The Gable End Theatre Co. Ltd. was born in 2000 when work started to transform the semi-derelict old school buildings at North Walls into a community theatre.  


There was already a thriving amateur dramatic group on the island and it was their desire to have a permanent base from which to work that provided the impetus for the project. They continue to perform an annual pantomime, contribute to the SCDA One-Act Play Festival and facilitate other amateur stage performances.


The stage and auditorium were completed in early 2001, including the rebuilding of the ruined gable from which the theatre takes it name. Many of the fittings were salvaged from the old Phoenix Cinema in Kirkwall, including the comfortable velvet seats.


Phase 2 included construction of the foyer and the steady upgrading of sound and lighting equipment.


We have recently raised the money to erect a wind turbine that will heat the building and provide some income. We are currently seeking funding for a new kitchen and link between the foyer and the rehearsal/workshop space.




The Gable End has an atmosphere all of its own and seeing a show in such an intimate setting is a special event - indeed, many performers cite us as their favourite venue. All our shows are advertised on the Events Calendar (click the link on your left) in local shops and post offices as well as in the passenger lounges of the ferry. Also check out our Facebook page.


Regular previews of what is coming up can be found in the local press, and don't forget to listen to Radio Orkney's daily diary where we publicise each event.


Most music and drama events have a licensed bar; coffee and ice cream are available in the foyer before films.


The theatre seats seventy-five people, so although it is advisable to book for popular shows there are usually places available on the night. The Gable End Theatre is a company limited by guarantee, with charitable status. As such, we need good audience numbers to cover our costs, so do come and support us and have a great night out!




The theatre plays host to a popular film society, with screenings take place once a fortnight, usually on a Friday night, publicised as above.




The theatre continues to attract top level performers from all over the world. It is impossible to itemise all our shows but the following list gives a flavour of the variety on offer.


Quimantu: Internationally acclaimed South American Group.


National Theatre of Scotland: World Premiere of 'Venus as a Boy'


Anita Wardell Leading jazz singer in the year she won BBC3's jazz artist of the year


Hohodza: 14-piece music and dance group from Zimbabwe.


Splinters Productions: 'For the Islands I sing' (George Mackay-Brown)


Bajaly Suso (Gambia) Phamie Gow (Borders): An International double bill featuring the Kora of West Africa and the Celtic clarsach.


Frances M Lynch: 'She'. An outrageous electronic voice performance.


Ivan Drever:  Former frontman of the legendary folk outfit Wolfstone goes solo.


Salt Fish Forty:Douglas Montgomery and Brian Cromarty, two of Orkney's finest musicians come together at last


The Spike Drivers: from Orkney Blues Festival.


Zenwing Puppets: East European folk tales.


Tango Siempre: Four piece orchestra with a wide repertoire of  traditional and contemporary tango music.


Shoot the Piper: One of Orkney's premier dance bands.


The Stave Natives: Orkney's newest rock band making their debut on stage here on Hoy.


Theatre Modo from Glasgow bring us award- winning professional theatre with Ubu.


Emily Smith Band: folk rock trio fronted by Scotland's 2002 Young Musician of the year.


Fish:HAWEG's surreal home grown playtomime


Xenos:Tasmania -based Balkan Gypsy band.


La Boum: 9 piece jazz  rock ensemble


Salsa Celtica: internationally renowned 12 piece musical experience.


Eric Bogle & John Munro: the legendary Australian singer/songwriter.


Hank Wangford and Reg Meuross: Country and Western from a laconic duo.


Club Tromolo: 13-piece cabaret. 


Two Ghost Stories, by MR James, performed in suitably gothic style by Robert Lloyd-Parry







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