Lyceum Theatre

The Lyceum is a 1068-seat theatre in the City of Sheffield, England.


Built in 1897 following a traditional proscenium arch design, the Lyceum is the only surviving theatre outside of London designed by the famous theatre architect W.G.R. Sprague and the last example of an Edwardian auditorium in Sheffield. The Statue on top of the Lyceum Theatre is Mercury, son of Zeus and Maia.

By the late fifties, the Lyceum were experiencing financial difficulties and by 1966 bingo callers were keeping the rumoured threat of demolition at bay. The theatre closed in 1969 and, despite being granted Grade II listed status in 1972, planning permission was sought for its demolition in 1975. The building was saved in part due to campaigning by the Hallamshire Historic Buildings Society.

Over the years the building changed ownership many times, being used variously as a bingo hall and a rock concert venue. By the 1980s the interior was in a state of disrepair. The City Council bought the building in 1985, and it was reclassified to Grade II* listed status. Between 1988 and 1990 the Lyceum was completely restored at a cost of £12 million.

The theatre reopened in 1990 and now serves as a venue for touring West End productions and operas by Opera North, as well as locally produced shows. It is part of the Sheffield Theatres complex with the neighbouring Crucible Theatre and the Crucible Studio.

Home of Pantomime

The Lyceum prides itself as being the home of Sheffield's Pantomime. For many years, the months between Christmas Eve and Easter were Panto-time with visiting producers bringing famous actors and variety turns to entertain local families twice a day. In the forties, the Lyceum began to produce its own pantomime and were soon bringing in stars of radio such as Morecambe and Wise, Harry Secombe and Frankie Howerd.

However, closure of the Lyceum meant that after the final Pantomime performance in March 1969, Sheffield's pantomimes took place in the neighbouring Crucible. The pantomime returned to the Lyceum in 1990s, courtesy of touring production companies.

In 2007, Sheffield Theatres replaced the touring companies by starting co-production with Evolution Pantomimes. Their first show Cinderella was followed by Aladdin in 2008 and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 2009.

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