Shelley Theatre

Venue details

Shelley Theatre was built in 1870 onto Shelley Manor which was the private home to the world famous Shelley family, a literary and theatrical dynasty from the 19th century. After a century of alternate uses and restoration by the Charles Higgins Partnership, we are currently restoring the theatre and operating through the Shelley Theatre Trust. We have 165 very comfortable seats and air conditioning in our intimate auditorium.  Alongside the theatre a 200-seat performance space for cabaret, dining, exhibition or conference use has been added, along with a new foyer with large bar, and a 20-seat meeting room. Above the theatre is a rehearsal space and a bright studio space (without services or disabled access currently). New toilets have been constructed in the basement in addition to three ambulant-access toilets on the ground floor. The facilities are being improved as grants allow.

Shelley Theatre is used for plays, cinema, live music, lectures, dance shows, workshops and more.

IMG_2419  Pantomime finale


The Theatre has windows opening onto the park and a new film screen and air con.

The theatre seats 160 in a fixed arrangement and includes level access seating and two wheelchair spaces towards the front. The large raked stage is equipped with blacks with curtains to the original proscenium arch. We have FOH tabs and basic fixed lighting and sound rig. Vehicles can be parked directly at the stage access doors for easy get-ins. The auditorium has heating / air-conditioning and one small dressing room for around 8 people. Our stage also features a high specification piano which can be used subject to payment of a tuning fee. The control room was Lady Shelley’s bedroom and overlooks the auditorium.

We also have a second, more intimate cabaret performance space – The Mulberry Room, just off the bar which seats up to 160 people with a small stage. This space is equipped with a basic sound and lighting rig also. This area features underfloor heating and opens out onto the 7-acre Shelley Park where outdoor performances, subject to the Council approval can be staged.

IMG_2604  IMG_2603

The Mulberry Room small stage and underfloor heating and air con.


The Studio space has a bright exciting raw character, and overlooks the park.


The spacious bar has refreshment kitchen facilities and opens onto the entrance courtyard.

The 20-seat Chandelier Room adjoins the bar and is ideal for meetings or receptions.

We have free parking on site for 140 cars after 6pm and all-day free parking on surrounding roads.

Measurements – Stage area 12.2m wide by 8.5m deep (playing area reduced further legs). Prosc arch width 5.96m and 5m high. Ceiling height is 5.8m for maximum set height with grid. Full tech spec available on request.