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National Theatre - Lyttelton London

About the National Theatre - Lyttelton

The Lyttelton Theatre is one of three venues that make up the National Theatre complex on London's South Bank, alongside the Olivier Theatre and Dorfman Theatre. The theatre, which opened in 1977, is the only one of the three spaces to use a traditional proscenium arch stage and has a capacity of 890. The entire complex was designed by the architects Denys Lasdun and Peter Softley and utilises a Brutalist style with extensive use of concrete throughout the building and auditoriums.

The theatre is named after Oliver Lyttelton, who was the National Theatre's first chairman when the company was in residence at the nearby Old Vic. He remained in this position until 1971, before serving as President until his death in 1972. He was one of the most prominent campaigners for the development of the National Theatre's permanent home on the South Bank.

Many critically-acclaimed and award-winning plays have premiered in the Lyttelton Theatre, including Alan Bennett's The History Boys, David Hare's Amy's View starring Judi Dench, and the 2018 production of The Lehman Trilogy which later transferred to the West End and Broadway.

Plan Your Visit

The Lyttelton Theatre opens around 30 minutes before the show starts. The National Theatre box office opens from 9:30am on Monday-Saturday.
Patrons are free to wear attire that is comfortable and appropriate for the occasion as the National Theatre doesn't operate with any specific dress code.
Yes, the National Theatre is fully air-conditioned, including the Lyttelton Theatre auditorium.
A free cloakroom service is available for ticket-holders, from 90 minutes before the show starts. Any bags or rucksacks larger than 30 x 30 x 15cm must be left in the cloakroom and cannot be taken in to the auditorium. Only folding bikes can be stored in the cloakroom. The theatre requests that patrons avoid bringing large bags or suitcases to the theatre.
Security staff will be completing bag checks upon entry to the National Theatre and a ticket check will occur on entry to the Lyttelton Theatre auditorium, so patrons are encouraged to arrive early to allow plenty of time.
There are several places to eat and drink in the National Theatre complex, from a quick coffee (Espresso Bar) and a tasty burger (Kitchen Cafe), to the Understudy Pub and fine dining establishments (House Restaurant & Bar). There are also two bars next to the Lyttelton Theatre, on each level of the auditorium.
The Lyttelton Theatre is located on the Southbank where there are plenty of restaurants and pubs to take advantage of a pre-show dinner. Chain restaurants including Giraffe, Wagamama and Honest Burgers are a five-minute walk away. If you're visiting the National Theatre on a Friday-Sunday, head to the Southbank Food Market for some delicious street food, also just a five-minute walk away.
For a five star hotel experience, why not try the Autograph Collection's Bankside Hotel, which is just a 10-minute walk away. This boutique hotel has plenty of stellar amenities and is perfectly located for exploring London's landmarks. For a more budget option, take a look at the Premier Inn London County Hall hotel, which is a five-minute walk from the theatre.
The Lyttelton Theatre is one of the three original theatres built as part of the National Theatre complex in 1976. The National Theatre was designed by the architect Denys Lasdun and the Lyttelton Theatre is named after the first board chairman, Oliver Lyttelton. The National Theatre was founded by renowned actor Laurence Olivier and alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Opera House, it is one of the most prominent publicly funded performing arts venues in the UK.

Help Booking Tickets

Ticket collection for shows at the Lyttelton Theatre is available at the box office in the entrance hall of the National Theatre. We recommend that patrons arrive as early as possible to avoid queues and allow enough time to enter the auditorium. Please ensure to bring your confirmation email and your ID.
The box office at the National Theatre opens from 9:30am on Monday-Saturday and remains open until 11pm, when the building closes. Tickets for shows at the Lyttelton Theatre can be collected here or booked for future performances.
The National Theatre box office can be contacted by calling 020 7452 3000.
When buying online, you should always check for the padlock in your browser URL bar to ensure the connection is secure. STAR (Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers) are the industry body that regulates the sale of London theatre tickets. When booking from a company you can check their ticket seller database to see if they are registered and conforming to STAR practices.
The National Theatre has a range of spaces available for private hire, from its auditoriums to its bars, rooftops and meeting rooms. For full details of pricing and what the theatre can offer, please email
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