REP is back!


Following a successful return of repertory in 2018, HT Rep is back again for autumn 2019 to thrill audiences with another three classic shows over a three-week period at Harrogate Theatre.

 Did you know that Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Imelda Staunton, and Vanessa Redgrave all began as actors in repertory theatre?

Traditionally a repertory theatre company is a group of actors who perform a small number of plays for just a few weeks at a time, and there’s a strong history of repertory at Harrogate Theatre. William Peacock was the Managing Director of Harrogate Theatre when it was the Grand Opera House from its opening in 1900 through to the mid 1930’s when his wife and daughter took over.

The theatre operated as a touring venue up to the early 1930’s when the growing popularity of cinema and radio saw a decline in theatre audiences. As an answer to the problem, William Peacock formed a repertory company, The White Rose Players (one of the first weekly rep companies in the country), and the theatre became a producing venue. The White Rose Players performed around 45 plays a year and continued through to the mid 1950’s.

In more recent years, Harrogate Theatre has operated again largely as a touring venue. However, in autumn 2018 we brought repertory back to Harrogate Theatre working in partnership with our friends at Phil&Ben Productions, Phil Stewart and Ben Roddy. Phil and Ben are acting industry ​professionals with nearly 50 years’ experience in all areas of the business.

The 2018 season comprised three weeks of back-to-back drama in the shape of Boeing Boeing, Dial M for Murder, and Private Lives. The return of repertory to Harrogate was a great success, attracting more than 3,500 people across the three shows.

This autumn HT Rep will return with another three shows over a three-week period, again all by one company and one cast. Brace yourselves for classics On The Piste, Deathtrap and The 39 Steps, all taking place on the main stage at Harrogate Theatre from 27 August - 14 September. Once again, much of the wonder of rep is to see the same cast in different roles across the shows, and a multi-buy ticket deal is available to encourage a returning audience.

Phil Stewart can’t wait to get back on the Harrogate stage: “Having worked at Harrogate many times as an actor I always felt that the town could support a rep. I’m delighted last year worked so well and I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us to date. In 2019 we want to impress and further develop the repertory audience again and we’re confident we’ve got the right titles to do just that. We can’t wait!”