Old Laundry Theatre

Crag Brow, Windermere, LA23 3BX
Old Laundry Theatre
Photo thanks to the Old Laundry Theatre

The Old Laundry Theatre is located in the centre of Bowness-On-Windermere, sharing a building with the World of Beatrix Potter attraction. The theatre and the Beatrix Potter attraction maintain a close relationship, with many of the attraction’s special events taking place within the theatre. The theatre has a capacity of 250 and has attracted a number of high-profile playwrights, including Sir Alan Ayckbourn.

Since the theatre opened in 1992 it has hosted Ayckbourn’s newest plays as part of their world premier tour. Other famous supporters have included Alan Rickman and Victoria Wood. Furthermore, the theatre has a good relationship with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and, each year, visitors to the theatre can view shows from some of the academy’s graduating students.

Planning Your Visit

Contact Details:
01539440872 / Website
Prices vary by show
Seasonal Opening:
Check official schedule


The opening of the Old Laundry Theatre was a result of the passion for the theatrical arts held by husband and wife, Roger Glossop and Charlotte Scott, along with a little encouragement from Sir Alan Ayckbourn. Glossop was a set designer and Scott was a former stage manager. They purchased the building, a former Edwardian laundry, with a view to creating the World of Beatrix Potter attraction. However, once the attraction was complete there was still a vast space left in the building and the pair felt it would be an ideal space for a theatre in the round.

At the time, Glossop had been working alongside Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough and Ayckbourn agreed to bring his shows to the Bowness theatre if the couple were to set one up. The theatre opened in 1992 and one of Ayckbourn’s plays has been performed here every year since.

Things To See

Old Laundry Theatre
Photo thanks to the Old Laundry Theatre

The theatre is home to multiple performances throughout the year of various different shows. Most notably, the venue is used as part of the world premier tour for Alan Ayckbourn’s plays, but the programme also includes a wide mix of modern dramas, comedy evenings, and Shakespeare classics. There are occasional music nights and family friendly events with shows that will delight children.

Across the road from the main building, the theatre director’s have added an additional venue. Formerly a community hall, the Laundrama is a more intimate space that is set up caberet style. It is often used for stand up comedy evenings and smaller interactive shows.

Useful Information

There is a bistro located within the Laundrama. It is open for pre-booked diners only for matinee and evening performances. There is the option to purchase a “Dine Out” ticket that includes entrance to the show and a two course evening meal (or light lunch / afternoon tea for matinee performances) and a table is automatically reserved as part of the purchase. The theatre has a bar open before and during the performances. Locally brewed real ale is served here.


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