Curve theatre - Credit Ellie Kurttz

Leicester’s Theatrical Traditions

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Leicester’s Theatrical Traditions

West End and Broadway shows, leading playwrights, and actors treading our boards who go on to Oscar success. Leicester is a city with theatre in its blood.

Image: The National Theatre's War Horse in front of Leicester’s Curve Theatre.
Photographer Credit: Ellie Kurttz 

Add Leicester’s Theatrical Traditions to your Itinerary

Visitor Details

Key Information

Various Locations, Leicester, LE1 1SB

Opening Times

Season (1 Jan 2021 - 31 Dec 2021)

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  • Uncover the story - There’s something special about catching a show in the West End or on Broadway, but lucky Leicester audiences have award-winning theatre on tap at Curve, one of the UK’s leading producing theatres. They can also see a show in the place where the world’s most famous writer performed, an Oscar-winning legend debuted, and a best-selling author’s career began. <hr> Shakespeare is believed to have trod the boards at the city’s iconic Guildhall in the 16th century, and Charles Dickens’ great-great-grandson has performed ‘A Christmas Carol’ here each year since 2013.<hr> Theatres and music halls have come and gone, and even shut down as victims of the TV age, but some have stood the test of time. The Y Theatre can take a bow as the city’s oldest theatre building, erected in 1900 as part of Leicester’s YMCA, and close behind is De Montfort Hall, opened in 1913. As a receiving venue, tours stop off here, so each new season’s announcement is eagerly awaited.<hr> The Little Theatre, home of Leicester Drama Society, also refused to be upstaged by TV. Operating from a former 19th century Baptist chapel, its stage saw Richard Attenborough debut upon it in a 1937 amateur production of Julius Caesar. <hr> Rising from the ashes in 1963, The Phoenix Theatre is where best-selling author Sue Townsend began her writing career and the stage version of ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾’ premiered in 1984. It is now named The Sue Townsend Theatre in her honour. <hr> Curve’s production of ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ the Musical’ went on to wow West End audiences, and many shows ‘Made at Curve’ strut their stuff on both the national and international stage. Unlike any other theatre, Curve has no traditional backstage area, so the more than 330,000 theatre-lovers who visit each year get a peek behind the scenes. Perhaps you’ll spot an actor dashing to their dressing room or having coffee in the Green Room café when you visit. <hr>

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