That’s the rationale behind choosing the following three properties, which are all close to local theatres, and which are featured to mark World Theatre Day on Tuesday (March 27).
The Old Stables in Knaresborough is a particularly spacious family home built of local magnesian limestone and with magnificent views to the front, across the bowling green and over the Vale of York towards the Hambleton Hills and the White Horse.
It has five bedrooms, three bathrooms, large dining kitchen, utility room, sitting room, and, on the lower-ground floor, three more rooms with vaulted ceiling, currently comprising an extra bedroom, plus study and family room.
Outside, there are enclosed, secluded side gardens and a driveway providing off-street parking leading to a large single garage.
The property is set back from the din of Knaresborough’s High Street, but is nevertheless in the heart of the town and so close to all its amenities. It could also barely be nearer to the famous Frazer Theatre on Park Crest, which has been enlivening Knaresborough’s cultural life for the last 55 years.
Its story started in 1963, when local businessman Frederick Frazer bought the dilapidated Elephant and Castle Ballroom. He offered it to the town at a peppercorn rent as a public hall, but only the local theatre company, the Knaresborough Players, showed much interest. They hired the hall and started putting on productions, and in 1968 renamed the hall the Frazer Theatre, in honour of their benefactor.
Today, it offers a busy programme of productions, with a heavy dose of comedy acts and tribute bands.
In Pateley Bridge, 1 Church Street is a compact, stone-built cottage that fairly oozes character. It has two double bedrooms, and a single that could be used as a study, plus bathroom, kitchen and beam-ceilinged sitting room.
Interestingly, its upper floor is larger than its ground floor, because the two smaller bedrooms sit above an old cart arch leading from the street to the back yard – which is now a quiet patio garden.
The house sits just off the High Street, and is also within hailing distance of Pateley Bridge’s Playhouse. This began life as a Primitive Methodist Chapel in 1859, but the congregation moved out in 1933, and was replaced three years later by the Salvation Army.
Abandoned in the late 1950s, the empty building was subject to flooding as a beck ran under the floor, and the pews and furniture began to rot. It was eventually bought for £125 by Pateley Bridge Dramatic Society and has been improved ever since, largely thanks to donations and voluntary work. The building saw its first dramatic performance in 1968 and now hosts several plays a year.
Finally, Flat 4, Towering House is a top-floor apartment in central Harrogate. It has one double bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, utility room and living room and is accessed via a communal entrance hall. It is also just a short stroll away from Harrogate Theatre, whose boards have been trodden by the likes of Sarah Barnhardt, Trevor Howard and Charlie Chaplin.