Peacock Theatre

Peacock Theatre

Portugal Street, Kingsway, London WC2A 2HT

Getting here

Closest Tube Station

Holborn

Closest Train Station

Charing Cross

The Peacock Theatre is a West End theatre in the City of Westminster, London, located in Portugal Street, near Aldwych. The 999-seat house is owned by, and comprises part of the London School of Economics and Political Science campus, who utilise the theatre for lectures, public talks, conferences, political speeches and open days. The university has a long lease with Sadler's Wells with whom it has negotiated a deal to bring in commercial companies under the banner "Sadler's Wells in the West End". The Peacock Theatre often plays host to dance performances, conferences, ballet, pop concerts and award ceremonies. The stage is approximately 36 feet (11 m) by 33 feet (10 m).

The Peacock Theatre, London: History

A theatre has stood on the site since the 17th century. Known as Gibbon's Tennis Court, or the Vere Street Theatre. Mrs Hughes became the first (identified) woman to tread the boards of a London theatre, on 8 December 1660, in a performance of Othello. The company left the theatre in 1663 and there is no record of further plays at the theatre. The building was finally destroyed by a fire in 1809.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the creation of Aldwych and Kingsway, linking High Holborn and Aldwych, destroyed a number of established London playhouses and the site between Portugal Street and Sardinia Street became available. Oscar Hammerstein II commissioned Bertie Crewe, to build a new theatre in the Beaux-Arts style. The theatre opened on 13 November 1911 as the London Opera House. It had an approximately 45 feet (13.7 m) by 78 feet (23.8 m) stage, and a capacity of 2,660. As an opera house, it found it difficult to attract audiences from the Royal Opera House, and from 1914–15 the house became the National Theatre of England.

The theatre was purchased by Oswald Stoll in 1916 and renamed the Stoll Theatre and, for a time, as the Stoll Picture Theatre, housing cine variety until the 1950s. Rose Marie played at the Stoll Theatre in 1942, followed by Kismet and Stars on Ice in 1947. The London transfer of a version of George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess that restored it to an operatic form, took place here on 9 October 1952. Joan of Arc at the Stake was produced in 1954, starring Ingrid Bergman. The theatre closed on 4 August 1957, and was demolished for the construction of an office block.

The Peacock Theatre: Current Building

The present, smaller theatre was built and christened The Royalty Theatre in 1960, located on the basement level of an office building. It was the first West End theatre to be built since the Saville Theatre in 1931. The MGM film Ben Hur played at the theatre in 1961. Mutiny on the Bounty played next, and the theatre was then equipped for screening Cinerama films becoming London's third Cinerama theatre (the others being the Casino Cinerama and the Coliseum Cinerama). The theatre only premièred one Cinerama film, The Golden Head, however. In 1966, the house returned to live theatre use. The Royalty Theatre's only successes were a run of the hit Calcutta and a hit production of Bubbling Brown Sugar in the late 1970s. Spectacular 'follies' style shows and 'drag' shows didn't find an audience, and the theatre became used as a TV studio for This is Your Life, but was later bought by the London School of Economics and renamed The Peacock Theatre.

When Sadler's Wells determined to build its new theatre in 1996, the company moved to the West End's Peacock Theatre. After the new Sadler's Wells Theatre opened in 1998, The Peacock became a dance venue for the company. The Rat Pack played at the theatre in 2002, and Doldrum Bay premièred here in 2003. The house is now shared between the London School of Economics (during the day) and Sadler's Wells evening dance productions.

 

The Peacock Theatre is most noted as the home of one of the West End's most unusual ghosts, a dolphin commonly known as 'Flipper'. An urban myth has grown that during one of Paul Raymond's revues at the theatre in the 1970s, a dolphin was kept in a tank beneath the stage, where it lived permanently and later died from neglect. In fact, this is not true. Indeed two dolphins 'Pennie' and 'Pixie' were kept in the theatre in a tank for three months for a show called 'The Royalty Folies' later renamed 'The Great International Nude Show'. However neither of these animals died whist at the theatre and at the close of the show the animals were moved to a dolphinarium in the far east. The remnants of the tank and its lifting equipment still remain below the stage and numerous visitors to the theatre claim to have heard a spectral squeaking, not unlike a crying baby when in the vicinity. One possible explanation is that the London Underground passes very close to the substage areas of the theatre and it is noise from the tunnels that creates the sound.

The Peacock Theatre has a capacity of 974 across 2 levels: Stalls and Circle.
Peacock Theatre Seating Plan
The Snowman is the current production at Peacock Theatre. The latest booking period for The Snowman at Peacock Theatre started 21/11/2019 19:00:00 and runs until 31/12/2022 14:30:00. Tickets for The Snowman start at £20 and are available to [book now](/booking/the-snowman-tickets/11-2022). Bat Out of Hell is the current production at Peacock Theatre. The latest booking period for Bat Out of Hell at Peacock Theatre started 02/04/2018 19:30:00 and runs until 01/04/2023 19:30:00. Tickets for Bat Out of Hell start at £25 and are available to [book now](/booking/bat-out-of-hell-tickets/11-2022). The Rocky Horror Show is the current production at Peacock Theatre. The latest booking period for The Rocky Horror Show at Peacock Theatre started 20/10/2021 20:00:00 and runs until 10/06/2023 20:30:00. Tickets for The Rocky Horror Show start at £22 and are available to [book now](/booking/the-rocky-horror-show-tickets/11-2022).
<p>We strongly advise taking public transportation to the theatre. The nearest underground stations to the theatre are Holborn (Central/Piccadilly Lines) and Temple (District/Circle Lines). The theatre is also extremely well serviced by bus lines 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 19, 22B, 23, 25, 26, 68, 76, 91, 168, 171, 341, 501, 505, and 521. If driving to the theatre the nearest car park is NCP in Parker Street.</p>

Musical

South African Road Trip - Good Hope

5.0(3)

A pure, sincere South-African experience!

Dance

Motionhouse - Broken

Dance

Shaolin Monks - Shaolin

4.5(15)

Dance

Bounce: Insane In The Brain

Dance

Tango Fire original

Dance

London Children’s Ballet: Nanny McPhee

Dance

Motionhouse: Charge

3.5(2)

Follow the story of electricity in life and through the human body.

Dance

Flash Mob

Dance

Beats On Pointe: Masters of Choreography

4.7(53)

An action-packed roller coaster of old and new school street dance, classical and contemporary ballet, beat boxing, and even some singing!

Dance

Havana Rakatan

Dance

Traces

4.2(6)

Dance

Familie Flöz — Teatro Delusio

★★★★★ "Theatrical triumph without compare" The Sunday Times

Opera

Euridice

Dance

Mummenschanz: Musicians of Silence

Dance

Immortal Tango

4.3(30)

Dance

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

4.6(7)

Dance

Jump

Dance

Galactik Ensemble -Optraken

French Circus Galactik Ensemble bring Optraken to LIMF at London's Peacock Theatre

Dance

Nuevo Ballet Espanol

Dance

Vamos Cuba!

4.4(12)

★★★★ "Loveably loopy Cuban dance extravaganza" - Time Out

Dance

Familie Flöz — Infinita

Opera

Le Nozze di Figaro

Dance

Gandini Juggling — Smashed: Special Edition

5.0(1)

★★★★ "Glorious. When it comes to juggling, the Gandinis pip everyone else" -- The Guardian

Dance

Flawless

Dance

BLAM!: Kristján Ingimarsson/ Neander

Dance

Snowma

Opera

British Youth Opera — English Eccentrics

5.0(1)

Dance

Psy: The Seven Fingers

Musical

Snowm

Dance

Hercules: A Dance Cabaret

Dance

Jasmin Vardimon Company — Justitia

Dance

Che Malambo

4.5(2)

A thrilling, testosterone-fuelled show of wild, unbridled energy!

Dance

Wah! Wah! Girls

Dance

Bale de Rua

Dance

London Children’s Ballet — Ballet Shoes

London Children’s Ballet — Ballet Shoes

Dance

Latin Fever

Dance

Rasta Thomas’ Romeo and Juliet

Dance

Phoenix Dance Theatre — Black Waters

Phoenix Dance Theatre — Black Waters 2 days only!

Musical

The Snowman

4.7(35)

When a young boy's snowman comes to life on Christmas Eve, the two set off on a night-time quest for adventure.

Dance

The Houdini Experience

Dance

Tap Ole

Musical

OPERA: Flight

Dance

Blaze

Dance

Jump

Dance

Pilobolus Dance Theatre: Shadowland

Dance

New English Ballet Theatre — Quint-essential: Five New Ballets

5.0(3)

Fresh ballet wind in the West End: 5 brand new pieces you can enjoy in one evening

Dance

Titanium

Dance

English National Ballet: Swan Lake

★★★★'A pleasure to watch' The Daily Telegraph

Dance

Ballet Revolución

Ballet Revolución

Dance

Footloose

4.4(11)

★★★★ "...has the audience on their feet" - OK! Magazine

Dance

New English Ballet Theatre: Tryst: Devotion and Betrayal

Dance

Bad Boys of Dance: Rock The Ballet

Musical

The Snowman

x

Opera

British Youth Opera — Owen Wingrave

4.0(1)

Dance

Yamato: Passion

4.9(31)

The Yamato drummers return to London, and this time they are packing the big drums!

Dance

Cirque Éloize: Hotel

4.5(23)

Celebrating their 25th anniversary, Canadian contemporary circus crew Cirque Éloize open the doors to their new show.

Dance

Momix

Musical

UMOJA: The Spirit Of Togetherness

Musical

OPERA: La Rondine

Dance

English National Ballet: My First Cinderella

Dance

Cirkus Cirkor: Inside Out

Dance

Tap Dogs

4.9(59)

Tap Dogs tickets are sure to sell out, don't miss your chance to catch them at the Peacock Theatre!

Dance

Bounce - Insane In The Brain

Dance

Tango Por Dos

Dance

Jakop Ahlbom Company - Horror

Dance

Shaun Parker & Company: Happy as Larry

Dance

My First Ballet: Swan Lake

My First Ballet: Swan Lake

Dance

English National Ballet: My First Ballet: Coppélia

Dance

The China National Peking Opera Company — White Snake

OUT OF ASIA 2: One of China's four great folktales live on stage!

Dance

Jakop Ahlbom Company & Alamo Race Track — Lebensraum

5.0(2)

Based on Buster Keaton’s 1920 silent film The Scarecrow.

Dance

Yamato — Chousensha - The Challengers

Witness the authentic sound of the Japanese Taiko drum!

Dance

My First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty

5.0(1)

Dance

The China National Peking Opera Company — The General and the Prime Minister

OUT OF ASIA 2: Breathtaking tales inspired by real Chinese history, all on one stage

Dance

Horror — Jakop Ahlbom Company

4.1(9)

★★★★★ "Genuinely terrifying" -- The Stage

Dance

Breakin’ Convention Presents - The Ruggeds’ Between Us

4 performances only Breakin’ Convention Presents - The Ruggeds’ Between Us

Dance

Tango Fire

4.7(21)

Authentic Argentinian tango? Tango Fire at the Peacock - hot, raw and passionate!

Dance

Shoes

Dance

Zippos Presents Cirque Berserk!

4.7(31)

Musical

Saturday Night Fever

Saturday Night Fever boogies back on to the West End stage!

Dance

Remembering the Oscars

Remembering the Oscars bring new show to West End's Peacock Theatre following previous sold out tour.

Musical

Message In A Bottle

4.8(146)

Kate Prince brings the music of Sting to life with her stunning new work Message In A Bottle

Dance

Motionhouse — Scattered

5.0(3)

"The performance is practically jet-propelled" -- The Times

Dance

Burn the Floor — Fire in the Ballroom

4.3(3)

“...will have you leaping out of your seat to join in” -- Heat Magazine

Dance

English National Ballet: My First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty

4.6(41)

ENB brings enchanting first encounter with dance for children of all ages.

Dance

Flamenka

Flamenco gets a spicy Latin-American twist in Flamenka at The Peacock Theatre.

Dance

The Tap Pack

The Tap Pack brings the style of the Rat Pack to the stage with tap and music from all eras.

Dance

Phoenix Dance: Windrush

5.0(1)

In a touching duet, we see families left behind reunited in their new homes.

Dance

My First Ballet: Swan Lake

4.5(15)

Your children will love a night at the ballet with this show crafted specially for them.

Dance

Noise Boys

This Edinburgh Fringe hit taps its way onto the London stage!

Dance

New English Ballet Theatre: The Four Seasons / Remembrance

New English Ballet Theatre returns with two contrasting works.

Dance

My First Ballet: Cinderella

4.8(5)

Treat your family to a magical ballet experience with Cinderella

Dance

Motionhouse - Nobody

Fast-moving and highly physical

Dance

Trioperas

3.4(10)

A truly extraordinary cross-genre show!

Dance

ZooNation: Some Like It Hip Hop

4.7(35)

Kate Prince brings Some Like It Hip Hop back to the West End stage for a limited run!

Dance

Another Kind of Blue: Flirt with Reality

3.2(6)

Britain’s Got Talent finalists Another Kind of Blue head to the West End's Peacock Theatre this summer!

Dance

Phoenix Dance: The Rite of Spring / Left Unseen

5.0(1)

An innovative blend of acting and movement

Dance

Burn the Floor — Fire in the Ballroom

4.3(3)

“...will have you leaping out of your seat to join in” -- Heat Magazine

Musical

Message In A Bottle

4.8(146)

Kate Prince brings the music of Sting to life with her stunning new work Message In A Bottle

Dance

Motionhouse — Scattered

5.0(3)

"The performance is practically jet-propelled" -- The Times

Dance

Mother Africa — Khayelitsha - My Home

5.0(2)

"This show took my breath away, awesome" -- Dolly Parton

Dance

German Cornejo’s Wild Tango

4.8(39)

The World premiere of German Cornejo's Wild Tango

Dance

Machine de Cirque

4.5(2)

Post-apocalyptic circus comes to London's Peacock Theatre

Dance

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo: Programme A

4.8(12)

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo returns to the Peacock Theatre

Dance

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo: Programme B

4.7(21)

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo returns to the Peacock Theatre

Musical

South African Road Trip - Good Hope

5.0(3)

A pure, sincere South-African experience!

Dance

Cirque Éloize — Saloon

4.8(12)

"A mesmerising delight" Daily Telegraph on iD