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Horse + Bamboo


679 Bacup Road, Waterfoot, Lancashire, BB4 7HB

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 7 reviews7 reviews

Tel: 01706 220 241

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Horse & Bamboo

Horse + Bamboo is a multi-arts community venue, situated in the heart of Waterfoot, Rossendale.  Established in 1978, the company began as a horse-drawn touring puppetry and mask theatre, taking stories across the UK and beyond.   Today, they are flourishing as a vibrant theatre company and venue that maintains a clear sense of purpose and serves the community of Pennine Lancashire by programming theatre, music and participatory events and creating contemporary, high-quality pieces of theatre that delight both adults and children alike.

Horse + Bamboo hosts regular family theatre productions from visiting companies, cinema, music and workshops for all ages.  The venue is open every Friday night from 18:00 and frequently hosts local music, open decks nights and workshops in the bar.  It is also home to a unique archive of 40+ years of puppetry, mask and processional work by the company, as well as providing space and resources for emerging and established artists across Rossendale.

Horse + Bamboo plays host to the annual 10-day Waterfoot Wakes Festival, that brings free activities and performances out into Waterfoot, as well as a yearly parade through the town.

As well as the venue and new productions, Horse + Bamboo has two other main strands of work.  Baby Boo; sensory baby sessions delivered in Waterfoot and across Rossendale, funded by The Granada Foundation; and Making A Change; creative workshops delivered in north west prisons to increase literacy, funded by Halley Steward and Bromley Trust.

Horse + Bamboo is an Arts Council funded National Portfolio organisation.
Creative Development Director: Esther Ferry- Kennington.
Executive Producer: Jenn Trethewey

Pay What You Can
All events at Horse + Bamboo have Pay What You Can tickets available.  This means that you can donate any amount for your ticket.  Whilst ticket prices are listed against all of the events, PWYC tickets are available for all events, whether booking online or walking in.  This is so that everyone is able to attend and enjoy the events.  Regardless of what you pay to attend an event, online boking in advance is advised wherever possible.  Concessions and career tickets are also available.

Horse + Bamboo is a wheelchair accessible venue.  Entrance, theatre and toilets are all ground floor.  If you need a wheelchair seat reserving for any performance, you can request during the online booking process. If you have any questions about accessibility or any specific access needs, please get in touch directly to discuss.  

There is free street parking to the front and rear of the venue.  The building can be accessed from front or via the back garden, during performance times.  Both entrances are ground level and there are no steps.

There is an age to family performances as a guide, but appreciate that many families have older or younger siblings and we welcome them to attend, even if a performance isn’t advertised for their age group (unless stated that the content is not suitable for a younger audience).

Horse + Bamboo is a relaxed venue.  For all shows a relaxed approach to noise and movement in the theatre is adopted.  Audiences are free to come and go from the theatre space during a performance as they need to.  Whilst lights will dim, the lights will not be ‘complete blacked out’ so that the seating bank, entrance and exit points in the theatre are always visible.

This might be your child’s first theatre experience and that every child reacts differently.  A space where you can leave the theatre to play and read until you’re feeling brave enough to go back in is available.   Mothers who wish to breast feed in the café are welcome and can also provide a space should you want privacy.  Baby changing facilities within the ladies toilets, as well as within unisex accessible toilets, are available.

Doors open one hour before every family event for a free making activity which links to the performance you are about to enjoy.  This is a great opportunity for children to explore different ways of making as well as something to take home from the day.  Should a performance coincide with time for prayers, the venue can provide a private room just before or just after the show.  Please ask a member of the Horse + Bamboo Front of House team who will happily help.

Book Tickets


Pay What You Can
All events at Horse + Bamboo have Pay What You Can tickets available.  This means that you can donate any amount for your ticket.  Whilst ticket prices are listed against all of the events, PWYC tickets are available for all events, whether booking online or walking in.  This is so that everyone is able to attend and enjoy the events.  Regardless of what you pay to attend an event, online boking in advance is advised wherever possible.  Concessions and career tickets are also available.

Opening Times

Open (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)


  • Sub-Regional AwardsPartner of Visit Lancashire Partner of Visit Lancashire 2018
  • Sub-Regional AwardsLancashire Tourism Awards Finalist Lancashire Tourism Awards Finalist 2014
  • Sub-Regional AwardsLancashire Tourism Awards Finalist 2018 - Cultural Venue/Organisation Award Lancashire Tourism Awards Finalist 2018 - Cultural Venue/Organisation Award 2018


Road Directions

From M65: Exit junction 8 and take the A56/A6068 exit towards Bury/Manchester/M66/Clitheroe. At the roundabout take the exit onto the A56 heading towards Manchester/Bury/M66/Accrington/A679 and go over one roundabout. Take the exit towards Todmorden/A681. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Haslingden Road/A681 and continue on Haslingden Road. Turn right at Queen’s Square/A682. Take the 1st right onto Bury Road/A682. Take slight left at Bocholt Way/A681 and turn left to stay on Bocholt Way/A681. Continue on A681 and go over roundabout. The theatre is on the right. From M66: Continue onto A56. Take slight right at A682 (signs for Rawtenstall). Turn right at Queens Square/A682. Take the 1st right onto Bury Road/A682. Slight left at Bocholt Way/A681. Turn left to stay on Bocholt Way/A681 and continue on A681. Go through 1 roundabout and the theatre is on the right. You will need to join the M66. (This is directly off jct 18 off the M60 eastbound from Manchester and M62 from westbound from Leeds) Travel straight down the M66 to the very end (it's all dual carriageway – stay on the M66, which becomes the A56, until where you reach a roundabout at Rawtenstall. Do NOT be tempted to take any other turning before the roundabout) At this roundabout you need to go the whole way round it and take the 4th exit, which will be the turning at Tesco. The sign you are looking for is the A681 Bacup/Todmorden. Carry on down Bocholt Way to the mini roundabout. Travel straight on and carry on down Bacup Road (A681), where you will see a Texaco petrol station on your right, keep going and you will reach a BP petrol station on your left. The theatre is not far after BP on the right-hand side facing a church and next to a Chinese take-away and a hardware store. If you take the next right down the one way street at the side of the hardware store you will find parking facilities at the back of the building.  Please call if you need more details.

Public Transport Directions

For public transport information out of normal office hours contact: Travel Line: 0871 200 2233 (for bus services around the Lancashire area) National Rail Enquiries 08457 48 49 50 At Chorlton Street bus station (five minutes walk from Manchester Piccadilly mainline railway station), catch the X43 to Rawtenstall, Bank Street. The bus stop is outside the bus station on Chorlton Street.  At Rawtenstall, Bank Street walk through the precinct and turn right where you will find a bus stop on the main road facing the main bus station. Catch a 464 bus or any bus with Bacup or Rochdale on the front. Get off at the stop facing the Royal Hotel, Waterfoot. (Just past the traffic lights). Walk back down Bacup Road, past the Co-op the theatre is next to the Chinese take away, facing a church.



  • Educational Visits Accepted
  • Event Venue
  • Family Fun
  • Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Guided Tours Available for Groups
  • Indoor Attraction
  • Marketed towards children
  • Marketed towards families
  • Marketed towards senior citizens
  • Marketed towards student/youth
  • On-Site café/restaurant
  • Ramp/Level Access
  • Toilets
  • Toilets for Disabled Visitors


  • Facility for service dogs


  • Café

Children & Infants

  • Baby Changing Facilities

Parking & Transport

  • Car Parking
  • Parking (free)

Provider Preferences

  • Groups accepted
  • In town/city centre

Venue Facilities

  • Theatre



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