The Edinburgh Playhouse is the largest working theatre in the UK in terms of audience capacity, seating 3,059 people over three levels. Originally used as a cinema, nowadays the venue is used for large scale touring musical productions. The theatre is managed by the Ambassadors Theatre Group (ATG) who use it to house a wide variety of different performances each year. The building itself is a Grade I Listed Building and was originally modelled on the Roxy Cinema in New York.
The Edinburgh Playhouse will feature a full line-up of exciting shows throughout 2023 and into 2024. See the biggest upcoming shows below.
|Greatest Days runs at 2 hours 45 minutes, including an interval
|Monday 28th August – Saturday 2nd September
|The King and I
|The King and I runs at 2 hours 55 minutes, including an interval
|Tuesday 12th September – Saturday 16th September
|Disney’s Aladdin runs at 2 hours 30 minutes including an interval
|Tuesday 24th October – Saturday 18th November
|Wicked runs at 2 hours 45 minutes including an interval
|Thursday 7th December 2023 – Sunday 14th January 2024
|Shrek the Musical
|Shrek the Musical runs at 2 hours 15 minutes including an interval
|Monday 22nd January – Saturday 27th January 2024
|Jesus Christ Superstar
|Jesus Christ Superstar runs at 1 hour 55 minutes including an interval
|Tuesday 6th February – Saturday 10th February 2024
|The Wizard of Oz
|The Wizard of Oz runtime is TBC
|Tuesday 13th February – Saturday 17th February 2024
|Pretty Woman the Musical
|Pretty Woman the Musical runs at 2 hours 20 minutes including an interval
|Tuesday 2nd April – Saturday 13th April 2024
|The Drifters Girl
|The Drifters Girl runs at 2 hours 20 minutes including an interval
|Tuesday 30th April – Saturday 4th May 2024
When booking Edinburgh Playhouse tickets, the seat reviews and show reviews at SeatPlan.com give you a good understanding of the best place to sit. Visit Edinburgh Playhouse at SeatPlan!
History and Design
The Edinburgh Playhouse was the largest cinema building ever built in Scotland and still survives in its original form. It was designed by architect John Fairweather as a ‘super cinema’ with an aim to include as many seats as possible whilst creating a unique experience for the audience members. It opened in the late 1920s and was designed originally with theatrical use in mind which is evidenced by the large stage and full sized fly tower. Its exterior is misleading as it is not clear how big the site actually is from looking at it outside. The Grand Circle is on the street level and the Stalls are accessed by steps down.
The cinema opened in August 1929 and featured 1500 seats in the Stalls, 680 in the Circle and 860 in the Balcony. The stage is 45ft deep and 85ft wide and featured 30 dressing rooms backstage. The orchestra pic extends underneath the stage meaning no space is taken out from the front rows.
During the 1970s the cinema was closed as cinema going became less popular in the UK. The building was scheduled for demotion, but thankfully this was revoked in 1974 as a petition to save the venue was signed by over 15,000 people. It then became a listed building and reopened as a prime theatrical venue.
Address: Edinburgh Playhouse, 18 – 22 Greenside Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3AA
Telephone Booking: 03330 096 690
Group Booking: 0333 009 5388
Access Booking: 0800 912 6971
Box Office Opening Hours: The box office is only open on performance days. It opens 90 minutes before the start of the performance.
Access requirements: Up to 8 wheelchair spaces are available per performance.
Bars and Hospitality: The Edinburgh Playhouse features its on pizzaria, Pizza Al Teatro, which serves freshly made sourdough pizzas for pre-performance dining. There are bars on every level of the theatre serving drinks and snacks before the performance and during the interval.
The Edinburgh Playhouse is one of the UK’s many haunted theatres. Staff members have reported seeing a man in grey known as Albert appearing on the sixth level of the theatre, accompanied by a burst of cold air. His full identity isn’t known, but he is thought to be the ghost of a stage hand or night-watchman who killed himself in the building.