It’s not just the class acts that bring the stage to life in the buzzing city of Glasgow, it’s the combination of talent and the distinctive look behind some of their venues that can really make your trip one to remember. Whether it’s witty comedians, rock legends or local thespians in the spotlight, here’s our guide to where you can enjoy a show or two at some of the most iconic venues in Scotland.
Inspired by the shape of ancient Greek and Roman amphitheatres, the SSE Hydro is a distinctive music and sporting events venue. Opening its doors in September 2013, it holds up to 13,000 dedicated fans. Without a doubt Scotland’s largest entertainment venue, it has seen the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Lady Gaga and Muse take to the stage. Other events have included 2014 BBC Sport Personality of the Year.
King’s Theatre has been shining it’s spotlight since 1904. Built by prolific theatre architect Frank Matcham, it continues to be a coveted spot for touring musicals, dance, comedy and circus performances. Past legends including Katharine Hepburn and The Jackson Five have made the bill while today sees the cast of Chicago the Musical and CATS do their thing. It’s the annual pantomime that makes this venue oh so special too!
Officially opening in 2003, the ground on which the O2 Academy is built is steeped in fascinating history after numerous openings, closings and rebuilds spanning nearly two centuries. Now, it’s a thriving music venue that’s hosted the likes of soul brother James Brown, The Killers and Snoop Dogg plus comedians Russell Brand and Glaswegian favourite Frankie Boyle (who’s performed there over 13 times!) to a 2,500 people strong crowd.
Standing tall in the heart of the West End, Oran Mor was once a church but is now a cultural hub for gigs, theatre, drinking, dancing and dining. With two restaurants and two bars inside, the crypt-like basement and beautiful mural-ceilinged auditorium is perfect for a private event or comedy night plus it’s popular ‘A Play, A Pint and A Play’ series is a local delight.
If the neon Barrowlands sign doesn’t get you excited, nothing will. This iconic music venue and ballroom hall dates back to the 1960s and has hosted some of the biggest names in the industry including Metallica, Oasis and The Clash. Famous for its acoustics and affectionately nicknamed ‘The Barras’, it brings charming, Glaswegian warmth by the bucket load to up to 2,100 people every night.
Sitting on the dock of the River Clyde is one of Glasgow’s most iconic landmarks, familiarly known as ‘The Armadillo’ due to its unique design. A friendly relative of the SECC, it’s home for conferences, concerts and traditional pantomimes - oh yes it is! Hard to miss, the auditorium can seat up to 3,000 people and past events include Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor auditions.