Are the curtains closing on Lincoln’s theatre scene?

Despite the success of their Royal Variety Show last Saturday, Lincoln’s New Theatre Royal faces challenges with ticket sales in the new year.

The front doors to the New Theatre Royal will hopefully be replaced by the end of the summer

The show celebrated the theatre’s 125th birthday with 125 performances, raising a whopping £8,600 which will be used for building a new disabled access, disabled toilets, new front doors and an ‘old-school’ box office.

However, January can be a hard time to engage Lincoln’s public in theatre.

Natalie Hayes-Cowley, Artistic Director and In-House Producer at the New Theatre Royal, said: “It’s getting the message out and trying to encourage people to get out the house. It’s hard in Lincoln because we’re such a rural area with so many villages, but it’s really hard this time of year because its cold and dark and people don’t want to leave their homes.

“We want people to come and escape the woes and worries of their day to day lives. We want people to come through the doors, enjoy the magical land of theatre and get absolutely spoiled and be treated like royalty.”

Natalie added: “We want to engage the younger generations but it’s hard when we get no funding. We want to keep working with the university to bring students in so you can experience the theatre. 

“I think the young people of Lincoln would be hooked. Adult panto would be right up their street; It’s naughty, over 18s and it’s hilarious.”

Despite efforts to collaborate with the drama department and theatre at the university, carry out surveys and chatting to people on campus, the theatre is still struggling to engage with young adults.

However, the University of Lincoln’s LPAC theatre has a slightly different problem.

LPAC Theatre on campus

Where the New Theatre Royal struggles with the younger generations, the LPAC struggles to engage an older audience.

Laura Swain, who works in the LPAC box office, said: “We tend to struggle more with the general public than younger adults and students. Especially being set so far back out of the town in comparison to the New Theatre Royal.

“We have a pool of money that goes to drama students so that they can come and see shows, which is one of the many reasons why we do well with that age group.

“We’ve worked with other companies in Lincoln, like the Drill hall for example, which can help us to get involved with the older audiences.”

For upcoming events, go to the theatre websites at and