Old Red Lion Theatre

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What you need to know about Old Red Lion Theatre:

Old Red Lion Theatre is a popular fringe theatre in Islington. Situated above one of the oldest pubs in London, Old Red Lion Theatre has a great reputation for staging quality productions of new drama, musicals and comedies, plus reinterpretations of existing classics. Come here if you fancy seeing work by some of the best new voices in fringe theatre.

The theatre began as the Old Red Lion Theatre Club in 1948. The venue opened its doors to the public in 1979. It has a very active literary department that reads hundreds of plays submitted each year.

The Old Red Lion pub was built in 1415. Back then, St John’s Street was a country lane and the pub was next to some cattle pens. Now it finds itself not far from King’s Cross St Pancras and the constant flow of city traffic. It’s a great pub and one that’s deservedly popular with celebrities, sports fans and theatregoers alike.

Clive Judd is the Artistic Director.

Top facts about Old Red Lion Theatre:

  1. Mischief Theatre’s The Play That Goes Wrong premiered at Old Red Lion Theatre in 2012.
  2. Other notable productions to have premiered at Old Red Lion Theatre include Rabbit by Nina Raine.
  3. The 18th Century Old Red Lion pub is included in William Hogarth’s painting Evening.
  4. The pub is the home of Norwich City FC fan club The Capital Canaries.

Key information about Old Red Lion Theatre:


Tube: The closest tube station is Angel (Northern line), which is a five minute walk from the venue.

Bus: Bus numbers 19, 38, 153, 341, N19, N38 and N41 all travel along St John’s Road. To plan your journey in more detail, please visit the Transport for London website.

Parking: The closest 24-hour car park is at Bowling Green Lane.


TheOld Red Lion pub serves a menu of Pieminister pies from opening until 9pm. From Monday to Friday they have a happy hour from 4pm until 7pm, which is perfect for people popping in to see a performance. They specialise in real ales and there’s even a heated beer garden to enjoy a summer evening in before or after the show.

For more information visit Old Red Lion Theatre’s website