April’s Venue of The Month – PLAYHOUSE Whitley Bay

PLAYHOUSE- A history

The PLAYHOUSE began its life 106 years ago on Easter Monday 1913. Fast forward to today and it is a modern, lovingly renovated theatre in the heart of Whitley Bay.

The 638 seat theatre was transformed into its new state in 2009 as the first project in North Tyneside Council’s £64million regeneration of the coastal town. The SMG managed venue is central to the local community. The colour scheme designer, artist Frank Biffa, wanted to create a space which was lively and vibrant, much like the seaside town it is located in. This is most apparent in the auditorium’s ‘sea’ of seats, with the blue tones growing darker as the seats become deeper only to be broken up by the red buoys scattered across the sea.

Since re-opening its doors in 2009, it has hosted some big names from the world of entertainment. Musicians such as Roger Daltrey, Frank Turner and “Little Steven” Van Zandt have all enjoyed sold out nights there. The PLAYHOUSE has also seen some of the greatest names in comedy, with Jason Manford, Jimmy Carr and Ken Dodd all treading the boards of the modern theatre. The PLAYHOUSE also has its fair share of impressive speakers, including Dr John Cooper Clark, Robert Winston and Michael Portillo.

Although the face-lift of the theatre may have helped bring in some big names, it has not lost its local community pedigree. Local theatre groups still use the PLAYHOUSE to perform to thousands of satisfied customers every year, bringing a real sense of community in the town. 

As a private hire space…

Party at the PLAYHOUSE!

The PLAYHOUSE in Whitley Bay wants to party with you! The PLAYHOUSE is available for parties, functions and corporate meetings. Alongside the great variety of shows on offer, you can now enjoy your special occasion while benefiting from their theatre experience. Covering a range of parties and occasions the PLAYHOUSE can really offer something for everyone.

With professional catering and food & drink options to suit all tastes and 2 fully licensed bars with a range of beverages, they can tailor make your event. Teddy Bears picnics, cinema parties and fun themes are all available to celebrate your little ones special occasions too, with a variety of specially designed children’s party menus to choose from.

Now, with a dedicated event co-ordinator who can help arrange as much or as little as you would like and deal with any special requests, every event can sparkle under the glow of the theatre’s bright lights.

They use local entertainers, DJ’s, bands and children’s entertainers where possible and can even decorate the venue to your specific theme.

With excellent parking facilities and great transport links, the PLAYHOUSE Whitley Bay could be the perfect venue for your celebration.

Commercial & Business

The PLAYHOUSE has been used by organisations such as North Tyneside council, the Sage and PTA groups for meetings and conferences. Kier recently used the auditorium space and found it to be the ideal location to stage a presentation to their 500 local employees. The theatre offers flexible coordination to fit all business needs including internet access, presentation equipment and working lunch options.

Annual Highlights, Not to be Missed!

Pantomime at the PLAYHOUSE!

Every year Blue Genie Entertainment takes its record breaking panto to the seaside town and this year it is a GIANT of a pantomime, Jack & The Beanstalk. Every year it is a fun filled 2 and a half hours with many highlights, among which is the traditional interval ice cream!

All of the PLAYHOUSE ice cream is manufactured locally by Doddington Dairy. They use simple ingredients, sourced locally, to create a quality product which is snapped up by audience members of all ages. In fact, the PLAYHOUSE sold enough tubs of Doddington’s Ice Cream during their latest production that if they were laid out in a line would be longer than 5 football pitches!


Mouth of the Tyne Festival.

The Mouth of the Tyne Festival has run in the local area since 2004. It hosts everything from live music performances to cultural processions and art displays. The festival takes place every July and is the perfect excuse to enjoy an ice cold drink on a warm summer’s day at the seaside. The theatre offers a wide range of summer ciders and super-chilled beers to compliment the festival beautifully.

SMG have worked closely with Heineken to bring new drinks to the theatre in 2019. Amstel lager is the newest drink on offer and is quickly becoming a favourite with audiences. There will also be a bottled guest ale added in time for the festival, set to be announced in May!

Looking forward

The PLAYHOUSE is thrilled to be able to announce that Jimmy Carr will be returning with his ‘Terribly Funny’ show in 2019 AND 2020. The outrageously witty and smart Ruby Wax is taking her ‘How To Be Human’ show there in October.  The theatre will also be hosting acts to contribute to the Mouth of the Tyne Festival. This year sees the return of Nadine Shah, with Ruby Turner also scheduled.

If you would like to see any of these shows in style, or you have a corporate group attending a performance, why not upgrade to the hospitality suite? Many drinks and food packages are offered and can be tailored to each individual event. A glass of bubbly while watching the dancers from Strictly Come Dancing in ‘Here Come the Girls’ or a private supply of beer for any of our film festivals are the perfect partnership for an evening of entertainment.


Intrigued to find out more?


Website: www.playhousewhitleybay.co.uk
Email: info@playhousewhitleybay.co.uk
Booking Hotline No: 0844 248 1588


Twitter: @playhouse_wb