Into your theatre? You’ve probably already tried and tested some of London’s most iconic West End spots and watched some unforgettable plays. But have you ever wandered beyond the straight-out-of-Broadway extravaganzas and discovered some brilliant amateur, alternative or intimate theatres in the capital? Well, here’s our round up of the best of the bunch. Grab your tickets!
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Theatre Royal Stratford East
Gerry Raffles Square, E15 1BN
Billing itself as a people’s theatre, Stratford East’s Theatre Royal underlines the importance of local theatre to the community and prides itself on this. A truly welcoming spot, the theatre has been an important part of the area since it was built in 1884 and has produced plays for the people ever since. Especially committed to developing new pieces and providing a platform for the many voices of the ever-changing community of east London, hitting up a show here will always offer a unique experience that we’d highly recommend. With tickets from £7, it’s a winner!
Image: Time Out
77-85 Newington Causeway, SE1 6BD
With its quirky, vibrant theatre atmosphere, Southwark Playhouse is all about new and emerging arts. Highly commended for being an exciting venue with unique spaces, it’s a go-to for those searching for a great theatre away from the West End. If you’re looking for reinterpreted classic plays, head to this spot to watch them in atmospheric spaces that you won’t find at a traditional theatre. The Playhouse also hosts its own youth-led theatre company for locals aged 14-25, so we’d recommend this buzzing place for all ages.
70 Landor Road, SW9 9PH
Never want to be more than three rows away from the action? Landor Theatre is an intimate venue located on the first floor of The Landor Pub in Clapham, seating around 60 people within a friendly, fringe-style set up. With a 15-year reputation for delivering brilliant small-scale performances, the Landor primarily offers musical theatre productions, both old and new, in this cosy space. If you want to feel like you’re right in the thick of it, this is the theatre for you.
Image: Stratford Circus
Stratford Circus Arts Centre
Theatre Square, E15 1BX
We’ll forgive you if you thought the Stratford Circus Arts Centre was solely about the circus, and we’re about to tell you why it’s so much more than that! As an arts centre, the venue delivers a wide variety of eclectic performances with dance, comedy, theatre, music and circus shows all on offer. Culturally reminiscent of the local Stratford community, the mission at the heart of the centre is to develop local talent to its fullest. From immersive theatre to show-stopping company performances, head to the Arts Centre for the best from home-grown talent as well as international theatre groups.
Image: Union Theatre
204 Union Street, SE1 OLX
If your sights are set on finding exciting new shows, another option is this superb venue in SE1, The Union Theatre. This pint-sized place attracts performers who are finding their way at the beginning of their career, with musical theatre being The Union’s speciality. Expect Champagne performances on a lemonade budget, all in the distinctive surrounds of a former warehouse. A friendly spot, it’s a great one to spend that spare tenner on and head down to with a group of friends. Go on, try it.
Do you have any other favourite theatre venues? Let us know in the comment box below!