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Arts Theatre London

About the Arts Theatre

Located in Leicester Square, the Arts Theatre is an intimate West End venue renowned for providing a platform for smaller plays and musicals to open in London. The Arts Theatre originally opened in 1927 as a private members club in a bid to avoid censorship from the Lord Chamberlain's office, where all new plays were required to be licensed before being granted permission to be performed in a theatre. During this time theatremakers took risks staging a range of diverse and experimental plays that weren't viable in West End theatres at the time.

The legendary director Sir Peter Hall took the reigns of the Arts Theatre in the late 1950s. During this time he staged the English Language premiere of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot and an acclaimed production of Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra which saw comedian Ronnie Barker make his West End debut.

More recently, the Arts Theatre was the home of Six the Musical when it premiered in London, following a hugely successful Edinburgh Fringe debut. It has since transferred to the larger Lyric Theatre, followed by the Vaudeville Theatre in 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

The box office is open from 10am until 6pm Monday to Sunday for in-person bookings and collection. Patrons should try to arrive as early as possible to avoid queues and allow enough time to enter the auditorium. Please ensure you bring your confirmation email and a form of ID.
The theatre opens one hour before the show starts and you can usually take your seat around half an hour early. The venue is quite small, so communal spaces such as the bar will get crowded.
There is a café in the foyer, serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages alongside a range of snacks. There is also a cocktail bar below the theatre. Please note that both the café and bar are only open during show times.
There are no cloakroom facilities and patrons are encouraged not to bring large items to the theatre.
The theatre is located right in the West End, where there are many cafes, restaurants and pubs to grab something to eat before or after the show. Try Steak & Co, which is just a few minutes walk from the theatre and offers a delicious pre-theatre menu. If pizza's on your mind, take a 5-minute walk to Rossopomodoro to try some authentic Neopolitan cuisine.
The venue is located in the heart of the West End where there is a wide range of hotels available, including the five-star Radisson Blu Edwardian in Leicester Square. Alternatively, if you're on a budget, the Z Hotel near Trafalgar Square has affordable rooms and is just a 10-minute walk from the theatre.
The box office can be contacted directly on 020 7836 8463.
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