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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

Remembering the Oscars is the current production at Peacock Theatre.

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.

Past Events

DanceThe Tap Pack

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

DanceMotionhouse: Charge
3.52 reviews

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

DanceHorror — Jakop Ahlbom Company
4.110 reviews

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

DanceZooNation: Some Like It Hip Hop
4.735 reviews

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

DanceCirque Éloize: Hotel
4.523 reviews

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

DanceJump

DanceFamilie Flöz — Infinita

DanceBlaze

DanceFlamenka

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

DanceNew English Ballet Theatre: The Four Seasons / Remembrance

New English Ballet Theatre returns with two contrasting works.

MusicalThe Snowman
4.5434 reviews

The Snowman is one of the West End’s most magical Christmas treats.

DanceBLAM!: Kristján Ingimarsson/ Neander

DanceCirkus Cirkor: Inside Out

DanceSOHO: Circus, street dance & theatre
4.86 reviews

SOHO: A thrill ride of circus, street dance & theatre. It’s not just a place, it’s a state of mind…

DanceMotionhouse — Scattered
5.03 reviews

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

DanceTap Dogs
4.959 reviews

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

DanceLes Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo: Programme A
4.711 reviews

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo comes to the Peacock Theatre

DanceShoes

OperaBritish Youth Opera — English Eccentrics
5.01 reviews

MusicalUMOJA: The Spirit Of Togetherness

DanceEnglish National Ballet: My First Ballet: Coppélia

DanceShaolin Monks - Shaolin
4.515 reviews

DanceMachine de Cirque

Post-apocalyptic circus comes to London's Peacock Theatre

DanceBurn the Floor — Fire in the Ballroom
4.33 reviews

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

DanceBale de Rua

DanceEnglish National Ballet: My First Cinderella

DanceJakop Ahlbom Company & Alamo Race Track — Lebensraum
5.02 reviews

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

DanceLes Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo: Programme B
4.720 reviews

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo comes to the Peacock Theatre

DanceMother Africa — Khayelitsha - My Home
5.02 reviews

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

DancePhoenix Dance: Windrush
5.01 reviews

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

DanceTango Por Dos

DanceLatin Fever

MusicalThe Snowman

x

MusicalOPERA: Flight

OperaLe Nozze di Figaro

DanceNuevo Ballet Espanol

DanceYamato: Passion
4.931 reviews

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

DanceChe Malambo
4.52 reviews

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

DanceMy First Ballet: Cinderella
4.85 reviews

Treat your family to a magical ballet experience with Cinderella

DanceJump

DanceRasta Thomas’ Romeo and Juliet

DanceMy First Ballet: Swan Lake
4.515 reviews

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

DanceZippos Presents Cirque Berserk!
4.731 reviews

DanceBad Boys of Dance: Rock The Ballet

DanceFlawless

DanceShaun Parker & Company: Happy as Larry

DanceTrioperas
3.410 reviews

A truly extraordinary cross-genre show!

DanceJakop Ahlbom Company - Horror

DanceMomix

MusicalOPERA: La Rondine

DanceBounce - Insane In The Brain

MusicalSnowm

DanceAnother Kind of Blue: Flirt with Reality
3.26 reviews

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

DanceImmortal Tango
4.330 reviews

DanceVamos Cuba!
4.412 reviews

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

DanceHercules: A Dance Cabaret

DanceThe Houdini Experience

DanceTap Ole

DanceJasmin Vardimon Company — Justitia

DanceGerman Cornejo’s Tango Fire
4.839 reviews

The phenomenal, award-winning Tango Fire returns for their seventh season due to incredible demand.

DanceBallet Revolución

Ballet Revolución

DanceLondon Children’s Ballet — Ballet Shoes

London Children’s Ballet — Ballet Shoes

DancePsy: The Seven Fingers

DancePhoenix Dance Theatre — Black Waters

Phoenix Dance Theatre — Black Waters 2 days only!

MusicalMessage In A Bottle
4.8146 reviews

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

DancePilobolus Dance Theatre: Shadowland

DanceHavana Rakatan

DanceLes Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
4.67 reviews

DanceBounce: Insane In The Brain

DanceThe China National Peking Opera Company — White Snake

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

DanceEnglish National Ballet: My First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty
4.641 reviews

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

DanceGalactik Ensemble -Optraken

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

DanceGandini Juggling — Smashed: Special Edition
5.01 reviews

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

DancePhoenix Dance: The Rite of Spring / Left Unseen
5.01 reviews

An innovative blend of acting and movement

DanceBreakin’ Convention Presents - The Ruggeds’ Between Us

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

DanceBeats On Pointe: Masters of Choreography
4.753 reviews

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

DanceSnowma

MusicalThe Snowman
4.735 reviews

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

DanceFootloose
4.411 reviews

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

DanceLondon Children’s Ballet: Nanny McPhee

OperaBritish Youth Opera — Owen Wingrave
4.01 reviews

DanceThe 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

OperaEuridice

DanceMark Murphy’s VTOL — Out Of This World

This will be something different - and stand up to its name: OUT OF THIS WORLD indeed.

DanceNew English Ballet Theatre — Quint-essential: Five New Ballets
5.03 reviews

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

DanceTango After Dark
4.838 reviews

German Cornejo and his company dance to the enchanting music of Astor Piazzolla.

DanceMy First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty
5.01 reviews

DanceFamilie Flöz — Teatro Delusio

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

DanceFlash Mob

DanceEnglish National Ballet: Swan Lake

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

DanceTango Fire
4.721 reviews

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

DanceMummenschanz: Musicians of Silence

DanceNew English Ballet Theatre: Tryst: Devotion and Betrayal

DanceTitanium

DanceTraces
4.26 reviews

DanceWah! Wah! Girls

DanceYamato — Chousensha - The Challengers

Witness the authentic sound of the Japanese Taiko drum!

DanceMotionhouse: Charge
3.52 reviews

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

DanceHorror — Jakop Ahlbom Company
4.110 reviews

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

DanceZooNation: Some Like It Hip Hop
4.735 reviews

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

DanceCirque Éloize: Hotel
4.523 reviews

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

DanceNoise Boys

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