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New Theatre Oxford

New Theatre Oxford

New Theatre Oxford Overview

There has been a theatre on the corner of George Street for almost 170 years. The first theatre built in 1836 was known commonly as the ‘Vic’, and later as the ‘Theatre Royale’ after the company that played there. Forbidden to perform plays during the University terms, the lessee of the theatre resorted to presenting ‘concerts’ or music hall entertainment and by 1880 the theatre had become quite run down.

At the instigation of members of both town and gown a company was formed to raise money for a theatre to be used by University and town players as well as by professionals. In February 1886 the Oxford University Dramatic Society opened the second New Theatre with ‘Twelfth Night’. Designed by H.G.W. Drinkwater and with a 1000-seat capacity the second New Theatre was damaged by fire in 1892 and altered in 1908, when the seating capacity was increased to 1200.

In 1908 the Dorrill family took over the New Theatre and ran the venue for the next sixty-four years. In 1933 Stanley Dorrill determined to build ‘the most luxurious and comfortable house of entertainment in England’ and commissioned a new building from the well known theatre architects William and T.R. Milburn of Sunderland. The Milburns co-operated on the art-deco interior with T.P Bennett and Sons (who had designed the Saville Theatre in London). The Milburns extensive theatre oeuvre included the Sunderland Empire and London’s Dominion Theatre.

The third New Theatre opened in February 1934 and with a wonderful revolving stage (mechanism extant) and increased capacity of 2000 (1,710 seated) attracted all the great dramatic actors, popular and operatic singers and musicians, music-hall entertainers and matinee idols of the age to Oxford. The New’s renowned annual pantomimes (with Vera Legge’s famous Oxford Babes during the war years) became an Oxford family ritual.

This was the golden age lasting until the advent of television in the 1950’s when running large theatres became increasingly difficult.

In latter days musicals and play productions were supplemented by pop and rock concerts.  In 1972 the Dorrills were bought out by the provincial theatre chain Howard and Wyndham, and in 1977 Apollo Leisure took over the lease of the theatre renaming it ‘The Apollo’. Apollo Leisure were bought out by SFX in 1999, followed by Clear Channel Entertainment in 2001. Following a refurbishment in 2003 the theatre reverted back to the name New Theatre, with Clear Channel Entertainment's theatre division becoming Live Nation two years later.

The theatre is now owned by The Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) who are the biggest theatre owners in the country, owning 40 theatres across the UK.

Audiences at the theatre can once again see leading opera and ballet companies, from Welsh National Opera to the English National Ballet, contemporary dance, hit musicals like Chicago and Guys and Dolls, and of course sell-out pop concerts. The venue’s current capacity is 1785 and the building is not listed.

Book a tour of the New Theatre here.

Sat 23
Jun 2018
Hairspray
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sat 23 - Sat 21
Jun 2018   Jul 2018
LOL Comedy Club
Piano Bar, New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Mon 25
Jun 2018
The Great Big Dance Off - Primary Grand Final
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Tue 26
Jun 2018
Travis - The Man Who in Concert
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sat 30
Jun 2018
Spotlight Performs - A Night at the Musicals
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Thu 05
Jul 2018
The Carpenters Story
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Fri 06
Jul 2018
The Dreamboys
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sat 07
Jul 2018
ABBA Mania
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Wed 11
Jul 2018
Burt Bacharach
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Thu 12
Jul 2018
An Evening with Sir Ranulph Fiennes
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sat 14
Jul 2018
Sun Records - The Concert
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sat 21 - Sat 22
Jul 2018   Dec 2018
New Theatre Backstage Tour
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Wed 29 - Thu 30
Aug 2018   Aug 2018
Teletubbies Live
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Fri 31
Aug 2018
You Win Again – Celebrating the Music of The Bee Gees
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Wed 05
Sep 2018
The League Of Gentlemen Live Again
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Thu 06
Sep 2018
CBSO - Star Wars
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Fri 07
Sep 2018
Islands In The Stream
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sat 08
Sep 2018
Fastlove - A Tribute to George Michael
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sun 09
Sep 2018
Seven Drunken Nights: The Story of the Dubliners
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Tue 11
Sep 2018
Ant Middleton
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Wed 12
Sep 2018
A Lock In With Tuffers And Dawson
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Fri 14
Sep 2018
Money For Nothing
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Thu 20 - Sat 22
Sep 2018   Sep 2018
Thriller Live
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sun 23
Sep 2018
Des OConnor & Jimmy Tarbuck
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Mon 24
Sep 2018
An Evening with Grayson Perry, Jay Rayner, Gareth Malone and Rachel Tucker
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Tue 25
Sep 2018
Whitney - Queen of the Night
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Wed 26
Sep 2018
The Simon and Garfunkel Story
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Thu 27
Sep 2018
Soul Legends - featuring Special Guest - Lemar
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Fri 28
Sep 2018
Joan Armatrading
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sat 29
Sep 2018
Dylan Moran
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sun 30
Sep 2018
Some Guys Have All the Luck - The Rod Stewart Story
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Tue 02
Oct 2018
Sixties Gold
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Wed 03
Oct 2018
Dave Gorman - With Great PowerPoint Comes Great ResponsibilityPoint
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Thu 04
Oct 2018
Bowie Experience
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Fri 05
Oct 2018
Rip It Up
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sat 06
Oct 2018
Ross Noble - El Hablador
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sun 07
Oct 2018
Level 42 - Eternity
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Wed 10 - Fri 12
Oct 2018   Oct 2018
Pre-performance Talk: La Traviata WNO
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Wed 10 - Fri 12
Oct 2018   Oct 2018
WNO - La traviata
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Thu 11
Oct 2018
Pre-performance Talk: La Cenerentola WNO
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Thu 11
Oct 2018
WNO - La Cenerentola
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sat 13
Oct 2018
Pre-performance Talk: War and Peace WNO
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sat 13
Oct 2018
WNO - War and Peace
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Wed 17
Oct 2018
Joanna Lumley
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Thu 18
Oct 2018
Jon Ronson's Psychopath Night
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sun 21
Oct 2018
Harry Hill’s KIDZ SHOW: How To Be Funny - For KIDS!
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sun 28
Oct 2018
Richard Thompson - The 13 Rivers Tour
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Tue 30 - Sat 03
Oct 2018   Nov 2018
THE BAND: Take That's New Musical
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Mon 05
Nov 2018
Brendan Cole
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Thu 08
Nov 2018
The Novello Orchestra
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Fri 09
Nov 2018
One Night of Elvis: Lee 'Memphis' King
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Tue 13
Nov 2018
An Evening with Nigella Lawson
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sat 17
Nov 2018
Jessie J
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sun 18
Nov 2018
Show of Hands
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Mon 19
Nov 2018
Deacon Blue
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Thu 22
Nov 2018
The Magic of Motown
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Fri 23
Nov 2018
The Australian Pink Floyd Show
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sat 24
Nov 2018
Billy Ocean
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Mon 26 - Sat 01
Nov 2018   Dec 2018
Blood Brothers
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sun 02
Dec 2018
One Night of Queen
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Mon 03 - Sat 08
Dec 2018   Dec 2018
Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story On Stage
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Tue 11 - Sat 15
Dec 2018   Dec 2018
Nativity The Musical
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Tue 18 - Sun 06
Dec 2018   Jan 2019
Jersey Boys
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Tue 08 - Sat 12
Jan 2019   Jan 2019
Macbeth
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Tue 15 - Sat 26
Jan 2019   Jan 2019
Doctor Dolittle the Musical
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sat 02
Feb 2019
Dave Gorman - With Great PowerPoint Comes Great ResponsibilityPoint
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Thu 07
Feb 2019
Richard Alston Dance Company
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Mon 18 - Sat 23
Feb 2019   Feb 2019
Kinky Boots
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Mon 25
Feb 2019
Yamato Drummers
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Mon 04 - Sat 09
Mar 2019   Mar 2019
Annie
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Tue 12
Mar 2019
Mike and the Mechanics
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Wed 13
Mar 2019
Russian State Ballet of Siberia - La Fille Mal Gardee
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Thu 14
Mar 2019
Russian State Ballet of Siberia - Cinderella
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Fri 15 - Sat 16
Mar 2019   Mar 2019
Russian State Ballet of Siberia - Swan Lake
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sun 17
Mar 2019
The Sensational 60s Experience
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Tue 19 - Sat 23
Mar 2019   Mar 2019
Rock of Ages
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sun 24
Mar 2019
The Glenn Miller Orchestra
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Mon 25 - Sat 30
Mar 2019   Mar 2019
The Rocky Horror Show
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Sun 14
Apr 2019
The Bootleg Beatles: Live in Concert
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Tue 16 - Sat 20
Apr 2019   Apr 2019
Calendar Girls - The Musical
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Mon 13 - Sat 18
May 2019   May 2019
Club Tropicana
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford

Mon 20
May 2019
Rumours of Fleetwood Mac
New Theatre Oxford, Oxford