Shakespeare’s Guildhall Trust

The Guildhall Theatre is the oldest working theatre in the UK, and is the only theatre that can claim to have hosted Shakespeare.

Currently it faces an uncertain future.

Latest News: Public Meeting on 27th January 2019

The first recorded performance at the Guildhall of St George is in 1442 making it the oldest working theatre in the UK.

New research by the UEA confirms as highly probably the oral history of Kings Lynn that in summer 1592 William Shakespeare performed in the Guildhall. This is the only theatre in the world to claim to have hosted Shakespeare.

Robert Armin (Shakespeare's comedian) who created the roles of the fool in King Lear, Feste in Twelfth Night, and Autolycus in Winters Tale (among others) was born in Kings Lynn and performed at the Guildhall.

The Guildhall has played host to famous actors, performers and artists for hundreds of years and enjoyed the patronage of HM The Queen Mother until her death.

It was gifted to the National Trust by Alexander Penrose and refubished in a campaign of public subscriptions led by Lady Ruth Fermoy. It is currently still held by the National Trust and leased by the Borough Council.

This unique theatre currently faces an uncertain future.

A new trust has been set up whose purpose is to:

  • Promote the knowledge, understanding, and enjoyment of performance and visual arts through the use of St George’s Guildhall, King’s Lynn.
  • Celebrate and continue its 600 years' history as a living arts venue.
  • Provide educational and learning opportunities for all.

This trust wants to work with anyone dedicated to keeping the oldest theatre in the country as a theatre and arts space.

Please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you.

If you think you can help or know someone who can.
Let's keep this theatre open as a performing and visual arts space for all.

email: [email protected]

twitter: @shakespearesGH