This renowned community theatre is at the heart of Hackney and Dalston's flourishing arts scene, and one of the best places in London to see new work. The Arcola Theatre building is a classic contemporary fringe venue, a converted paint manufacturing factory that offers studio spaces, a versatile auditorium and a pop up tent that hosts a variety of shows. Founded in 2000 the theatre has firmly established itself as more than an arts centre, with a diverse range of productions which aim to be socially and politically relevant. Having become so well known for its varied programme, the theatre has staged works by top actors, writers and directors including the likes of William Gaskill, Ariel Dorfman, Jack Shepherd and Bill Bryden. Arcola also runs a multi-cultural community and youth programmes which help young people strive towards their goals in the creative industries.
London Fringe Theatres
Community theatre in a former textile factory.
24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London, E8 3DL
Events at Arcola Theatre
15th March to 8th April 2017 - Various Times | £14-£17
Yellow Earth Theatre presents Christopher Marlowe's thrilling, controversial and darkly comical story of Tamburlaine, the Scythian shepherd who rises to power through violence to conquer Central Asia. Starring Lourdes Faberes in the title role.
22nd to 25th Mar 2017 - Various Times | £10-£19
3rd February to 30th June 2017 - 10pm-3am | £7
30th March and 31st March 2017 at 7.30pm & 1st April 2017 at 3pm and 7.30pm | £10-£19
5th April to 6th May 2017 - Various Times | £10-£22
Influential theatre based in the former library in Shepherds Bush, specialising in new writing.
7 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 8LJ
London's essential theatre for new writing has been the first step into the big time for dozens of Britain's best playwrights. Challenging, disturbing and original works are often accepted by the Bush Theatre, and find their way to the West End. Moving from the room above O'Neill's pub in Shepherds Bush Green to the former Shepherd's Bush Library building on Uxbridge Road in 2011, the theatre acquired larger premises as well as a laid back bar/library and cafe (open Monday to Saturday, 8am to 11pm), worth a visit even if you're not here to watch a play. Thankfully, despite the increased space - increasing capacity from 81 to seating for 144 people - the wonderful intimacy of the original venue remains intact, and the move can only help attract new audiences to this exceptional theatre. The theatrical experience and the quality of the acting talent who have been drawn to the Bush Theatre over the years is most impressive, with Alan Rickman, Anthony Sher, Simon Callow and Alison Steadman all putting in performances on the Bush's stage. Artistic Director Josie Rourke (2007-2011) left the Bush Theatre at the end of December 2011, handing over the reins to Madani Younis whose first season began in April 2012.
Events at Bush Theatre
7th April to 20th May 2017 | £20, concs £17.50, unreserved £10
Jamie Lloyd, who gave us The Ruling Class and Maids - part of his Trafalgar Transformed programme - directs the European premiere of Guards At The Taj, the first play staged at the remodelled Bush ...more
26th April to 27th May 2017 | £10
Alice Hamilton directs Barney Norris' moving and melancholic romance about two lovers, Eddie and Carol, whose lives follow different paths until they meet again on a park bench in a town full of memories, and ...more
15th June to 22nd July 2017 | £20, concs £17.50, unreserved £10
Nadia Fall directs Taylor Mac's sly and subversive comedy about the blurred lines between masculinity and femininity. Set in a mid-West American home, Hir centres on marine Isaac, who returns home to discover his brother ...more
24th to 29th Jul 2017 | £10
Omar Elerian directs an audacious theatrical experiment about the power of language to unite people in uncertain times from Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour. The production follows the same template as White Rabbit Red Rabbit, sealing ...more
20th September to 21st October 2017 | £10, tickets on sale Mar 8, 2017, 10am
Fifteen years after an ill-fated teenage romance during a school field trip to the Scottish Highlands, Ramona returns the close-knit village to reconnect with Jim and clear her conscience about the scandal that changed both ...more
A well-respected theatre that encourages new writing and emerging playwrights.
40 Pitfield Street, Hoxton, London, N1 6EU
Tube: Old Street Station
This well-respected King's Cross fringe theatre - which arrived in Hoxton via Covent Garden - is home to a theatre training company and local music festival, as well as a roster of fantastic small scale productions. They also run the Kings Cross Award for New Writing which encourages and supports emerging playwrights.
Events at The Courtyard Theatre
Thursday 23rd March 2017 - 7pm-11pm | adv £8, £10
22nd to 26th Mar 2017 - 7pm-8.30pm | £12, concs £9
Saturday 8th April 2017 - 7pm-11.30pm | £5.50
13th, 14th, 15th and 16th Apr 2017 - 7pm | £15, concs £12
Monday 24th April 2017 - 7.30pm-11pm | £9
A tiny theatre located above the Oxford Arms pub in the heart of Camden.
265 Camden High Street, Camden Town, London, NW1 7BU
The Etcetera Theatre, located above the Oxford Arms pub, has played host to fringe festivals, magic shows and quirky productions for over 20 years. The stage area is a black box studio with just 42 seats. Over 1000 productions have been staged at the Etcetera including Nightmare Abbey by Eleanor Zeal, winner of an Edinburgh Fringe First and Scottish Daily Express Newcomer of the Year, and Bondage by David Hines, which toured the UK and Europe and became the Ken Russell film Whore.
This impressive fringe theatre has a challenging programme of new international works.
118 Finborough Road, Fulham, London, SW10 9ED
Tube: West Brompton Station
The Finborough Theatre in Earls Court punches well above its weight, presenting award-winning plays and works by new writers in a small theatre above a pub. Founded in 1980, the Finborough has just 50 seats creating an intimate space for its productions which focus on developing new writing, rediscovering neglected works and presenting the best of the old and new in an eclectic programme. In 2010 artistic director Neil McPherson curated an ambitious festival to mark the theatre's 30th anniversary with 30 new plays from the likes of esteemed playwrights Mike Bartlett, Mark Ravenhill and Laura Wade. The Finborough has also won the Dan Crawford Pub Theatre Award not once but twice - in 2005 and again in 2008 - as well as being named The Most Welcoming Theatre and the Best Theatre Bar in South West London in the Off West End Awards in 2012.
Events at Finborough Theatre
22nd to 25th Mar 2017 - Various Times | Feb 28 & Mar 1 preview £12, Mar 2-5, 7-12 £16, concs £14, Mar 14-19, 21-25 £18, concs £16, Feb 28-Mar 4 £16, concs £14, under 30s £10
Halley Feiffer's black comedy which sheds new light on the eternal struggles of family life, directed by Jake Smith.
28th March to 22nd April 2017 - Various Times | £14-£18
The Phil Wilmott Company presents the first professional London production in over 50 years of Arthur Miller's startling wartime drama, providing a haunting examination of the cold, bureaucratic efficiency of evil.
2nd to 18th April 2017 - Various Times | £18, concs £16
Charlotte Peters directs T. W. Robertson's 1867 comedy featuring soldier George D'Alroy, the son of French nobility, and a ballet dancer from a poor family, Esther Eccles. When the two fall in love their very ...
25th April to 20th May 2017 - Various Times | May 2 £14, Apr 26, Apr 25 & 26 preview £12, Apr 27 £16, concs £14, Apr 28 & 29, May 5 & 6 £16, May 9, 16 £16, May 10 & 11, 17 & 18 £18, concs £16, May 12 & 13, 19 & 20 £18, Apr 30 £16, concs £14, May 7, 14 £18, concs £16, May 3 & 4 £16, conc
Stage Traffic Productions' performance of Jordan Tannahill that deals with the aftermath of a boy's suicide and its effect on his parents and others involved. Directed by Michael Yale.
30th April to 16th May 2017 - Various Times | £18, concs £16
Neil Bull directs David Ireland's dark, unflinching comedy surrounding estranged sisters Sandra and Teeni, and the path they must follow to a reconciliation.
There's a regularly changing programme of live performances at this multi-arts centre.
269a Archway Road, London, N6 5AA
Tube: Highgate Station
Housed in a Grade II listed gothic church conversion, this multi-arts, theatre and dance venue in Highgate has a regularly changing programme of live performances including plays, circus and cabaret. With a 166-seat theatre, large scale semi-sprung dance and rehearsal studio and a café/bar, Jacksons Lane is also available for hire and there are regular classes and courses for all age groups from dance and drama to chess and Tai Chi. The Cafe Theadro, open every day from 10am (except Monday), offers homemade dishes, freshly-baked cakes and cookies with Greek dishes a speciality.
Events at Jacksons Lane Theatre
Wednesday 12th - Thursday 13th April 2017 | £12.95 (£10.95)
Charming circus show from Finnish troupe the Race Horse Company, known for their "madcap brilliance" (Evening Standard), Around is their offbeat new production for children aged 4 and over. Showing at Jacksons Lane in Highgate ...more
29th Mar to 1st Apr 2017 - Various Times | £14, concs £10
Students from the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts present a staging of Shakespeare's romantic adventure featuring Rosalind and Orlando as they flee to the Forest Of Arden.
Thursday 6th and Friday 7th April 2017 - 8pm | £10.95-£12.95
Saturday 8th April 2017 - 7.30pm | £5
Extremism is a play about fear, friendship and the creeping polarisation of our society.
Monday 10th April 2017 at 10am and 4.30pm & Tuesday 11th April 2017 at 11am and 3pm | £12.95
Theatre, Children's Theatre.
A 70-seat theatre located below an Italian restaurant.
16B Jermyn Street, St James's, London, SW1Y 6LT
A sweet little old theatre in the style of a Victorian music hall, the Jermyn Street Theatre is best enjoyed around Christmas when its location opposite Fortnum's brings well-dressed folk from the Home Counties into the marvellous old building to watch Sweeney Todd, Oliver and other period pantos. The rest of the year it is still a great traditional theatre with a reputation for short running, funny shows, and a focus on popular twentieth century theatre. Acknowledging the venue's quality programming, it was named the Fringe Theatre of the Year 2012 in The Stage 100 Awards.
A small theatre housed in a pub, which delivers solid performances of musicals and new plays.
70 Landor Road, Brixton, London, SW9 9PH
Tube: Clapham North Station
You're never more than three rows away from the action at the Landor Theatre where the audience never exceeds 60. Focussed on producing musical theatre productions in an intimate environment, the Landor Theatre, located on the first floor of The Landor Pub in Clapham, is considered one of the top pub theatres in London. What began as the Cage Theatre in 1994 soon became Upstairs At The Landor in 1995 under the management of artistic director Linda Edwards. Since then it has established itself as an excellent pub theatre, with a consistent quality that belies its amateurish backroom setting. Of note are productions of Sondheim's Follies and Assassins as well as City of Angels and I Love You Because, which achieved widespread critical success.
This non-for-profit performance space boasts top class productions.
The Coronet, 103 Notting Hill Gate, Bayswater, London, W11 3LB
A non-for-profit venue with a performance space especially popular for experimental dance, theatre and music, The Print Room is a venue set up in Notting Hill to help educate those who are looking to explore their creative side, and get noticed. The Room is a renovated 1950s warehouse, fronted by Anda Winters and Lucy Bailey - who have a vision to be the 'hidden artistic gem' in the area. The venue has top class productions - recently showcased in the theatre has been 'Fabrication' by Pier Pablo Pasolini, highly recommended by The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Independent - and has won two design awards in the Offies (the Off West End Awards) in 2012, the first year it was eligible for the awards.
There's a frequently changing programme of one-off performances at this independent venue.
2A Shepperton Road, Islington, Islington, London, N1 3DT
Tube: Old Street Station
An independent, privately-owned, art-friendly freehouse situated across the road from the Grand Union Canal on the borders of Hackney, Islington and Shoreditch. It even has its own theatre upstairs with a frequently changing list of shows from one-off cabaret performances to opera troupes and even a dramatisation of the Bible; it's always worth checking their latest listings for what's going on. It has a tradition in live acts and one previous incarnation was as a renowned music hall where Charlie Chaplin may well have put in a performance. If you're lucky you may even spot a real live celebrity here - comedian Paul Whitehouse used the pub for his BBC series 'Happiness'. Regular quiz nights in the pub downstairs provide enough reason to get a group of friends together and pit your wits against your neighbours.
Events at Rosemary Branch Theatre
2nd Apr, 7th May, 4th Jun, 2nd Jul, 6th Aug and 3rd Sep 2017 - 7pm | £10
A small theatre with several excellent productions under its belt.
77-85 Newington Causeway, Bankside, London, SE1 6BD
Closed since Saturday 5th January 2013, Southwark Playhouse re-opens on 15th May in a new location, a huge warehouse in the heart of Southwark, returning to its original London Bridge Station location in 2018. Its temporary home for five years is at 77-85 Newington Causeway, a five minute walk from Borough Tube and Elephant and Castle Tube stations, gives the theatre - one of the best on the London fringe - 2,000 more square feet to play with including a 240-capacity Main House, a 120 seat Studio Space and - for the first time - its own bar and cafe. The theatre was founded in 1993 and has a reputation for presenting an eclectic mix of classics and works from emerging writers. Past performances have included everything from works by Shakespeare and The Canterbury Tales to puppetry and multimedia. Productions standards are high and the theatre has been nominated for the prestigious Peter Brook / Empty Space Award three times. They are also very much involved in the local community, providing a busy programme of education and workshops.
Events at Southwark Playhouse
22nd to 25th Mar 2017 - Various Times | £20, previews £12, concs £16
Atomicus Entertainment in association with Jack Maple Productions presents the UK premiere of Marielle Heller's stage adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner's acclaimed graphic novel, chronicling the coming-of-age adventures of Minnie Goetze, a San Francisco teenager who ...
25th March to 29th April 2017 - Various Times | £25, previews £14, concs £20
Amy Anzel and Matt Chisling present the UK premiere of Ira Gasman, Cy Coleman and David Newman's thrilling musical expose of the darker side of 1980's New York. Directed by Michael Blakemore, and starring Sharon ...
29th March to 22nd April 2017 - Various Times | £20, previews £12, concs £16
Boundless Theatre presents Glenn Waldron's rallying cry to a generation who have grown up online and a celebration of coming-of-age in a chaotic world. Directed by Rob Drummer.
Sunday 9th April 2017 - 7pm | £12
Sunday 23rd April 2017 - 7pm | £12
Little Piece Of Gold stage a number of short plays about faith.
A custom-built theatre above The Latchmere Pub.
503 Battersea Park Road, London, SW11 3BW
Tube: Clapham Common Station
Originally created by the team behind the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill, the 503 is a well-designed theatre nestled above the busy Latchmere pub on Battersea Park Road. In 1982, the Gate Theatre expanded to include this custom-built studio theatre above The Latchmere Pub, on the south side of Battersea Bridge Road. Changing its name from the Grace Theatre to Theatre503 in 2002, it was relaunched as a home for new writing and hosted plays by the likes of Dennis Kelly, Phil Porter, Duncan Macmillan and Rachael Wagstaff. It went on to win the Peter Brook Empty Space Award, was nominated for a Time Out Live Award in 2006. More recently it pulled off "an extraordinary coup" (The Telegraph) with its production of The Mountaintop by Katori Hall which transferred to the West End where it won the Olivier Award for Best New play. The Broadway version stars Samuel L Jackson and Halle Berry. Regular comedy nights, fundraisers and free performances mix with the ambitious program of new work to make Theatre503 so much more significant than a fringe venue housed above a scruffy pub in Battersea.
This quirky fringe venue is situated under the arches of a railway bridge close to the Tate Modern.
229 Union Street, London, SE1 0LR
Tube: Southwark Station
The Union Theatre was set up by actor/producer Sacha Regan in 1998 in an old paper warehouse and with the help of a Prince's Youth Business Trust loan. She was later joined by actor and director Ben De Wynter and stage/production manager Steve Miller who make up the creative team. The theatre is a quirky fringe venue, situated under the arches of a railway bridge and close to the Tate Modern and Jerwood Space art gallery. It also has its own street side cafe - open all day - serving coffees, pastries and Brick Lane bagels.
Events at The Union Theatre
22nd to 25th Mar 2017 - Various Times | £20, concs £15
Sunday 2nd April 2017 - 7.30pm | £15
Theatre, Non-Professional Theatre.
With a busy midweek programme this tavern is the spiritual heart of Vauxhall's gay village.
372 Kennington Lane, Kennington, London, SE11 5HY
Tube: Vauxhall Station
The Royal Vauxhall Tavern has been a gay venue since the Second World War, surviving both oppression and the great mainstreaming of Gay culture that saw it lose its biggest stars (including Lily Savage) to television. It's the spiritual heart of Vauxhall's gay village, and a busy midweek programme packs it out every night for bingo, comedy, music or drag acts. On weekends, queues stretch all the way round the block for Duckie, the drag cabaret collective who've performed their cabaret/comedy/experimental theatre show everywhere from the Barbican to New York. Straights are very welcome, but the more delicate should be aware that there is a lot of audience participation.
Events at Royal Vauxhall Tavern
Thursday 23rd March 2017 - 7pm-11.55pm | £10-£12
Friday 24th March 2017 - 7.30pm-8.30pm | £10
The performer challenges the norm and questions what it really means to be a man in a hilarious and heart-warming tale that explores pride, shame and masculinity.
Saturday 25th March 2017 - 9pm-2am | £6
Sunday 26th March 2017 - 3pm-12midnight | £5, mems £4
Tuesday 28th March 2017 - 7pm-12midnight | £5, concs £3
IN THIS ARTICLE
The Courtyard Theatre
Jacksons Lane Theatre
Jermyn Street Theatre
Landor Pub Theatre
The Print Room
Rosemary Branch Theatre
The Union Theatre
Royal Vauxhall Tavern
Theatre and Musicals in London
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