We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great Little Theatre”

The Sleaford Playhouse
Ranked #8 of 15 things to do in Sleaford
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Playhouse was restored to a working Theatre in 2000 and has had a varied history. Originally built as a theatre, it was subsequently adapted for a variety of other uses to meet the demands of the time, and is now once more being used for its original purpose. The Playhouse was built in 1825 for Joseph Smedley (bookbinder, printer and stationer - and comedian), who had purchased the land and surrounding tenements for £700. Smedley successfully managed the Playhouse as a theatre for several years. He owned a string of theatres from Kings Lynn around the Wash to Sleaford and ran a small touring theatre company, which toured these theatres in the Lincolnshire and Norfolk area. In January 1841, after a relatively quiet time with poor attendances at the theatre, Smedley sold the Playhouse to John Hyde (watchmaker) of Sleaford. Hyde managed the Playhouse and succeeded in attracting a variety of acts to Sleaford, including magicians, comic singers and touring theatre companies. Hyde died in June 1853, but by then he had sold the Playhouse to Jane Hill of Sleaford and William Pidd- Fischer (Miller at Money's Mill). After a short closure, they re-opened the theatre in 1855 under the management of Mr R.A. Douglas. Attendances, however, were miserably small. The taste for drama had all but disappeared in Sleaford and closure loomed again. The executors of Hill and Fisher sold the Playhouse, including fixtures and fittings, in August 1856 to Thomas Parry for the bargain price of £380. In 1857, the building was bought by the Church of England, who elected Parry, together with his business partner William Kirk, to convert it into a school that was done at a cost of £1,085.00 paid for by subscription. Thus, the Playhouse became Sleaford's first infant school. Subsequently, the Playhouse has served as a library, an emergency shelter during both world wars and a government benefits office. Sleaford Little Theatre bought the Playhouse in 1994 with a view to restoring the building to its original use. A nucleus of enthusiastic members worked hard on the project to provide the town once more with its very own theatre venue. While SLT had sufficient funds to purchase the building and carry out a certain amount of work, additional funding came from various sources, including the Foundation for Sports and Arts, Wren Recycling, local benefactors and sponsors, thus enabling the renovation to be completed. The newly restored Playhouse opened its doors to the public in October 2000, thus once more becoming a working Georgian Theatre, one of only six remaining in the country and out of those six two are with a small, rectangular auditorium. Sleaford Little Theatre now had the 'home' they'd dreamt of, and the town had an invaluable venue for all sorts of events. As the Playhouse celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2010, a refurbishment project saw the original restoration improved to include new racked seating for the downstairs seats, new carpet downstairs making the wooden floors seem more comfortable and many more much-needed improvements. Since re-opening the Playhouse, Sleaford Little Theatre has entertained audiences with a wide variety of productions, from classics such as J.B. Priestley's 'An Inspector Calls', Daphne du Maurier's 'Rebecca' and Charles Dickens''David Copperfield', to comedies such as Lloyd & Croft's hit ''Allo 'Allo' and Alan Ayckbourn's 'Communicating Doors', plus many more. The Playhouse is proving to be a popular venue for a wide variety of other entertainment too, from local bands and solo artists to professional touring theatre companies and musicians. We aim to continue to provide an attractive range of events at the Playhouse to appeal to a wide variety of tastes, hopefully attracting new audiences as well as satisfying our existing patrons. Thank you for your support and interest in The Playhouse. We hope you've enjoyed this brief history and we look forward to welcoming you to the Playhouse.
Reviewed 9 August 2017 via mobile

This is a gem of a little theatre. We visit about 5 or 6 times a year. The performances are excellent considering that most of the performers are from the amateur dramatic society. On one or two occasions the standard has been below their incredibly high standards but we will still be visiting very regularly. Nice central location with a very inexpensive little bar. It is well worth a visit - great value for money.

1  Thank Bryn D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom C, Public Relations Manager at The Sleaford Playhouse, responded to this reviewResponded 14 August 2017

Hi Bryn,

Thank you for such kind words and your continued support!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (8)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
Filter

3 - 7 of 8 reviews

Reviewed 1 May 2017

Was very suprised how many theatres Lincolnshire has,and found this one not far from me..Website is very gd with a seating plan..Had a look through the years events and went too the Knights of comedy night...Doors opened 30 mins before show..Once inside there is a bar which gets full but a drink can be taken in the theatre...Seats very comfortable,act very gd,staff friendly and efficient...There is a car park opposite...Shall visit again if there is something on we can attend..

Thank Sharon S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom C, Publicity Manager at The Sleaford Playhouse, responded to this reviewResponded 15 May 2017

Thanks for you very kind review Sharon.

We are currently in the process of working with designers to completely redesign the foyer enanling more room at the bar and to improve the flow of people in and out for the theatre.

We really hope you'll return soon and we look forward to welcoming you again.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2015

Saw "A Fistful of Spaghetti" at the Sleaford Playhouse, a great comedy in a lovely old theatre. Seats were comfortable and, although the bar is a little crowded, that's often true of most theatres. Friendly front of house staff.

Thank Philip M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TECreasey, Webmaster at The Sleaford Playhouse, responded to this reviewResponded 25 October 2015

Philip, thank you for a very kind review. We are looking to refurb the bar/foyer in the not too distant future to improve the crowding issue.

We look forward to seeing you back soon!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2015

A FAB LITTLE PLACE. we went with freinds for his birthday and he loved it.Our first time as well.A very good play and a very nice place to go we would go againe.

Thank philip w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TECreasey, Webmaster at The Sleaford Playhouse, responded to this reviewResponded 24 August 2015

We are pleased you enjoyed your first visit to the Playhouse. We look forward to welcoming you again sometime!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 3 January 2015

This is a real gem to be found in Sleaford performing many great shows. A small place but cosy. Seats are very comfy and a great venue to watch performances. I would recommend you to take a visit.

Thank Sarah6788
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TECreasey, Webmaster at The Sleaford Playhouse, responded to this reviewResponded 24 August 2015

Thank you for your kind words about our theatre!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed The Sleaford Playhouse also viewed

 
Sleaford, Lincolnshire
Sleaford, Lincolnshire
 

Been to The Sleaford Playhouse? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing