The Famous Panto at the Chipping Norton Theatre
…and other great theatre performances.
If you’re planning a Cotswold getaway in one of our holiday cottages near Chipping Norton, The Chipping Norton Theatre is a terrific place to see a show while you’re there. There’s always something new and exciting to see in this quaint theatre, from original performances to pantomimes and flicks. And did we mention the Panto at The Chipping Norton Theatre is pretty famous? It is… people come from far and wide to experience this for themselves.
The long and illustrious history of The Chipping Norton Theatre
This theatre was originally built in 1888 as a Salvation Army Citadel by architects and engineers who also designed and built several Victorian Music Halls, so the structure had dimensions that made it ideal for staging performances! It eventually became a furniture warehouse until being purchased in 1968 by two Royal Shakespeare Company performers.
The campaign to renovate the structure began in 1973, with a variety of activities. Residents of Chipping Norton were requested to contribute £1 each to the project, and Tom Baker opened the theatre in 1975.
The Chipping Norton Theatre used to show a small schedule of films and lunchtime Jazz concerts. Over time, however, adjacent buildings were purchased and attached to the theatre, resulting in rehearsal spaces, a bar, a gallery, offices, and more. The theatre underwent a substantial renovation in 1996, which improved the stage and other amenities, and it now has a great reputation for producing and touring its own productions. It’s a beautiful example of a rural theatre that’s virtually totally sponsored and supported by locals.
Theatrical events in Chipping Norton
The Norton Chipping Norton Theatre hosts a variety of events throughout the year, bringing 50,000 yearly visitors to this picturesque Cotswold village. Live comedy and music are performed daily, as well as plays and, of course, their legendary Christmas and New Year pantomimes!
The theatre is also used as a cinema, showing and mainstream and independent films. Whatever you choose to see, the theatre’s small size (just 214 seats) ensures that every performance seems both intimate and welcome.
Theatre Gallery and Bar
Make your trip to the theatre even more memorable by stopping by the theatre bar and gallery, which are usually open 30 – 45 minutes before each play. The bar is a wonderful room with murals, most of which were painted by Graham Rust in 1996. The artist added a secret message to the murals encircling the chandelier as a conundrum!
Local beers, ciders, and gins are among the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available at the bar. There’s also a wide selection of munchies, such as popcorn and ice cream! You can also purchase drinks and snacks for the intermission ahead of time.
There are two free long stay car parks within walking distance of the theatre:
New Street Car Park (OX7 5NF) and Albion Street Car Park (OX7 5BJ).
It’s simple to get tickets once you’ve decided what you want to see. For those who like to plan ahead, you can book your tickets online. Alternatively, go to the Daytime Box Office on Goddards Lane, which is around the corner from the theatre’s main entrance. There’s also the Last Minute Box Office that opens 90 minutes before ticketed events. This is where you may buy and pick up tickets for the upcoming performance, which is located near the theatre’s entrance.
A great night out at the theatre
This is the ideal way to pamper yourself while staying in one of our holiday cottages in the Cotswolds. Combine your stay with a delicious meal in one of Chipping Norton’s many restaurants and a stroll through this lovely historic town, and you have the makings of a fantastic time out.
We have a lovely choice of holiday cottages near Chipping Norton, all conveniently located for seeing the theatre and other Cotswold attractions nearby.