Middlesbrough Theatre (formerly the Little Theatre) was opened by Sir John Gielgud in 1957 and was one of the first new theatres built in England after the Second World War
The most recent step in the theatre’s history came on 17 July 1996, when, following a feasibility study by Richard Bell, a recommendation was made to change its name to Middlesbrough Theatre, not least because, with 484 seats and a stage 70’ wide by 40’ deep, it isn’t that little! Today, the theatre continues as a charitable trust, with Middlesbrough Council as sole trustees and is managed by Culture and Tourism.
Toft House is the main base for the amateur company Middlesbrough Little Theatre Ltd, who, built Middlesbrough Theatre, from the late 70's MLT Ltd. ceased running the theatre. Toft House facilitates the companies rehearsals for their productions and houses a theatre bar for paying members.
Middlesbrough Youth Theatre is an umbrella company consisting of Middlesbrough Junior Theatre, earlier known as MLT Juniors (aged 11–16), together with a 'Kidstage' group of 7-10 year olds, and an older 'Youth Theatre' of 17-25 year olds.
The company performs in Middlesbrough Theatre, and has run for many years with many of its members continuing to work in drama and the performing arts. The group is a member of the National Association of Youth Theatres (NAYT). The company has also taken part in the Edinburgh Fringe, and is a regular at the Middlesbrough Youth Drama Festival.
The company has recently celebrated its 15th anniversary, and is noted as one of the largest voluntarily-run youth theatres in the country.