When it comes to seeing a show in the city, there are several theatres to choose from. It all depends on what you want to go and see. Here you can read more about the Theatre Royal in Bath, which stages West End shows, the Ustinov Studio, one of the most innovative theatres in the UK, along with the other venues that help to bolster Bath’s theatre scene.
Theatre in Bath
The best place to see a show in Bath is the Theatre Royal, a stunning Georgian building that opened its doors to theatregoers in 1805. Year round, it books a programme boasting some of the best theatre, dance, opera, ballet and pantomime productions in the country, including West End shows, which come to Bath before and after performing in London.
You can see why it’s a popular venue for touring production companies; the Main House looks as splendid as ever, which is a miracle when you consider that a major fire burnt out the entire theatre, with only the exterior walls left standing. Take a look at what’s on during your stay, and if something takes your fancy then don’t hesitate to go, the Theatre Royal is a wonderful place for an evening of entertainment.
Part of the Theatre Royal, with an entrance on Monmouth Street, the Ustinov Studio is a 150-seat studio theatre originally designed to be a space for youth theatre and small-scale touring productions. However, it soon broadened its programme to welcome classical concerts, stand-up comedy and in-house productions. And now, under the artistic direction of Laurence Boswell, it’s relentlessly booking innovative drama and fast building a reputation as one of the finest, most exciting studio theatres in the whole of the UK. For example, three shows – The Father, Bad Jews, and The Mother – all recently premiered at the Ustinov Studio before running concurrently in the West End, to a slew of five-star reviews and national awards.
The Mission Theatre
Housed in a 200-year-old former Catholic chapel, The Mission Theatre is a flexible little theatre popular with local amateur performers and capable of seating up to 150 people. It’s also been a key venue for popular events on Bath’s cultural calendar, including the Bath Comedy Festival, the Bath International Music Festival and The Jane Austen Festival. It’s also the permanent home of Next Stage Youth, a highly acclaimed youth theatre for people between 11 and 18 years of age, which meets every week and stages two productions a year.
You can’t call yourself ‘The South West’s most daring and enjoyable fringe theatre’ without being able to back it up. We’re not going to be quite so definitive with our praise, but the Rondo Theatre in Larkhall is a wonderful little place, with as many as 80 different companies performing there each year, adding all kinds of drama, music and performance to Bath’s already-booming entertainment scene. It’s informal, it barely seats more than a hundred people and the bar is practically on stage, but it consistently puts on quality productions, and more than makes the cut when it comes to Bath theatre. If you’re staying at our Chippenham hotel, you could be less than a thirty-minute drive away from a show at Rondo.
Bath Spa University
When it comes to the performing arts, there are two Bath Spa University venues we think you should be aware of. First up is the Michael Tippett Centre. It’s not exactly the most convenient of locations, at four miles from the city centre. However, it’s a key part of the university’s Newton Park campus, right in the heart of the stunning Somerset countryside. It also happens to be Bath’s only purpose-built concert hall, and hosts world-class artists from the four corners of the globe.
Secondly, there’s Burdall’s Yard – the university’s city centre venue for all manner of performing arts events, including cabaret, music, comedy, drama and exhibitions.
Krowd Keepers Magic Theatre
How about a bit of magic to round off our list of theatres in Bath? Don’t worry, Krowd Keepers Magic Theatre isn’t the kind of place where you’re going to see rabbits pulled out of hats or any of that clichéd nonsense. No; pay a visit to this intimate magic theatre above The Ale House on York Street and you’ll get to see the kind of genuinely entertaining magic that’ll leave you flabbergasted and scratching your head for days. Their team of magicians are full-time professionals, have performed all around the world, and appeared on television shows including Penn & Teller’s Fool Us and Wizard Wars.