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New Theatre Oxford Oxford

About the New Theatre Oxford

The New Theatre Oxford is the city’s main commercial venue, first opening in 1836 to host music hall entertainment. The site was later taken over by the Oxford University Dramatic Society whose refreshed, 1,000-seat capacity venue debuted with a production of Twelfth Night. After a fire damaged the theatre in 1892, Stanley Dorrill commissioned architects William and T.R. Milburn to redesign the interior in a distinctive art deco style which audiences can still admire to this day. 

The Dorrills ran the New Theatre as a family business between 1908 and 1972, during which time a revolving stage was installed in 1934 and touring productions, pantomimes and concerts became a staple of its annual schedule. As theatregoing dwindled following the rise of television, Howard and Wyndham bought out the Dorrill family in 1972, with Apollo Leisure taking over in 1977 and renaming the building The Apollo. Following a few more changes of management and a refurbishment in 2003, the venue was once again named the New Theatre and has been operated by Ambassador Theatre Group since 2009. 

The New Theatre Oxford is now best-known for large-scale events such touring West End productions, including Chicago and Dirty Dancing.

Frequently Asked Questions

The box office opens for ticket collection 90 minutes before the first performance of the day begins.
The venue’s public spaces are open 90 minutes before the start of a performance. Arrive early to make sure you have a relaxed time without long queues for entry or the bars.
There are four bars at the theatre, serving a range of snacks and refreshments, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. There is a large air-conditioned bar is below the Stalls foyer as well as two bars in the Circle Foyer and one at the rear of the Balcony.
There is no cloakroom at the venue. Visitors are advised not to bring any extraneous items that they would not be able to keep on their lap or under their seat during the performance.
The White Rabbit, two minutes’ walk from New Theatre, is a popular pub serving craft beer and pizzas, all cooked in a woodfire oven and with various toppings to choose from. Fans of pan-Asian food including Malaysian, Vietnamese and Indonesian should try Banana Tree on George Street, which is around seven minutes from the theatre on foot.
The 4-star Malmaison Oxford is a charming boutique hotel in the historic centre of the city. Set in the unique surroundings of a converted Victorian prison, the hotel’s restaurant Chez Mal is perfect for pre-theatre dining and cocktails. If you’re on a budget, there are also many affordable options near the theatre, including The Buttery and George Street Hotel.
The box office team can be contacted for booking queries by calling 0333 009 6690.

Past Shows At New Theatre Oxford

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