Despite a population of just 75,000, the Harrogate theatre scene is the envy of a city three times its size. The stunning Grade II-listed Edwardian Royal Hall is the largest theatre space in town, capable of seating 1,000 fans across its vast main auditorium. Built at the turn of the 20th century by Frank Matcham to entertain the growing numbers of spa visitors, the stunning gold leaf interior takes its inspiration from the great ballrooms of Europe and is a truly impressive sight on a night out.
Reopened by theatre patron Prince Charles in 2008 following an extensive restoration, the 100-year-old space now includes expansive convention and exhibition centre space and its very own Premier Inn hotel. Booked up a year in advance, the action-packed schedule has included comedy names like Ross Noble and Ed Byrne, lung-busting singing from Russell Watson and cleverly themed tribute nights to Fleetwood Mac, Dolly Parton and ELO. With a stunning proscenium arch stage, rich acoustics and a state-of-the-art technical rider, the Royal Hall is one of the best-equipped theatres in the north and has a diverse programme of events to suit all tastes.
Equally as impressive but on a slightly smaller scale is Harrogate Theatre. With stunning Victorian detailing throughout its five floors, it has a capacity of 500 across two performance spaces and hosts a diverse mix of dance, music, theatre and comedy. Big names, including Michael Parkinson and Dr John Cooper Clarke have taken to the stage, while stage versions of the Jungle Book and Jane Eyre have enjoyed sold-out runs. As well as using outside promoters and producers, the theatre produces its own shows and works with a range of community groups and festivals, including the Harrogate Comedy Festival and All Points North. And that all-encompassing approach has paid off big time. In the 2016/17 season, they sold a whopping 174,728 tickets. And, just around the corner from the Royal Hall complex, it’s only a two-minute walk from our Harrogate Town Centre hotel, with plenty of bars and restaurants nearby for a pre-theatre dinner and drink.