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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.

Map and Address

National Theatre, Southbank, London, SE1 9PX

The Lyttelton Theatre is part of the expansive National Theatre, located on South Bank, with the BFI and Southbank Centre next door. A cultural hub, the venue is located on the River Thames, with tourist attractions close by including the Sea Life Centre, London Eye and London Dungeon. At weekends and holidays, there is an excellent street food market. The Lyttelton Theatre sits next to the Thames, along which runs a pedestrianised walkway that provides some of the best views on London. Make sure you consult before travelling in case of journey disruptions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What time does the Lyttelton Theatre box office open and how do I collect tickets?

The box office opens from 9:30am on Monday - Saturday and remains open until 11pm, when the building closes. Tickets can be collected here or booked for future performances.

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.

What time does the Lyttelton Theatre open for a show?

The auditorium opens around 30 minutes before the show starts, but the wider theatre complex is open all day, with plenty of seating areas, a bookshop and a cafe.

What food and drink are available at the Lyttelton Theatre?

There are several places to eat and drink in the 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 theatre, on each level of the auditorium.

Does the Lyttelton Theatre have a cloakroom?

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.

Is the Lyttelton Theatre air-conditioned?

Yes, the venue is fully air-conditioned, including the auditorium.

Where should I eat near the Lyttelton Theatre?

The 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 venue on a Friday - Sunday, head to the Southbank Food Market for some delicious street food, also just a five-minute walk away.

What is the best hotel to stay at near the Lyttelton Theatre?

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.

How do I contact the box office?

The box office can be contacted by calling 020 7452 3000.
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