This beautiful corner of Buckinghamshire is home to several great entertainment venues. The Wycombe Swan is the biggest and best of the bunch, but that shouldn’t perturb you from seeing what’s on at one of the town’s two amateur theatres, both of which punch well above their weight. There’s also a couple of great live music options, and we’ve picked out two of the highlights of Marlow’s entertainment calendar.
Entertainment in Marlow
The Wycombe Swan should be your first point of call when it comes to seeing a performance during your stay. The theatre is in High Wycombe, a 15-minute drive from our Marlow hotel. However, it’s worth making the trip to catch a show in one of the UK’s leading regional theatres. It curates a quality year-round programme of drama, dance, ballet, opera, music, comedy, family shows, and pantos. The theatre seats an audience of over 1,000, making it one of the larger theatres in the area outside of London.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more local option, The Shelley Theatre is a 220-seat proscenium theatre in Higginson Park and Court Garden – one of our top activities in Marlow. The theatre is the home of The Marlow Players, an amateur theatre company that puts on a couple of productions a year to a consistently high standard, tackling some lesser known plays and interesting topics.
Likewise, the Jam Theatre on West Street is another amateur theatre. It’s home to the Jam Theatre Company, an amateur group established in 2005 with the ambition of producing commercial theatre both in Marlow and around the country. The shows are always of a professional standard. The Jam also has its own drama school and puts on workshops to the wider public.
Live music in Marlow
For live music, be sure to check what’s happening at the Wycombe Swan, as it’s one of the best all-around venues in the area and certainly has the largest capacity.
If you’re looking for options in town, Coopers Roastery – one of our favourite places to eat in Marlow – hosts live music nights on Fridays, which range from open mic nights to gigs from local artists. The Chequers on the High Street is another good option. Every Friday it hosts live music from 9pm. However, our favourite is the Thursday gin and jazz session, when you can take your pick from more than 20 different gins and drink in some live jazz.
You may have seen it mentioned elsewhere in our local guide, but the Pub in the Park is one of the standout events of the year for the people of Marlow. It’s organised by the celebrity chef Tom Kerridge, whose two Michelin-star pubs top our list of places to eat in Marlow. It takes over Higginson Park in the summer, bringing some of the best chefs in the country together to whip up their signature dishes. The weekend is also packed with great live music, with household names including KT Tunstall, Will Young, Razorlight, and Texas previously performing at Pub in the Park.
Higginson Park also plays host to the other highlight of the cultural calendar, the Marlow Town Regatta and Festival. It’s one of the top events of the international rowing calendar, attracting visitors and competitors from not just the UK, but Europe and the USA. There’s rowing, eating, drinking, and celebrations. It’s a great time to be in Marlow; you’ll get to see the locals at their very best.