Bournemouth is home to a thriving central theatre hub right on the seafront, with Bournemouth International Centre, Pavilion Theatre and Pavilion Dance venue all together in an easy central location. Between the various venues, Bournemouth plays host to the biggest names in comedy, music, shows and performances – make sure you check out the box office for what’s on, then check into our Bournemouth Central hotel just a minute’s walk away.
Theatre in Bournemouth
Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre
Look no further than Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre for a range of theatrics to entertain the whole family, with West End shows, opera, dances, comedy and a huge variety of musical performances. The 1920s Art Deco theatre seats around 1,500 people, operating alongside its sister venue Bournemouth International Centre to stage a huge range of concerts, shows and conferences between them. You can easily book your tickets at the box office or online, whether you’re in town for a night of giggles with Sarah Millican, a toe-tapping Little Mix tribute act or Derren Brown’s psychological mind games.
Built in 1870, the Shelley Theatre building was originally the home and performing space for the Shelley family, built by Sir Percy Florence, son of the famous Frankenstein writer Mary Shelley. Many of Sir Percy’s friends acted on the stage or watched performances there, including Robert Louis Stevenson, who went on to write Jekyll and Hyde in Bournemouth.
The theatre trust is currently fulfilling a 10-year project to fully restore the beautiful heritage building, which is home to an intimate 160-seat auditorium. An informal atmosphere and real community spirit make it a beautiful space to enjoy the variety of performances that they put on, including films, cabaret shows, pantomimes and music. With a friendly bar space to enjoy before (and after!) the performance, you’ll enjoy visiting this venue time and time again as the building is restored to its former glory. The theatre is located in Boscombe, just a mile from our Bournemouth East (Boscombe) hotel.
Pavilion Dance South West
With creative, performance and exhibition spaces for all things dance related, the Pavilion Dance venue showcases the best talent in the dancing world, as the Bournemouth-based venue for the National Dance Development Organisation for the South West of England. With creative live performances of dance, physical theatre, music and poetry – enjoyed in its intimate 178-seat auditorium – it’s a true celebration of the arts. A gallery space showcases artists’ visual representations of dance rehearsals and performances, and you can even get your own dancing shoes on to take part in one of the 40 classes each week.