Playhouse Theatre

Northumberland Avenue

The Playhouse Theatre near Trafalgar Square, London originally opened in 1882 as the Royal Avenue Theatre and by 1905, was being rebuilt to the designs of Blow and Billerey. During this rebuilding, part of the roof of Charing Cross railway station collapsed onto the theatre. It was then repaired and opened as The Playhouse in 1907 to the designs of F. H. Fowler and Hill. It was home to several plays and musicals until 1951 when the BBC used the auditorium as a studio for live performances. The stage hosted performances by legendary bands such as The Beatles, Queen and The Rolling Stones. In 1976, the BBC left the theatre and it went back to hosting musicals and plays. Notable shows that have been performed at The Playhouse include Tennessee Williams’ The Rose Tattoo, starring Julie Walters’ in 1991 and more recently, the musicals Footloose in 2007, La Cage aux Folles in 2008, and Dreamboats and Petticoats, which closed in 2012. Spamalot opened at the theatre in 2013 and ran until April 2014.

What’s On

Currently showing at The Playhouse is George Orwell’s 1984.


The Playhouse Theatre is located on Northumberland Avenue which is moments away from both Charing Cross and Embankment tube stations. Charing Cross is on the Northern and Bakerloo lines whilst Embankment is on the District, Circle and Bakerloo lines.

Located on the banks of the River Thames, the Playhouse Theatre is a short stroll from Trafalgar Square, and is near to the Golden Jubilee Bridge which takes pedestrians over the river to Southbank with its cultural attractions including the Royal Festival Hall and the National Theatre.  There are plenty of hotels near Playhouse Theatre London such as the 4-star Club Quarters, Trafalgar Square. Features include a gym, spacious rooms with high ceilings and air-conditioning and plasma TV screens. The Playhouse is a 5 minute walk away.


A relatively small theatre compared to most in the West End, the seating capacity for The Playhouse is 786 on three levels – Stalls, Dress Circle and Upper Circle. Stalls are located on the ground floor of the auditorium, with the Dress Circle on level 1 and the Upper Circle on level 2. View the seating plan on the right for guidance as to where to book seats.

Tips for Visiting the Playhouse Theatre

Thanks to Silvia for the Playhouse top tip! If you’ve got a great tip, let us know in the comments below and we’ll publish the best ones.

  1. The Playhouse is a small theatre so even the furthest seats from the stage are still pretty close to the stage when compared with other venues. – Silvia, London
Please add your Playhouse tips in the box below…

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