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 leading up to the festive season and into 2022. See the biggest upcoming shows below.
|Show||Running Time||Booking Dates|
|Hairspray||Hairspray runs at 2 hours 30 minutes, including an interval||Monday 14th March – Saturday 19th March 2022|
|Dreamgirls||Dreamgirls runs at 2 hours 40 minutes, including an interval||Tuesday 5th April – Saturday 16th April 2022|
|Ellen Kent’s Madama Butterfly||Madama Butterfly runs at 2 hours 35 minutes, including an interval||Saturday 30th April 2022|
|Disney’s The Lion King||The Lion King runs at 2 hours 30 minutes including an interval||Thursday 2nd June – Saturday 2nd July 2022|
|Footloose||Runtime for Footloose is TBC||Tuesday 19th July – Saturday 23rd July 2022|
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: 0844 871 3014
Group Booking: 0844 871 3034
Access Booking: 0844 871 7677
Box Office Opening Hours: 12-8pm on performance days. 12-4pm on non-performance days.
Access requirements: Up to 8 wheelchair spaces are available per performance.
Bars and Hospitality: There are bars on all levels of the venue, along with a number of suites that can be booked alongside your visit.
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.