Offering the best touring shows in the country, including plenty that end up with a West End run, the New Theatre (or Theatr Newydd) has a special place in the heart of Welsh theatre-goers. Keeping people entertained since the start of the 20th century, this is the city’s oldest surviving theatre. When it opened in 1906 with a performance of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, the New Theatre boasted one of the largest stages in the country, measuring 76 feet (23 metre) wide, by 54 feet (16 metre) deep. Over the years, a roster of legendary artists has tread its boards, including local legends Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Anthony Hopkins and Richard Harris. To this day it continues to attract the biggest names in show business, with recent performances starring everyone from Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart to David Hasselhoff. With a calendar packed to the brim with drama, musicals, dance, comedy, family shows and yearly pantomime, the theatre attracts a varied audience of all ages and backgrounds. Want to find out what you’ll be able to see on your visit to the New Theatre? Check out our guide to this landmark Cardiff venue. And with a Premier Inn just around the corner, you’ll have no trouble getting ready for the curtain call.
Whether you prefer drama, comedy or music, you’ll find a great show at the New Theatre. Over the years, some of the world's biggest theatrical talents have graced the stage, including Richard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave, Maggie Smith, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. With a calendar packed with musicals, from classics like Cabaret, The Sound of Music and Blood Brothers to newer hits like Legally Blonde, Flashdance and Our House – this venue knows how to hold a tune. For some family fun, check out the kid friendly morning and afternoon matinees, which include favourite children’s story characters like Peppa Pig and The Gruffalo.
Despite being Cardiff’s oldest theatre, at the New Theatre you’ll find all the modern conveniences you need for a great night out. Discover what facilities you’ll find at the New Theatre and other important information so you can start planning your visit.
The New Theatre’s box office is open Monday to Saturday, 10.00am to 8.00pm, but will shut a couple of hours earlier, at 6.00pm, if there’s a performance that day. Always on hand if you want to book a ticket or have any questions, you can pop into the theatre or contact them by phone. For general recorded information, you can call 029 2087 8890. For box office sales it’s 029 2087 8889, but if you’re buying tickets for a large number you can call the group sales line on 029 2087 8878.
With audiences of over 1,100 at sold out performances, the New Theatre has a number of seating options. You can choose from seats in the stalls, circle, and upper circle. There are also eight boxes with room for up to six people, although four is recommended for comfort. Remember, if you book a box you’ll be looking at the stage from the side and the view of the action may sometimes be restricted. As you would expect with the variety of seating options, there are also a variety of prices, so all budgets are catered for.
As an older building, the New Theatre cannot guarantee access to all areas. However, disabled visitors will receive a price reduction on tickets at most performances and those in wheelchairs can purchase their choice of tickets at the equivalent price to that advertised for the Upper Circle. If you have a Hynt card, you’re also entitled to a free ticket for your personal assistant or carer. If you have any questions, contact the box office in advance of your arrival and they will be able to help you plan your visit.
Located on Park Place in Cardiff’s city centre, there plenty of transport options to get you to the New Theatre.
If you’re arriving by car, you’ll find free on-street parking around City Hall after 8.00pm (Monday to Saturday) or after 5.00pm (Sunday). There are also lots of car parks within walking distance in the city centre. The closest car park is at the Capitol Shopping Centre and charges £1 for parking between 6.00pm and 11.59pm.
The New Theatre is on numerous bus routes through the city centre so it’s only a short stroll whichever bus stop you choose to hop off at.
You’ll also find Cardiff Central Bus Station right next to Cardiff Central Railway Station. If you get off your bus here, it’s a 15 minute walk to the theatre.
If you’re arriving at Queen Street Station, you’ll have a short five-minute walk to the theatre. Head out of the main entrance and turn right onto Station Terrace, take a left onto Queens Street, then right onto Park Place where you’ll find the theatre. If you’re getting the train to Cardiff Central Station, you’ll have a slightly longer 15 minute walk to the theatre.
Looking for a last-minute bargain night out at the theatre? For most performances on Monday and Tuesday evenings, and midweek matinees, tickets for any unsold seats can be purchased at a discounted standby price by certain people. These tickets can be bought from 10am on the day of the performance by those over 60 and disabled people, or from 6pm (12.30pm for matinees) by students, unemployed people and claimants. Children can also receive this standby discount, but only if they’re accompanied by a qualifying adult.
With plenty of restaurants, cafés and bars nearby, you’ll have lots of choice for pre or post theatre food and drink.
If you’re feeling peckish before the show or during the performance, you’ll find all the usual theatre snacks available at the New Theatre, including interval favourite, ice cream.
Looking for a bigger menu than the theatre offers? You’ll find lots of great places to eat nearby in Cardiff city centre. If you fancy gourmet dining in a grand gothic setting, head to Park House. The restaurant is known for making perfect food and wine pairings, so be sure to check out the wine recommendations. If you want to have a more casual night out, why not try Barley & Rye. Here you’ll find a great restaurant serving the finest Welsh dishes crafted with fresh local ingredients, as well as a large well stocked bar.
Want to enjoy a drink with the performance? You can buy alcohol and soft drinks at the New Theatre bar, before the performance and during the interval.
If you want to continue your night after the curtain comes down, you’ll find a choice of pubs and bars nearby. If you’re in the mood for cocktails, head down into Park House’s basement and you’ll find the Vanilla Rooms. This stylish cocktail bar offers award-winning mixologists with over 100 different cocktails in their repertoire.
For a more relaxed affair, take a trip to The Three Rivers, a friendly bar offering delicious food and great drinks, as well as big screen sport and a pool table.
Situated in the heart of the city, there are lots of attractions near to the New Theatre. Head east to explore Cardiff Castle. With Roman ruins, a medieval keep and the opulent apartments of its Gothic palace, as well as a museum telling the story of Welsh soldiers, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy before your trip to the theatre. If you head north of the theatre, you’ll arrive at Cathays Park. The city’s civic centre is made up of tree lined avenues, the floral displays of Alexandra Gardens and grand Edwardian architecture. Within the centre you’ll find the Temple of Peace, City Hall, the National Museum and Gallery of Wales.