London Fringe Theatres

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The Courtyard Theatre
Royal Vauxhall Tavern
Jacksons Lane Theatre
Bush Theatre
 

 

Away from London's famous West End, there are a number of renowned fringe theatres that stage new and exciting works as well as old musical revivals. In fact, many productions stage at these intimate venues soon end up on the big stage. Here LondonTown.com outlines the best fringe theatres the city has to offer, ensuring you never miss the best tickets in town.

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Arcola Theatre

Community theatre in a former textile factory.

24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London, E8 3DL

Tube: Highbury & Islington Station

 
 

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.

 
 

Events at Arcola Theatre

Hanna
Now On

3rd to 20th January 2018 - Various Times | £12-£15

 
Hanna Arcola Theatre 2018-01-032018-01-20 Where:
Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston London, E8 3DL
Category: Theatres

A comedy-drama by Sam Potter, exploring the meaning of family in today's society.

SLAMinutes 2017 Special
On Soon

Monday 22nd January and Monday 5th February 2018 - 8pm-9.30pm | £12, concs £10

 
SLAMinutes 2017 Special Arcola Theatre 2018-01-222018-02-05 Where:
Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston London, E8 3DL
Category: Theatres
SLAM Soaps
On Soon

23rd Jan to 27th Jan and 10th Feb 2018 - 8pm-9.30pm | £12, concs £10

 
SLAM Soaps Arcola Theatre 2018-01-232018-02-10 Where:
Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston London, E8 3DL
Category: Theatres
All events at Arcola Theatre
 
 
 

Bush Theatre

Influential theatre based in the former library in Shepherds Bush, specialising in new writing.

7 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 8LJ

Tube: Shepherd's Bush Market Station (Hammersmith and City Line) , Goldhawk Road Station, Shepherd's Bush Station (Central)

 
 

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

An Adventure Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

6th September to 20th October 2018 | £10-£17.50

 
An Adventure Bush Theatre 2018-09-062018-10-20 Where:
Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road London, W12 8LJ
Category: Theatres

Renowned for his BATA Award-winning BBC drama Murdered by My Father and the critically acclaimed True Brits, Vinay Patel returns to the Bush Theatre with An Adventure. An epic and technicolour love story, it starts ...more

All events at Bush Theatre
 
 
 

The Courtyard Theatre

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.

 
 
 

Etcetera Theatre

A tiny theatre located above the Oxford Arms pub in the heart of Camden.

265 Camden High Street, Camden Town, London, NW1 7BU

Tube: Camden Town Station , Camden Town Station

 
 

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.

 
 
 

Finborough Theatre

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

Into The Numbers
Now On

2nd to 27th January 2018 - Various Times | £16, concs £14

 
Into The Numbers Finborough Theatre 2018-01-022018-01-27 Where:
Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road London, SW10 9ED
Category: Theatres

On the 80th Anniversary of the Nanking Massacre, Elizabeth Chan stars as 'The Rape of Nanking' author, Iris Chang, in the European premiere of Into the Numbers, by multi-award winning playwright Christopher Chen.

Imaginationship
On Soon

7th to 23rd January 2018 - Various Times | £18, concs £16

 
Imaginationship Finborough Theatre 2018-01-072018-01-23 Where:
Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road London, SW10 9ED
Category: Theatres

Tricia Thorns directs Sue Healy's exploration of obsession, sex addiction, and the devastating effect of imbalanced relationships, not least between immigrants and locals, London and the regions.

Booby's Bay
On Soon

30th January to 24th February 2018 - Various Times | £16-£18, concs £14-£16

 
Booby's Bay Finborough Theatre 2018-01-302018-02-24 Where:
Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road London, SW10 9ED
Category: Theatres

Chris White directs Henry Darke's comic fable about the housing crisis in Cornwall and beyond, and a maverick's mission to turn the tide.

Cyril's Success
On Soon

4th to 20th February 2018 - Various Times | £18, concs £16

 
Cyril's Success Finborough Theatre 2018-02-042018-02-20 Where:
Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road London, SW10 9ED
Category: Theatres

Hannah Boland Moore directs Henry J Byron's semi-autobiographical romantic comedy about the trials and joys of marriage and of a life in the theatre.

Returning To Haifa

27th February to 24th March 2018 - Various Times | Feb 27 & 28, Mar 1-11 £16, concs £14, Mar 13-24 £18, concs £16

 
Returning To Haifa Finborough Theatre 2018-02-272018-03-24 Where:
Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road London, SW10 9ED
Category: Theatres

Caitlin McLeod directs Naomi Wallace and Ismail Khalidi's English-language adaptation of Ghassan Kanafani's novella. The piece was originally commissioned by New York's Public Theatre and tells the story of an Israeli family and a Palestinian ...

All events at Finborough Theatre
 
 
 
 

Jacksons Lane Theatre

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

Perhaps Perhaps Quizas
Now On

19th and 20th January 2018 at 8pm & 21st January 2018 at 5pm | £18, concs £16

 
Perhaps Perhaps Quizas Jacksons Lane Theatre 2018-01-192018-01-21 Where:
Jacksons Lane Theatre, 269a Archway Road London, N6 5AA
Category: Theatres

Gabriela Munoz's heart-wrenching yet hilarious clown piece playing with the idea of loneliness, hope, jealousy, and the longing for true romance. In an era where nothing seems to impress one another anymore, the desire for ...

Tesseract
On Soon

26th and 27th January 2018 at 8pm & 28th January 2018 at 3pm and 8pm | £18, concs £16

 
Tesseract Jacksons Lane Theatre 2018-01-262018-01-28 Where:
Jacksons Lane Theatre, 269a Archway Road London, N6 5AA
Category: Theatres

Nacho Flores's physical piece combining circus, architecture, puppetry, video and live music as he tests his climbing skills on stacks of teetering wooden cubes.

A Brave Face
On Soon

1st and 2nd February 2018 at 8pm & 3rd February 2018 at 3pm and 8pm | £18, concs £16

 
A Brave Face Jacksons Lane Theatre 2018-02-012018-02-03 Where:
Jacksons Lane Theatre, 269a Archway Road London, N6 5AA
Category: Theatres

Vamos Theatre explores Post-Traumatic Stress in the military, based on years of research with ex and serving soldiers, families and health professionals. Performed in a wordless, full-mask style.

The Polar Bears Go Up: A Polar Bears & Unicorn Theatre Co-Production (Ages 2-5)
On Soon

13th to 17th Feb 2018 - Various Times | £11

 
The Polar Bears Go Up: A Polar Bears & Unicorn Theatre Co-Production (Ages 2-5) Jacksons Lane Theatre 2018-02-132018-02-17 Where:
Jacksons Lane Theatre, 269a Archway Road London, N6 5AA
Category: Theatres

Lee Lyford directs a deaf-friendly production for very small children.

Graham Fellows: Completely Out Of Character
On Soon

Friday 16th February 2018 - 8pm | £14.50

 
Graham Fellows: Completely Out Of Character Jacksons Lane Theatre 2018-02-162018-02-16 Where:
Jacksons Lane Theatre, 269a Archway Road London, N6 5AA
Category: Theatres

The actor and singer, known for his characters Jilted John and John Shuttleworth and his pivotal role in Coronation Street, talks about his comic creations and performs his own music.

All events at Jacksons Lane Theatre
 
 
 

Jermyn Street Theatre

A 70-seat theatre located below an Italian restaurant.

16B Jermyn Street, St James's, London, SW1Y 6LT

Tube: Piccadilly Circus Station , Leicester Square Station

 
 

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. 

 
 

Events at Jermyn Street Theatre

Woman Before A Glass
Now On

17th January to 3rd February 2018 - Various Times | £15-£30

 
Woman Before A Glass Jermyn Street Theatre 2018-01-172018-02-03 Where:
Jermyn Street Theatre, 16B Jermyn Street London, SW1Y 6LT
Category: Theatres

Lanie Robertson brings Peggy Guggenheim's story to life, revealing how her passionate loyalties changed the face of 20th Century art. Directed by Pulitzer Prize-winner Austin Pendleton.

All events at Jermyn Street Theatre
 
 
 

Landor Pub Theatre

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.

 
 

Events at Landor Pub Theatre

Alice
Now On

9th to 24th January 2018 - Various Times | £15, concs £12

 
Alice Landor Pub Theatre 2018-01-092018-01-24 Where:
Landor Pub Theatre, 70 Landor Road London, SW9 9PH
Category: Theatres
All events at Landor Pub Theatre
 
 
 

The Print Room

This non-for-profit performance space boasts top class productions.

103 Notting Hill Gate, Bayswater, London, W11 3LB

Tube: Notting Hill Gate Station

 
 

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.

 
 

Events at The Print Room at the Coronet

The Open House Now On Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

18th January to 17th February 2018 | £16-£28

 
The Open House The Print Room at the Coronet 2018-01-182018-02-17 Where:
The Print Room at the Coronet, 103 Notting Hill Gate London, W11 3LB
Category: Theatres

Former Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Michael Boyd directs Will Eno's drama about a strained family relationship and a missing dog. The Open House offers a wildly subversive and darkly hilarious take on ...more

All events at The Print Room
 
 
 

Rosemary Branch Theatre

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

Jack Left Town - The Improvised Rockumentary
On Soon

Sunday 28th January 2018 at 7pm & Sunday 25th February 2018 at 7am | £10

 
Jack Left Town - The Improvised Rockumentary Rosemary Branch Theatre 2017-10-292018-02-25 Where:
Rosemary Branch Theatre, 2A Shepperton Road, Islington London, N1 3DT
Category: Pubs
All events at Rosemary Branch Theatre
 
 
 
 

Southwark Playhouse

A small theatre with several excellent productions under its belt.

77-85 Newington Causeway, Bankside, London, SE1 6BD

Tube: Elephant & Castle Station , Borough Station

 
 

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

The War Has Not Yet Started
Now On

17th January to 10th February 2018 - Various Times | £20, concs £16

 
The War Has Not Yet Started Southwark Playhouse 2018-01-172018-02-10 Where:
Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway London, SE1 6BD
Category: Theatres

Theatre Royal Plymouth presents a dark comedy by Moscow-based Mikhail Durnenkov, presenting 12 twisted parables for the modern age. Directed by Gordon Anderson.

Bananaman
Now On

15th December 2017 to 20th January 2018 - Various Times | £25, concs £20, Dec 15-18 previews £14

 
Bananaman Southwark Playhouse 2017-12-152018-01-20 Where:
Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway London, SE1 6BD
Category: Theatres

Mark Perry directs the world premiere staging of a colourful musical based on the cult 1980s animated TV series about a schoolboy called Eric Wimp, who lives at 29 Acacia Road and transforms into a ...

The Here And This And Now
On Soon

10th January to 10th February 2018 - Various Times | £20, concs £16

 
The Here And This And Now Southwark Playhouse 2018-01-102018-02-10 Where:
Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway London, SE1 6BD
Category: Theatres

Theatre Royal Plymouth presents Glenn Waldron's darkly comic interrogation of office workplace culture and the cataclysmic consequences of antibiotic resistance. Directed by Simon Stokes.

Collective Rage: A Play In Five Betties
On Soon

24th January to 17th February 2018 - Various Times | £20, concs £16, previews £12

 
Collective Rage: A Play In Five Betties Southwark Playhouse 2018-01-242018-02-17 Where:
Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway London, SE1 6BD
Category: Theatres

Antic/Face and Nik Holttum Productions present an outrageous comedy following the frustrated lives of five very different New York women named Betty, who all collide at the intersection of anger, sex and theatre. Charlie Parham ...

Angry
On Soon

14th February to 10th March 2018 - Various Times | Feb 14 & 15 preview £12, Feb 16-Mar 10 £20, concs £16

 
Angry Southwark Playhouse 2018-02-142018-03-10 Where:
Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway London, SE1 6BD
Category: Theatres

Georgie Henley and Tyrone Huntley perform the series of five gender-neutral monologues on subjects as diverse as refugees, millennial anger, and interstellar travel. Max Lindsay directs this piece by Phillip Ridley.

All events at Southwark Playhouse
 
 
 

Theatre 503

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.

 
 
 

The Union Theatre

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.

 
 
 

Royal Vauxhall Tavern

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

Big Bingo Show
On SoonFree Event

8th January to 31st December 2018 - 7pm-12midnight | Free

 
Big Bingo Show Royal Vauxhall Tavern 2018-01-082018-12-31 Where:
Royal Vauxhall Tavern, 372 Kennington Lane London, SE11 5HY
Category:
Bar Wotever
On Soon

2nd January to 18th December 2018 - 7pm-12midnight | £6

 
Bar Wotever Royal Vauxhall Tavern 2018-01-022018-12-18 Where:
Royal Vauxhall Tavern, 372 Kennington Lane London, SE11 5HY
Category:
Vinegars Filthy Animals
On Soon

Wednesday 24th January 2018 - 7pm-11.55pm | £15

 
Vinegars Filthy Animals Royal Vauxhall Tavern 2018-01-242018-01-24 Where:
Royal Vauxhall Tavern, 372 Kennington Lane London, SE11 5HY
Category:

Vinegar Strokes is back and she is bringing her Filthy Animals with her. Prepare to be swept off your feet with classic fantasies reimagined and new fantasies created featuring some of the best male performers ...

The LipSinkers
On Soon

5th January to 7th December 2018 - Various Times | £8, concs £6

 
The LipSinkers Royal Vauxhall Tavern 2018-01-052018-12-07 Where:
Royal Vauxhall Tavern, 372 Kennington Lane London, SE11 5HY
Category:
All events at Royal Vauxhall Tavern
 
 
 
 
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