What grander venue is there in York than the Theatre Royal? York Theatre Royal has been serving up entertainment for the people of York since 1744. One of York’s producing houses, the Grade II-listed Theatre Royal puts on many of its own productions and also hosts touring productions. York Theatre Royal was built in around 1744 on the site of the old St. Leonard’s Hospital, making it the UK’s oldest theatre outside of London. The theatre received a royal patent in 1769 and changed its name to the Theatre Royal. Over the years the theatre has been extensively renovated but has lost none of its historical importance. The theatre’s last refurbishment took place in 2016 and upgraded its main auditorium, reducing its seating capacity slightly to 847. As a producing theatre, York Theatre Royal is one of the best places in Yorkshire to find innovative drama, and its main stage is regularly used by local amateur dramatic and operatic societies. The theatre’s pantomime is famous for being written and directed every year by local actor Berwick Kaler who also plays the pantomime’s dame. With an eye on challenging productions rather than celebrity guest stars and bawdy humour, York Theatre Royal promises a quality show.