The Gable End Theatre Company Limited 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 two 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 in local shops and post offices as well as in the passenger lounges of the ferry. See our listings and reviews below or visit us on Facebook

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!

Gable End film Society @ Gable End Theatre

After four months hard work the Gable End Theatre reopened on May 5th - we have a fantastic range of films and shows coming up over the next few months, so hope to see many of you here.

Something else to celebrate...

...on Saturday Juy 14th we'll be arriving at our 200th film programme!

An additional film in the programme in response to a request from the Stromabank Pub Choir as a link to their workshop weekend.

Friday, 25th May 8pm

Fine musical enjoyment & Oscar winner from 1959

In his celebrated film, Marcel Camus re-envisaged the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice against the exuberant, colourful background of the Carnival in Rio, where Orpheus is translated into a trolley-car driver and Eurydice into a girl from the country pursued by a possessive lover.

"The infectious soundtrack is credited with bringing the bossa nova sound to a world-wide audience and in this new transfer, featuring the extended version of the film, full justice is done to the glorious colour photography...   Combining innocence with lushly metaphorical imagery, this is doomed love at its most entrancing" - MovieMail

"Black Orpheus has become a classic ... because of how it looks and sounds.  Teaming with movement and bursting with life, it's a study in rhythm and colour.   Accompanied by a mesmerizing, percussive score, [it] weaves an intoxicating spell borne of dance, music and sensuality" - Washington Post

Friday, 8th June 8pm


The John le Carré novel in its acclaimed new version, with Gary Oldman as spymaster George Smiley, brought out of retirement to track down the mole in the "Circus" who has been passing secrets to Moscow. It grippingly matches the TV classic series in its seedy, menacing evocation of the 1970s.

Our 200th film…

Saturday, 14th July 8pm


Silence is golden, and seldom more so than in this enchanting retro movie that triumphantly came up trumps in the Bafta and Oscar awards.   It tells the tale of a star of the silent era who fears for his future with the coming of sound, of a young dancer on the verge of her big break, and a dog.   In fact it began a debate on whether a dog could be given an Oscar - apparently not, however well deserved.

Come dressed 1920s style and prepare to party!

"If you're thinking of skipping this film because it's silent and in black and white, you're going to be missing out on a very special experience" - Internet Movie Database

Saturday, 20th July 8pm


The film that stars Meryl Streep giving her now famous facsimile performance of Margaret Thatcher in decline and during the years of her political triumph.

Superb supporting cast!

Saturday, 4th August 8pm


Stephen Spielberg's film version of the children's novel by Michael Morpurgo and play at the National Theatre. A horse, Joey, is conscripted into the cavalry after the outbreak of the First World War; his former owner Albert, although under-age, enlists to follow him into the trenches and hopefully save him.

Friday, 17th August 8pm


Shetland to Southampton and Back

Shetland Arts Olympic film relay project. Free entrance and reception. Watch the press for further reports and updates.

Saturday, 1st September 8pm


A timeless ghost story from Susan Hill's best-selling novel. Daniel Radcliffe stars as a lawyer who goes to a remote country house to clear up the affairs of its recently deceased owner, and discovers a history of tragic secrets whose malign influence is apparently continuing into the present.


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'

Hohodza ~ fourteen piece music and dance group from Zimbabwe.

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

Bajaly Suso (Gambia) Phamie Gow (Borders) ~ 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 ~ an Orkney Blues Festival event.

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 ~ Hoy And Walls Entertainment Group's surreal home grown playtomime

Xenos ~ Tasmania -based Balkan Gypsy band.

La Boum ~ nine 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 ~ thirteen piece cabaret. 

Two Ghost Stories by MR James ~ performed in suitably gothic style by Roger Lloyd-Parry

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