The biggest and most prolific theatre on the fringe
After a hugely successful 2012, this beloved fringe powerhouse was forced to quit its home underneath London Bridge due to redevelopment work at the station. Though Southwark Playhouse has been promised a spot in the revamped London Bridge, it moves – for now – to this old warehouse near Elephant & Castle.
With a 240-seat main house and a 120-seat studio, it's almost twice as big as the old venue and by far the largest London theatre that could be described as 'fringe'. The programming is tricky to pin down, but revolves around new writing and off-the-beaten track revivals, with a reputation for giving stripped down, thrilling second chances to unloved musicals.
Tickets are on the top end of fringe prices, with some musicals costing over £20. But production values are scaled up in the large space, and the quality is often barely distinguishable from the subsidised off-West End, and there's a tendency for on-the-up TV actors to make their stage debut there.
A convivial bar has a tendency to get very full, but there's a couple side rooms you can duck into.
|Venue name:||Southwark Playhouse||Contact:|
|Transport:||Tube: Borough, Elephant & Castle|
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A Midsummer Night's Dream
'A Midsummer Night's Dream' with a cast of seven? Sounds like midsummer madness to us. But Go People are bringing a deliberately ramshackle, contemporary production of Shakespeare's classic tale to the Southwark Playhouse. Love, lust, and silliness collide...Shakespeare Until Friday July 1 2016Read more
Last of the Boys
Steven Dietz is, apparently, the eighth most performed playwright in the US, tied with Edward Albee and Tennessee Williams. Those last two are pretty well known over here. Dietz – not so much. Does that say anything about him? Or us? Eh, I dunno. It’s...Until Saturday June 4 2016Read more
By The End Of Us
Block Stop create a live video game that follows the fortunes of assassin Mia Culper. One audience member sits in a private room and guides her through her mission, while the rest of the audience are armed with electronic keypads that have the power to...Interactive Tuesday June 7 2016 - Saturday June 11 2016Read more
This Tony Award-winning Broadway musical is a bittersweet tale of 1920s showbiz that's getting a London premiere at Southwark Playhouse. It tells the true story of conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, who headline a seedy side show until they're scouted...Musicals Friday October 21 2016 - Saturday December 3 2016Read more
Average User Rating
3.3 / 5
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A great theatre showing interesting plays and a brilliant ability to find musical theatre you rarely see elsewhere (see Carrie, May 2015). The audience is close to the action and the large space is very flexible allowing for interesting sets and staging. Well worth being on the mailing list and looking out for preview prices which are very reasonable but get in quick as they often sell out fast.
vivian from new york
we are here for a short visit and are being driven nuts by your multiple addresses. you must make it clear that you have moved so people wanting to see the Tom Paine play from my country can find their way to you
I can't wait for these guys to get back to London Bridge, as they do some great intimate, thought-provoking and sometimes challenging pieces. One of the best fringe theatres in London, in an atmospheric venue in the arches.