The theatre plays a remarkable role in the history and culture of people in the United Kingdom, regardless the origin country where they come from. All the countries from the UK have been strongly represented by their theatre and have a strong tradition in the field since the Renaissance, even if the roots of this form of art date from antique ages. In the United Kingdom, theatre was brought from Europe by the Romans, and new buildings were created at that point to be used to this particular purpose. During the Medieval period, the practice has already become popular, and a new form of theatre appeared: the mummers’ plays – street performers gathered in certain public places to play on themes taken from the traditional British works of art, and were associated with the Morris dance. Later on, they were considered story-tellers who also interpreted their tales, and they started to wander from town to town, performing for any audience which would have given them money and also hospitality. In Scotland, theatre is represented by the history of interpreting various arts written, acted or produced by Scottish people, and the tradition of playhouse theatre Edinburgh is well known worldwide.
Initially, theatre in this part of the UK was considered a Western tradition, even if some of the plays and performances were imported from other cultural areas. The art has known many influences, and the strongest are represented by the Northern American, English, Iris and those from Continental Europe, although the plays were generally belonging to the English and Scottish literature and were performed in English, despite the linguistic partition between the Lowland Scots and the Scottish Gaelic part. Another major influence to Scottish theatre was represented by the mass migration from the modern period (many people were leaving, while others were travelling to Scotland), which helped it develop a lot and made national literature popular to people all over the world, due to the multiculturalism of the audience. Of course, methods were improved and foreign techniques were introduced to the theatre shows in Edinburgh, which are also maintained nowadays. At the moment, almost all the big cities from Scotland have theatrical institutions, and the most reputable are the National Theatre of Scotland, , the Citizens Theatre of Glasgow and also the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, which have given to the world legendary actors such as John Hannah, Daniela Nardini or Phyllis Logan.
The art has developed a lot, and modern influences can be seen in alternative playhouses, such as the Monkey Barrel Comedy – a small comedy club promoting live acts of Scottish comedy. There are plenty specialized celebrations and events in Scotland, and some of the most famous are the Edinburgh Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe, both taking place in August. These have appeared in 1947, during the World War II, as a replacement for Glyndebourne, Munich and Salzburg festivals, which could no longer be held. Although these events have a traditional origin, in the past years the plays tend to belong to other cultures, since international theatre has become more and more catchy.