The theatre scene in Nottingham is lively to say the least. Every other year, the city is home to NEAT (Nottingham European Arts and Theatre) Festival, which combines the best of local and international theatre. FONT Fest is an entirely independent, local theatre festival that prides itself on delivering all its profits to the creatives involved. If you fancy dipping your toe into the deep blue sea of local theatre, there’s a whole heap to be getting on with...
Located at the bottom of Derby Road, the Playhouse is a shining example of a regional theatre. The main stage is the place to catch classic plays and contemporary works from both established and up-and-coming writers. The Neville Studio is where you’ll see more out-the-box performances, as well as scratch nights and spoken word performances. They’ve also got a gorgeous restaurant on the side, well worth getting down to.
Wellington Circus, NG1 5AF, 0115 9419419, website link
Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall
Split into two sections, with the theatre side of the building kicking out proper old-school vibes. It’s even got columns, so it looks right fancy. You’re bound to see a fair few silver-topped theatre goers in here, but it’s the place to be for blockbuster musicals like Chicago and Cats. Pop over to the more modern affair that is the Royal Concert Hall to catch everything from the likes of Circus of Horrors to Derren Brown.
Theatre Square, NG1 5ND, 0115 9895555, website link
Lakeside Arts Centre
An offshoot of University of Nottingham that’s open to the public. Lakeside Arts Centre is a great space for family friendly art and theatre, so if you’ve got younger brothers or sisters coming to visit, this is a sure fire place to go. They also play host to a giant, inside-out bouncy castle with crazy light displays once a year, and the selection of musical acts and theatre found in Djanogly Theatre is something to rival the best of them.
University Park, NG7 2RD, 0115 8467777, website link
The Nottingham New Theatre
University of Nottingham students, this one’s just for you. The Nottingham New Theatre is the only entirely student-run theatre in the whole country, and for that, we’re dead proud of it. There’s an in-house production ready for your eager eyes to absorb almost every week, so you’ll never be stuck for summat to watch. They’re also dead keen for new students to get involved, so if you’re a theatre boff or just wanna know more, make sure you drop ‘em a line.
Cherry Tree Hill, NG7 2RD, 0115 8468800, website link
Nottingham Arts Theatre
Situated in the city centre just off the creative hub that is Hockley, the Arts Theatre is a 300-seater venue that’s got a proper fancy stage perfect for catching some top notch local productions on. They regularly rent out the space to students for performances too, so if you’ve got summat in mind that you’d like to create, give them a shout. They host some cracking music there too, with artists from all over the world, often screened on Notts TV.
George Street, NG1 3BE, 0115 9475925, website link
Lace Market Theatre
This small but perfectly formed theatre is one of the best places in town to catch some amateur theatre. They use a lot of Nottingham actors, too, so it’s a good opportunity to see the hottest talent before their name’s in lights on Broadway. Student concessions are offered on almost all of their productions. Situated in the Lace Market – as the name suggests – you can have a wander down the history-laden streets afterwards to soak up the evening.
Halifax Place, NG1 1QN, 0115 9507201, website link
Just The Tonic
The top dog of Nottingham comedy, the biggest names in the biz from Russell Howard to Stuart Lee have performed here - and with their £5 NUS tickets, you really can’t go wrong. They’re big in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival game and host free events in the run up. At the time of writing they’re about to move venues so check their website for details.
New venue TBC, 0115 9100009, website link
The Glee Club
You can see some proper off-kilter stuff at the canal-side venue that specialises in both music and comedy. There are regular burlesque and cabaret nights from The Gilded Merkin; and they host the Best in Live Stand Up every Saturday night, which does exactly what it says on the tin. With live music acts like Ezra Furman and Ameriie gracing the stage, your every desire is catered for under one roof.
Canal Street, NG1 7EH, 0121 6932248, website link
You’ll definitely walk past this place on your way to a Pryzm night, and it’s worth popping your head in every so often for a laugh. You can catch touring comedians while tucking into a burger and finishing it off with a couple of bevs. Then, when you’re suitably giggly, roll into the only club in the region with a big globe on its roof for a night on the tiles.
Lower Parliament Street, NG1 3BB, 0870 0111960, website link