Theatre and performance
Theatre and performance
Plan your next cultural experience... Check out Glasgow's amazing collection of both historic and modern theatres, as well as venues for live performances.
Historic Glasgow theatres
The Kings Theatre
In the heart of the city centre is the historic King's Theatre. Opened in 1904, The Kings shows the best of touring musicals, shows, spectacles and a popular annual pantomime. Visit atgtickets.com.
Opened in 1867, The Theatre Royal presents a wide range of productions. These include shows from resident companies Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet. You can also take in a heritage tour of the stunning building, which combines old and new. Visit agttickets.com.
The Pavilion was the place to visit in the early 20th Century to see the leading stars of the music halls. Known for its variety shows and pantomimes, no matter the show, The Pavilion is always a fun night out. Visit paviliontheatre.co.uk.
Contemporary work at leading theatres
Housed in the 16th Century Tron kirk, the Tron Theatre shows a range of stage shows within an intimate theatre space. See everything from new writing to reinvented classics and enjoy discussing the shows in a lovely cafe/bar afterwards. Visit The Tron's website to see what's on.
The Citizens Theatre is known for its contemporary versions of classic plays and new Scottish drama. Visit citz.co.uk for what's on (current productions showing at Tramway, while the Citizens Theatre undergoes a refurbishment).
Set in the southside in a former tram depot, this industrial space hosts cutting-edge visual art and performances. It is at Tramway that you'll find the most radical works staged in the city. It is also home to a beautiful outdoor space, The Hidden Gardens. Visit tramway.org for info.
Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA)
The CCA is an arts hub in the city centre that hosts films, workshops, festivals and more. Expect one-of-a-kind performances within a beautiful building, which includes a courtyard vegan restaurant, Saramago. Visit cca-glasgow.com.
Platform in the city's east end programmes a range of arts and performances. Check out platform-online.co.uk for their listings, which includes a strong inclusion and arts-for-all approach.
Cottiers is a former church and now popular restaurant and wedding venue in the west end. The lovely setting is ideal for community theatre performances - check out cottiers.com for listings.
Websters is a theatre, bar and playhouse that occupies another converted church in the west end. Visit Webster's website to view their line-up of theatre, comedy, dance and more.
Bard in the Botanics
The annual Bard in the Botanics takes place each June in the Botanic Gardens in the city's west end. Scotland’s premier Shakespeare company presents different plays by the Bard each year. Check out bardinthebotanics.co.uk.
SURGE at Merchant City Festival
Physical theatre and circus performers take over the streets of the Merchant City at the end of July each year. The spectacular street theatre is always one of the highlights of the Merchant City Festival. Visit surge-festival.co.uk for details.
Unique to Glasgow
Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre
For a truly unusual experience visit the Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre. Shows bring to life hundreds of carved junk figures to haunting music and light. Visit sharmanka.com.
Scottish Mask & Puppet Theatre
The Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre is a centre of excellence for mask, mime, puppetry and physical theatre. You can take in shows every weekend. Check out the schedule at maskandpuppet.co.uk.
A Play, A Pie and A Pint
A Play, A Pie and A Pint is the leading theatre company in the UK for showcasing new-writing. 35 new plays are shown each year in the beautiful Oran Mor. Find out what's on at playpiepint.com.
A must-see for all theatre and history lovers is the world’s oldest surviving music hall. The likes of Stan Laurel and Archie Leach, aka Cary Grant, used to take to the stage here! Visit britanniapanopticon.org for event listings, with everything from drag to comedy.
Scotland's finest performers
Glasgow is home to 4 of Scotland's 5 national performing arts organisations plus many other leading companies:
- National Theatre of Scotland - The theatre without walls tour their work across the country and internationally. They have a base in the north of the city. Visit nationaltheatrescotland.com.
- Scottish Opera - 2022 marks Scottish Opera's 60th anniversary year. They are based at the Theatre Royal and also tour extensively. Visit scottishopera.org.uk.
- Scottish Ballet - Also resident performers at the Theatre Royal, Scottish Ballet are known for their innovative performances, which they take to the world. Visit scottishballet.co.uk.
- Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) - Making their home at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, the RSNO has been wowing audiences for over 125 years! Visit rsno.org.uk.
- BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (SSO) - Based at City Halls, SSO perform nationwide, as well as maintaining a busy schedule of broadcasts. Visit bbc.co.uk/bbcsso.
- Scottish Ensemble - This adventurous collective of string musicians tour their creative live shows across the UK. Visit scottishensemble.co.uk.
Article last updated: September 2022