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Layard Theatre

The Layard Theatre was opened by Sir Richard Eyre in May 1999, having been funded in part from the sale of the Assyrian Frieze, which had originally been brought to Canford by Sir Henry Layard in the mid-nineteenth century.

Attractively sited on the campus of Canford School, in 250 acres of parkland on the banks of the River Stour, the theatre offers the pleasure of the performing arts in a beautiful and historic setting. It is a flexible and atmospheric building, which has won wide acclaim and, with a seating capacity of just 294 (including 2 designated wheelchair spaces), the theatre is intimate, accessible and welcoming for both seasoned theatre-goers and first-timers.

In addition to housing Canford's drama department and student productions, this fully-equipped, modern theatre provides a venue for a wide range of professional entertainment, including top quality theatre and music. These productions are open to the public and are publicised in our seasonal programme. Parking for the theatre is free.

Contact Us

Layard Theatre, Canford School, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 3AD

Box office: 01202 847525  Hire enquiries: 01202 847529

Email us


In light of government advice regarding social gatherings, we regret that The Layard Theatre will be closed from Wednesday 18th March until Tuesday 14th April.

If you have booked for St. Michael’s school production of Mary Poppins, the school will be in touch with you regarding cancellations and refunds.

We will be issuing advice regarding bookings for Giselle, on the 25th April when we have news from Ballet Theatre UK.

For all other enquiries, please do email, or call 01202 847525.

At this stage the situation is very fluid.  In the event of closure lasting beyond the Easter holiday period, we will provide updates as soon as we can.  In the meantime, thank you for your continued support of The Layard Theatre, and we wish you the very best during this difficult time.