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5 venues to see the best theatre away from the West End


5 venues to see the best theatre away from the West End

Looking to see a ground-breaking piece of theatre, but want to stay away from the West End? Escape to the quieter corners of the capital and see a production at an off-West End theatre. Some theatres may be on busier streets in the city, but head into a brand new, theatrical world with tickets to shows at locations you may have never considered.

Off-West End theatres you need to visit

Menier Chocolate Factory

Where is the Menier Chocolate Factory?

The Menier Chocolate Factory is located on Southwark Street (SE1 1RU). The closest train stations are London Blackfriars and London Bridge, both ten minutes from the venue. Northern and Jubilee Line underground services are available at London Bridge tube station, with District and Circle lines available at London Blackfriars.

What shows are at Menier Chocolate Factory?

Off-West End

Penelope Wilton and Martin Hutson star in The Bay at Nice, currently at the theatre. Reviving David Hare’s 1986 play for the first time in over three decades at a London theatre, the storyline follows the invitation given to Valentina Nrovka from the Hermitage in Leningrad, as she lends her opinion on the authenticity of a Matisse painting. Her daughter Sophia, also a painter, meets her there to seek her mother’s help, both financially and politically in a tense, gripping drama you won’t want to miss.

Off-West End

After The Bay at Nice, travel to the Deep South with Orpheus Descending by Tennessee Williams. As Lady tries to forge an exciting life in a small market town, will her desperate tales be able to shake away from her, or can she break away from traditions? Starring Hattie Morahan as Lady, alongside Seth Numrich, Jemima Rooper in a cast of 13, find yourself in the retelling of a Greek underworld myth at Orpheus Descending.

Charing Cross Theatre

Where is the Charing Cross Theatre?

Charing Cross Theatre is located on Villiers Street (WC2N 6NL). The closest train station is Charing Cross, a one-minute walk from the venue. Bakerloo and Northern Lines are available from Charing Cross, with District and Circle lines available at Embankment station located near the venue.

What shows are at the Charing Cross Theatre?

Off-West End

Dreaming up fantasies in central London, Amour will receive its UK premiere at the venue. 17 years since its Broadway premiere, the charming musical following a French civil servant as he looks to marry the woman of his dreams will be performed in the capital. Surround yourself in the idyllic, romanticised ideas of what it means to be in love, where daydreams can become a reality if you wish hard enough.

Lyric Hammersmith

Where is Lyric Hammersmith?

The Lyric Hammersmith is an off-West End theatre located on King Street (W6 0QL). The closest train station is West Brompton, which is a 30-minute walk away. However, if you’re taking the tube, the theatre is close by to Hammersmith tube station, served by the Circle, District, Hammersmith and City and the Piccadilly lines.

What shows are at the Charing Cross Theatre?

Be shocked, scared and frightened at Ghost Storiesa cult phenomenon that returns to the London theatre scene. Performed all around the world, the show follows three men as they gather to tell their stories. Filled with ghoulish memories and plenty to scream about, immerse yourself in the chilling yet delectable tales at Ghost Stories.

Based on the Beggar’s Opera, John Gay’s classic musical satire, Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) is bursting with wit, wonder and plenty of weird goings-on. As the cast shimmy their way through this twisted morality tale of our times, follow Mayor Goodman, the Peachums and plenty of eclectic characters in this pioneering production.

Hailed as one of the funniest plays of all time, Noises Off returns to the Lyric Hammersmith after nearly four decades away from the off-West End venue. Follow a company of actors backstage at an imaginary theatre, as everything that could happen in a playhouse takes place through the show.

Pleasance Theatre

Where is the Pleasance Theatre?

The Pleasance Theatre is located at Carpenters Mew on North Road (N7 9EF). The closest train station is Caledonian Road and Barnsbury, a 10-minute walk away. Piccadilly line services are also available at Caledonian Road, which is closer to the theatre.

What shows are at the Pleasance Theatre?

Off-West End

Inspired by the cult horror film that first spooked audiences in 1968, hunt around the Night of the Living Dead in London for the first time. As you take your seat in the theatre, you’ll be able to choose whether you want a seat further away from the action or immerse yourself in the blood, guts and gore of the zombie-filled production. There are no “safe zones” at Night of the Living Dead, but you’ll want to book your tickets to experience the film come to life.

The Roundhouse

Where is the Roundhouse?

The Roundhouse is located on Chalk Farm Road (NW1 8EH). Northern line tube services are available from Chalk Farm, with Kentish Town as the nearest rail station; both train stations close by to the venue.

What shows are at the Roundhouse?

Off-West End

Following two runs at the National Theatre and a world tour, experience the tales of the Barber Shop Chronicles for yourself. When males take their seat in the barber’s chair, hear thousands of stories told turning the location into a hotspot for social and political conversation, as well as chit chat. These are places where the banter can be barbed and the truth is always telling. Playing at the Roundhouse for a limited engagement, learn the stories that from a barber shop in Peckham to Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos and Accra over the course of a single day at Barber Shop Chronicles.

Want to read about more off-West End venues to experience a night of unforgettable live entertainment? Visit Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre to see productions during their summer seasons from May to September 2019.

Photo credit: Catherine Ashmore