Playhouse Theatre London
About the Playhouse Theatre
The Playhouse Theatre first opened in 1882 under the name of the Royal Avenue Theatre and is a Victorian-style building, designed by F. H. Fowler & Hill. The venue is Grade II listed and maintains its historic façade. Since renovation in the early 1900s, the theatre reduced its seating capacity to fewer than 800, making it an intimate yet accessible venue for medium-scale musicals and plays.
The venue was taken over by the BBC in 1951 for use as a recording studio for live performances, including The Goon Show and the radio version of Steptoe and Son. Iconic bands such as The Beatles, KISS, Led Zeppelin and The Who have also played live performances at the venue.
The Playhouse Theatre is renowned for its celebrity-filled productions. Legendary British actor and Star Wars star Alec Guinness made his stage debut at the Playhouse in 1934 in the Ward Dorane play Libel!. Recent stars to tread the boards include Kristin Scott Thomas and Bob Hoskins in You Desire Me; Val Kilmer in The Postman Always Rings Twice and James McAvoy in Cyrano de Bergerac.