Theatres in Bradford

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor

Bradford has a rich history in the theatrical arts, as the city that inspired and encouraged novelist and playwright J.B. Priestley, with a centuries-old legacy of bringing large touring shows to the North. It’s therefore only fitting that there is no shortage of theatres in Bradford. Recently, the city has been made a producing hub. This influx of opportunity and life into Bradford’s live performance scene is designed to turn the city into a creative oasis where live performance is continually being generated.

At the centre of Bradford’s theatre scene is the monumental Alhambra. This centuries-old auditorium is unlike anything else in Yorkshire. It is the only place where you’ll find West End shows, international touring dance and re-imaginings of thespian classics under one roof. The anticipation and excitement you feel when walking through the doors of the Alhambra reflects the special energy of live performance, which can’t be replicated through a screen.

Bradford is a city with a wealth of Asian culture, from music to dance and contemporary theatre. Kala Sangam is bringing traditional art forms into contemporary relevance as well as supporting and commissioning a new generation of artists. If you’re sticking around Bradford they also offer dance and music lessons for those wanting to get into performing.

For something a little more fringe, Theatre in the Mill is a must. This small but experimental space is the place to go to catch Edinburgh previews, shows in development and touring new work. Whatever you end up watching, you can expect to be challenged, charmed and made to ask questions.

For more local talent, try the Bradford Playhouse: this medium-sized venue in the heart of the city centre hosts a mixture of professional and amateur productions ranging from pantomime to gritty kitchen sink drama and beyond. Finally, although it isn’t strictly a theatre, St George’s Hall is a great place to catch stand-up in Bradford. As an interchangeable venue, the intimacy of the space is really made use of when a comedian is trying to whip up an atmosphere.

Scroll down to read more about theatres in Bradford.

Our top picks

The Alhambra Theatre

The Alhambra Theatre, Morley Street, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD7 1AJ - Visit now

Every big name in live entertainment will know of The Alhambra Theatre; whether you’re looking for a West End show, international dance or large scale theatre, you can be sure to find it here. 

The Alhambra
Courtesy of Bradford Theatres

Theatre in the Mill

Theatre in the Mill, Off Shearbridge Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD7 1NX - Visit now

As the place to go for original and fringe theatre in Bradford, Theatre in the Mill is a hive of emerging talent and exciting new works. 

Image courtesy of Theatre in the Mill

Bradford Playhouse

Bradford Playhouse, 4 Chapel Street, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 5DL - Visit now

Bradford Playhouse is a beautiful Art Deco theatre with a vintage bar situated in the heart of Little Germany, Bradford’s cultural quarter. 

Courtesy of Bradford Playhouse

Kala Sangam

Kala Sangam, St. Peter’s House, 1 Forster Square, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 4TY - Visit now

Kala Sangam is an intercultural arts hub based in the heart of Bradford city centre which reflects the diversity of contemporary Britain through the work it presents, the artists it supports and the communities it engages.

Things to do in Bradford: Kala Sangam
Courtesy of Kala Sangam

St George’s Hall, Bradford

St George’s Hall, Bradford, Bridge Street, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1JT - Visit now

Bradfords flagship music venue, St Georges Hall has been bringing the best touring talent to Bradford since the 19th century. 

St George's Hall
Courtesy of Bradford Theatres

Where to go in Bradford

Salts Mill
Hockney 1853 Gallery

For a David Hockney fan, this is the place to be. Visit this lesser known gem for access to the beautiful collections of legendary David Hockney.

Tinker Gallery

Ilkley’s contemporary art gallery, set up by artist Joanne Tinker, is a studio space in combination with a gallery.

Ilkley Playhouse

The Playhouse has a well established season of productions, also used as a venue for events, including the popular Ilkley Literature Festival.

Tourist Attraction
Victoria Hall

Saltaire’s Victoria Hall is a beautiful 15th century Italian inspired building first opened to the public in 1871.

Bar or Pub
SALT Beer Factory

SALT Beer Factory, named after the village of Saltaire where they first began, pride themselves making delicious craft beer for those who love it.

Tapestry Arts

Tapestry Arts is a live-music venue and bar, arts complex and theatre all rolled into one.

Paratha Box

The flaky, buttery flatbread of Partha Box has opened in Bradford – to the joy of all those local.


Japanese sushi meets Brazilian Grill in a fantastic melding of cuisine. This gem in Bradford is not only quirky in concept but delicious in execution.

Bagshaw Museum

‘Eclectic’ is the name of the game at the Bagshaw Museum in Batley. Their collections are varied but not lacking in quality.

Bolling Hall

Tucked away in a quiet, leafy garden, Bolling Hall Museum is full-to-the-brim with the history of its residing families.

Cartwright Hall Art Gallery

Cartwright Hall is Bradford’s civic art gallery and offers an exciting programme of contemporary exhibitions, with four permanent galleries.

Bradford Visitor Guides

Art Galleries in Bradford

Bradford has given us giants of the visual art world such as David Hockney and Ian Beesley, check out our guide of art galleries to find the best places to experience art in the city.

Science and Media Museum
Museums in Bradford

As a northern city with a culturally rich past, Take some time to explore the weird, wonderful and wacky variety of museums in Bradford.

Music Venues in Bradford

Bradford has a reputation for intimate gigs and rowdy rock nights, we've rounded up the best places to see both in our guide of music venues in Bradford.

Bradford Cathedral
Walks in Bradford

A round-up of the best walks in Bradford, including the city centre, its parks, and around key attractions by Creative Tourist.

Pillock at Contact
Spotlight on

Fringe Theatre in Manchester and the North

Check out our top picks of shows previewing in the North West before heading to Edinburgh Fringe Festival later in the summer.

Take me there

Culture Guides