The Barn Theatre programme at Smallhythe Place

The seventeenth century Barn Theatre at Smallhythe Place

This charming thatched seventeenth-century barn was transformed into a theatre by Ellen's daughter, Edy Craig. Edy was a prolific theatre practitioner herself and in 1929, a year after her mother’s death, Edy opened the Barn Theatre with the intention of holding an annual performance to commemorate her mother’s life.

Over the years, many famous actors have trod the boards here, from John Gielgud to Sybil Thorndike amongst many other leading actors of the twentieth century. The walls of the theatre echo with a theatrical history.  Today the barn is still used for a diverse programme of theatre with a variety of award-winning actors, talks, and exhibitions that take place throughout the year.

Following another sell-out season last year, our 2020 programme is set to be busier than ever before. There is so much happening, from theatre and comedy, opera and open-air performances, to yoga, talks, tours and children’s shows. 

In order to fund the transformation of the barn into a theatre, many of Ellen and Edy’s friends and family sponsored a chair; their names are soldered onto the chair backs. These chairs are still used today.
Smallhythe Place theatre interior 2016
In order to fund the transformation of the barn into a theatre, many of Ellen and Edy’s friends and family sponsored a chair; their names are soldered onto the chair backs. These chairs are still used today.

Bring family and friends together and soak up the Barn's theatrical history. Get involved and pre-book your tickets to ensure you don't miss out.

This family friendly interactive performance shimmers with high energy, high humour, big characters and big hearts. Suitable for ages 4+

A celebration of Perry and Croft's quintessential sitcom, starring David Benson and Jack Lane. Featuring three new episodes.

In a hilarious new version by Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors), The Summer Theatre Company bring you Molieres classic farce.

Thomas Hardy’s heroine is one of the most moving in all of literature, and her story is hauntingly brought to life in this new version by Hotbuckle.

The 2020 Theatre programme at the Barn Theatre

Kick In The Head are following up their hugely successful productions of Old Herbaceous, Fagin? and Three Men in a Boat with a wonderful production dedicated to one of the country’s best loved comediennes, Joyce Grenfell.

 Charming, inventive, interactive, an enormous beanstalk and a smelly old giant. A fresh and funny retelling of the traditional story. Suitable for ages 3+.

Betrayal, revenge, misunderstandings, marriage and magic. East 15 Acting School bring you Shakespeare with a fresh mind.

A fantastic cast of three bring to life three classic episodes from the much loved radio series. Coming live to the theatre for the first time in over 60 years.

The 2020 Theatre programme at the Barn Theatre

Join Heartbreak Productions and the Nick Carraway quartet for an evening of jazz, prohibition style. Sit back and let Nick take you back to the summer of 1922 when he lived next door to none other than the infamous Jay Gatsby.

In a story of jealousy, lies, marriage and wealth, the talented second year students from East 15 bring you one of Shakespeare's classic comedies.

“The course of true love never did run smooth”. Think gothic fantasy meets RuPaul‘s Drag Race, A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be another unmissable Changeling production. A funny, fantastical feast for the senses that will delight all ages.

A courtroom drama, a story of love, hate and betrayal, choice and rejection, comedy and tragedy -  it's all there told in Shakespeare's glorious poetry and prose. Brought to you by the Summer Theatre Company.   

A fast-pasced, larger-than-life production from Immersion Theatre. A fun, exciting and wildly entertaining musical for the whole family.

The 2020 Theatre programme at the Barn Theatre

An action filled adventure brought to life by This Is My Theatre. With unexpected plot twists, romance and of course, epic fights.

The critically-acclaimed Pantaloons Theatre Company put dynamic detective duo Holmes and Watson through their paces in this delightfully inventive and hilarious show for all ages.

The twists and turns of this classic Gilbert & Sullivan Opera unfold with ingenious characters and sublime lyrics and songs, performed by Opera Anywhere.

Five actors, with all manner of musical instruments, present an inventive take on this Shakespeare classic. The Three Inch Fools are an innovative touring theatre company acclaimed for their fast-paced and musically driven approach to Shakespeare.

Stand-up comedians Sophie Duker, Travis Jay and Jack Barry join us for an evening of laughter at the Barn Theatre

The 2020 Theatre programme at the Barn Theatre