A Quick Guide to Theatre in Southampton


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Southampton is a thriving maritime centre, packed with leisure activities, art galleries, modern shopping venues and excellent restaurants. And if you like dazzling theatrical performance, you’ll be spoilt for choice. From comedy and drama to ballets and musicals, there is a wide range of theatres to suit all tastes. Whether you live in the heart of the action or you’re visiting from one of the surrounding areas such as Wimborne or Alton, here we dive deeper into Southampton’s exciting theatre scene.

Mayflower Theatre

Located just a stroll from Southampton’s train station, Mayflower Theatre (originally called the Empire Theatre) opened in 1928 but was forced to close in 1986 due to major redevelopments. It reopened a year later under its current name with a production of Peter Pan. Today the theatre has a capacity of 2,300 spectators and is famous for its comedy shows and music events.

The Stage Door

Found within the Cultural Quarter, a stone’s throw from Southampton’s marina, The Stage Door is all about cabaret, burlesque and musicals. The theatre brings a fresh approach to evening entertainment while providing a cosy and welcoming environment to its guests. Party packages are also on offer here – you can choose between life drawing, dance lessons, bingo, karaoke, cocktail making and a lot more.

The Joiners

Situated along the banks of the River Itchen, the Joiners is a must if you love music. With a capacity of about 200 people, this small venue is famous for having hosted a great variety of bands and artists – from the Coldplay to Ed Sheeran, Green Day and the Arctic Monkeys. It opened in 1968 and was named “Britain’s best small music venue” in a NME’S competition in 2013. Suitable for all ages and characterised by a family vibe, this venue celebrates the beauty of music in all its forms.

Aside these three main venues, there are other smaller ones that gift Southampton with a unique liveliness. Two of these are the Brook and Turner Sims, both located a stone’s throw from each other next door to Southampton’s marina.

Southampton and its theatrical culture walk arm in arm and give the city a special charm. Maybe you lived here your whole life, you’ve just moved from nearby cities like Portsmouth or Winchester, or across the Solent from the Isle of Wight. Either way, Southampton is a great place to buy your new home. So, make sure you have a look at our developments within the area, like Candorf Paddock or Madgwick Park near Chichester.