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 hosting large-scale touring productions such as Chicago and Guys and Dolls.