STAY UP TO DATE & JOIN THE CONVERSATION -
Cookies on the ATG Tickets website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the ATG Tickets website. However, if you would like to, you can change your settings at any time.

Edinburgh Playhouse

Edinburgh Playhouse

Edinburgh Playhouse Overview

The Edinburgh Playhouse opened its doors for the first time at 2pm on Monday 12 August 1929. Although originally designed as a variety theatre, by the time the building was completed it had been decided to open it as a cinema. The first film to be screened was ‘The Doctor’s Secret’ an adaptation of JM Barrie’s short play ‘Half an Hour’.

The building was owned and run by the Maguire family and was designed by Glasgow architect John Fairweather. On a fact finding trip to America he was impressed by the splendour of the Roxy Theatre in New York and some of its features were said to have inspired the final designs for the Playhouse.

It continued to operate as a successful cinema for over forty years, during which time a number of stars paid a visit, including Marlene Dietrich, Yul Brynner and Laurel and Hardy.

By 1973 the down turn in the cinema business made it impossible to make a profit from such a large single screen venue. Splitting it into a multi screen was considered too costly and so the building was put up for sale. The cinema closed down on the 24 November 1973, with ‘Live and Let Die’ being the last film to be screened.

It was sold to a property developer who applied for planning permission to build an office block and began to arrange for demolishing of the Playhouse. Planning permission was turned down, but the threat of demolition hung over the building for some time.

Soon after the cinema closed Gordon Lucas and Larry McGuire, former employees of the Playhouse, set up the Playhouse Preservation Action Group and began a campaign to save the Playhouse. 15,000 signatures were collected and eventually the Secretary of State placed a class B preservation order on the building.

In 1975 the Edinburgh Playhouse Society was formed. This organisation was particularly interested in seeing the Playhouse being reopened and used for Opera and Ballet. Another petition was started and a further 13,500 signatures were collected.

After more than four years of campaigning the Lothian Regional Council finally agreed to buy the Playhouse and turn it into a multipurpose venue. The cinema was refurbished and opened as a fully functional theatre on 1 June 1980 with a charity gala in aid of the Variety Club of Great Britain.

Since then the Playhouse has changed hands on a number of occasions. Initially into those of a local businessman and subsequently to Apollo Leisure, SFX, Clear Channel Entertainment, Livenation and, as of 2010, The Ambassador Theatre Group.

Over the years the theatre has played host to the world's biggest and most successful musicals, including  Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Grease, Cats, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Mamma Mia, Starlight Express, Mary Poppins and We Will Rock You. Many legendary bands and artists have also graced our stage including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Waits, BB King, Runrig, The Who, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, U2 and Johnny Cash.

Like every theatre the Playhouse has its resident ghost. He first appeared in the 1950s when a security guard had called the police to investigate noises coming from level 6 in the north tower. The guard was shocked to hear that on investigation the policeman had found no evidence of a break in, but had met Albert the maintenance manager who had assured him that everything was fine. Albert was indeed the maintenance manager, but he had died many years earlier!

Tue 16 - Sat 05
Jan 2018   Jan 2019
Bistro: Edinburgh Playhouse
Bistro: Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Tue 16 - Sat 20
Jan 2018   Jan 2018
Flashdance
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Mon 29
Jan 2018
The Simon and Garfunkel Story
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Wed 31
Jan 2018
Someone Like You - The Adele Songbook
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Thu 01
Feb 2018
Whitney - Queen of the Night
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Fri 02
Feb 2018
One Night of Queen
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Sat 03
Feb 2018
Fastlove - A Tribute to George Michael
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Sun 04
Feb 2018
Soul Unlimited: Heatwave, Odyssey, Jaki Graham & Gwen Dickey
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Mon 12 - Sat 17
Feb 2018   Feb 2018
This Is Elvis
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Sun 18
Feb 2018
Icons of the 80s - Go West, Nik Kershaw & Cutting Crew
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Tue 20 - Sat 24
Feb 2018   Feb 2018
The Sound of Music
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Sun 25
Feb 2018
ABBA Mania
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Tue 27 - Sat 03
Feb 2018   Mar 2018
The Rat Pack - Live From Las Vegas
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Mon 05 - Sat 10
Mar 2018   Mar 2018
Blood Brothers
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Mon 12 - Sat 17
Mar 2018   Mar 2018
Hairspray
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Tue 20
Mar 2018
Russian State Ballet of Siberia's Romeo and Juliet
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Wed 21
Mar 2018
Russian State Ballet of Siberia's Cinderella
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Thu 22
Mar 2018
Russian State Ballet of Siberia's Snow Maiden
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Fri 23 - Sat 24
Mar 2018   Mar 2018
Russian State Ballet of Siberia's Swan Lake
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Sun 25
Mar 2018
Girls Night Oot!
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Thu 29
Mar 2018
Ellen Kent's La Traviata
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Fri 30 - Sat 31
Mar 2018   Mar 2018
Ellen Kent: Madama Butterfly
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Sun 01
Apr 2018
Justin's Band
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Tue 03 - Sat 07
Apr 2018   Apr 2018
Crazy For You
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Tue 10
Apr 2018
Russell Brand - Re:Birth
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Wed 11
Apr 2018
Motown's Greatest Hits: How Sweet It Is
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Thu 12
Apr 2018
Roy Orbison - In Dreams - The Hologram UK Tour
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Fri 13
Apr 2018
The Chicago Blues Brothers
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Sat 14
Apr 2018
That'll Be the Day
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Mon 16 - Tue 17
Apr 2018   Apr 2018
Gary Barlow
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Wed 18
Apr 2018
My Dad Wrote A Porno Live
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Thu 19 - Sun 22
Apr 2018   Apr 2018
Fat Friends - The Musical
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Thu 26
Apr 2018
Sheridan Smith
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Fri 27 - Sat 28
Apr 2018   Apr 2018
Faulty Towers Dining Experience
Bistro: Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Sat 28
Apr 2018
Fastlove - A Tribute to George Michael
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Thu 03
May 2018
Jason Manford - Muddle Class
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Fri 04
May 2018
The Carpenters Story
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Sat 05
May 2018
The Illegal Eagles
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Tue 08 - Sat 09
May 2018   Jun 2018
Wicked (UK Tour)
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Tue 12 - Sat 16
Jun 2018   Jun 2018
Titanic The Musical
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Tue 19 - Sat 23
Jun 2018   Jun 2018
Summer Holiday
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Fri 29
Jun 2018
The Waterboys
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Mon 02 - Sat 07
Jul 2018   Jul 2018
An Officer and a Gentleman The Musical
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Tue 10 - Sat 14
Jul 2018   Jul 2018
THE BAND: Take That's New Musical
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Thu 30
Aug 2018
The League Of Gentlemen Live Again
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Sun 09
Sep 2018
Dave Gorman - With Great PowerPoint Comes Great ResponsibilityPoint
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Fri 14
Sep 2018
The Dreamboys
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Mon 17 - Sat 22
Sep 2018   Sep 2018
Benidorm
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Wed 26 - Sun 30
Sep 2018   Sep 2018
Kevin Bridges - The Brand New Tour
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Tue 02 - Sat 06
Oct 2018   Oct 2018
Madagascar – A Musical Adventure
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Sun 11
Nov 2018
Noel Fitzpatrick is the Supervet
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Fri 16 - Sat 17
Nov 2018   Nov 2018
Dara O Briain - Voice of Reason
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Mon 10 - Sat 05
Dec 2018   Jan 2019
Kinky Boots
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Fri 31
Dec 2027
Seat Sponsorship
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh