Theatre in and around Huddersfield
Written by Molly Charnley and Huy Le
Drama BA(Hons) and Digital Media MA
Lawrence Batley theatre
When it comes to theatre, where better to start than the Lawrence Batley theatre. The theatre is only five minutes away from the University campus and resides around all the bars in Huddersfield. The theatre is the perfect location to grab a meal with your friends, go watch a show and then come back and finish with a few drinks in your favourite bar. There’s a variety of shows including plays (from classics to new contemporary work), stand-up comedy, small music gigs and poetry nights, which often occur in Queenies cafe right next to the LBT. Students class as concessions at the theatre, so it’s cheaper than going to the cinema and offers a different experience for you and your friends to enjoy.
For something even closer to home, why not try shows created by and featuring students? The Milton building houses those on the Drama course and across the year, students of all years produce wonderful engaging work open for all students to see. There are also societies such as the Drama Society and Musical Theatre Society where students from across courses produce great shows.
If you want to be on the stage rather than watching performances, joining the Huddersfield Thespians is the way to go. The Huddersfield Thespians are in their 92nd season of performing all around the town, mainly at the Lawrence Batley theatre.
The Huddersfield Thespians hold regular workshops for potential new actors and it would great for any student looking for a new hobby or side project. If you would prefer to be on the directing side of the stage show, fear not, they have workshops for that too and press opportunities, stage management workshops, prompting and wardrobe. If you want a career in theatre, the Huddersfield Thespians have every workshop covered.
For the more adventurous students, why not take a trip to the sleepy little town of Holmfirth to the Cragrats Theatre? It’s approximately 40 minutes by bus and walking from the University campus but it’s definitely worth the journey. Start your evening by visiting one of the many wine bars in the village and finally work your way up to Cragrats, a theatre that specialises in live theatre and dynamic workshops.
The Cragrats theatre has a very intimate setting with only 80 seats per performance, great for those that dislike the hustle and bustle of hectic theatre crowds. Cragrats hosts a variety of shows including: Comedy nights, Drama and the successful annual pantomime. During the day, Cragrats can be hired out as a TV studio or a rehearsal room – a fabulous place for drama or media students.
West Yorkshire playhouse
West Yorkshire Playhouse is in Leeds city centre and remains one of the favourite theatres in West Yorkshire. The venue hosts a variety of different shows and holds a high international reputation. The Playhouse theatre has two stages, one that has seating for 750 and the other with 350 seats.
West Yorkshire Playhouse has had many celebrity performances and can be found in a fantastic city central location for students. It’s great to spend a day in Leeds and finish off the evening by seeing a spectacular show.
Dean Clough Viaduct theatre
The Dean Clough Viaduct theatre is great for students who are looking for an intimate, alternative atmosphere. The theatre provides performances for those who like: Chamber Music, Opera or Alternative Rock. Dean Clough theatre is situated in a comfortable renovated cellar which resembles a cave and offers an atmospheric and unique location for theatre.
Dean Clough is situated in Halifax and can be quite a drive for students, however if you all huddle together and catch a bus, it is a venue not worth missing.
Leeds Grand theatre
Leeds is also home to the Leeds Grand theatre which houses big touring productions of musicals, plays, stand-up comedians and dance shows. The Grand also hosts ballets and operas for something a little more classical. With Leeds being 20 minutes away by train, it's a great opportunity to see great theatre.
With one of the biggest cities in Britain being only a 30 minute train journey away, it would be a crime to not to indulge in some of the best theatre in the country (next to London, of course). There are many performance spaces in Manchester suited to all tastes. For musical fans, the Palace Theatre and the Opera House play host to many touring shows. The Lowry is the place for stand up as well as, contrastingly, artful dance work, concerts and plays. Of course, Manchester Arena is known for welcoming the biggest names in music but for more intimate gigs, it's a good idea to take a look at the Apollo Theatre, Band on the Wall and Bridgewater Hall. With all these spaces and more, as well as the Manchester International festival showcasing new productions each year, you'll be spoilt for choice!