Top Ten Theatres in London

The Top Ten Hottest Theatres in London – And Why They’re Sizzling

Originally published on

Following on from last week’s post about the jargon, etiquette and the exclusivity of the theatre world, this week we’ll take a look at the top ten hottest theatres in London in the Off-West End and fringe theatre category. Why are these theatres so great? What do they have for me? WHAT MAKES THEM SIZZLING?

Read on and get in the know!

“Theatres That Are Great For A Night Out ”

– The Young Vic – (Waterloo)

Not only showing astonishingly well-received shows, like the brutally emotional “Going Dark” which has transferred there after an initial showing at the Warwick Arts Centre, The Young Vic also has the Cut Bar, one of the best in the city – ideal for pre and post-show drinks, or at a minute’s stroll from Waterloo, a drink on any day of the week!

– Wilton’s Music Hall – (Aldgate East)

Tucked away near Aldgate East in the trendy Shoreditch area, this beautiful old music hall has charm and a wizened theatrical air about it. With a bar that hosts jazz nights and a performance space that is currently showing some petrifying Halloween-type shows, it’s a really lovely place that feels like home.

– The Almeida – (Angel)

For a celebrity spot onstage, The Almeida is currently the place to go. With Jonathan Pryce (Pirates of the Caribbean) wowing audiences at the moment with his King Lear, this theatre produces very high quality works – that are both revivals and new writing. Often with brilliant acting, and brilliant direction, you can’t really go wrong with a night here.

– The Old Vic Tunnels – (Waterloo)

A lesser-known spot, pioneered by the famous Kevin Spacey – theatre and film man extraordinaire – these tunnels are underneath the station itself and programme series of events. You can even host your own party here, or see young writers’ work before they make it to the big-time. Atmospheric and spooky!

donmar warehouse, top ten hottest theatres in london,, ann-marie duff, berenice, jean racine
Publicity for “Berenice” at the Donmar Warehouse

“Theatres That Are Producing Relevant Work”

For the 30ish lady, there are a few theatres out there that, at the moment, are producing work that is really relevant. All-female casts, female writers and female artistic directors abundant, these are the places to go and things to see.

– The Donmar Warehouse – (Covent Garden)

Headed up by Artistic Director Josie Rourke (former ADs include Sam Mendes and Michael Grandage), the Donmar also pioneers women’s work as part of their programme. Currently showing Berenice by Jean Racine, starring Anne-Marie Duff (The Virgin Queen) and about to show an all female version of Julius Caesar from November, this place is really fighting!

– The Bush Theatre – (Shepherd’s Bush Market; Shepherd’s Bush)

The Bush pioneers new writing, and the four next full productions at this theatre are all written by women. There isn’t a better time to become better acquainted with this fiery powerhouse of production.

– The Gate Theatre – (Notting Hill Gate)

Before the shops of Portobello Road really open up, you hit The Gate Theatre on your left-hand-side. Known for its international work, the Gate’s current production of Sunset Baby by Dominique Morisseau has been critically acclaimed. The next production, The Trojan Women, is likely to do the same: a new version of Euripides’ tragedy about the Greek lust for vengeance.

“Theatres To Take A Chance On”

– The Finborough – (West Brompton)

An incredible place that fosters amazing revivals and wonderful acting styles. Not enough people make the tiny journey to this little theatre that has produced some of the most powerful work of the last couple of years. And it now has air conditioning, so it’s a win-win.

– Southwark Playhouse – (London Bridge)

Producing consistently high-quality work, this theatre has a main house and a vault, so you can pick and choose between revival and new writing. Well worth a look.

– Hampstead Theatre – (Swiss Cottage)

Continues to make wonderful theatre that often goes onto transfer to the West End. Big names attached to it? Mark Gatiss, Felicity Kendal, Rupert Everett – to name a few. The Hampstead also has a great history for new writing, meaning that if you go here, you could see the next modern classic before anyone else.

So there are our top ten hottest theatres in London. Aren’t they amazing? What are you waiting for? Get booking, ladies…



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