An exciting project that will see the extension of the Little Theatre Gateshead is underway.


Following a successful fundraising campaign, for which we won an award, construction has begun on a new rehearsal space.

This new space will greatly enhance the theatre facilities for the Progressive Players, visiting drama groups and the local community.

The work commenced in January 2021 and is expected to be complete in July 2021

We are grateful to have received support from Arts Council England, Garfield Weston Foundation, Foyle Foundation, National Lottery Reaching Communities, Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, Sir James Knott Trust, Barbour Foundation, Joicey Trust, Sylvia Waddilove Foundation UK, Theatres Trust, RFF Gibson Trust, The Rank Foundation, William Webster Charitable Trust, Percy Hedley 1990 Charitable Trust, Meldrum Foundation, Progressive Players, Gateshead, The Rothley Trust, Gateshead Business Resilience Fund and many individual donations from friends and community partners of Little Theatre, Gateshead.
Make your local theatre BIGGER! Help us build a new rehearsal space


The Little Theatre Gateshead has been home to the Progressive Players since 1943 and is used to stage 10 plays every year, as well as hosting numerous other companies' musical and drama productions.

With several productions underway at any time (rehearsing and using the main stage), we need more rehearsal space!

The Little Theatre, together with the Progressive Players, present ten plays per year to a very supportive and appreciative audience from Gateshead and the surrounding area.

Each play requires at least eight weeks rehearsal time and we have at any one time, two productions in rehearsal. While the most current play is rehearsed on the main stage, the following production is rehearsed in our café/rehearsal room, however this room is small, being half of the size of the main theatre stage.

When a production in rehearsal moves on to the main stage, the increased space available means that cast members often need to relearn their positions and moves on stage, as they adapt to a larger acting area.

This has a detrimental effect on the cast members' line learning and character development.

The design criteria of the proposed rehearsal room addresses these problems by making the rehearsal space as big as the stage.

A rehearsal space that is the same size as the stage will allow the cast to transfer smoothly from the rehearsal room to the main stage because:

  • The set and props will have been consistently rehearsed at full size

  • Entrances, exits and the position of stage furniture will be the same as on the main stage

  • The director can see clearly how actors' movements on stage will be represented

The Little Theatre is used by many local groups for activities such as drama, dance and musical productions.

These groups will be able to utilize the proposed rehearsal space.


  • The new rehearsal space will be acoustically isolated from the auditorium and stage allowing rehearsals to proceed even during a performance with an audience and avoids the need to hire external rehearsal space.

  • We have carefully designed the proposed new rehearsal space so that it is in keeping with the look and feel of the original 1943 theatre, while making it fit for modern and future use.

  • The new space will create a smooth transition from the rehearsal room to the stage and allow more useful time to present better performances for our audiences.

The new rehearsal space would be a great benefit not only to our audiences’ continued enjoyment of our performances but also to the members of the Progressive Players who give up their free time to present ten plays a year to a very high standard.



Help us create a much needed new rehearsal space that will benefit our members, patrons and the local community


Raise the funds to complete the project through grants, donations and special events


Successfully building this new rehearsal space will benefit members and visitors to the Little Theatre Gateshead in the years ahead, ensuring it contunues to prosper as a thriving cultural community resource