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The Layard Theatre was opened by Sir Richard Eyre in May 1999, having been funded in part from the sale of the Assyrian Frieze, which had originally been brought to Canford by Sir Henry Layard in the mid-nineteenth century.

Attractively sited on the campus of Canford School, in 250 acres of parkland on the banks of the River Stour, the theatre offers the pleasure of the performing arts in a beautiful and historic setting. It is a flexible and atmospheric building, which has won wide acclaim and, with a seating capacity of just 294 (including 2 designated wheelchair spaces), the theatre is intimate, accessible and welcoming for both seasoned theatre-goers and first-timers.

Since opening, we have aimed to provide a programme which would attract, entertain, inform and inspire both the school and the community. We have featured classical and modern drama (Actors of Dionysus, Compass Theatre, English Shakespeare Company, KAOS, Kneehigh, Red Shift, the Royal National Theatre and Not the National Theatre); children's theatre (Nuffield Theatre, Roundabout); music (classical, jazz, blues, folk, rock); comedy; classical ballet and modern dance, opera and many well-known speakers. We now have over 600 patrons on our mailing list and are constantly striving to reach new audiences.

In addition to housing Canford's drama department and student productions, this fully-equipped, modern theatre provides a venue for a wide range of professional entertainment, including top quality theatre and music. These productions are open to the public and are publicised in our seasonal programme. Parking for the theatre is free.

Contact the Theatre

Box office: 01202 847525

Hire enquiries: 01202 847529




Layard Seating