London's most glamorous boutique theatre
A former hops warehouse and banana-ripening depot, the 251-seat Donmar was acquired by the RSC in 1977 and used as a London home for its studio work. It became an independent production house in 1992, steered to immediate success by a young Sam Mendes, whose formula of classic revivals powered by A-list actors relishing the intimate space was cemented by successor Michael Grandage.
The current artistic director is Josie Rourke, who has stayed broadly true to the Donmar 'formula', while placing a greater emphasis on new writing.
Tickets are very affordable and much cheaper than the West End, often for shows with equivalent production values and bigger names. Inevitably the issue is actually getting tickets, as many productions sell out instantly, often to Donmar members who snap the best seats up in pre-sale. Rourke has done her best to make it more accessible, though, and the Front Row scheme means that all front row stalls seats are only put on sale on the Monday morning a fortnight prior, at which point the entire week's tickets are placed on sale online, over the phone and in person. There are also 20 standing tickets available in person on the morning of each performance.
A small bar offers the only refreshment opportunity, but you're not going to go hungry smack in the middle of London, and the intimacy is all part of the charm at the Donmar Warehouse.