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Playhouse Theatre

Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5DE

Playhouse Theatre Safety Policy

Health & safety measures
  • All staff wearing masks
  • All visitors asked to wear masks
  • Regular visible cleaning of all touchable surfaces before and after performances
  • Paperless or print at home tickets
  • Availability of hand sanitiser
Visitor measures
  • Theatres displaying special safety certificate
  • Cash free venue - contactless payments only

Getting here

Closest Tube Station

Embankment, Charing Cross Underground Station

Closest Train Station

Charing Cross

The Playhouse Theatre, located in the City of Westminster, is one of the famous theatrical venues in London’s West End. It is located near Trafalgar Square on Northumberland Avenue.

Welcome to the Playhouse Theatre

Built by F. H. Howler and Hill, the theatre initially featured 1,200 seats. However, after undergoing refurbishment in 1907, the seating capacity decreased. The Grade II listed building highlights a spectacular exterior that gently curves into Craven Street. The interiors are vividly designed; it has a set of striking paintings, a flowery safety curtain and horse-skull-shaped lights. Currently, it offers 786 seats spread across three levels. Ambassador Theatre Group owns and operates the venue.

Before the Playhouse Theatre

Sefton Henry Parry built the Playhouse Theatre, and it first opened on 11th March 1882 as The Royal Avenue Theatre with a revival of Jacques Offenbach’s Madame Favart. In its initial days, the venue hosted burlesques, comic operas and farces for many years. The prefix “Royal” was removed, making it the Avenue Theatre, but continued playing its genre of shows. However, it caught up with the trend and diverted its attention towards more serious theatre in the early 1890s.

In 1894, Miss Horniman anonymously sponsored the actress Florence Farr in a series of shows, but the first production could not succeed. This event led Farr to persuade a friend of hers to finish his first West End production—Arms And The Man. Her friend was none other than the legendary George Bernard Shaw, who wrote the first play specifically for the Avenue. The play became an instant success, and Shaw started to focus on writing more plays. The theatre began to become even more popular with the inclusion of popular works by W. Somerset Maugham, Tennessee Williams, Ibsen, and Chekhov.

In 1905, Blow and Billerey designed and rebuilt the theatre. Unfortunately, there was an accident, and a part of the nearby Charing Cross railway station collapsed; however, the venue reopened on 28th January 1907 with a new name – The Playhouse Theatre! Following its reopening, many famous personalities and companies graced the venue including WS Gilbert, actress-manager Gladys Cooper, Janet McTeer, The Peter Hall Company, The Almeida Theatre Company, and the BBC.

Fun Fact: Despite facing extensive renovations, the theatre retains its original substage machinery.

Recent Shows

The Playhouse Theatre has hosted many great shows in the last two decades. Among them were Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” (3rd April – 29th June 2003), a Russian play, translated by Christopher Hampton and starring Kristin Scott Thomas; James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice (8th June – 3rd September 2005), an adaptation by Andrew Rattenbury starring Van Kilmer; My Name Is Rachel Corrie (30th March – 21st May 2006) by Katherine Vilner and Alan Rickman which starred Megan Dodds; The Rocky Horror Show (4th July – 22nd July 2006) by Richard O’Brien, starring Suzanne Shaw and David Bedella.


The Playhouse Theatre has a capacity of 786 over 3 levels: Stalls, Dress Circle, and Upper Circle.
Playhouse Theatre Seating Plan

There is nothing currently showing at Playhouse Theatre. Sign up to receive for priority updates about upcoming shows at Playhouse Theatre.

We highly recommend using public transit to get to the Playhouse Theatre. The nearest underground station to the theatre are Embankment (Bakerloo/Circle/District/Northern Lines) and Charing Cross (Bakerloo/Northern Lines). If arriving by train the nearest railway station is Charing Cross. The theatre is also serviced by bus lines 3, 11, 12, 24, 53, 87, 88, 91, 159, and 453. If you are driving to the theatre the nearest car park is the Q-Park Trafalgar.

Past Events

PlayAs You Desire Me

MusicalRockin' Horses

PlayGlengarry Glen Ross
4.277 reviews

Lies. Greed. Corruption. It’s business as usual.

PlayThe Kite Runner
4.6122 reviews

Raw story of the father–son relationship & the New York Times number one bestseller for over 2 years, this is something special!

PlayHergé’s Adventures of Tintin

Play1984
4.186 reviews

Big Brother is always watching... in the world of 1984.

PlayDavid Baddiel: My Family: Not The Sitcom
4.9116 reviews

Baddiel's My Family: Not The Sitcom reminds us his mother was more than just wonderful. So is this show.

PlaySpeed-The-Plow

L‘Lindsay Lohan delivers the goods…a smouldering performance’ Daily Telegraph

PlayThe Mystery of Charles Dickens

The Mystery of Charles Dickens at the Playhouse Theatre

PlayRing Round The Moon

PlayMy Name Is Rachel Corrie

PlayHarder They Come, The

PlayDerren Brown: Underground
4.510 reviews

The multi-award winning master of mind-control and psychological illusion, Derren Brown, returns to the West End

PlayThe Jungle
4.946 reviews

This is the place where people suffered and dreamed.

PlayVincent in Brixton

MusicalWomen On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown

MusicalDreamboats and Petticoats

PlayGood

David Tennant stars in C.P. Taylor's Good in 2021!

MusicalFootloose

PlayThe Best Man
4.383 reviews

Martin Shaw returns for the West End premiere of Gore Vidal's The Best Man.

MusicalLord of the Dance: Dangerous Games
4.260 reviews

MusicalFiddler on the Roof
4.7777 reviews

Fiddler on the Roof transfers to The Playhouse Theatre following a completely sold-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

MusicalSpamalot

MusicalDancing in the Streets

PlayCreeper, The

PlayAn Inspector Calls
4.336 reviews

Inspector Goole interrupts the evening to bring bad news... J. B. Priestley classics back on stage!

PlayLes Liaisons Dangereuses

PlayA Doll's House
4.715 reviews

Jessica Chastain makes her West End debut in A Doll's House

MusicalCaroline, or Change
3.998 reviews

Sharon D. Clarke stars in a thrilling new musical by the award-winning Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America.