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About Alnwick Playhouse


Our story

Alnwick Playhouse has played a major role in the life of the town since 1925, and has been a vibrant arts centre since 1990. We welcome all ages, all audiences, professional and amateur performers and provide a home to our local community groups.

Every day we welcome hundreds of people through the doors. They might be attending a performance, buying tickets, singing in the choir, playing in the concert band, performing in the youth theatre, participating in a school visit, volunteering or simply meeting friends for lunch in the café.

The Playhouse was originally built in 1925 as a 700 seat cinema and occasional music hall, eventually closing in 1979 before being bought by NTC Touring Theatre Company who converted the ground floor. The upper floor was leased out to the Alnwick Playhouse District Trust who reopened the newly refurbished Alnwick Playhouse in December 1990.

PResent Day

Our recent redevelopment project

In 2018 the Playhouse closed once more for a major refurbishment, with ownership of the building transferring to Northumberland County Council. The ground floor was transformed to include the addition of the Library and Visitor Services to the building, improving the café and Studio facilities with the further addition of a new meeting room. Upstairs, the auditorium underwent significant refurbishment to replace and improve the seating and the bar was fully renovated.

The building reopened in January 2020 but was forced to close only 2 months later due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It finally reopened to the public once more in July 2021 with a scaled back programme until restrictions eased and productions returned to full strength in 2022.

Mission & Vision

A statement from Damian

“Alnwick Playhouse is nearly 100 years old. The building opened in 1925 as a 700 seat cinema and occasional music hall. Since then it has been an enduring and much loved focal point for the community. It has gone through many changes in its time and as we approach our landmark year of 2025 in the newly refurbished building it is clear that the need for this space is as vital to the community as ever it was.

In an ever-changing world it is clear that those needs now change with far greater frequency than ever before. It is important that a space such as the Playhouse is able to recognise those changes and adapt accordingly. It’s also vital that the activities we offer should be accessible to all and that a particular focus on children and young people and the elderly should be adopted. 

Having a cultural centre on your doorstep is wonderful for the quality of life we all hope to share. It assists in our being active physically and mentally. It’s good for the environment as your journey will be shorter than to a major city. It is a space in which we regularly celebrate being a part of the community.”

Our core values

We are friendly

We are ambitious

We are creative

We care about the planet

We celebrate diversity

our aims

Everything we do revolves around three main aims

  • Be admired locally as an inspirational creative venue for the whole community. To lead on diversity in our community.

  • To be ambitious, innovative and pro-active in helping the community engage with the arts.

  • To acknowledge in every aspect of our work how climate change affects our community and beyond.

Playhouse Staff

Damian Cruden

Artistic Director

Becky Kelly

Marketing Manager

Carrie Morrison

Box Office Manager & Administrator

Andy Hunt

Technical Manager

Kirstin Chapman

Customer Services Manager

Martin Clarke

Finance Officer

Katie Snape

Marketing Assistant

Rob Paul

Film Programmer & Box Office Assistant

John Greenacre

Technical Assistant

Sarah McLane

Youth Theatre Director

Sam Hobrough

Fundraising Consultant

Bradley Stevens

Box Office Assistant

Janet Clarke

Box Office Assistant

Gina Prince

Finance & Box Office Assistant

Leighanne brown

Cafe Supervisor

Jason Johnston

Kitchen Manager

Leif The Pug

Barketing Manager

Laslo & Sophia

Pawject Managers

Playhouse Trustees

Chris Sayers


John Spence


Gordon Castle


Jane Embley


Lilian Hetherington


Martin Allenby


Norman Luke


Phil Stuckey


Richard Dale


Roger Styring