What you need to know about Harold Pinter Theatre:
Harold Pinter Theatre opened in 1881. Back then it was called the Royal Comedy Theatre. It was known as the Comedy until 2011, when it was announced by the Ambassador Theatre Group, which owns the theatre, that it was being renamed in honour of playwright and actor Harold Pinter who had died in 2008.
One of the theatre’s most famous associations is with the New Watergate Club. Established 1956, this group worked to get around the censorship laws which existed at the time. All scripts were required to be submitted to the Lord Chamberlain’s Office for scrutiny, but the club created a way for banned plays to be staged in ‘club’ conditions. Many now-famous works received their UK premiere this way. These included Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge and Tennessee Williams’s Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. The club disbanded in the late 1950s when the censorship laws loosened.
Top facts about Harold Pinter Theatre:
- Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show made its West End debut at Harold Pinter Theatre in 1979.
- The theatre was originally constructed in just six months – not bad work, especially given its ornate exterior.
- As Comedy Theatre, the venue became popular during the First World War thanks to the revue show presented by Charles Blake Cochran and André Charlot.
Key information about Harold Pinter Theatre:
Tube: The closest tube station is Piccadilly Circus (Bakerloo and Piccadilly lines), which is five minutes walk from the venue. Alternately, use Leicester Square (Northern and Piccadilly lines) or Charing Cross tube (Bakerloo and Northern lines) – both are less then ten minutes on foot from the theatre.
Train: Charing Cross station on The Strand is served by Southeastern trains and is ten minutes walk from the theatre.
Bus: Bus numbers 14, 19, 24, 29, 38 and 176 all travel close to Leicester Square or Haymarket. To plan you journey, please visit the Transport for London website.
Q-Park car parks can be found at:
Chinatown – 20 Newport Place, WC2H 7PR
Soho – Poland Street, W1F 7NQ
Trafalgar Square – Spring Gardens, SW1A 2TS
Leicester Square – Whitcomb Street, WC2H 7DT
Q-Park offers discounted parking for ticket-holders visiting participating West End theatres. Harold Pinter Theatre is part of the Q-Park Theatreland Parking Scheme.
NCP car parks can be found at:
Shaftesbury – Selkirk House, Museum Street, WC1A 1JR
Covent Garden – Parker Street, WC2B 5NT
The closest car park to the theatre is: Q-Park Trafalgar Square
The foyer, box office and Dress Circle are all wheelchair accessible, while the theatre has spaces for wheelchairs inside the auditorium in the Dress Circle. Please book these spaces in advance using the phone number below.
Harold Pinter Theatre does not have an accessible toilet, but it does have a special arrangement with the Strada restaurant opposite. Audiences can use their accessible toilet if they would like. A member of staff from Harold Pinter Theatre can accompany visitors across to the restaurant.
The auditorium in the theatre has a Sennheiser MobileConnect WiFi sound amplification system. The system uses a smart phone or similar devise to deliver the amplified sound through headphones for people without a hearing aid, or via an induction loop necklace for people with hearing aids. You can borrow equipment on the day from the theatre or booked in advance. Alternately, you can download the Sennheiser app on your smart phone or tablet and then use your own devise to access the system.
Harold Pinter Theatre has created a visual story to help prepare visitor with certain access needs for their trip to the theatre. You can get a copy of this by contacting the access line on the number below or by going on the theatre’s website.
To discuss access requirements and to book tickets, please phone 0844 871 7677
Harold Pinter Theatre has a selection of bars where visitors can buy drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and small snacks before the show and during an interval. Please note they do not have facilities for sit-down eating. If you are looking for somewhere to dine, we suggest the Chinatown, Soho and Leicester Square areas where a lot of the restaurants offer pre-theatre menus.