Dominated by the purpose-built Gala Theatre, Durham boasts a diverse theatre scene, with The Assembly Rooms and The City Theatre offering a range of more intimate and community-driven spaces.

The leading light in the city’s cultural scene, the Gala Theatre is a modern 500-seat theatre that hosts a diverse range of programming, including big-name comedians, touring international bands, seasonal pantomimes, theatre and drama. It also houses two cinema screens and is home to the Durham Book Festival, the city’s Brass festival and TakeOff, which is dedicated to theatre for children and young people.

The on-site Intervals Café has a decent menu spanning fresh salads, sandwiches, teas, cakes and coffee and is just a two-minute walk from our Durham City Centre hotel. The theatre is also a big supporter of youth and local talent, including its own Gala Theatre Stage School, meaning you could be watching the next Colin Firth or Helen Mirren when you visit.

With stunning red velvet interiors and a ceiling lit up with stars, The Assembly Rooms Theatre is just as theatrical off stage as it is on. A 220-capacity space, it’s home to Durham’s student theatre and regularly hosts its productions, while also featuring stand-up, comedy sketches and productions from other touring companies outside of term-time. With over 30 productions every year, there’s always something interesting taking place on stage, be it Sondheim or Shakespeare.

The theatre recently underwent a £100,000 refurbishment, improving its stage facilities, and is located on North Bailey in the heart of Durham’s historical quarter; a short walk away from the cathedral and only a five-minute walk from our Durham City Centre hotel.

Completing the theatrical hat trick is The City Theatre. Located at Fowler’s Yard and with a capacity of just 71, this intimate theatre largely hosts the works of the Durham Dramatic Society, an amateur dramatic group that’s been putting on home-grown productions since 1924. Part of the Little Theatres Guild of Great Britain, they generally host five productions each year, with each show running for a week and spanning comedy, mystery and drama.

Gala Theatre

City Theatre

Looking for a hotel in Durham?

Choose from any one of our three main Durham hotels plus our nearby hotels at Newton Aycliffe and Newcastle (Washington) as an ideal base for exploring the fabulous medieval treasures of Durham, an ancient university city that boasts a vibrant cultural scene.