Lawrence Batley Theatre, Queen Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2SP – Visit Now
Located in the centre of Huddersfield, the Lawrence Batley Theatre presents a wide-ranging year-round programme of in-house and visiting productions, from drama and contemporary dance to circus and pantomime. The theatre delivers a varied programme for and with its local community, and offers a range of ways for families and young people to get involved.
Starting life as a Methodist chapel in 1819 before falling to disuse, the Lawrence Batley Theatre was given new life by Kirklees Theatre Trust in 1994, when its ribbon was cut by Sir Patrick Stewart and Dame Judi Dench. Since then, the impressive building has served as a central hub for music, drama and art in Huddersfield, where it celebrates and challenges the creativity and interests of the local community.
The Lawrence Batley Theatre’s impressive 450 capacity auditorium houses cutting-edge performance across a multitude of genres, including plays, musicals, opera, circus, contemporary dance and in-house pantomimes. The 100 capacity basement, meanwhile, plays host to the Comedy Cellar, where comedy greats have been taking to the mic once a month ever since the theatre was born.
One of the theatre’s priorities is nurturing talent. Its Young Company encourages young people to get involved in theatre through weekly classes, theatre trips and special events. Its Storytellers project, meanwhile, commissions theatre-makers to devise electric new works tailored to its own spaces.
The theatre is also home to innovative theatre-makers such as Dark Horse Theatre, a national touring ensemble of actors with learning disabilities. Always engaging the local community, irrespective of background or circumstances, the theatre also provides a performing home for many amateur theatre groups, such as Huddersfield Thespians and Woodhouse Musical Theatre Company.