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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.

Plan Your Visit

The Arts Theatre opens one hour before the show starts. The Box Office opens from 10am on the day of performances.
There is no specific dress code for the theatre. Patrons should wear attire that is comfortable and appropriate for the occasion.
The Arts Theatre does not have air conditioning, but does have some cooling systems in place to manage the temperature.
There are no cloakroom facilities at the Arts Theatre and patrons are encouraged not to bring large items to the theatre.
Security staff will be completing bag and ticket checks upon entry to the theatre, so patrons are encouraged to arrive early to allow plenty of time.
There is a café in the foyer of the Arts Theatre, 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.
The Arts 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 Arts Theatre 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 Arts Theatre first opened in 1927 as a members-only club to allow the performances of unlicensed plays during a time of censorship in theatre from the Lord Chamberlain. The venue became an official West End theatre in 2000 when it was taken over by a group of successful UK and US producers. It is the smallest West End theatre with a capacity of just 350.

Help Booking Tickets

Tickets are held at the box office for collection on the day of your performance. 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 Arts Theatre box office is open from 10am until 6pm Monday to Sunday for in-person bookings and collection.
The Arts Theatre box office can be contacted directly on 020 7836 8463.
STAR (Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers) is the industry body that regulates the sale of London theatre tickets. When booking from a company you can check the STAR ticket seller database to see if they are registered and conforming to STAR practices. When buying online, you should also check for the padlock in your browser URL bar to ensure the connection is secure.
The Arts Theatre has two spaces available for private hire – the Pigeon Loft and Front Room. For full details of pricing and what the theatre can offer, please call 020 7836 8463 or email
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