What if I told you there was a whole side to London theatre that you may never have even stumbled across? That there were dozens of theatres, all spread across the capital with lengthy seasons of cutting edge theatre. Classic revivals, modern retellings, contemporary productions, musicals, comedies, tragedies – absolutely everything!
To make your new adventure into London’s Off West End theatre a little easier, we’ve assembled an interactive map for you to explore! Find the places near to you, or venture out a little further and try something new…
They make up what is commonly referred to as ‘Off West End’ or ‘fringe’. These terms are used to distinguish theatres separate from the West End theatre district. Often times, ‘fringe’ can be used when talking about productions that are more experimental in style or nature.
It’s there, in these room-above-a-pub or black box style theatres, that much of today’s new hit shows find their start. Intimate audiences and powerful performances immerse you into the show like nothing else can, delivering what is ultimately, an unforgettable theatre experience.
We’ve put together nearly eighty of the most unforgettable and must-see off west end theatres in around London, so you can discover a new side of the city or visit a local beloved theatre!
Above The Stag Theatre is the UK’s only professional LGBT+ theatre, which produces the majority of its year long program of musicals, plays, new writing and revivals with an LGBT+ focus. Based in Vauxhall, London this multi award-winning venue is renowned for its summer musicals and adult pantomimes as well as its comedies and hard-hitting plays. Previous productions include Grindr: The Opera (Offie Award for Best New Musical), Beautiful Thing, Maurice, Holding The Man, Southern Baptist Sissies and adult pantos Tinderella – Cinders Slips it in, Treasure Island – The Curse of the Pearl Necklace, Jack off the Beanstalk and Mother Goose Cracks One Out.
Since outgrowing its original home, the venue expanded to new premises in 2018, which now offers two theatre spaces, Stag 1 as their main house and Stag 2 as their studio space, which is used for more experimental productions, comedy and late night cabaret. With a huge bar serving a wide variety of beers, wines, spirits, soft and hot drinks with free wi-fi throughout and power sockets, it makes for the perfect place for catching up with friends and meetings. Their staff are famous for their welcoming and friendly service, also winning the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor and the Boyz Magazine Award for Most Welcoming Venue and Best Theatre numerous times.
Above The Stag Theatre Capacity: 100
Above The Stag Theatre Address: 72 Albert Embankment, Lambeth, London SE1 7TP
Almeida works to create unique and interesting theatre, inspiring emerging artists and immersing audiences in deep and thought-provoking stories. Since opening in 1980, Almeida has garnered an international reputation for its productions, earning praise from The Times as the “small stage where giants play”. Inside, their large theatre area is accompanied by a curved wall behind the stage, giving a feeling of intimacy to audiences through their proximity to the action on stage.
Almeida Theatre Capacity: 325
Almeida Theatre Address: Almeida St, The Angel, London N1 1TA
Arcola Theatre create trailblazing Off West End theatre that invites all in, commissioning rare and exciting works from all around the world alongside bold new productions of the classics.
They have a knack for cultivating engaging and enticing shows, with some of the most affordable prices in London thanks to their Pay What You Can scheme. Keep an eye out for their annual Grimeborn Festival as well, which focuses on up-and-coming opera and musical theatre.
Arcola Theatre Capacity: 195
Arcola Theatre Address: 24 Ashwin St, Dalston, London E8 3DL
As the only professional arts venue in Barnet, the artsdepot has become a cultural hub among the local community. There, horizons are broadened, imaginations soar, and a deep interest in the theatre is cultivated in both the old and young through their extensive programme and outreach schemes.
artsdepot Capacity: 395
artsdepot Address: 5 Nether St, North Finchley, London N12 0GA
Perhaps one of the largest Off West End venues in London, the Barbican Centre is world-renowned arts centre and the largest of its kind in Europe. It showcases everything from classical and contemporary music to theatre, film and exhibitions in its staggeringly beautiful brutalist architecture. Inside, you can find the Barbican Hall, home to the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Barbican Theatre designed exclusively for the Royal Shakespeare Company. There is also The Pit, a 200-seat flexible room, a library and three cinema screens!
Barbican Centre Capacity: 1943
Barbican Centre Address: Silk Street, London, EC2
The Barons Court Theatre proves that a little can go a long way, bringing to life exhilarating and exciting shows in their 60-seat space beneath The Curtains Up pub. Artistic Director Ron Phillips has a knack for putting together a programme rife with activity and beloved by fans of the arts in London. From exciting magic shows to classic theatre, you’ll be sure to find something enjoyable for everyone!
Barons Court Theatre Capacity: 60
Barons Court Theatre Address: 28a Comeragh Rd, Hammersmith, London W14 9HR
Housed in the beautiful old town hall, the Battersea Arts Centre has a deep and rich heritage that extends further that its architecture. Open all day, the Battersea Arts Centre remains at the centre of its community, welcoming in people to be creative, see a show, explore local history or just play and relax!
Their shows go across the UK and the world, some as far as Sydney and New York, with a strong emphasis put on inspiring the future generation to go on and create themselves.
Battersea Arts Centre Capacity: 350
Battersea Arts Centre Address: Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TN
Since 1968, the Bloomsbury Theatre has been a central part of London’s arts scene, tirelessly supporting imaginative performers and contemporary productions. Throughout that time, it as has some huge talent walk its stage, from comedian Jo Brand to singer Adele as well as the internationally-renowned Stomp percussion group. In 2019, 50 years after its very first performance, the Bloomsbury Theatre reopened after a huge renovation that saw every corner of the building massively upgraded.
Bloomsbury Theatre Capacity: 547
Bloomsbury Theatre Address: 15 Gordon St, Kings Cross, London WC1H 0AH
The Blue Elephant Theatre in Camberwell has been going for over two decades now, working to improve the local community through theatre. They prioritise ensuring that productions are priced reasonably for everyone to access, with a special discount for local Southwark residents, whilst curating an exciting and vibrant programme of shows to choose from.
Blue Elephant Theatre Capacity: 50
Blue Elephant Theatre Address: 59A Bethwin Rd, Camberwell, London SE5 0XT
A 40- to 60-seat fringe venue above The Bread & Roses Pub, the theatre programs a wide-spread variety of productions for local as well as far-reaching audiences. Artistic quality, equality and diversity are at the forefront of the theatre’s programming, which features visiting companies as well as in-house productions, with a focus on new writing, underrepresented voices and distinctive work.
The theatre has worked with award-winning ensembles with decades of experience but also frequently welcomes emerging companies taking their first steps and supports theatre-makers by providing box office split deals with no hidden fees. The programme includes new writing, contemporary revivals, reinvented classics and occasionally also devised work, improvisational theatre, comedy events, family shows and physical theatre.
The Bread & Roses Capacity: 60
The Bread & Roses Address: 68 Clapham Manor St, Clapham, London SW4 6DZ
Bridewell Theatre is a thriving Off West End venue built over the City of London’s first swimming pool. It still maintains the original Victorian glass lantern roof, viewing gallery and changing rooms, giving the venue a feel for its original prestige along with a sense of the theatrical and surreal.
The tiled swimming pool itself is also still in place underneath the seating, accessible via floor hatch. Throughout the year, Bridewell puts on a variety of shows and productions, transforming their spaces into an atmospheric ballroom, magical cabaret or even conference space.
Bridewell Theatre Capacity: 134
Bridewell Theatre Address: 14 Bride Ln, Fleet St, London EC4Y 8EQ
At the centre of Barking is The Broadway theatre, it’s name evoking the spirit of New York’s Theatre scene. However, the theatre may be best known for being the recording location of two of legendary singer-songwriter Neil Young’s tracks from ‘Harvest’ in 1971.
The Broadway Theatre Capacity: 341
The Broadway Theatre Address: Broadway, Barking IG11 7LS
When you’re not after the West End, perhaps a little bit of Broadway will do? At home in Lewisham, this theatre’s history stretches back almost 100 years as a shining example of the era’s beautiful Art Deco designs.
It’s undergone many changes, acting as a ration station and telephone exchange in WW2 as well as a concert hall, and today it has entered into a new era with a focus on festivals, community projects and live music.
The Broadway Theatre (Catford) Capacity: 900
The Broadway Theatre (Catford) Address: Catford Rd, Catford, London SE6 4RU
The Bunker is one of London’s newest Off West End venues, housed in a formed underground parking garage just off of London Bridge. After being transformed into a vibrant, exciting and unique studio theatre, that little parking garage in London Bridge is now home to some of the most eclectic, ambitious and adventurous theatre in the city.
The Bunker Theatre Capacity: 110
The Bunker Theatre Address: 53A Southwark St, London SE1 1RU
Taking its name its local area of Shepherd’s bush, the Bush Theatre offers exciting new plays from internationally renowned playwrights at the top of their game. They look for new and interesting ideas from rising voices to tell contemporary stories with wit, style and passion through productions that are both provocative and entertaining.
Bush Theatre Capacity: 180
Bush Theatre Address: 7 Uxbridge Rd, Shepherd’s Bush, London W12 8LJ
This unique theatre in central London began in 1997 with one thing in mind: to create new and interesting theatre. They are dedicated to supporting audiences and taking risks, making exciting choices and pursuing the forefront of contemporary theatre. Inside you can find a 60-seat studio theatre, licensed bar and foyer gallery space.
Camden People’s Theatre Capacity: 60
Camden People’s Theatre Address: 58-60 Hampstead Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2PY
Canada Water Theatre showcases the best in new work, comedy, contemporary and family theatre, dance and music with a programme supported by the Albany, South East London’s leading performing arts venue. Families will feel at home at the theatre, with plenty of activities for kids and a fantastic collection of family shows available throughout the year.
Canada Water Theatre: 150
Canada Water Theatre Address: 21 Surrey Quays Rd, Rotherhithe, London SE16 7AR
Located within walking distance of King’s Cross St. Pancras Station, The Chapel Playhouse offers an exciting line-up of theatre, comedy, cabaret, live podcasts, storytelling and more. The pop-up theatre space is run by the team behind award-winning The Bread & Roses Theatre in Clapham, and is located in the accessible basement of the café-bar.
The Chapel Playhouse Kings Cross Capacity: 60
The Chapel Playhouse Kings Cross Address: 308 Gray’s Inn Road, Kings Cross, London, WC1X 8DP
There has been a theatre under the arches at Charing Cross Station since 1864, undergoing many changes until it reopened as the Charing Cross Theatre in 2011, marking a new era. It’s somewhat of a hidden gem, offering everything under one roof, from stage theatre to drama, musicals, comedy, cabaret and even late night shows. At this Off West End theatre, you’ll be sure to find something that suits your tastes!
Firmly rooted in a rich artist heritage, Chats Palace works hard to ensure a safe creative space for collaboration and professional development, focusing on emerging artists. They have become a key part of Hackney’s growing cultural quarter, hosting performances, music, exhibitions, children’s activities as well as various classes and workshops to stimulate creativity amongst the community.
Chats Palace Capacity: 106
Chats Palace Address: 42-44 Brooksby’s Walk, Homerton, London E9 6DF
Charing Cross Theatre Capacity: 263
Charing Cross Theatre Address: The Arches, Villiers St, Charing Cross, London WC2N 6NL
Chickenshed knows that theatre can change lives, which is why they aim to inspire and champion change through inclusive, enriching and transformational theatre. Founded out of a disused chicken barn in 1974 (hence the name), Chickenshed are dedicated to inclusive theatre, resulting in them becoming one of the most inspiring theatres in London. Today, they house two indoor theatres as well as an outdoor ampitheatre and a bar/ restaurant. The heart of Chickenshed lies in its Rayne Theatre, with its flat accessible stage allowing performers and designers to create imaginative and innovative sets
Chickenshed Capacity: 292
Chickenshed Address: 290 Chase Side, London N14 4PE
Set in the picturesque setting of the Merton Abbey Mills riverside, the Colour House Children’s Theatre has a long history stretching back over 500 years. In fact, the Grade II listed building takes its name from its time as a textile factory, mixing dyes for Arthur Liberty in the early 1900s.
Today, the venue is known for a wide variety of performance, from theatrical productions to music, comedy and more, but they are best known for their Children’s Theatre every week, specialising in producing original musical adaptations of famous fairytales.
Colour House Children’s Theatre Capacity: 70
Colour House Children’s Theatre Address: Watermill Way, Colliers Wood, London SW19 2RD
Known as a “local theatre with a decidedly international outlook”, the Coronet Theatre is hugely beautiful building with an even more exquisite programme of events. They host a huge variety of productions, from high class, original drama to renowned dance performers, live poetry, festivals and cross-artform commissions. Inside are two spaces, the main 195-seat auditorium as well as the 90-seat studio, The Print Room, so named for the company’s previous home at a nearby print works.
The Coronet Theatre Capacity: 195
The Coronet Theatre Address: 103 Notting Hill Gate, Kensington, London W11 3LB
Housed in a formed public library, The Courtyard is a Grade II listed building that has stood since 1897. Interestingly enough, it is situated only down the road from the site of the first purpose built playhouses in the whole of England, the Theatre (1576) and the Curtain (1577). As a result, a deep history for the theatrical has seeped into the local community, leading many shows that perform at The Courtyard to successful West End transfers.
The Courtyard Capacity: 150
The Courtyard Address: Hoxton, London, N1
The Drayton Arms is a classic, room-above-the-pub Off West End venue that excels in producing excellent theatre of all kinds. Their studio theatre puts on everything from sketch comedy to Shakespeare, new plays, musicals and operas, aiming to inspire new and emerging artists through their supportive environment.
Drayton Arms Theatre Capacity: 51
Drayton Arms Theatre Address: 153 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington, London SW5 0LJ
For nearly thirty years, the Etcetera Theatre has acted as a springboard for aspiring artists, seeing companies, performers, comedians and more launch themselves into the industry. Fresh, innovative theatre graces their stage throughout the year, as well as some of the hottest new comedy on the London scene.
Etcetera Theatre Capacity: 42
Etcetera Theatre Address: above the Oxford Arms, 265 Camden High St, London NW1 7BU
Finborough Theatre has an unparalleled track record in bringing the best of the theatre to London, with Artistic Director Neil McPherson concentrating his efforts on cultivating thought-provoking new writing as well as rediscovering neglected works from the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Finborough acts as a classic room-above-the-pub theatre in Earl’s Court, offering an intimate and exclusive experience when viewing their world class shows, of which many transfer to the West End and beyond.
Finborough Theatre Capacity: 50
Finborough Theatre Address: 118 Finborough Rd, Kensington, London SW10 9ED
Hampstead is one of London’s newest Off West End theatres, aiming to entertain with originality and without creative restriction. Despite their new location, the theatre began over 50 years out of a humble hut where greats like Harold Pinter tested out his early plays to the likes of Mike Leigh or Terry Johnson, and that knack for spotting excellence has continued through to today.
With shows like ‘Sunny Afternoon’ and ‘The Arrest of Ai Weiwei’, Hampstead Theatre curate a programme with intellectually stimulating and mould-breaking shows, challenging, influencing and shaping the future of British Theatre.
Hampstead Theatre Capacity: 325
Hampstead Theatre Address: Eton Ave, London NW3 3EU
Built on the site of an old school, Harrow Arts Centre has been operating since 1988, putting itself at the heart of the local community to deliver an inclusive, education and accessible programme of events and activities. Inside they have Elliot Hall, a Grade II listed auditorium with over 500 seats, as well as The Studio, an intimate 120 seat ‘black box’ theatre.
Harrow Arts Centre Capacity: 520
Harrow Arts Centre Address: 171 Uxbridge Rd, Pinner HA5, UK
Known as the little theatre with BIG ideas, The Hope Theatre is an Equity approve 50-seat theatre located in Islington. What makes it so special, however, is its commitment to helping support aspiring actors, stage managers and box office staff a living wage from the get go. Investing in their people has proved successful, with two of their productions transferring to the West End and several making their world premiere in their humble halls.
The Hope Theatre Capacity: 50
The Hope Theatre Address: 207 Upper St, Islington, London N1 1RL
First opening as a music hall in 1863, Hoxton Hall is a beautiful example of Victorian architecture that has largely survived in its original form. Its had many guises since then, now operating as a community space and home of contemporary performances including new writing, live music, stand-up and immersive theatre.
They pioneer creative engagement amongst the local community, as well as making the arts accessible to all regardless of age, background or ability. They’ve even worked with artists of global acclaim, including Patti Smith and Ralph Fiennes.
Hoxton Hall Capacity: 227
Hoxton Hall Address: 130 Hoxton St, London N1 6SH
Jermyn Street Theatre is an intimate 70-seat venue in a converted basement in the heart of the West End! Producing outstanding new plays, rare revivals, new versions of European classics, and high-quality musicals, alongside one-off literary events, it’s a thriving hub for arthouse theatre and entertaining, intelligent drama.
– Kennedy, Jermyn Street Theatre
Jermyn Street Theatre Capacity: 70
Jermyn Street Theatre Address: 16B Jermyn St, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6ST
Only moments from London’s Southbank Centre is Katzpace, the self-professed ‘coolest theatre in London’. They put the emphasis on giving new and developing companies the chance to perform in a central London venue, often taking risks on new shows that pay off immensely. You can find them set underneath Katzenjammers, the German Bierkeller, so you’ll know you’re in for a good night no matter what…
Katzpace Capacity: 50
Katzpace Address: 24 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TY
Taking its name from its local area of Kilburn, the Kiln Theatre is dedicated to curating a programme that reflects the cultural diversity of its local community. They aim to make theatre accessible for everyone around them, showcasing plays that can cross continents and tell stories about real, human connections.
Kiln Theatre Capacity: 235
Kiln Theatre Address: 269 Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, London NW6 7JR
Founded almost 50 years ago, the King’s Head Theatre has developed an unwavering commitment to the arts its social responsibility, taking on new and developing talent and ensuring their ethical employment.
In doing so, the King’s Head have been a stepping stone in the careers of many of the UK’s hugest stars. Dawn French, Richard E Grant, Jennifer Saunders, Maureen Lipman, Hugh Grant: all have performed there, even Alan Rickman right at the beginning of his career. That dedication to their talent has brought gripping and cutting edge productions to their stage, creating a truly enticing and socially responsible theatre experience.
King’s Head Theatre Capacity: 250
King’s Head Theatre Address: 115 Upper St, The Angel, London N1 1QN
For decades, the Leicester Square Theatre has been one of the most popular hotspots in London. Its located smack bang in the middle of the city, with easy connections to many of London’s biggest attractions. From comedians to off-beat theatre, the LST has a prolific programme envied by many, often applauded for giving a platform to artists who are underappreciated or still early in their careers.
Leicester Square Theatre Capacity: 400
Leicester Square Theatre Address: 6 Leicester Pl, London WC2H 7BX
Little Angel Theatre is a venue with children in mind. Since opening in the 60’s, it has been at the forefront of innovative theatre with puppetry, with many shows going on to tour the UK and abroad. As a puppet theatre, Little Angel theatre not only produces spectacular shows, but they also offer education and development for aspiring puppeteers and puppet makers as a way of preserving the art form.
Little Angel Theatre Capacity: 90
Little Angel Theatre Address: 14 Dagmar Passage, The Angel, London N1 2DN
Operating in the standard black box style, artistic director Harry Denford leads The London Theatre at New Cross. They are home to the South London Players, who produce 8 plays a year, as well as offering acting classes and stand-up comedy courses.
The London Theatre Capacity: 50
The London Theatre Address: 443 New Cross Rd, New Cross, London SE14 6TA
Known as a “creative incubator”, the London Theatre Workshop acts as a hub for theatrical innovation in their local area. They are dedicated to finding and developing work of the highest quality, fusing music and drama to create beautiful, modern theatre.
London Theatre Workshop Capacity: 60
London Theatre Workshop Address: 88 Gracechurch St, Leadenhall Market, London EC3V 0DN
Lyric Hammersmith is one of London’s leading Off West End venues, hosting up to 1000 performances a year across a variety of genres. It first opened in 1895, undergoing a few reinventions before reopening as it is known today in 1979. Over the last few decades, it has grown into an entertainment complex of sorts, boasting a recording studio, editing suite, rehearsal space, cinema and two large auditoria.
Lyric Hammersmith Capacity: 550
Lyric Hammersmith Address: Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King St, Hammersmith, London W6 0QL
It is an undeniable fact that any chocolate factory appears as magical place of wonder, and that is a reputation that this theatre house has certainly worked to maintain after moving into the original 1870s building in 2004! Ever since, the Menier Chocolate Factory has been a full time production house with a theatre, restaurant, bar and rehearsal space, releasing some truly awe-inspiring shows that have gone on to become successful hits on the West End and Broadway.
Menier Chocolate Factory Capacity: 180
Menier Chocolate Factory Address: 53 Southwark St, London SE1 1RU
Millfield Theatre forms part of Millfield Arts Centre in Enfield Town, located close to an idyllic park. They have been producing theatre since 1988, housing many leading amateur dramatic societies that have left their names on the auditorium’s seats. That auditorium also celebrates the late Sir Bruce Forsyth, a British icon who was born locally to the theatre and went on to have the single most successful career as an entertainer on record.
Millfield Theatre Capacity: 362
Millfield Theatre Address: Silver St, Edmonton, London N18 1PJ
The National Theatre is a shining star in London’s theatre scene, situated right on the edge of the Thames with a long reputation of producing world-class shows that are diverse, inclusive and bold. As a result, their shows go on to become global hits touring across the UK and beyond.
That reputation of course began with the theatre’s first Artistic Director, Laurence Olivier, from 1963 to 1973, a time when he considered the foremost British film and stage actor. Inside there are three rooms, the largest of which is named after Olivier himself, as well as the Lyttelton Theatre and the Dorfman Theatre.
National Theatre Capacity: 1160
National Theatre Address: Upper Ground, Lambeth, London SE1 9PX
Hidden away in the railway arches of London Waterloo Station, the Network Theatre encourage creative shows that can stimulate audiences. For almost 80 years, they’ve seen a variety of shows walk through their doors from classic plays to new writing, comedy to drama, mixed media and musicals, so you can be sure that you’re in for a treat no matter what’s on. Their prime location also makes it extremely accessible, only moments from the centre of London.
Network Theatre Capacity: 70
Network Theatre Address: 246A Lower Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 8SJ
The Old Red Lion Theatre is an Off West End theatre venue in Islington, located above one of the oldest pubs in London having first been built in 1415 when Islington was still a rural village. Since officially opening the theatre in 1979, the Old Red Lion has seen many incredible artists hone their craft at the most crucial stages of their career including Abi Morgan, Kathy Burke and Nina Raine.
As such, the theatre has become somewhere that encourages ambitious and challenging theatre, ranging from world premieres to revivals of acclaimed greats from throughout history.
Old Red Lion Theatre Capacity: 60
Old Red Lion Theatre Address: 418 St John St, Islington, London EC1V 4NJ
Located in South London, Omnibus Theatre boasts an affordable and diverse programme of theatre that has won a variety of awards. It opened in 2013, thoroughly integrating itself into London’s Off West End and fringe ecosystem with a number of notable productions, nurturing emerging artists and bring the magic of the theatre to everyone. Inside there is a lovely 110 seat theatre space, with a cafe/bar and two performance and rehearsal spaces.
Omnibus Theatre Capacity: 110
Omnibus Theatre Address: 1 Clapham Common North Side, Clapham, London SW4 0QW
Orange Tree Theatre is working towards changing lives with remarkable stores, utilising a wide range of times and places filtered through the visionary minds of their writers and the extraordinary talent of their actors.
Throughout their forty-five years storytelling, Orange Tree has seen its team earn accolades from all around, having been recognised for their work with 17 major industry awards just in the last two years including ten Offies (Off West End Awards), four UK Theatre Awards, the Alfred Fagon Audience Award and the Peter Brook Empty Space Award.
Orange Tree Theatre Capacity: 180
Orange Tree Theatre Address: 1 Clarence St, Richmond TW9 2SA
Down in Barnes Green in South West London is the OSO Arts Centre, a local cultural hub filled with something a little bit different. They welcome theatre, comedy, musicals, new writing, workshops, exhibitions and more, with classes for children and adults onsite!
OSO Arts Centre Capacity: 74
OSO Arts Centre Address: 49 Station Rd, London SW13 0LF
For over 50 years, Ovalhouse has been a place for young creatives to exercise their skills. They build their programme to reflect the sociopolitical issues of today’s climate, making sure to reflect the local community with innovative, thought-provoking shows from aspiring talent. As such, Ovalhouse is often on the cusp of the next big thing, having launched the careers of notable artists the likes of Pierce Brosnan, Tamsin Greig, David Hare and Tim Roth.
Ovalhouse Capacity: 200
Ovalhouse Address: 52 – 54 Kennington Oval, London SE11 5SW
Brainchild of Jez Bond and Melli Marie, Artistic and Creative Director respectively, the Park Theatre sits at the corner of Finsbury Park as a hub for the local arts scene. It opened in 2010 with support from luminaries such as Ian McKellen and Alan Rickman, but most importantly from the local residents, and has continued to put on an array of incredible shows and world-class theatre.
Only recently they have had an incredible run of ‘Whodunnit’, an unrehearsed show with no script and huge guests like Clive Anderson, Matthew Broderick, Sandi Toksvig, Jim Broadbent and even Gillian Anderson who said: “I’m performing at Park Theatre to help raise funds for the charity. With no public subsidy they need to fundraise over £250,000 a year just to keep the doors open. The monies raised from this production’s higher ticket prices will support their core ambition to present accessible theatre over the coming years and to further their work with the local community. I do hope people will come and enjoy, and reap the benefits of supporting this fantastic cause.”
Park Theatre Capacity: 200
Park Theatre Address: Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP
Located on the Limehouse Cut Canal, Poplar Union is a purpose built arts & community venue in East London. They have a diverse programme ranging from children’s entertainment to waterside activities and live performances including music, theatre, comedy and more! They are dedicated to cultivating something for everyone, creating an eclectic mix of events!
Poplar Union Capacity: 180
Poplar Union Address: 2 Cotall St, Poplar, London E14 6TL
As the little sister to the Royal Festival Hall and the Southbank Centre venues, the Purcell Room is somewhat of an unsung star among its companions. Named for the 17th Century Composer Henry Purcell, the theatre brings audiences intimate and immersive productions and performances to its stage, with its central London location making it accessible to a wide range of people. Throughout its life, the Purcell Room has seen some world-renowned talent perform, from David Bowie to Daniel Barenboim, Marianne Faithfull and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood.
Purcell Room, Southbank Centre Capacity: 293
Purcell Room, Southbank Centre Address: Belvedere Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 8XX
“The Other Palace is where our passion for discovering, developing and reinterpreting theatre comes to life. Taking up its own special position within the LW Theatres family, it’s a lively, inventive place; one where bold new ideas are explored, imaginations fired, and the talents of our next-generation of theatre-makers are encouraged, nurtured and celebrated.
With the vision of Andrew Lloyd Webber at its heart, The Other Palace has become an exciting, creative hub for both the aspiring and the accomplished. A destination for everyone from artists and audiences to writers and producers.
The unique experience our venue offers is one we love to share. So, as well as extending an open invitation to a home for original theatrical performances, we’ve also thrown open our doors and laid on award-winning food and drink to warmly welcome everyone.” – Ezequiel, The Other Palace
The Other Palace Capacity: 300
The Other Palace Address: 12 Palace St, Westminster, London SW1E 5JA
Formerly a bus depot, the Playground Theatre was set up to build a creative hub for theatre artists of all disciplines to innovate and cultivate their imaginative ideas. As a result, numerous projects have cut their teeth at the Playground, going on to perform around London and the UK as a whole.
The Playground Theatre, Cafe and Bar Capacity: 120
The Playground Theatre, Cafe and Bar Address: 8, Latimer Industrial Estate, Latimer Rd, London W10 6RQ
The Questors is one of the largest community theatres in Europe, putting out around 15 to 20 shows a year. In addition to their season of productions, the theatre offers a plethora of activities and social events for the local Ealing community. The long history of The Questors began in 1929, when a new theatre group formed to pursue their dramatic interests. For a number of years they put on performances, building their artistic reputation until eventually opening their own location in 1964.
The Questors Theatre Capacity: 350
The Questors Theatre Address: 12 Mattock Ln, Ealing, London W5 5BQ
The Rag Factory is a grassroots venue for performance and the arts, known for supporting the creative fabric of London. By offering affordable rehearsal space, a supportive community and the beautiful, naturally lit remains of the original factory complex, they are at the forefront of contemporary productions.
The Rag Factory Capacity: 100
The Rag Factory Address: 16-18 Heneage St, Spitalfields, London E1 5LJ
Founded by Peter Hall, the Rose Theatre in Kingston is modelled after the original Elizabethan Rose Theatre and offers an exciting venue for both large scale productions and intimate shows. Unlike the original Rose, the additional roof and modern seating makes for a comfortable viewing experience, still ensuring to keep every seat in the house as close to the action as possible.
Rose Theatre Capacity: 899
Rose Theatre Address: 56 Park St, London SE1 9AR
Theatre. Pub. Kitchen. The Rosemary Branch has it all. It began as a Victorian music hall where greats like Charlie Chaplin and Marie Lloyd once performed, growing into a blossoming fringe theatre has won awards across the board. Today, the theatre is led by Genevieve Taricco and Scarlett Plouviez Comnas as part of the Unattended Items theatre company.
Rosemary Branch Theatre Capacity: 50
Rosemary Branch Theatre Address: 2 Shepperton Rd, London N1 3DT
Once a Victorian train repair shed, the Roundhouse now provides live entertainment through a varied programme of performing arts. Its goal is to use creativity to transform the lives of young people, using a medley of mediums such as theatre, live music, installations, circus and cabaret, and the spoken word to deliver their message.
As well as being a prominent Off West End venue, they have always had a prolific relationship with music. Acts like Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Jay-Z have performed there over the years, as well as large shows like the BBC Electric Proms and numerous iTunes festivals.
Roundhouse Capacity: 1700
Roundhouse Address: Chalk Farm Rd, Camden Town, London NW1 8EH
Known as the writers’ theatre, the Royal Court Theatre encourages aspirational and accomplished writers to create. It is at the forefront of restless, provocative, thought-provoking theatre that can change an audience’s view of the world. As such, many of their shows go on to perform on the West End, New York and across the UK as they continue to develop an interesting and pioneering body of work.
Jerwood Theatre Capacity: 380
Jerwood Theatre Address: Sloane Square, London SW1W 8AS
A must-see stop on any visit to London, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre celebrates the transformative impact one of the world’s greatest playwrights had on the industry. The building is inspired by the original Globe Theatre that showcased Shakespeare’s plays back in the 1600s, continuing to make his work accessible to all through their diverse programme and skilled actors.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Capacity: 857
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Address: 21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT
Named after George Barnard Shaw, the famed Irish playwright and novelist, the Shaw Theatre hosts a wide range of drama, dance, musical theatre and concerts. It opened in 1971 with performances of ‘Zigger Zagger’ starring Paula Wilcox and Barrie Rutter and has gone on to see Dionne Warwick, Eartha Kitt and Boy George perform on its stage, alongside huge shows such as ‘Of Mice and Men’, ‘Maggie’s End’ and the award-winning Broadway transfer ‘Golda’s Balcony’.
Shaw Theatre Capacity: 446
Shaw Theatre Address: 100-110 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2AJ
At the heart of Shoreditch is its theatre, a rapidly growing home to the arts in just a few short years. It has become a flagship cultural space for the Hackney area, hosting a diverse year-round programme of adventurous new theatre, music, dance, comedy, talks and more, as well as encouraging community engagement in the arts. Recently, Shoreditch Town Hall’s programme has included work from Andrew Schneider, Jamie Lloyd, Manchester International Festival, Royal Shakespeare Company and more.
Shoreditch Town Hall Capacity: 800
Shoreditch Town Hall Address: 380 Old St, Hackney, London EC1V 9LT
Nestled into the City of Westminster, the Soho Theatre is one of London’s most vibrant new Off West End venues for theatre, comedy and cabaret. They have a year long programme featuring everything from festivals to international touring shows.
Soho Theatre produces many new plays, often being the go-to spot for many international artists to make their London debut. Shows stage at the Soho Theatre often go on to become an industry giant, so you can be sure that a visit will treat you to the cutting edge of new productions!
Soho Theatre Capacity: 140
Soho Theatre Address: 21 Dean St, Soho, London W1D 3NE
Since establishing itself in 1993, the Southwark Playhouse has emerged as one of London’s leading studio theatres. Their shows are high quality and their support for the local community sees more budding theatre enthusiasts practicing their craft with each day. Many of their practitioners go on to enjoy flourishing careers in the arts, guaranteeing the excellent quality of theatre you are sure to enjoy.
Southwark Playhouse Capacity: 240
Southwark Playhouse Address: 77-85 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BD
The Space is a performing arts centre based in a converted church on the Isle of Dogs, East London. Run by the St Paul’s Arts Trust, The Space provides a wide range of events and opportunities for the community and new performers alike, housed in a warm and friendly environment open to all. Their patrons include Sir Ian McKellen and Marie McLaughlin.
The Space Capacity: 100
The Space Address: 269 Westferry Rd, Isle of Dogs, London E14 3RS
Only just outside the heart of Central London and the West End itself, the Stockwell Playhouse has a hard-earned reputation for supporting professional and amateur theatre alike. As a result, the Playhouse is often on the cutting edge of new theatre, making space for groundbreaking and innovative productions as well as creating a comfortable place for all to experience theatre.
Stockwell Playhouse Capacity: 180
Stockwell Playhouse Address: 208 Wandsworth Rd, Nine Elms, London SW8 2JU
The Tabard Theatre is an intimate, 100-seat theatre in Chiswick located above the landmark Tabard Pub. Since opening in 1985, they quickly established a strong reputation for encouraging new writing and helping a new host of contemporary theatre come to stage. Now, this off west end theatre offers all kinds of live entertainment from classical adaptations to new musicals and contemporary revivals grace their stage.
The Tabard Theatre Capacity: 100
The Tabard Theatre Address: 2 Bath Rd, Chiswick, London W4 1LW
Finding its home in Wandsworth in 1976, Tara Theatre is a true champion of diversity and multicultured home to theatre. It was opened by the British Asian community with an aim to share a whole world of stories, from classic to new, inviting audiences to step through the Indian front door into a world of colour. In fact, it’s name ‘Tara’ was chosen to represent all of those meanings. It can mean ‘star’ in most North Indian languages, and in Buddhism, it is the Goddess of love and art. Then also in Ireland, the ‘Hill of Tara’ is an ancient seat of power…
Tara Theatre Capacity: 100
Tara Theatre Address: 356 Garratt Ln, Earlsfield, London SW18 4ES
Theatre503’s strong emphasis on new writing brings with it pioneering new theatre, challenging traditions with new ideas and innovative productions. In fact, Theatre503 stages the most first-time writers than any other theatre in the country. Every year they offer over 100 new pieces, ranging from short plays to full runs.
Theatre 503 Capacity: 63
Theatre 503 Address: 503 Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, London SW11 3BW
As the largest theatre in Stratford, the Theatre Royal is one of east London’s leading venues for entertainment, bringing in diverse and young audiences to partake in a variety of new theatre. They have a strong emphasis on encouraging writing, developing many new productions and giving new voices a platform through workshops and outreach programmes among the community.
Theatre Royal Stratford East Capacity: 465
Theatre Royal Stratford East Address: Gerry Raffles Square, London E15 1BN
Theatro Technis has had many guises over the years, starting in a garage in Camden in the 60s, to a disused railway shed in the 70s and all the way through to their current location in a converted old church house in St Pancras, Camden. Throughout their over 60 years of theatrical experience, Theatro Technis has continued to innovate and stoke the fires of aspiring artists, unleashing hugely creative shows that challenge expectations.
Theatro Technis Capacity: 120
Theatro Technis Address: 26 Crowndale Rd, London NW1 1T
At the heart of the Actors Centre is the Tristan Bates Theatre, established in 1994 by Sir Alan Bates in the memory of his son who was an aspiring actor. The centre itself has been one of the UK’s leading professional development organisations, supporting actors throughout their careers since 1978.
Some of the greatest practitioners of the arts have been instrumental in supporting the centre of the years. Sir Ian McKellen led some of their earliest workshops, Sir Laurence Olivier was its founding patron and Sir Anthony Hopkins, Dame Judi Dench, Danny Boyle, Dame Julie Walters and more have all served the Actors Centre in some way.
Tristan Bates Theatre Capacity: 70
Tristan Bates Theatre Address: 1A Tower St, London WC2H 9NP
Union Theatre is an award-winning theatre in Southwark, established by Sasha Regan in 1998 and famed for staging excellent musicals. Originally, the theatre was nestled into the railway arches near Southwark Station on Union Street – where they take their name from – in what was a disused paper warehouse, but in 2016 the theatre relocated into a new Network Rail premises across the road.
Union Theatre Capacity: 60
Union Theatre Address: 229 Union St, London SE1 0LR
The Vaults is home to immersive and alternative theatre, creating unique and innovative experiences that you’re sure not to find elsewhere. Set in a maze of disused railway arches under Waterloo station, they have cultivated a reputation for the unusual, the daring and the unknown.
They welcome in talented artists from every vocation to make their mark on theatre, encouraging collaboration, inspiration and embracing all art forms. As they say themselves, The Vaults are here to feed your curiosity and open your mind. If you’re looking to discover something new and exciting from an Off West End theatre, The Vaults is a great place to start.
The Vaults Capacity: 176
The Vaults Address: Leake St, Lambeth, London SE1 7NN
Almost a decade ago, Waterloo East Theatre joined the ranks of a thriving cultural quarter when former musical theatre actor Gerald Armin saw the promise in an unused railway arch. He transformed the building into a beautiful 100-seat theatre, now bringing in thousands of theatre fans and fabulous productions. Those productions often find their first success at Waterloo East, going on to win awards and nominations, some even becoming feature films or transferring to Off-Broadway.
Waterloo East Theatre Capacity: 100
Waterloo East Theatre Address: Brad St, Lambeth, London SE1 8TN
Watermans is a leading arts centre bursting with community spirit. It features an independent cinema, theatre, gallery and multiple creative spaces, with all profits recycled back into making Watermans a core part of the local community’s art scene..
The range of events held at Watermans is broad. From cabaret to cinema, and al-fresco screenings to interactive exhibitions, there’s a little something for everyone. Throughout summer, they host an outdoor cinema to make the most of the warm weather, while year-round you can find unusual and inspiring exhibitions and related workshops in the main gallery, such as biorhythmic drawing or trajectories seminars.
Watermans is opportunistically set on the banks of the River Thames, facing Kew Gardens. It occupies a cute cafe, bar and restaurant where visitors can enjoy a drink on the riverside terrace, with a range of cakes, pastries, Indian tapas, and special pre-show menus. You can even ask for plastic cups to finish off your drink inside.
Watermans Capacity: 239
Watermans Address: 40 High St, Brentford TW8 0DS
As one of the oldest remaining Grand Music Halls in the world, Wilton’s has a history in the arts that is unsurpassed. Many of its oldest features have been carefully maintained to keep its natural beauty, as well as its knack for finding the most imaginative and distinctive work to support and showcase.
From opera to puppetry, cabaret, dance, theatre and magic, a huge variety of shows come in to play their stage, attracting audiences from far and wide to join with them and enjoy the arts.
Wilton’s Music Hall Capacity: 400
Wilton’s Music Hall Address: 1 Graces Alley, Whitechapel, London E1 8JB
There are few occasions where a community has come together like they did for The Yard Theatre. In 2011, 50 volunteers came together to build it themselves, using salvaged material to breathe new life into an old warehouse in Hackney Wick. Now several years on, it has become a necessity in theatre, combating traditions and outdated practices with thoughtful yet cutting edge performances. They have also carefully maintained that close relationship with their local community, cultivating a thriving music programme that forms close links with young people.
The Yard Capacity: 108
The Yard Address: Unit 2A Queen’s Yard, London E9 5EN