Founded in 1897, Swansea’s Grand Theatre was a big deal for the first 30 years, as it welcomed a who’s who of the theatrical world, including Ivor Novello, Jessie Matthews and Sir Henry Irving, the first knight of theatre.
The theatre fell on harder times until the ’70s, when the council stepped in and eventually turned the 1,014-seat auditorium into one of the best theatres in the UK. More money was ploughed into the project in 1999 when Catherine Zeta-Jones opened the new Arts Wing, including a rooftop restaurant, terrace and several performance and exhibition areas.
The Victorian theatre now hosts a lively, diverse array of programming, spanning comedy, touring shows, musicals, stand-up comedy, live music, tribute and theme nights, family shows, opera, pantomime and more. The Grand Theatre is a popular place for touring comics, with big names like Russell Brand, Ross Noble and local legend Rob Brydon all selling out shows there recently. The theatre also holds a monthly comedy night. The Comedy Club runs towards the end of each month and features a rotating roster of up-and-coming British funny men and women.
The theatre runs shows and events every weekend, with regular shows during the week as well, meaning there’s always likely to be something on during your stay. They plan their schedule months in advance, so do check out their website to see what’s coming up and book your tickets.
The Footlights Café Bar is open for all shows, selling teas, coffees, sandwiches and cake, while on sunny days you can take your food and drink out onto the patio or garden. Alternatively, head to the rooftop terrace bar for afternoon tea, cocktails and stunning views across the city.
The Victorian-era theatre is split over three floors – the ground floor, the grand circle and the upper circle. Parking is available at the Quadrant multi-storey car park, with the first hour free once your ticket has been validated by the theatre staff.
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