many of the UK’s top Stand-Up comedians, and even hosted a whole week of performances of Gary Barlow’s A Different Stage.