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The Headgate Theatre, Colchester

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About Us:

This well-equipped “little gem of a theatre” in Colchester Town Centre has been welcoming visiting amateur and professional groups onto our stage since 2002, and a variety of users into our studio rehearsal space. We have packed seasonal programmes offering genuine choice. From classic and modern drama to musical theatre, stand-up comedy nights to school hires, classical music to magicians - we do our best to make the experience of all of our hirers and patrons enjoyable. We also host a youth drama skills group who perform twice a year in the theatre, and an over 55’s group, Act V.

The Headgate is a Grade 2 listed building (formerly a Congregational chapel), with a maximum auditorium capacity of 87 people, and a studio capacity of 40. More information about the current spaces and the specification for our equipment can be found on the "Hiring Spaces" page. We are developing an additional rehearsal and meeting space in the adjoining building, which used to be the church hall and Sunday School. You can find out more about our history on the "Our History"pages.



We no longer operate a manned Saturday morning Box Office. (tickets can be purchased at all times on line, but there is a £1 per ticket booking fee from 1st September 2018 or we offer an actively managed telephone answering service.)













Opening Times

The box office will be staffed between 1pm and 3.45pm Tuesday to Friday.

Enquiries: 01206 366000 

All ticket bookings are subject to Headgate Theatre Terms and Conditions of sale. These can be viewed here. Additional terms and conditions will apply for tickets booked on line.

Tickets for all events at The Headgate Theatre can be booked with our Box Office team, and paid for by card (if using the telephone) or by cash if attending in person. There are no booking fees associated with telephone or personal bookings.

How to find us:

The Headgate Theatre is only a 5-minute walk from Colchester Town Centre, behind The Playhouse pub, with great local bus links and within 20 minutes walking distance of both Colchester North and Colchester Town stations.

Car Parking

For customers parking in St John’s, Britannia or St Mary's Car Park we offer £1.50 car parking (for both evening and matinée performances). Please note you will need to buy your discounted parking voucher in advance either on line or through the Box Office, and it must be displayed in your windscreen when parking. Please be aware that St John's Car Park closes at 10.30pm

Pedestrian exit from the car park on to St John’s Street is via a lift or stairs through the shopping centre during shop opening hours, or via stairs only direct on to the street during car park opening hours. When on St John’s Street turn left and take the second turning on the left into Chapel Street North, down beside The Playhouse pub. The theatre will be seen approx. 50m on the right.

Please allow plenty of time to find a space as car parks do get busy at peak times, especially Saturday afternoons.

St John’s Car Park Location, Height Info and Tariffs

The next closest car parks are Vineyard Street, Britannia and St Mary’s. For details of these and other parking options.

Disabled Parking

St John’s Street Car Park has 14 disabled badge bays offering 3 hours free parking when badge displayed. There is no allocated disabled parking at the theatre, and access to the side entrance must be kept clear for emergency vehicles.

Travelling from further afield?


From A12 South (J27)

Take the Colchester A133 turn off (J27). At roundabout take second exit (A133). At next roundabout take 3rd exit (Town Centre). At next roundabout take 3rd exit (Town Centre) and go up Balkerne Hill in left hand lane.

From A12 North (J28)

Take the Sudbury/Colchester A134 turn off (J28). Take 1st exit at 1st roundabout and 2nd exit at next roundabout on to Via Urbis Romanae. After numerous traffic lights keep to the middle lane towards Town Centre. At roundabout take 1st exit under railway bridge. At roundabout take 2nd exit keeping to the left hand lane. At next roundabout (Colne Bank) keep to middle lane to go over roundabout (2nd exit Town Centre). At next roundabout take 3rd exit (Town Centre) and go up hill in left hand lane.

From Balkerne Hill

For the theatre, at the next roundabout take 1st exit. Keep to left hand lane filtering into traffic coming from the right and keeping to the right. Take the 1st right turn into Essex Street. The theatre is at the end of the road on the right.

For St John's Car Park, at the next roundabout take 1st exit and move into middle lane. After going through traffic lights take the slip road into the car park.


Colchester is approximately an hour from Liverpool Street railway station by train. The nearest station is Colchester Town, CO2 7EA (approx. 0.5 miles/10 mins walk).

There are more regular trains every hour to and from London to Colchester Station, CO4 5EY (approx. 1.1 miles/25 mins walk). Taxis are readily available from outside the station.

Book your ticket on-line.


You can get to us using any of the buses to the town centre. Visit Traveline for up-to-the-minute bus times.

Our closest bus stops are on St John’s Street – postcode: CO2 7AL


There are several bike stands in front of Aspects of Beauty off St John’s Street, CO2 7DA.


A bar serving drinks before and during the interval  is located on the first floor.

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