National Theatre

Theatre , Public and national theatres South Bank
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(7 user reviews)
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© Philip Vile
© Philip Vile
© Philip Vile
Rob Greig / Time Out
Rob Greig / Time Out
Rob Greig / Time Out
Rob Greig / Time Out
Rob Greig / Time Out

The world's greatest theatre?

Arguably the greatest theatre in the world, the Royal National Theatre is also one of London's most iconic landmarks and perhaps this country's foremost example of brutalist architecture. It boasts four auditoriums – Olivier, Lyttelton, Dorfman and Temporary – a firm foothold on the West End thanks to 'War Horse' and 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time', and its NT Live programme beams its greatest hits to cinemas across the globe.

NT Live is just one of the initiatives to issue forth from the golden reign of Nicholas Hytner, which saw a canny mix of modernised classics, popular new writing, the odd worthy excavation from the canon and a splash of hip experimental work fill out the houses night after night, something further driven by a major initiative to reduce ticket prices by actively seeking private sponsorship, notably that of Travelex, who heavily subside tickets in the Lyttelton and Olivier.

The current artistic director is Hytner's successor Rufus Norris, whose initial programming has stuck with many Hytner fundamentals but offered an edgier, more international spin.

Following major upgrade work in 2014, the National Theatre sports all manner of eating and drinking facilities, including flagship restaurant House. Our top tip is The Understudy, a fine riverside bar which brews its own lager and plays excellent music.

Venue name: National Theatre
Address: South Bank
Opening hours: 9.30am-11pm Mon-Sat (12noon-6pm Sun when there is a performance in the building)
Transport: Tube: Waterloo
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Pick a date

  • Musicals Until Thursday September 1 2016
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  • Drama Until Thursday August 4 2016
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  • Drama Tuesday May 31 2016 - Thursday June 2 2016
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  • Drama Wednesday June 1 2016 - Wednesday August 17 2016
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  • West End Friday June 3 2016 - Wednesday June 15 2016
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  • Drama Thursday July 14 2016 - Saturday September 3 2016
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  • Drama Wednesday July 20 2016 - Saturday August 27 2016
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Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
NaN people listening

It's a special place The National,I have been there countless times and never been disappointed by any show I have seen there. Putting on fine theatre and innovative works,it's a place to visit time and time again. 

It also has some great places to eat and drink. Most recently I booked a table at Understudy bar before seeing a play and it was great. serving bite size mains,you can have a selection of hot dishes,ideal for a pre-theatre munch and a glass of prosecco.

It always has good ticket offers so you can get tickets at all prices,making it accessible to all.

A very good gift/book shop too : )

Ekaterina A

Might be the most special venue in the entire world for me. You could spend the entire day here and fell at home & entertainted. Contantly changing yet stays the most welcoming. It may look like a fortress from the outside but once you step in you just don't wanna leave. Magic space! Happy 52th birthday, btw )

Maya Jani

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!!

Faye Dawson

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.

Alice Waller

Outstanding. If you haven't been to watch something here yet, you haven't experienced true London. This is how theatre should be done.