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
Photo of Gaiety Theatre

Jump to times or comments

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.

Text supplied by third party.

Events at this venue

There are 34 events at this location

Sorted by title / date & time


Michael Courtney Productions present Aladdin and the genie of the lamp to fulfill all your pantomime wishes – oh yes they do.

Tue 11 Dec

£14–£20.50 / 01292 288235

  • 19:30

Wed 12 Dec

£14–£20.50 / 01292 288235

  • 19:30

Thu 13 Dec

£14–£20.50 / 01292 288235

BSL and audio description performances.

  • 18:30
…and 18 more dates until 3 Jan 2019


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…

Tue 11 Dec

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

Wed 12 Dec

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

Thu 13 Dec

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

…and 18 more dates until 3 Jan 2019

All My Sons

The Compass Club perform Arthur Miller's modern classic portraying the negative side of the 'American Dream'.

Fri 5 Apr 2019

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

Sat 6 Apr 2019

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

Ayr Amateur Opera: Kipps - The New Half A Sixpence Musical

A musical based on the novel by H.G. Wells.

Mon 25 Feb 2019

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Tue 26 Feb 2019

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Wed 27 Feb 2019

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

…and 3 more dates until 2 Mar 2019

The Benny Lynch Story

The tale of Scotland's first boxing world champion, from his childhood in the slums of Gorbals to the height of his boxing success and his tragic death at the age of 33.

Sat 18 May 2019

£18–£22 (Students £16–£20) / 01292 288235

The Big Night Out: Edd Holloway in Association with Events Alive and Ayrshire Hospice

Celebrate Ayrshire Hospice's 30th anniversary at this variety show, with celebrity guest stars including Dean Park, X Factor runner-up Nicholas MacDonald, Craig Ward from The Voice, comedy ventriloquist John Kimmons, tribute acts and more.

Thu 21 Feb 2019

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Buddy Holly & The Cricketers

Rock'n'rollercoaster of a show featuring all the timeless classics from a band who have been on the tribute trail for over a quarter of a century. Enjoy hits including 'That’ll Be The Day', 'Peggy Sue', 'Heartbeat', 'It Doesn’t Matter Anymore', 'Raining In My Heart' and 'Oh Boy!'.

Wed 6 Feb 2019

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

Burns Meets Gow!

Violins played by Burns and Gow are played by fiddling supremos Alistair McCulloch and Pete Clark supported by The Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra.

Wed 23 Jan 2019

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

Craig Hill: C'mon The Lads!

The no-holds-barred comedian returns with a show not about football.

Fri 22 Feb 2019

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Dear Zoo

The popular pop-up book by Rod Campbell about Ben and Sally's search for a pet is brought to the stage with puppets and audience participation.

Wed 27 Mar 2019

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Thu 28 Mar 2019

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

The Elvis Years

See the world champion Elvis impersonator, Mario Kombou, in action singing over 40 of the King's hits from a period spanning over two decades.

Thu 16 May 2019

£20–£26 (Students £18–£24) / 01292 288235

Forbidden Nights

Forbidden Nights is made up of a male vocalist, aerial artist, pole performer and fire act all with an element of strip tease – think Cirque du Soleil meets Magic Mike.

Thu 7 Mar 2019

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Fri 8 Mar 2019

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

The Fureys

Irish folk legends perform timeless classics for a night of Irish music, songs and stories.

Tue 21 May 2019

£20–£26 (Students £18–£24) / 01292 288235


Gaelforce Dance, the celebration of Irish dance, music and song, has dynamically tapped its way into the beating hearts of millions of audience members worldwide since its inception in 1999. This dance spectacular has enjoyed tremendous success on a global scale performing in over 30 countries, across 4 continents and…

Fri 1 Feb 2019

£20–£26 (Students £18–£24) / 01292 288235

Gaelforce Dance

Irish dance show that tells the story of two lovers whose forbidden affair tears their community apart.

Fri 1 Feb 2019

£18–£26 / 01292 288235

Gaiety Theatre Tour

Tour of the theatre.

Sat 19 Jan 2019

£4 (Students £3) / 01292 288235

Harris McCoo and His Colourful World

Join Harris and his family of McCoos as they take you on an all-singing, all-dancing Scottish adventure.

Fri 12 Apr 2019

£13–£15 / 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

Jimmy Buckley

Classic country originals and covers by the singer from Birmingham and his band.

Wed 10 Apr 2019

£20–£26 (Students £18–£24) / 01292 288235

The Johnny Cash Roadshow

Cash tribute from singer-songwriter Clive John.

Tue 14 May 2019

£20–£26 (Students £18–£24) / 01292 288235

The Legends Of American Country Show

Tribute to country classics from the likes of Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette, Kenny Rogers and more.

Fri 18 Jan 2019

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

Let's Entertain You: Spring Showcase

Gordon McKinlay presents a showcase of local talent, in aid of The Gaiety.

Fri 15 Mar 2019

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

Sat 16 Mar 2019

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

Menopause the Musical

Parody musical, featuring tunes from the 60s–80s, follows four women in a department store who appear to have nothing in common but a bra on sale. Naturally, come the end of the show, they realise they share more than they originally thought.

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

Murder On The Nile

Ayr Fort Players perform Agatha Christie's murder mystery about the newlywed couple whose honeymoon down the Nile turns fatal.

Thu 21 Mar 2019

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

Fri 22 Mar 2019

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

Sat 23 Mar 2019

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

National Festival of Youth Theatre

A colourful programme of performances and special events showcasing the creative work of youth theatre groups from across Scotland and further afield. The 2019 festival takes place in Ayr's Gaiety theatre after a stint at the Rothes Halls in Glenrothes.

Fri 5 Jul 2019

Times & prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Sat 6 Jul 2019

Times & prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Sun 7 Jul 2019

Times & prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Real Diamond

Neil Diamond tribute act John Hylton.

Sat 13 Apr 2019

£20–£26 (Students £18–£24) / 01292 288235

Respect to Aretha

Letitia George stars in this heartfelt tribute to the Queen of Soul.

Wed 6 Mar 2019

£20–£26 (Students £18–£24) / 01292 288235

The Roy Orbison Story

Roy Orbison tribute singer Barry Steele and his five-piece show band singing hits by the Big O plus a special tribute to the time Roy spent with The Traveling Wilburys, and Bono.

Fri 29 Mar 2019

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

The dance school presents their annual show with a mix of Highland dance and 80s music.

Sat 26 Jan 2019

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

The Take That Experience

Performs the hits of the re-formed 1990s boy band.

Fri 19 Apr 2019

£20–£26 (Students £18–£24) / 01292 288235

The Walking Neds (A Zombie Musical)

Outrageous musical comedy following eight fed-up co-workers who attempt to bond at a camping trip. However, not all is as it seems and with the arrival of annoying Girl Guides and Boy Scouts (plus the imminent threat of a group of flesh-eating neds), the trip turns into a disaster.

Fri 26 Apr 2019

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Sat 27 Apr 2019

Prices to be confirmed / 01292 288235

Young Blood

The Gaiety Young Company present a show that's part theatre/part live experiment.

Tue 2 Apr 2019

£6–£8 (£4–£6) / 01292 288235

Post a comment