Theatres

There are a number of theatres that hold regular performances, my favourite is the Royal Albert Hall, not only a historical site there are spectacular acoustics and views from all of the seats. Late summer are the highlight of the Royal Albert Year playing host to the Proms where, for about four weeks, there are performances at least once a day of classical, orchestral and popular music. Typical 'Promers' buy tickets for the performance where a thousand tickets are sold for £5 one hour before the performance starts (a guide is published every spring and for sale in most new booksellers; see Steve's Guide to the Proms).

Royal Albert Hall

Royal Albert Hall and the Albert Memorial

The Barbican Centre is a general arts and theatre venue in the middle of London that has cinemas, theatres and exhibition spaces. There is often something free going on here and, if anything, people will be here using the free wi-fi. It looks a bit 1950s (because it is) but don't let this fool you – this often hosts cutting-edge contemporary exhibitions and shows.

The Barbican (Home of the Famous Theatre) - City of London

The National Theatre and the Royal Festival Hall (TUBE Waterloo), located on the south bank of the Thames offer a wide range of performances from symphonies, plays to musicals. There is also a program of free events throughout the year, though these events are thickest in the summer. For fans of Shakespeare the National Theatre provides serious and enthralling performances by the National Theatre company itself staged on an open stage with a very intimate feeling theatre (in the Olivier). Less serious fans can take a look at the more traditionally staged plays at the Globe.

Royal Festival Hall - At night with footbridge and the London Eye

West End Theatres

Garrick Theatre

The Garrick Theatre is located on the busy Charing Cross Road directly south of TUBE Leicester Square Tube station this small theatre has grandiose designs with a magnificent frontage. Much of the theatre is located below ground with entrance to the circle (first balcony) directly off of the small lobby. Recently refurbished the interior is a pleasant light beige with gold accents. Acoustics are somewhat compromised by frequent trains running beneath the auditorium.

Garrick Theatre

Harold Pinter Theatre

Formerly the “Royal Comedy Theatre”, the Harold Pinter Theatre is located just to the south-east of Piccadilly Circus off of Haymarket. The foyer is small and crowded and the theatre is looking a bit tatty but it is still has a bit of the old charm. There is a side entrance for circle and balcony ticket holders.

Harold Theatre

Off West-End

Wigmore Hall

The classic Wigmore Hall is located a few streets north-west of Oxford Circus (on the far side of Cavendish Square) on Wigmore Street (oddly enough). It is a well-known recital venue with the auditorium long and narrow (though with a small balcony). The ornate decoration is absolutely wonderful. There is quite a nice looking restaurant here as well.

Wigmore Hall


Note: TUBE Indicates closest London Underground station, see Transport for London for further information.