Which theatres in Glasgow offer behind-the-scenes tours focusing on Scottish playwrights?

When you tour a city, you often find yourself immersed in its history, culture, and arts. Glasgow, a city in Scotland, is no different. Known for its vibrant theatre scene, Glasgow offers behind-the-scenes tours focusing on Scottish playwrights. This article will guide you through some of the city's theatres that provide such tours, highlighting their unique features and contributions to the Scottish theatre landscape.

Theatre Royal Glasgow

Located in the heart of the city, the Theatre Royal Glasgow is a place where grandeur meets history. Originally opened in 1867, it is the oldest theatre in Glasgow. The theatre is home to the Scottish Opera and the Scottish Ballet, two of the country's leading performing arts companies.

The theatre's backstage tour provides a unique insight into the world of theatre production. You'll visit the costume department, explore the backstage area, and even stand on the stage itself. The tour also sheds light on the works of some of Scotland’s greatest playwrights, such as David Mamet, and their impact on the Scottish and international theatre scene.

Tron Theatre

Situated in the Merchant City area, Tron Theatre is one of the most influential theatres in Glasgow, and indeed, in Scotland. Over the years, it has produced a number of significant plays from Scottish playwrights, including John Byrne and David Greig.

The Tron Theatre offers an engaging behind-the-scenes tour that focuses on the work of these and other Scottish playwrights. The tour guides you through the theatre's history, the process of staging a play, the mysteries of the tech booth, and the intricate details of set design. It truly is a must-visit for theatre enthusiasts interested in Scottish playwriting.

Citizens Theatre

Located on the south side of Glasgow, the Citizens Theatre is one of the most iconic theatres in Scotland. Its rich history dates back to 1878, making it one of the oldest working theatres in the country.

The Citizens Theatre offers a fascinating backstage tour that delves into its rich history and the role it has played in the careers of many renowned Scottish playwrights, such as Peter Arnott and Liz Lochhead. The tour is an intriguing journey into the heart of Scotland's theatrical heritage, and a tribute to the Scottish playwrights that have shaped the theatre's identity.

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Although primarily a music venue, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall also plays host to a variety of theatrical performances. It is a hub of cultural activity in the city, showcasing a wide range of arts, from music to theatre to dance.

The Concert Hall's backstage tour is unique in that it not only focuses on theatrical production, but also on the musicians and artists that grace its stage. The tour includes an exploration of the dressing rooms and technical areas, as well as a discussion of the Hall's history and the Scottish playwrights whose work has been performed there.

Oran Mor

Oran Mor is a unique venue located in the West End of Glasgow. This reconverted church not only hosts theatre productions, but also offers a restaurant, a bar, and a nightclub. Its theatre program, ‘A Play, A Pie and A Pint’, where audience members are served a pie and a pint alongside their theatrical experience, is particularly popular.

Oran Mor’s behind-the-scenes tour is an opportunity to learn about the building's intriguing history and its transformation into a cultural hub. The tour also highlights the works of local Scottish playwrights that have been produced as part of the 'A Play, A Pie and A Pint' program.

In each of these venues, you'll discover not only the hidden world of theatre production, but also the heart and soul of Scottish theatre - its playwrights. Whether you're a theatre buff, a history aficionado, or simply a curious traveler, these behind-the-scenes tours in Glasgow offer a unique perspective on the city and its cultural landscape.

Webster’s Theatre

Situated in the West End of Glasgow, Webster’s Theatre is an impressive, restored Victorian church that is a venue for a variety of performances. This intimate theatre is known for its warm, friendly atmosphere and its wide-ranging programme including drama, comedy, musicals, and children's theatre.

Webster’s Theatre offers a compelling behind-the-scenes tour that gives you the chance to discover the theatre’s hidden corners and learn about its history. The tour guides you through the building’s unique architectural features, production areas, and the process of staging performances. Along the way, you’ll learn about the Scottish playwrights whose works have been produced here, including Rona Munro and Gregory Burke.

An important part of this tour is the discussion about the theatre’s commitment to new writing and the support it provides to emerging playwrights. You'll also have the opportunity to buy tickets to upcoming performances and engage with ongoing read exhibitions taking place from January to December annually.

King’s Theatre

Regarded as one of the most important theatres in Glasgow, King’s Theatre is located in the city centre and is a hub of theatrical activity. Since its opening in 1904, it has hosted a variety of performances, including drama, musicals, and the annual pantomime - a beloved Glasgow tradition.

The King’s Theatre behind-the-scenes tour is an opportunity to delve into the theatre’s rich history and witness the preparation that goes into staging its performances. You will explore the magnificent auditorium, the royal box, the stall, the dress circle, and the gallery. The tour also includes a visit to the backstage areas, dressing rooms, and the fly tower where you can see the complex system of ropes and pulleys used to move scenery.

The tour is not only a chance to learn about the theatre’s architecture and operations but also an exploration of the Scottish playwrights whose works have graced its stage. This includes renowned names like James Bridie and Bill Bryden, contributing to the vibrant landscape of Scottish theatre.


In conclusion, each theatre in Glasgow offers a unique behind-the-scenes tour that provides an exploration of theatre production and a deeper understanding of Scotland's theatrical heritage. Whether it's the grandeur of Theatre Royal Glasgow, the cultural hub that is Oran Mor, or the historic charm of Webster’s Theatre and King’s Theatre, you are sure to be enthralled by the stories and processes behind each performance.

Not only do these tours offer a new perspective on the city’s cultural landscape, but they also celebrate and shed light on the works of Scottish playwrights, truly the heart and soul of Scottish theatre. So, whether you're a local, a visitor, a theatre enthusiast, or someone with a curiosity about the arts, do consider embarking on these tours. Get a chance to buy tickets, enjoy the comedy festival, or participate in the international comedy scene. Be it the south side or the Glasgow west, theatre is an integral part of this vibrant city.

This is your chance to step into the world of theatre production, understand the role of the playwright, and, in doing so, get to know Glasgow city, its people, and its culture in a unique and unforgettable way.

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