7 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
The Other Palace
Where is The Other Palace?
The Other Palace is located on Palace Street (SW1E 5JA). The closest train station is Victoria, a 5-minute walk from the venue which is also close to the Apollo Victoria Theatre.
What shows are at The Other Palace?
Productions at The Other Palace are typically brand new shows, with 2019 continuing this pattern. Don’t miss out on the London premiere of Falsettos, starring Matt Cardle, Daniel Boys and Natasha J. Barnes. Winning 2 Tony Awards, the musical follows a family as they try to maintain positive in New York during the AIDS crisis.
Theatre Royal Stratford East
Where is Theatre Royal Stratford East?
Theatre Royal Stratford East is located at Gerry Raffles Square (E15 1BN). The closest train station is Stratford, just a short walk from the venue.
What shows are at Theatre Royal Stratford East?
Noah’s Ark comes to life at the off-West End venue at Noye’s Fluude Theatre Royal Stratford East this summer. For forty days and nights, Noah must live on a boat with a cargo of birds and beasts, as well as family in order to be greeted with a new world.
In 1981 at Kibeho College in Rwanda, a young girl claimed to have seen a vision of the Virgin Mary who warned her of the unimaginable: Rwanda becoming hell on earth in Our Lady of Kibeho.
Slurping into the theatre next year, The Gift looks at the political, social and cultural importance of a cup of tea.
Written and directed by Nadia Fall, Welcome to Iran follows a young woman who travels to Iran to learn more about her identity. Swept into political upheaval, will she be able to understand her past?
The theatre turns into the newest boxing ring in Sucker Punch, last performed in 2010 at the Royal Court. As two young, black men are drawn to the sport, their lives take different paths as they uppercut their way to the top.
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?
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?
Following a UK premiere earlier this year, Queen of the Mist will receive its off-West End premiere at the Charing Cross Theatre. The production details the life of Anna Edson Taylor, who voyaged over Niagara Falls on a solo trip in a barrel on her 63rd birthday.
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 Lyric Hammersmith?
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.
Reimagining a Henrik Ibsen classic, Tanika Gupta’s adaptation sees the story of A Doll’s House set in 19th century Calcutta. When Niru, a young Bengali woman is married to an English bureaucrat, what will happen with their relationship? Gender politics and British colonialism collide to create a brand new production inspired by a twentieth century great.
Based on Stanisław Lem’s 1960s science fiction novel, Solaris is a psychological thriller where other-worldly forces collide. David Greig’s adaptation of Solaris sees science and theatre orbit each other, with three spacemen on a space station who have to confront their fears.
Over the Christmas period, the Lyric Hammersmith will be ready for a grand ball at Cinderella. Dust off your carriage, put on your smart outfits and be whisked away to a whole new world, where pumpkins and mice can be turned into treats so nice!
Join a family as their ideals oppose one another at Love, Love, Love. A scathing look at opposing values of different generations, personal and generational politics come together in a heartfelt comedy play that resonates to today.
In an epic tale of humanity versus leadership, the ancient Greek tale of Antigone will be performed at the off-West End venue in 2020. Said to have been written over two thousand years ago, the story of Antigone resonates with audiences today.
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?
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.
Where is the Iris Theatre?
The Iris Theatre is at St Paul’s Church, Bedford Street (WC2E 9ED). The closest train station is Charing Cross, a five-minute walk from the venue. Bakerloo and Northern Lines are available from Charing Cross, with Piccadilly line tube services available from Covent Garden station.
What shows are at the Iris Theatre?
Head to the Iris Theatre for an outdoor promenade performance of Hamlet. Be ready to choose the outcomes in this thrilling contemporary production of Shakespeare’s greatest play where ‘to be or not to be’ is the question -but can the nation’s titular heir Hamlet, find the answers?
Later in the year, join Esmerelda and the hunchback as the colourful world of medieval Paris is brought to life in the latest West End presentation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel, adapted by Benjamin Polya. What will it take the people of Paris to save Esmerelda as they ask what makes a monster and what makes a man?
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