The concrete-clad, 1960s modernist grandmother of them all: no theatrical tour of London is complete without a visit to the National, whose three auditoriums – Olivier, Lyttelton and Dorfman – offer a rolling repertory programme, often with a choice of several productions in a week. The National Theatre may have once had a fiercely inaccessible reputation, but the arrival of maverick artistic director Nicholas Hytner in 2003 rocked theatreland as he set about changing the venue's staid ethos with daring productions such as 'Jerry Springer the Opera' and an ambitious adaptation of Phillip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials'. The change of tack proved a success, attracting audiences of mixed race, age and class – and Hytner's budget £15 Travelex-sponsored tickets still help pull in the crowds in the summer season. The home stable for Michael Morpurgo's 'War Horse', which opened here in 2007 and went on to break West End records, the National is now developing a reputation for family-friendly blockbusters, cue its current production of Mark Haddon's 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time'. Meanwhile the National Theatre Live initiative has extended the theatre's reach by broadcasting high-publicity productions such as Danny Boyle's role-swapping smash-hit 'Frankenstein' and the comedy 'One Man, Two Guvnors', which introduced James Corden to the stage, live to Picturehouse Cinemas. A recent run of the post-modern musical 'London Road' proved it hasn't lost its edge. And when the Temporary Theatre has moved on in 2017, there's be a chance to catch free and inclusive performing arts, gigs and exhibitions in the National Theatre square, or during the Watch This Space summer festival.
|Venue name:||National Theatre||Contact:|
|Opening hours:||9.30am-11pm Mon-Sat (12noon-6pm Sun when there is a performance in the building)|
Pick a dateto
Light Shining in Buckinghamshire
Rufus Norris, the new artistic director of the National Theatre, has clearly got balls. To open his very first season with a debate-laden play about the English civil war is more than a bit brave. Caryl Churchill’s 1976 play ‘Light Shining in Buckinghamshire’...Until Monday June 22 2015Read more
The Beaux' Stratagem
A dizzy, light-hearted entry in Rufus Norris's diverse first season at the NT, 'The Beaux' Stratagem' is the final work by George Farquhar, who died in 1707, the year of its premiere. One of the last of the Restoration comedies, it is, nonetheless, as...Until Sunday July 19 2015Read more
Rules for Living
Plays cannot live by rules alone, but Sam Holcroft makes a good go of trying in her suburban comedy of manners. It’s about a mildly dysfunctional, moderately posh family who attempt to contain their Christmas day conflicts by adhering to a strict set...Until Wednesday July 8 2015Read more
The Hard Problem
There is only one playwright on the planet who could change the way you think about human existence in 90 minutes and leave you wishing there was a bit more to his new play. And that playwright is the great Tom Stoppard.‘The Hard Problem’ comes with an...Monday May 25 2015 - Wednesday May 27 2015Read more
One day, maybe in the not too distant future, Rufus Norris will create a show where he simply gives everyone in the audience a really strong pill, then blows up a couple of actual skyscrapers. The National Theatre’s new boss is a master of bombast and...Friday May 29 2015 - Thursday July 16 2015Read more
The Red Lion
New NT boss Rufus Norris would appear to have called in a few favours from Patrick Marber for his first season in charge of our nation's flagship theatre. Never the most prolific playwright, Marber's not turned in a new stage work in almost a decade,...Wednesday June 3 2015 - Saturday July 25 2015Read more
The Motherf**ker with the Hat
The UK premiere for Stephen Adly Guirgis's look at love and addiction lands as part of Rufus Norris's meaty first season as artistic director of the National Theatre. 'The Motherf**ker with the Hat' first premiered in America in 2011, where Chris Rock...Wednesday June 10 2015 - Tuesday July 7 2015Read more
We Want You To Watch
A good year for rising star writer Alice Birch is made better with her National Theatre debut, in conjunction with anarchic theatre trio RashDash. The somewhat obtuse description suggest that the piece is an interrogation and assault on the porn industry...Thursday June 11 2015 - Saturday July 11 2015Read more
An Oak Tree
All hail the National Theatre's temporary space, for without it, the NT wouldn't be able to stage some of the stranger, but no less delightful plays. In Rufus Norris's first season as artistic director, he's decided to revive Tim Crouch's excellent 'An...Tuesday June 23 2015 - Saturday July 11 2015Read more
Islington Community Theatre take their piece about the teenage brain from the Park theatre to the National Theatre's Temporary Shed. Directed by Ned Glasier and Emily Lim, the piece has been devised by ten 13-17 year-olds, who also perform the play. 'Brainstorm'...Tuesday July 21 2015 - Saturday July 25 2015Read more
Average User Rating
5 / 5
- 5 star:4
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
A wonderful space for the public as well as a place to see some fantastic theatre, often at extremely reasonable prices. Really good coffee too!
Nothing like the National! Best night out in London and seeing the inner workings of his great theater is a delight! Don miss it!!
The National never fail in excelling with putting on some first class pieces of theatre. The Travelex season makes it even sweeter, as well as the building being a great example of brutalist architecture, and located in one of my favourite parts of London.
Outstanding. If you haven't been to watch something here yet, you haven't experienced true London. This is how theatre should be done.