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The Dukes


The Dukes was converted from the C18 Saint Anne's Parish Church with a 320-seat theatre situated on the first floor. Externally, the church is still discernible, and is constructed in Sandstone Ashlar detailed with quoins and a slate roof. At the apex of the front gable is a small pedimented bellcote with a round-arched opening. The elevation to Moor Lane has two rows of windows; the upper round-headed windows originally lit the nave gallery. The church has been extended in concrete blocks to the side and rear, the latter providing an additional 198-seat black-box studio and rehearsal space. The side extension provides the venue with a suite of back-of-house facilities including a large scene dock and central front-to-back access corridor. The main theatre space is reached via a set of stairs in the corner of the foyer/bar area. The steeply-raked auditorium is entered from the rear and has plain plastered walls with exposed roof trusses with gantries attached. The theatre stage is raised with a proscenium opening of 10m, stage depth of 8m, with limited wing space. The grid is only 5.75m above stage level, but there are 10 hemp sets. The auditorium is functional and doubles as an arts cinema. The studio is entered directly from the street and is a double-height black box arrangement in-the-round. A flexible and intimate space, seating is laid out in a small balcony of a single row, and stalls seating in three rows with grid over.

Built / Converted
Dates of use
  • 1971 : continuing
Current state
Current use
Moor Lane, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 1QE, England
Further details
Other names
  • Owner/Management: Local Authority
  • 1796 Design/Construction: St. Anne's Parish Church
    - Architect
  • 1971 Use: continuing
    City Council Architect’s Department
    - Architect
  • 1971 Alteration: conversion
  • Capacity
    320 end stage; 198 studio
  • Listing
Stage type
Building dimensions: -
Stage dimensions: Depth: 8m Width SL: 7.75m SR: 7.75m
Proscenium width: 10m
Height to grid: -
Inside proscenium: -
Orchestra pit: None