The Theatres Trust

Hand made Kidney Bean Opera House - an example of Exploring Theatres teacher activity
Library icon Study area icon

The Theatres Trust is the National Advisory Public Body for Theatres, protecting theatres for everyone.

We operate nationally in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland providing an authoritative and knowledgeable source of expert advice and information on theatres, promoting the value of theatre buildings and championing their future.

Online resources include a Theatres Database and Image Library and Exploring Theatres, our new learning resource, including KS2 teachers resource packs.

Venue Type:

Archive, Association or society

Opening hours

Mon - Fri
09.00 to 18.00

Closed: Bank Holidays
Christmas and New Year

Additional info

Phone, letter and email enquiry service available.

Collection and resources open to the public by appointment only.

Since its establishment in 1976 the Trust has acquired a substantial amount of material through its statutory consultee role dealing with theatre buildings.

Currently we have an estimated 30,000 images, 2,700 individual theatre files which include theatre plans, correspondence and working papers, and a theatres database with 3,500 entries. These collections can be viewed by appointment only.

Our website provides our digital Image Library and online Theatres Database, an accessible gateway to the information we hold, and sits alongside our newest resource, 'Exploring Theatres', an illustrated introduction to theatre buildings explaining their use and how the design of theatres evolved.

Collection details

Performing Arts, Archives, Architecture

Key artists and exhibits

  • theatre history
  • theatre architecture
  • theatre photographs
  • local theatre
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

'Exploring Theatres' - Theatres Resource

To encourage a greater understanding of the value of theatre buildings we have created a series of new online learning resources. 'Exploring Theatres' offers an illustrated introduction to the history of theatre buildings in the UK; the spaces that make up a theatre and the people that work in them; the different shapes and styles of theatre auditoria and stages; the ornate decoration in theatre, and how this has changed through the centuries.
Teachers Resources sheets are provided for download and include: 'Planning a theatre visit' and KS2 linked ideas for learning about theatres in art and design, history, literacy, geography and citizenship.


  • The Theatres Trust
  • David Walmsley

How to obtain

Our 'Exploring Theatres' resources are free to use by anyone with access to the internet. If you have any questions or are interested in more information on your local theatre, email us at

The Theatres Trust
22 Charing Cross Road
Greater London



General Enquiries


020 7836 8591


020 7836 3302

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.