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5 Stars 3 Reviews
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Norwich Playhouse
42-58 St. George's Street, Norwich, NR3 1AB
Tel. 01603 598598
Norwich Playhouse - Photo 1

The Playhouse, with its popular bar and leafy riverside terrace, attracts sell-out shows with the nation’s best stand-up comedians, great jazz and young, contemporary drama and dance.

Norwich Playhouse is a superb venue in the heart of the city and the most modern performance space of its size in East Anglia. The Playhouse opened over 12 years ago, created from a riverside maltings dating from about 160 years earlier. In the interim, the building had been the Crown Public House, the head office of the Norwich Mercury Newspaper, the depot for Ruymps builders’ merchants, the warehouse of a motor-cycle dealer and a Greek restaurant!

In all, from launch to opening, the project of creating the theatre with its open end-stage took six years. It was undertaken by Henry Burke, the founder, and the consultant Iain Macintosh of Theatre Projects. They worked with a team of experts headed by local architects Lambert Scott and Innes.

The cost was £2,500,000, of which an astonishing 80% was raised from private individuals and small businesses. Grants of £400,000 from the Arts Council Lottery Fund and £100,000 from the Foundation for Sport and the Arts made up the balance.

When the Playhouse opened in December 1995 the national press called it "warm... welcoming... a cause for celebration… a great new space..." It is an excellent building with pleasant front of house facilities and good disabled access. Excellent acoustics, sightlines and legroom all create a friendly relationship between audience and performers.

January 2000 saw the start of exciting spring and autumn seasons, now numbering 13 and attracting nationally recognised artistes, for comedy, music, jazz, dance and drama. Tickets are reasonably priced and the shows are popular. In the summer there are events produced by local professional companies and educational activities.

The Playhouse is also for hire. It offers a theatre seating 300, completely staffed, a well stocked lighting rig and theatre PA, bare walls or black drapes as desired on the surprisingly large stage. There are good backstage facilities for professional shows and community use. Corporate functions and conferences are served excellently.

The Playhouse Bar (described in the local press as having the splendid intimacy of a down-town New York cafe) leads out onto a leafy riverside terrace and garden. Run by the Last Wine Bar, it offers a full refreshment service and tasty buffet meals for corporate hospitality. The Playroom offers a non smoking extension to the bar and is an excellent place for a more formal meeting space with tables and chairs.
You can now book Your tickets online through the UEA at

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Reviews for Norwich Playhouse, Norwich

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Listing 3 reviews

Rating: 5 Stars Review by Carlos Trusted Reviewer

Norwich, United Kingdom - 16th April 2010

Attracts some great acts across a season. The theatre is small but gives a more intimate setting for many a good night of music, drama or comedy.

Rating: 5 Stars Review by Funkmeister Trusted Reviewer

Norwich, United Kingdom - 15th May 2007

Another great venue for arts, theatre and comedy (plus more). I always look out for the handful of top comedy acts they attract through the year but tickets usually sell out fast. Worth checking the listings and giving the playhouse a try... well recommended.

Rating: 5 Stars Review by pruedobinson Trusted Reviewer

Great Yarmouth, United Kingdom - 13th February 2006

Always offers a comfortable and welcoming respite with a relaxed atmosphere, hosting a variety of events to entertain all ages and tastes.

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