The Playhouse Theatre Cheltenham is a community theatre in Cheltenham, United Kingdom. It is a registered charity and has been run by volunteers since 1957. Built in 1806 by Henry Thompson, the theatre started life as the Montpellier Baths. The building was converted to a swimming pool in 1898 and then to a theatre in 1945.To visit Cheltenham Playhouse on your holiday in Cheltenham, and find out what else Cheltenham has to offer, use our Cheltenham planning app .
In 1945, the Cheltenham Council realised the town’s lack of theatrical facilities, and converted the swimming pool into a theatre. The council funded the services of the front of house staff, the cashier and box office facilities and all the publicity. A consultant producer and resident stage manager were also provided at the council's expense to assist the amateur groups, although the production requirements and expenses remained the responsibility of the societies.
In April 1945, the first play was performed - Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw.
On 5 April 1950, the theatre suffered a major setback when the auditorium was severely damaged by fire. The repair work was evidently undertaken with speed and The Playhouse was only closed for five months. However, the fire destroyed part of one of the theatre’s balconies (which were formerly viewing balconies for the swimming pool) and this was not restored until 2007.
In 2007, the theatre was flooded twice within the space of five weeks, along with many other parts of the UK. Only two performances had to be cancelled.
In 2008, the auditorium and green room underwent a £340,000 refurbishment, half the funding of which came from Cheltenham Borough Council, together with additional donations from the Summerfield Charitable Trust, Trefoil Trust, a generous bequest from a founder member, several of the resident non-professional companies and the charities own fundraising efforts.
Cheltenham Playhouse Reviews
I didn’t know what to expect when booking tickets to see Rent. we were taken on an emotional rollercoaster. The cast from CODS production company were amazing, keeping me captivated all the way throug... more »
I went to see “The Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen as I was acting the last scene for my grade 8 drama exam. I was amazed I had not discovered this comfortable little place before- the staff were very h... more »
Beautiful place, stuck in a different era. Loved our visit
I'm part of Comic Sans Script, Cheltenhams ONLY Improv Comedy Group. Resident at The Playhouse we are blessed to get to play in this beautiful old theatre. Do come see a show and if you feel so inclined, get involved!
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