A spectacular Victorian theatre located in the spa town, the Harrogate Theatre showcases a variety of plays among the backdrop of stunning architecture and dramatic decor. Whether you want to watch a play, pantomime or ballet performance, or feel like boosting your mood with some stand-up comedy, the theatre’s programme is full of variety shows to keep you entertained year-round. Spread across five storeys, Harrogate Theatre offers two performances spaces catering up to 560 people in total. It first opened in 1900, with a charity gala in aid of the soldiers from the Boer War. It formerly went by the name of The Grand Opera House until 1958, designed by the architect of some of London’s infamous theatres, Frank Tugwell. Despite many additions, extensions and changing of colour schemes, the theatre still bares it Victorian heritage in the lavish decor and carved frieze added in 1911. With the popularity of theatre wavering over the last century, the venue remained true to its roots and continued to stage shows. Famous faces such as Charlie Chaplin, Ben Kingsley and Kate O’Mara are just a few of the artists that performed on stage there, demonstrating the caliber and variety of shows on offer. The venue is owned by the Harrogate Trust, who own a number of venues collectively known as ‘Harrogate Theatres’. Their core objectives are not only to provide entertainment, but to source and nurture it too, which is why Harrogate Theatre has a strong education and outreach programme. Many amateur groups also use the venue to produce the likes of musicals and other plays, which contribute to its eclectic programming.