If you love the magic of theatre, whether it’s the thrill of a musical, an enchanting ballet or all the drama of a play coming to life on stage, Newcastle has an abundance of venues showcasing all of these genres and much more besides.

For your viewing pleasure, here’s a round up of the must-visit theatres you’ll find in and around the city, alongside a few handpicked highlights from their 2024 programmes.

Theatre Royal

The Theatre Royal originally opened on Drury Lane in 1788 and relocated to Grey Street in 1837, where it still stands today.

The theatre is one of only nine Grade I listed theatres in the whole of England and it hosts a variety of performances, from show-stopping musicals and classic ballets to Royal Shakespeare Company productions and laugh-out-loud family pantos.

It has also welcomed numerous icons over the years, with Judi Dench, Laurence Olivier and Sir Ian McKellen all gracing its stage.

2024 highlights

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Grease, The Kite Runner, Pride & Prejudice (sort of*), Bonnie and Clyde


Theatre Royal Grey Street

Northern Stage

Located on Newcastle University’s student campus, Northern Stage can trace its roots back to 1970 when it first raised its curtains as The University Theatre.

A few name changes and renovations later, it’s now the largest producing theatre in the North East of England and describes its work as “popular, accessible, politically relevant and culturally diverse”.

This contemporary space hosted more than 450 performances in 2023 and its cafe bar is a destination in its own right for a casual drink or light bite.

2024 highlights

Newcastle’s Puppetry Festival, Friend (The One With Gunther), Dead Girls Rising, Underdog: The Other Other Bronte, The Little Prince


Live Theatre

Situated on Newcastle’s bustling Quayside, Live Theatre is a new writing theatre with an esteemed international reputation.

It offers the largest free youth theatre in the region and works with more than 1000 freelance artists every year through its talent development programme.

Live Theatre has two performance spaces and also boasts a unique partnership with The Broad Chare pub and restaurant next door (who happen to serve an amazing Sunday lunch!) which sees a proportion of the pub’s revenue invested back into the theatre.

2024 highlights

Fed Up, The Bounds, Saint Maud, Champion, Wintry Tales 2024


Tyne Theatre & Opera House

Built in 1867 by industrialist and politician Joseph Cowen, Tyne Theatre and Opera House was ‘a theatre for the people’ in the West End of Newcastle.

Its rich, tumultuous past saw the venue transform into a cinema for four decades (and become the first in Newcastle to show ‘talkies’), suffer a devastating fire, and change owners multiple times.

It’s now an independent not-for-profit venue and a registered charity showcasing a variety of events across theatre, dance, comedy, music, drag, live podcasts and more.

2024 highlights

Iain Stirling: RELEVANT, Rebecca Ferguson, The Drifters, Sh!t-faced Shakespeare – A Midsummer Night’s Dream


Tyne Theatre interior

People's Theatre

For over 100 years, the People’s Theatre has been entertaining audiences across Tyneside, and it now plays host to up to 14 productions every year.

Located in Heaton on the outskirts of the city, the venue boasts a 500-seat auditorium and a studio theatre.

From the box office and stewarding to set design, wardrobe and acting – every show is produced entirely by its members, making it a true community theatre. If you fancy getting involved, it’s always looking for volunteers, so check out its website for more details.

2024 highlights

Dad’s Army, Constellations, The Railway Children, Alice in Wonderland



Alphabetti Theatre is an award-winning, artist-led performance space on St James’ Boulevard. Its main theatre accommodates just 80 people, with seats to three sides of this intimate performance space.

Expect improvised comedy, original plays and showaoke (karaoke meets piano playing) from its highly creative and original line-up.

And, helping to make art more accessible to audiences in our region, Alphabetti aims to make around 40% of its performances ‘pay what you feel’.

2024 highlights

Stuart Laws: Is That Guy Still Going? with support from Lauren Pattinson; Ilisha Thiru Purcell: 24 hour challenge; Kelly Edgar: I Don’t Think You’re Ready For This, Kelly; Laura Lexx: Slinky


Alphabetti Theatre

Gosforth Civic Centre

Gosforth Civic Theatre is a modern arts venue, cafe and community hub on Regent Farm Road – you can’t miss its colourful wall mural and fairy lights!

It’s run by Liberdade Community Development Trust, a disability arts organisation, and social change lies at the heart of the venue’s strong ethos.

The 200-seat theatre brings people with disabilities and members of the public together through its eclectic year-round programme of theatre, dance, cinema and music.

2024 highlights

Inevitable, Jesterval Comedy, Limelight, Bernard Butler


Love culture? Delve into my culture section for reviews and highlights from Newcastle’s top venues.