Theatre Royal Wakefield’s mission is to develop new creative opportunities and experiences in our theatre building, throughout the wider community and on tour, encouraging high quality engagement in the Performing Arts.
There’s something to excite and delight everyone at Theatre Royal Wakefield, from the smallest to the tallest! We have shows for families, for fans of music, drama, comedy and more. Our stage is usually occupied 265 days of the year and some of the work is made by us, right here in Wakefield (like our hugely popular pantomime). The rest we hand pick from the best that the UK has to offer. Theatre Royal Wakefield is for everyone, that’s why we are also proud to present work from our local community, amateur societies and groups on our stages.
Our Creative Director is John Godber, award winning writer of Bouncers, Teechers, and Up ‘n’ Under, and together with the John Godber Company we have co-produced many of his plays, one of which had an extended run in London’s West End in 2019 (Scary Bikers).
The jewel in Wakefield’s crown, our Victorian theatre building is the design and vision of famous architect Frank Matcham. This Grade II* listed building, built in 1894, is the smallest surviving Matcham theatre auditorium.
As well as a vibrant and varied programme of produced and touring work, we run a busy Learning and Participation programme. We regularly work with young people, socially isolated older people, refugees and asylum seekers and adults working to improve their mental wellbeing. Head over to our Take Part pages for more information on how you can get involved.
Our Matcham Auditorium is a traditional Victorian theatre complete with red velvet seats, curtains and even a couple of Royal boxes (although, if we are honest, it’s rare that Her Majesty pops by).
This beautiful and ornate auditorium holds 499 people. Our stage is framed by a typical proscenium arch, decorated in gold leaf.
Interesting fact: Our prompt corner (the bit where the stage manager sits with headphones, telling people what to do) is actually on the wrong side. In most theatres it is stage left, but ours is stage right!
The Walker Studio is the newest part of Theatre Royal Wakefield and sits adjoining the Matcham Auditorium. This is our flexible space where we can host smaller shows, meetings, rehearsals, parties, dance classes, support groups, dog shows (joke!) and anything else that we can think of.
It was built in 2018 with thanks to funding from Arts Council England, Foyle Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, Key Fund, Power to Change, Wakefield Council and a large number of individual donors.
We are embedded in our local community and have a brilliant team of more than 140 volunteers, who not only give loyal support but also excellent service to our audiences.
To find out more about our current opportunities for volunteering at Theatre Royal Wakefield head over to our Jobs and Volunteering page.