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Deservedly renowned and beloved theatrical institution
Publicly funded repertory theatre founded in 1963 and operating in its current iconic Denys Lasdun/Peter Softley-designed concrete cube since 1976, the National Theatre showcases the cream of Britain's theatrical talent on three stages: the rather overblown Olivier (named after the NT's first artistic director, Laurence Olivier), the rather perfect Lyttelton (proscenium stage) and the small and flexible 350-seater Dorfman (formerly the Cottesloe). You don't get much better than this for revivals, classics and international new works. Outgoing artistic director Nicholas Hytner (with Rufus Norris taking over) took his National production of Alan Bennett's 2004 play THE HISTORY BOYS to Broadway with massive Tony-winning success. One of Britain's brightest bargains: queue up in the morning for day seats (limit two per person) to any of that day's plays on offer, regardless of whether or not they are sold out. Since 2014 these tickets cost £15 but no longer guarantee die-hards a seat in the front row. Box office opens at 9:30am, so best to be outside waiting as early as 8:30am (depending on the popularity of the play and the climate). 2014 also saw big structural changes and stylish upgrades including a wine, spirits and craft beer bar (the Understudy), casual foodie café (Kitchen) and a sweetly revamped and relocated bookshop. Upstairs restaurant House (ex-Mezzanine) offers finer sit-down dining care of Simon Flint, with an additional pop-up restaurant the Green Room (including lovely outdoor area) opened in 2015, with a five-year contract. The signature plum-coloured carpet, designed in 1976 to resemble the eyes of the great Vivien Leigh (1913–67), remains (albeit with a fresh replacement). The National Theatre is located directly adjacent to the National Film Theatre. Tube stations: Waterloo (south of the river) or Embankment (north of the river), the latter of which affords a splendid walk over either of the two Golden Jubilee Bridges (linked with Hungerford Bridge).

Tags: Cafe, Theater

South Bank
London, England SE1 9PX

(020) 745-2300
Mon to Sat


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  • June 13, 2016

  • travelsofadam was here

    October 17, 2015 via foursquare

  • paulieg was here

    June 30, 2015 via foursquare

  • paulieg was here

    January 28, 2015 via foursquare

  • eurokeith was here
    "Keep the campfire burning"

    July 21, 2014 via foursquare

  • eurokeith was here
    "Would you like a Flake with that?"

    September 10, 2013 via foursquare

  • eurokeith was here

    September 8, 2012 via foursquare

  • TerryE29 was here
    "Outside in a temp bar made of props from various productions"

    May 30, 2012 via foursquare

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    March 10, 2011 via foursquare

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