Boasting two distinctly different theatres that put on a wide spectrum of events, Swindon has a buzzing theatre scene, centred around the Wyvern Theatre and the Swindon Arts Centre.
Theatre in Swindon
Swindon’s leading theatre since the 70s, The Wyvern Theatre opened in 1971. It was named after the mythical wyvern, which is a two-legged dragon that was once the emblem of Wessex kings.
The theatre was designed with the audience as its focus, with none of the 635 seats positioned more than 70 feet from the stage. This gives the theatre an imposing presence and the viewer a real sense of the action and theatre on display. The Wyvern was briefly closed in 2006, reopening a year later with new decor, new seating, new bars and cafés, alongside several new disabled entrances.
Like most theatres, the venue hosts a wide range of events and productions, spanning stand-up comedy to live music, pantomimes, musicals and more.
If you’re looking to grab a drink or a bite to eat during your visit, there are now several options at the theatre. The Wyvern Kitchen menu offers a range of meals and snacks, and opens 90 minutes before every show, while upstairs at the theatre, you’ll find The Place. This is a self-contained bar and restaurant that opens for special occasions.
Located on Regent Street, Wyvern Theatre is perfectly located in the centre of town, just a short walk from MECA, The Brunel and The Museum of Computing.
Swindon Arts Centre
The oldest theatre in town, the Swindon Arts Centre opened in 1956 and is a 212-seat venue that puts on a variety of professional and amateur shows.
Located in the heart of Old Town, it’s an intimate theatre that boasts excellent acoustics and stage views. Considered by many as the cultural hub of Swindon, the Arts Centre puts on everything from art exhibitions to film screenings, and live music to theatrical productions. The centre also hosts regular events, including a monthly stand-up comedy night, as well as regular shows by the Gilbert & Sullivan Society, Phoenix Players and the Western Players.
There’s a well-stocked café and bar for snacks and drinks, which are available before and during the show, while the Landing Arts Gallery showcases regular exhibitions from local artists and is an excellent place to explore if you have some time to spare before your show starts.