Theatres in Norfolk

Theatres In Norfolk

Norfolk has a rich history when it comes to the performing arts, with a long-standing tradition of theatre. The region is home to several theatres that offer a diverse range of productions, from musicals and plays to ballet and opera. Below are many of the theatres in Norfolk.

Norwich Theatre Royal

Norwich Theatre Royal is a historic and iconic performing arts venue located in the heart of the city of Norwich. Built in 1935, the theatre is a stunning example of Art Deco architecture and has been entertaining audiences for almost a century.

Over the years, Norwich Theatre Royal has played host to a wide range of theatrical productions, from classic dramas and musicals to contemporary plays and comedy shows. Some of the biggest names in entertainment have graced its stage, including Laurence Olivier, Vanessa Redgrave, and Kenneth Branagh, to name just a few.

The theatre is also home to the National Theatre's Connections Festival, which showcases some of the UK's most talented young actors and writers. It has a seating capacity of 1,300, making it one of the largest and most popular venues in the region.

Aside from its impressive performance schedule, Norwich Theatre Royal is also renowned for its community outreach programs. It offers a range of educational and creative opportunities for people of all ages, including workshops, talks, and courses designed to inspire and engage people in the world of theatre.

One of the most notable features of Norwich Theatre Royal is its stunning auditorium, which boasts ornate detailing, plush seating, and excellent acoustics. The venue also has a range of other spaces, including a studio theatre, a bar and restaurant, and several function rooms that can be hired for events and functions.

Overall, Norwich Theatre Royal is an essential part of the cultural landscape of Norfolk, and a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the performing arts. Whether you're a theatre enthusiast or just looking for a memorable night out, this iconic venue has something for everyone.

Maddermarket Theatre

The Maddermarket Theatre is a historic theatre located in the heart of Norwich. Founded in 1921 by a group of dedicated theatre enthusiasts, the Maddermarket has a rich and fascinating history.

The theatre's name is derived from the fact that it was built on the site of a former madder market, where the roots of the madder plant were sold for use in dyeing cloth. Today, the theatre is known for its vibrant and varied programme of productions, ranging from classic plays and musicals to innovative contemporary theatre.

The Maddermarket Theatre is housed in a beautiful Grade II listed building that dates back to the 15th century. Originally a church, the building was converted into a theatre in the early 20th century, and today it retains much of its original charm and character.

One of the most striking features of the Maddermarket is its intimate and atmospheric auditorium. With a seating capacity of just over 300, the theatre provides a unique and intimate setting for theatre-goers to enjoy a wide range of performances.

Over the years, the Maddermarket has played host to some of the biggest names in British theatre, including Sir John Gielgud, Sir Laurence Olivier, and Sir Kenneth Branagh, who performed there as a teenager.

Today, the Maddermarket continues to be a vital and thriving part of the Norfolk arts scene. Its programme of productions is diverse and engaging, and its commitment to supporting emerging talent ensures that it remains a hub of creativity and innovation.

If you're a theatre lover visiting Norfolk, be sure to check out the Maddermarket Theatre. Whether you're a fan of classic plays, contemporary theatre, or musicals, there's something for everyone at this historic and vibrant venue.

The Garage Theatre

The Garage Theatre in Norfolk is a small but vibrant venue that showcases some of the best local talents in the area. Situated in the heart of Norwich, it has become a popular destination for theatregoers looking for a unique and intimate experience.

The theatre's origins can be traced back to the early 1970s when it was used as a garage for servicing cars. However, in the late 1980s, it was converted into a theatre space by a group of local actors and artists who were looking for an affordable and accessible venue to stage their productions.

Since then, The Garage has played host to a diverse range of performances, from experimental theatre and dance to stand-up comedy and live music. It has also become a hub for emerging artists and companies who are looking to break into the industry.

One of the key strengths of The Garage is its commitment to supporting and nurturing local talent. The venue runs a range of workshops, masterclasses, and training programs designed to help emerging artists develop their skills and hone their craft. This has led to the creation of a vibrant and supportive community of artists, many of whom have gone on to achieve national and international recognition.

In recent years, The Garage has expanded its programming to include a wider range of events and performances, as well as community outreach initiatives designed to engage with local residents and encourage participation in the arts.

Overall, The Garage Theatre is a testament to the power of community-driven arts initiatives. Its success is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and creativity of the many artists, volunteers, and supporters who have helped make it a thriving and vibrant part of Norwich's cultural landscape.

Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds

The Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds is a historic venue with a rich history and cultural significance. Located in the heart of the market town of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, England, the theatre has been entertaining audiences for over 200 years.

Originally built as a Georgian playhouse in 1819, the theatre has undergone several renovations and restorations over the years, including a major refurbishment in 2007 that brought the building up to modern standards while retaining its historical charm.

Today, the Theatre Royal is a thriving cultural centre that hosts a wide range of performances, including plays, musicals, concerts, and comedy shows. It also serves as a community hub, offering educational programs, workshops, and events for local schools and residents.

One of the most notable features of the Theatre Royal is its stunning architecture, which blends classic Georgian style with modern amenities. The auditorium boasts ornate plasterwork, decorative chandeliers, and a beautiful proscenium arch, while the foyer and bar area offer contemporary design elements and state-of-the-art facilities.

The theatre has welcomed a host of famous actors, musicians, and performers over the years, including Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, and Kenneth Branagh. It has also played a significant role in the development of several successful plays and musicals, including the West End hit "The Play That Goes Wrong."

For those interested in the history and heritage of theatre, the Theatre Royal offers guided tours that explore the backstage areas, costume department, and other behind-the-scenes aspects of the venue.

Overall, the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds is a beloved institution that has provided entertainment and cultural enrichment for generations of residents and visitors alike. Its continued success and popularity are a testament to the enduring power of live performance and the importance of preserving our cultural heritage.

Sheringham Little Theatre

Sheringham Little Theatre is a charming venue located in the town of Sheringham, Norfolk. This small but vibrant theatre has been entertaining audiences for over 50 years, offering a diverse range of performances including theatre productions, live music concerts, comedy shows, and films.

The theatre was originally a seafront pavilion built in the early 20th century but was later converted into a cinema in the 1930s. In the 1950s, it was converted again into a theatre and has since undergone several renovations and refurbishments to become the beloved community hub it is today.

One of the unique features of Sheringham Little Theatre is its intimate setting, which allows for a truly immersive experience for the audience. The theatre seats just over 180 people, providing a cosy and intimate atmosphere that brings the performers and the audience closer together.

The theatre has a dedicated team of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure that every performance is a success. From the box office to the bar, the team is committed to providing a warm and welcoming environment for everyone who visits.

Sheringham Little Theatre also offers a range of educational programs and workshops, including drama classes for children and young adults. These programs are designed to foster creativity and develop skills in performance and production, helping to nurture the next generation of artists and theatre-makers.

Overall, Sheringham Little Theatre is a true gem of Norfolk's cultural scene, offering a unique and unforgettable experience for anyone who loves the arts. Whether you're a local resident or a visitor to the area, this theatre is definitely worth a visit.

Gorleston Pavilion Theatre

Gorleston Pavilion Theatre is a historic entertainment venue located in the seaside town of Gorleston-on-Sea in Norfolk. The theatre, which dates back to 1901, is known for its beautiful Edwardian architecture and rich history of providing high-quality entertainment to the local community and visitors alike.

The theatre originally opened as the Gorleston Palace of Varieties, and it quickly became a popular destination for vaudeville acts, musical performances, and other forms of entertainment. Over the years, the theatre has hosted a wide range of performers, including comedians, magicians, singers, and dancers.

Today, the Gorleston Pavilion Theatre continues to be a popular venue for live performances and events. The theatre has undergone extensive renovations in recent years, and it now boasts state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, as well as modern facilities and amenities for performers and audiences.

In addition, to live performances, the theatre also hosts a variety of other events, including film screenings, workshops, and community gatherings. Visitors to the theatre can enjoy a range of refreshments and snacks at the on-site café, which offers a welcoming and friendly atmosphere.

Overall, the Gorleston Pavilion Theatre is a beloved local institution that has played an important role in the cultural life of Norfolk for more than a century. Whether you are a fan of live theatre, music, or comedy, or simply looking for a fun and memorable night out, the Gorleston Pavilion Theatre is well worth a visit.


In conclusion, Norfolk has a rich and varied theatre scene, with a range of venues that cater to all tastes and interests. From grand and historic theatres to small and intimate venues, there is something for everyone in this region. Whether you are a fan of classic plays, modern dramas or musicals.