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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 James McAvoy in Cyrano de Bergerac.

Since November 2021, the Playhouse has operated under the Kit Kat Club moniker, with a refurbished and immersive front of house and auditorium experience for Cabaret.

Frequently Asked Questions

The box office opens from 10am to 7:30pm from Monday to Saturday. Tickets for future dates can be purchased up until an hour before performances, at which time the box office only handles collections and purchases for that day’s show. It is recommended you arrive in plenty of time to avoid queues and ensure to have your confirmation email and ID to hand.
The theatre opens an hour before show time, where you are able to collect your tickets, relax in the bars and get comfortable in your seats.
There are three bars in the theatre, one on each level of the venue, serving light snacks, soft drinks and alcohol. The Stalls bar is slightly bigger however can often get busier, so it is generally advised to go to the bar nearest to your seat, before performances. Food and drinks purchased from the bars can be taken into the auditorium, as long as they are transferred into plastic containers.
The theatre has a cloakroom where theatregoers can store coats, bags and suitcases for the duration of the performance. Please note, items are stored at the discretion of staff and availability of space.
The theatre is fitted with air-conditioning in the main auditorium, meaning that theatregoers can still stay cool in Summer months.
A short walk away from the theatre you will find a good range of London eateries to suit your taste. Northumberland Avenue has a range of gastro-pubs and high end restaurants including Kerridge’s Bar & Grill from the Michelin-Starred chef. While Villiers Street offers a range of smaller quick-eats on a budget, such as Wasabi, Herman Ze German and Five Guys.
For those looking for five-star luxury, both the Corinthiana and the Royal Horseguards are some of the finest hotels in London and are located a short walk away from the theatre. For those on a budget, it is recommended to take a short walk across the river to Waterloo where pleasant budget hotels from the chains Travelodge and Premier Inn can be found.
If you need to contact the box office directly, please call 03330 096 690. Please be aware that phone calls are charged at normal geographic rates.
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