History

1971
1971

The Dukes opened on 18 November.

It took a year to convert St Anne's Church into Lancaster's civic theatre. The Queen, as the Duke of Lancaster, had given her approval to name the space The Duke's Playhouse, and Lord Eccles, Paymaster General and Minister for the Arts, opened the new venue.

1973
1973

Harriet Walter treads the boards at The Dukes.

Walter was the first former Dukes actor to become a Dame. She appeared in fourteen productions between 1973 and 1975.

1980
1980

Oscar-winner Gloria Grahame performed at The Dukes.

Appearing in our version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

1987
1987

The Dukes broke new ground with our first ever 'Play in the Park'.

Andy Serkis appeared in the very first show to be performed in Williamson Park - A Midsummer Night's Dream.

1995
1995

We opened our second building, now known as Moor Space, in another former church just up Moor Lane.

The building was completely reimagined, being transformed from an empty shell into the home of our youth theatre.

2009
2009

Our Young Actors appeared at the The National Theatre.

They performed their acclaimed production of The Thing She Sees.

2016
2016

Andy Serkis became an Honorary Patron of The Dukes.

Speaking at the time, Mr Serkis said: "I am delighted to become an Honorary Patron of The Dukes where I started to learn my craft. I performed here in 14 plays on the trot, playing a wide variety of plays, and I remember my time in Lancaster with great fondness."

2016
2016

The Dukes production of The Hobbit wins Best Show for Children & Young People in the UK Theatre Awards.

The show was one of the most successful plays in the park in the history of The Dukes. It was the second time The Hobbit had been staged, the first back in 1994.

2019
2019

Sir Ian McKellen performed at The Dukes as part of his 80th birthday celebration tour.

The acclaimed actor of stage and screen raised over £23,000 for our park show fundraising campaign.

The Dukes was inviting and the atmosphere electric! I would definitely recommend and will certainly be back to The Dukes in the future.

Becca, Barrow in Furness

Amazing, interactive theatre which feels really personal.

Caroline, Lancaster

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The Dukes provides Lancaster with a cultural heart. I am always inspired, challenged and entertained and I'm grateful that Lancaster has such a great place where I can enjoy the arts.

Guy, Lancaster

Fabulous, friendly people and always something interesting to watch.

Rebecca, Lancaster

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The Dukes is fantastic. We love it for family theatre, a good film, drama classes or for just popping in for a drink.

Joanna, Lancaster

Great venue. Lovely and enthusiastic staff and cast.

Danny, Blackpool

Cracking little cinema.

Neil, Garstang

Get in Touch

The Dukes,
Moor Lane,
Lancaster,
LA1 1QE

Booking enquiries: tickets@dukeslancaster.org

General enquiries: ask@dukeslancaster.org

Box Office: 01524 598500

Opening Times

August 2020 onward (until further notice)

Sun & Mon: Closed

Tue - Sat: Our Box Office will be working at reduced hours, open from Tuesday – Sunday from 10.30am – 4.30pm. Screenings will start at the time advertised. Please arrive no earlier than 30 minutes before each screening to reduce queuing but in good time to be seated comfortably. 

Support The Dukes

The Dukes is a registered charity (no. 501935).

We could not exist without support from our partners and members.

The Dukes is Funded By