Know your theatre:
The home of Opera North, Leeds Grand (now combined with the City Varieties Theatre under a "Leeds Heritage Theatres" banner) combines being a self-producing opera house, a main base for Northern Ballet Theatre and welcoming major touring shows.
Opened in 1878, £32 million was spent in the Naughties to bring it completely up to date without losing the wonderful atmosphere of an ornate, four-tier Victorian theatre. You can still see the railings up in the "gods" where the hoi polloi would occupy the standing-only sections.
Today the theatre has remarkably good sight lines for a 1,550-seat auditorium on a restricted floorplan, and though the pit isn’t really big enough for a Wagnerian orchestra, Opera North does amazing things by using every square foot of space – sometimes even the stage-side boxes.
A word to the wise: the front of the Upper Circle can give a better view, often less expensively, than the back of the Dress Circle...
Opera North is currently spending £18 million to turn shop units next to the theatre into a new restaurant, bar and separate entrance to the 300-seat Howard Assembly Room, which acts as a second, smaller space to the main house.
CAUTION: until theatre resumes fully following the Covid restrictions, check with the theatre and book tickets and meals ahead before travelling
Grand Theatre, 46 New Briggate, Leeds LS1 6NU
Box office 0844 848 2700. Groups of 10+ call 0113 297 7040. General inquiries 0113 245 6014.
As a mid-Victorian theatre in a city centre, the Grand doesn't major in facilities beyond bars and foyers - hence the addition of a new restaurant and entrance (see here for current local pre-and post-show dining). A lift can take patrons to most levels of the theatre, but those with poor mobility should check with the box office to avoid steep steps. Wheelchair spaces are available, as is an audio system (headsets £5 returnable deposit).
Parking is available at nearby car parks, including Edward Street/Templar Street and St John's, The Light and Merrion Centre shopping malls. Limited street parking is available near the theatre. See here for the parking map
Online box office:
Go here and follow the booking route to your show choice