The Bacon Theatre is located just a few minutes walk from Cheltenham Spa Rail Station and is on the site of Dean Close School. First opening its doors to theatregoers in 1991, the Bacon Theatre has a good mix of amateur and professional theatre productions, comedy nights, concerts and film screenings. At the same location, you will find the Greek style Tuckwell Amphitheatre located in the great outdoors. This amphitheatre is host each summer to the Cheltenham Open Air Theatre Festival.
The Bacon Theatre
Named after Christopher Bacon, a previously long-serving headmaster at the Dean Close School, the Bacon Theatre aims to provide audiences with a broad range of productions at affordable prices. The theatre has a seating capacity of 566 seats and has regular showings throughout the year. Previous performers include Joe Pasquale and Derren Brown, as well as local and community groups, providing audiences with an eclectic mix of entertainment.
The theatre is home to the Cheltenham Film Society and has a large projector screen with regular film screenings of both classic and modern releases.
In the foyer of the theatre, visitors will find the Orangery Bar, which serves a range of alcoholic and soft drinks available to take inside the theatre. Refreshments are served during the intervals, including chocolate and locally produced ice cream.
Nearby, there are a number of restaurants and bars. TGI Friday’s is one of the closest restaurants and is just a short walk away.
The Tuckwell Amphitheatre and Cheltenham Open Air Theatre Festival
Within the grounds of the Bacon Theatre, a small part of ancient Greece has been recreated in the form of the Tuckwell Amphitheatre. The amphitheatre is surrounded by woodland and shrubs, providing a peaceful atmosphere where patrons can enjoy a variety of performances. For over 10 years the amphitheatre has been home to the Cheltenham Open Air Theatre Festival – a 2-week festival in July where theatregoers can experience drama, music and film events in an alfresco setting.
Shakespearean classics, post-modern plays and loveable children’s characters all make an appearance at the Open Air Festival. Gates open 1.5 hours before each performance to enable guests to enjoy a picnic before the show. Guests are advised to bring low-backed seating and to prepare for all types of weather.
Access to the Bacon Theatre is via the Hatherley Road entrance to the Dean Close School and the theatre is well-signposted. Access to the Tuckwell Amphitheatre is via Shelbourne Road. Both roads are minutes from the Cheltenham town centre with access via the A40. There is ample free parking available.
Cheltenham Spa Rail Station is about 10-minutes on foot and the station provides regular services to London, Birmingham and a number of other locations. There are also bus services that can drop you off or pick you up close to both of the theatre entrances.
Opening Times and Cost
Performance times and ticket costs vary for each show. The Tuckwell Amphitheatre is only open during the Open Air Theatre Festival in July and tickets for events during the festival generally range between £5 and £20.
Tickets can be purchased online or by telephone between 9am – 5pm Mondays to Fridays. Concession rates are available for the over 60s, students, under 18s and registered disabled with one carer free of charge. Additionally, a 10% discount can be applied for groups of 10 or more.