Gaiety Theatre

Gaiety Theatre
Gaiety Theatre
Carrick Street, Ayr, KA7 1NU
  • Box office 01292 288235
  • Box office times Mon–Sat 10am–5pm and one hour before performance.
  • Email
  • Website ayrgaiety.co.uk
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Over 100 years of history.

Designed by local architect J McHardy Young, the Gaiety Theatre first opened on Oct 1 1902. The original interior had two tiers, could accommodate 1,200 and cost £9,500. Less than a year later the theatre was devastated by fire – and met the same fate in 1955. On both occasions rebuilding meant the Gaiety rose from the ashes, although each time in a changed layout.

For nearly half its lifetime, from 1925–73, the theatre was run by the Popplewell Family who built up much of the affection the Gaiety still retains today. In later years, while owned and run by South Ayrshire Council, it remained the premier theatre in South West Scotland. As the largest performing venue between Glasgow and England it saw annual audiences of over 80,000 for more than 220 shows each year.

Over its long life the stage has seen performances from comedians, singers, variety acts and icons such as Sir Harry Lauder, Ken Dodd, Dave Willis, Jack Milroy and Gaiety legend Johnny Beattie. But financial pressures and an operating model that no longer worked saw the Gaiety bow out on Jan 31 2009.

Welcome back!

Now, after almost four years of hard work, fund-raising, lobbying and refurbishing, the Gaiety reopened its doors and raised the curtain on Dec 11 2012.

When the theatre closed, it was much loved, but in decline. So simply rolling back the clock was not going to be the answer. Instead we have a new vision to redevelop the Gaiety as a centre for theatre and the arts – providing a destination venue and much more.

New facilities, including a studio theatre and an expanded cafe/bar/restaurant, are part of a re-imagined focus for social and cultural life in Ayr. The original auditorium has some unique qualities and in the near future we will be bringing it back to its former glory – as well as modernising ‘behind the scenes’ working.

We aim to offer something for the whole community. The new ‘Stage Door’ cafe/bar/restaurant will be open seven days a week, offering a meeting place and anything from a coffee to a full evening meal. We’ll have youth theatre activities from the start, along with other themed events. And we are developing plans to take the Gaiety into the community, with opportunities for involvement in all sorts of ways. Our partnership with the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) will create an innovative ‘learning theatre’ connecting Ayr’s growing student population with the life of the town in a centre for education, training and research.

Who’s running the show?

In Oct 2012, Ayr Gaiety Partnership Limited took on a 99-year lease of the Gaiety for a ‘peppercorn’ rent from South Ayrshire Council. AGP was set up in 2009 by two local residents, who were joined by three more to make up the current board. All are volunteers and have led an effort of another 20 or so local volunteers to work on fund-raising, cleaning up the theatre, overseeing capital works and a whole lot more. The company is a social enterprise – so it exists to serve the local community, not to make profit. It’s a charity too so it has to meet all sorts of external scrutiny. But most of all, it is community owned and membership of the company will grow over the next few years – to include hundreds of local people of all ages and interests.

Of course it’s not possible to run a theatre with a busy programme and even more ambitions for the future entirely on voluntary effort. So we also have a small but incredibly talented and dedicated group of employees. Combining local knowledge with a strong track record from further afield, our staff team are at the core of our operation. They develop the programme, manage the business, oversee the technical side, promote our activities and provide essential back up to our volunteers.

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Events at this venue

There are 34 events at this location

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Abba Forever

ABBA - Forever is one of the UK’s leading International tribute shows and theatre audiences from across Great Britain and Sweden have long enjoyed this superb recreation of possibly the world‘s greatest pop band. The unique ABBA sound is replicated with an incredible attention to detail, using a six-piece band featuring…

Sat 29 Sep

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Aladdin

MICHAEL COURTNEY (Widow Twankey) LORNA AMY SULLIVAN (Jasmine) LIAM WEBSTER (Abanazar) DAN WHITLEY (Wishee Washee), KEIRAN BEGLEY (Aladdin) ROBERT AITKEN (PC Ping &Genie of the Lamp) COURTNEY DIGNAN (Slave of the Ring) The panto adventure of a lifetime! We are delighted that M A Productions are…

Fri 30 Nov

£13–£19.50 (Students £13–£17.50; Family £14.50–£16.50) / 01292 288235

Sat 1 Dec

£13–£19.50 (Students £13–£17.50; Family £14.50–£16.50) / 01292 288235

£14–£20.50 (Students £14–£18.50; Family £15.50–£17.50) / 01292 288235

Sun 2 Dec

£13–£19.50 (Students £13–£17.50; Family £14.50–£16.50) / 01292 288235

£14–£20.50 (Students £14–£18.50; Family £15.50–£17.50) / 01292 288235

…and 25 more dates until 3 Jan 2019

Alla Voce Duo - Sarah Pistorius, Alina Meszol-Horvath (mezzo soprano and pian

£5 (Free for Companions) A relaxing session of live entertainment and free refreshments, developed for people living with dementia, their carers and loved ones. Alla Voce Duo are a Glasgow-based voice and piano duo, formed just this year and is comprised of Sarah Pistorius (mezzo-soprano) and Alina Horvath (piano).

Tue 30 Oct

Studio

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Autmun Choral - Showcase 2

Two separate concerts presented by compère Gordon McKinlay each highlighting the fabulous vocal talents of local choirs and choral groups of Ayrshire – a wide variety of song in a broad range of styles and arrangements from a mix of different choirs and choral groups performing each night. All proceeds from the two…

Fri 28 Sep

£10.50–£14.50 (Students £9.50–£13.50) / 01292 288235

Autumn Choral - Showcase 1

Two separate concerts presented by compère Gordon McKinlay each highlighting the fabulous vocal talents of local choirs and choral groups of Ayrshire – a wide variety of song in a broad range of styles and arrangements from a mix of different choirs and choral groups performing each night. All proceeds from the two…

Thu 27 Sep

£10.50–£14.50 (Students £9.50–£13.50) / 01292 288235

Barry Steele & Friends - The Roy Orbison Story

Get ready for a night of solid gold 60s hits and 80s musical genius all on one stage with Barry Steele & friends! As well as the toe tapping sound of the music giant that is Roy Orbison, you'll hear the fantastic Barry Steele perform songs written by Roy Orbison, but never performed by him! He is joined in this…

Fri 29 Mar 2019

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Betty Blue Eyes - APOS

Belts are being tightened and the country’s long-suffering citizens are being told by the government that there will be fair shares for all in return for surviving Austerity Britain. Meanwhile local officials feather their own nests by taking far more than their own fair share. It is of course 1947, and having won the war…

Tue 6 Nov

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Wed 7 Nov

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Thu 8 Nov

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

…and 2 more dates until 10 Nov

Buddy Holly & The Cricketers

On 3rd February 1959, Rock ’n’ Roll - and the world - lost its brightest star. The unparalleled catalogue of music that Buddy Holly left behind has entertained, inspired and moved every subsequent generation to laughter, tears and an irrepressible desire to dance! To commemorate Buddy’s anniversary and to celebrate the…

Wed 6 Feb 2019

£17.50–£22.50 (Students £16.50–£21.50) / 01292 288235

Burns Meets Gow!

Robert Burns and Neil Gow met in Dunkeld in 1787. Now violins played by Burns and Gow will meet on the stage of Ayr Gaiety Theatre played by fiddling supremos Alistair McCulloch and Pete Clark supported by The Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra. A night of superb Scottish Fiddling!

Wed 23 Jan 2019

£10–£16 (Students £8–£14) / 01292 288235

Charlie Landsborough

Septuagenarian country singer who is as entertaining on stage as he is melodic.

Wed 24 Oct

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Chicago - Wellington School

In the roaring twenties Chicago, chorine Roxie Hart murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband, Amos, to take the rap…until he finds out he's been duped and turns on Roxie. Convicted and sent to death row, Roxie and another "Merry Murderess," Velma Kelly, vie for the spotlight and the headlines…

Thu 4 Oct

£11–£15 (Students £10–£14; Family £8.50–£12.50) / 01292 288235

Fri 5 Oct

£11–£15 (Students £10–£14; Family £8.50–£12.50) / 01292 288235

Sat 6 Oct

£11–£15 (Students £10–£14; Family £8.50–£12.50) / 01292 288235

Cirque Enchantment

This concert style Cirque production features stunning choreography, breath-taking vocals and mesmerising circus performers. With an eclectic musical soundtrack including pop, rock and classical ‘Cirque Enchantment’ is a stunning family show that will delight everyone from young to old and all ages in between. Why go to…

Thu 7 Feb 2019

£19–£25 (Family £14.50–£20) / 01292 288235

Craig Hill

This show is soooooo not about fit-baws! Jockstrap yourself in for a “balls-out” funny night of no-holds-barred comedy - It’s all gonna kick off! Hot on the heels of his latest sell-out tour, our very favourite Kilted Comedian shoots back to The Gaiety and scores with a night full of fun! Book early!‘ Flat-out…

Fri 22 Feb 2019

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Daniel Sloss: X

The Scottish comedian, and recent recipient of the 2016 Sydney Comedy Festival 'Best of the Fest' International Award, presents his latest show.

Sat 17 Nov

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Dementia Friendly - Niamh MacKaveney Trio

A relaxing session of live entertainment and free refreshments, developed for people living with dementia, their carers and loved ones. The Niamh MacKaveney Trio was formed in Glasgow’s vibrant and eclectic music scene. Featuring Niamh MacKaveney from Scotland (vocals & fiddle), David Lombardi from Italy (fiddle) and…

Tue 25 Sep

Studio

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

The Dolls: Dragged Up

The tan has barely faded from Agnes and Sadie’s thick skin and they’re in trouble again, and left lip-synching for their lives.

Wed 17 Oct

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Thu 18 Oct

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Fri 19 Oct

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Sat 20 Oct

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Dominic Kirwan (and Friends)

Firmly established as one of Ireland’s greatest ever entertainers and always so popular with his legion of followers, Dominic brings his own inimitable style to the vast and rich musical heritage of his homeland. Dominic brings to the stage a unique quality as an entertainer, versatile and comfortable performing a…

Sat 13 Oct

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Foster & Allen

Popular Irish folk duo whose career spans over 40 years and 30 albums.

Wed 13 Mar 2019

£21–£25 (Students £20–£24) / 01292 288235

Futureproof: Wild Life FM

A live radio show about the importance of music in life, from National Theatre of Scotland and Campo (Belgium).

Sat 27 Oct

£10 (£8) / 01292 288235

Sun 28 Oct

£10 (£8) / 01292 288235

Gaiety Theatre Tour

Find out about the history and hear tales from one of Scotland’s oldest theatres. Experience being on stage and gain access to areas that are not usually seen by the public, including backstage and the dressing rooms. Tickets are limited, so be sure to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. This tour is…

Wed 10 Oct

£4 / 01292 288235

Gaiety Theatre Tour

Find out about the history and hear tales from one of Scotland’s oldest theatres. Experience being on stage and gain access to areas that are not usually seen by the public, including backstage and the dressing rooms. Tickets are limited, so be sure to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. This tour is…

Tue 13 Nov

£4 (Students £3) / 01292 288235

Ian Waite and Vincent Simone - The Ballroom Boys

£55 (VIP ticket incl post show meet and greet at 6pm – limited to 36 tickets and available in Premium Seat Areas Only) Produced by Strictly Theatre Co, Strictly Come Dancing favourites Ian Waite and Vincent Simone are joining forces in 2019 with their brand new production - THE BALLROOM BOYS. Argentine Tango legend…

Fri 31 May 2019

£27–£34 (Students £25–£32) / 01292 288235

Jackson Live

Michael Jackson tribute show featuring CJ.

Fri 12 Oct

£17.50–£23.50 / 07584052746

Joe Longthorne

With three decades of experience under his belt, Longthorne, who hails from the days of Live at the Palladium, performs from his vast back catalogue. He's known for his uncanny impersonations of Shirley Bassey, who apparently claims 'Joe can do me better than I can do myself'.

Wed 31 Oct

£19–£25 (Students £18–£24) / 01292 288235

Legends of American Country

Now seen by over 250,000 fans direct from Ireland Europe's No 1 Country music show “The Legends of American Country " returns for another fantastic night of toe tapping Country classics. The 2019 tour will showcase highly acclaimed tributes to Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette and Kenny Rogers and 5…

Fri 18 Jan 2019

£21.50–£25.50 (Students £20.50–£24.50) / 01292 288235

The Lionel Richie Songbook

Dance on the ceiling (all night long) at this musical celebration of Lionel Richie.

Fri 2 Nov

£20–£24 (Students £19–£23) / 01292 288235

Menopause The Musical

TICKETS: £33 (£31- Restricted and Balcony) Starring Cheryl Fergison (EastEnders), Maureen Nolan (The Nolans), Rebecca Wheatley (Casualty) and Katherine Lynch (RTÉ’s “Wagons Den”). Menopause the Musical is heading out on another UK wide tour. This hysterical show packed full of one-liners about night sweats, hot flushes…

Tue 12 Feb 2019

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Wed 13 Feb 2019

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Thu 14 Feb 2019

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Fri 15 Feb 2019

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers

Powerful rhythms and theatrical choreography from the energetic drumming group.

Thu 1 Nov

£20–£24 (Students £19–£23) / 01292 288235

Russian National Ballet: Swan Lake

The Russian National Ballet tour their production of Tchaikovsky's beloved classic, Swan Lake.

Mon 15 Oct

£20.50–£26.50 (Students £19.50–£25.50) / 01292 288235

Tue 16 Oct

£20.50–£26.50 (Students £19.50–£25.50) / 01292 288235

Scelerisque Duo - Balazs Renczas, Viktoria Sarkadi (cello and piano)

£5 (Free for Companions) A relaxing session of live entertainment and free refreshments, developed for people living with dementia, their carers and loved ones. The Scelerisque Duo is formed of Hungarian pianist Viktoria Sarkadi and cellist Balazs Renczes. The two started playing together 7 years ago when they…

Tue 9 Oct

Studio

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

The Sooty Show

Izzy Wizzy let’s get busy! Join Sooty for his brand new Laugh Out Loud Magic Show! Direct from their hit ITV series, Sooty, Sweep and Soo and TV’s Richard Cadell will amaze you with impossible tricks and sidesplitting jokes! Be astounded at Sooty's flying car, Soo’s singing unicorn and Sweep’s levitating sausage! With…

Tue 9 Apr 2019

£12–£17 (Family £10–£14.50) / 01292 288235

Sophie Oliver School of Dance

After our sell-out show ‘A Night at the Movies’ in 2018, Sophie Oliver School of Dance proudly present their annual show for the first time at The Gaiety! Our 2019 performance pushes the limits of Highland Dancing and returns to the 80’s. Enjoy a night of traditional choreographed Highland Dance to the best hits of the…

Sat 26 Jan 2019

£8–£14 (Students £6–£12) / 01292 288235

Talon: The Best of the Eagles

Eagles tribute band Talon once again perform their popular tribute to the beardy country rockers.

Thu 11 Oct

£21.50–£25.50 (Students £20.50–£24.50) / 01292 288235

Twist and Shout

An exploration of 60s music featuring tunes from the Beatles, Herman's Hermits, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Rolling Stones, Cilla Black, Manfred Mann, Dusty Springfield, Lulu, Sandy Shaw and many more.

Mon 8 Oct

£18–£22 (Students £17–£21) / 01292 288235

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