Playhouse Theatre

Christian Slater and Kris Marshall star in a revival of Glengarry Glen Ross at the Playhouse Theatre London.

The Playhouse Theatre London is located in the heart of the city, near the famous Trafalgar Square with its towering bronze lions guarding Nelson’s Column and an array of London hotels. It originally opened as the Royal Avenue Theatre in 1882 and hosted comic operas and burlesques in its early years. It soon began presenting dramas, and in 1905 was rebuilt to Blow and Billerey’s designs. During work on the new building, part of the roof of the neighbouring Charing Cross railway station collapsed onto the theatre, causing it to be repaired. It opened as the Playhouse Theatre in 1907 and continued to host successful plays such as W. Somerset Maugham’s Home and Beauty.

In 1951, the BBC took over the theatre and turned it into a studio for live performances. Legendary bands such as The Beatles, Queen and The Rolling Stones performed here. The BBC left the theatre in 1976 where it went into a state of disrepair, but in 1987 it was restored and opened again with the musical Girlfriend. In 1991, it was home to the Peter Hall Company, and the legendary director helmed such productions as The Rose Tattoo starring Julie Walters and Tartuffe.

Past Shows

Though traditionally seen as a home for straight plays, such as My Name is Rachel Corrie, Hedda Gabler, Vincent in Brixton, and A Doll’s House, in recent years, the theatre has been host to many successful musicals such as La Cage Aux Folles from 2008 until January 2010, and it was the home of the beloved jukebox musical Dreamboats and Petticoats through August 2012, before Simon Callow starred in the one-man show The Mystery of Charles Dickens. Spamalot opened at the Playhouse on 12 November 2012 and closed on the 12th April 2014.  Headlong’s production of 1984 transferred to the Playhouse opened on the 28th April 2014, with press night on the 8th May. Lindsay Lohan made her West End debut in Speed-the-Plow, which opened at the Playhouse Theatre on the 24th September and closed on the 29th November 2014. 

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown starring Tamsin Greig arrived at the theatre from the 17th December 2014 and ran to May 2015. 1984 reprised it’s run throughout the summer of 2015 and was followed by The Rocky Horror Show , which opened on September 11th 2015. Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games transferred to the Playhouse Theatre in October and ran until January 2016. Matthew Perry wrote and starred in his own show, The End of Longing, which became the Playhouse Theatre’s best-selling show, closing in May 2016. A revival of Headlong’s haunting 1984 opened at the Playhouse Theatre for an extended season, closing October 29th 2016.

Stephen Daldry’s award-winning An Inspector Calls played an extended season from November 2016 to March 2017, followed by David Baddiel’s one-man show My Family: Not the Sitcom. Matthew Spangler’s adaptation of The Kite Runner returned to the West End for a run from June to August 2017, followed by Derren Brown’s latest show Derren Brown: Underground, which appeared at the Charing Cross Theatre earlier in the year. 2017 rounds off with an all-star cast, including Christian Slater and Kris Marshall, appearing in a revival of David Mamet’s multi-award winning play Glengarry Glen Ross.


  • Bars: There are bars on all levels of the theatre.
  • Toilets: Men’s and women’s toilets are available across the theatre. A fully adapted toilet is available in the foyer.
  • Access: Access spaces are located in Row G and J of the Stalls. Call the access line for booking.
  • Air Conditioning: Yes, the theatre has air conditioning.
  • Booster Seats: Booster cushions are not available at this theatre.
  • Cloakroom: A cloakroom is available at this venue.