LEEDS GRAND THEATRE
Built in 1878, Leeds Grand Theatre was designed in reaction to its lesser-known sister venue, City Varieties Music Hall that sits just 200 yards away in Swan Street. Several of the cities prominent citizens felt the public house atmosphere of the music hall had lowered the tone of local entertainment and sought for a more dignified establishment in the city. The theatre opened on Monday 18th November 1878 with a production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, performed by theatre manager Wilson Barrett’s own company.
The theatre was designed by Scottish architect George Corson, the man who would later design the city’s 1884 municipal buildings that now house Leeds Central Library and Leeds Art Gallery. His design was heavily influenced by the European gothic style with ornately decorated exterior, arched windows and circular roof turrets; all of which have been carefully maintained.
Across its 135-year history, The Grand Theatre has seen many of Britain’s greatest thespians tread its boards including Laurence Olivier, Julie Andrews and comedy legends Morecambe and Wise. Today, the theatre still maintains the high calibre of cultural performance envisioned by its nineteenth century benefactors.
Both the critically acclaimed Opera North and Northern Ballet Theatre hold their residencies at The Grand while national touring drama companies, West End Musical theatre groups, individual artists and comedians, all often bring their shows to the much-loved Leeds theatre, giving theatrophiles the opportunity to see world-class performances without having to head to the capital. In the last year alone, The Grand has played host to Michael Flatley’s Riverdance, illusionist Derren Brown and the premiere performance of Gary Barlow’s musical The Girls.
If you are looking for a hotel near Leeds Grand Theatre, Clayton Hotel Leeds is situated just over a mile away. Located in the heart of the city centre on New Briggate, the theatre can be reached by a twenty-minute stroll through the city or a five-minute taxi ride. Hotel reception staff can help with arranging transport to and from the theatre, last minute theatre tickets or provide recommendations for pre- or post-performance dinners.LESS INFORMATION