Stage stars pick their best London theatres

Who better to tip you off about the best London theatres, than the stars who perform on their stages?

1 / 1

In the capital, there’s a theatre to suit every taste and disposition. From massive venues holding multimillion-pound musicals to intimate venues where you can feel the performers’ breath, the options are endless. But which are the best London theatres for you to visit?

Well, you can discover a wealth of information about London’s theatres in our theatres directory. And to give you a little more guidance, we ask the stars of London’s theatre scene about their own best London theatres. Here’s what they say:

The National Theatre. Photo: Philip Vile.
The National Theatre. Photo: Philip Vile.

Carley Stenson: I loved Theatre Royal Drury Lane [where she performed in Shrek The Musical]. I love history. My room was beautiful. It was like my own London flat. I see [the theatre] now and can’t believe I got used to the size of that audience. It’s just breathtaking!

Arthur Darvill: The National Theatre has a special place in my brain; the Olivier gives me goosebumps. It’s magical. And Royal Court Theatre, too, the scale and history of that place. Plus you’re close to the audience because they’re so close to the stage. It’s the same feeling you get at the Bush.

Thalissa Teixeira: That’s hard, because as an audience member the theatre is only as good as the play it’s holding. Much like actors, actually! But in terms of theatre community, Shakespeare’s Globe. People there are crazy and that’s so good with me.

Shakespeare's Globe. (Image: John Wildgoose.)
Shakespeare’s Globe. (Image: John Wildgoose.)

Simon Lipkin: Noel Coward Theatre will always be a special one for me as it’s where I opened Avenue Q. I have lots of happy memories there!

Gyuri Sarossy: I love the Young Vic. I prefer a sense of the audience gathered around you. I like any theatre where an audience feels like it’s part of the action. Park Theatre is a thrust stage, so I really like that, too.

Andrew Pollard: Well, I would have to say Greenwich Theatre as I have written, directed and played Dame in panto there for 11 years! It has become my second home.

Orange Tree Theatre
Orange Tree Theatre

Will Merrick: I love Orange Tree Theatre. I love seeing work in the round. It’s great fun to play, too. I think there’s some wicked stuff coming out of there at the moment. I hope it continues.

Fela Lufadeju: I love the National Theatre because I love the work that they do there and the boundaries they push, especially in terms of race. I think art is most reflective when you see yourself in it, and at the National there’s a voice for everyone.

Alex Bourne: Dominion Theatre, where I spent nearly eight years of my life, performing in Beauty And The Beast and We Will Rock You. Amazing memories.

Oliver Lansley: That’s a very tough question. Theatres often become attached to certain favourite shows for me. I love The Old Vic. It’s so beautiful and I love the grandeur and the history of the place. I’ve never worked at National Theatre and remember travelling up on my own as a teenager, obsessed with theatre, to watch shows there. So that has special memories for me, too.

Park Theatre
Park Theatre

Manish Gandhi: I really like Park Theatre. I have seen some great stuff there.

Alexander Lass: It’s got to be Wyndham’s Theatre. I was Associate Director for Sean Mathias on No Man’s Land, starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart [which played there]. As a lifelong Harold Pinter obsessive, it was a rare privilege to work on that production. Our three months at Wyndham’s – where Peter Hall’s original 1975 production of No Man’s Land played after its start at The Old Vic – were the highlight of my professional life so far.

Find out more about the best London theatres in our theatre directory.