Finborough Theatre

Theatre West Brompton
5 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)
Matthew Turner

London's leading pub theatre takes drama very seriously indeed

With artistic director Neil McPherson at the helm, the tiny Finborough has won an outsize reputation for unearthing lost theatre gems - as well as the odd curio that would be better off left in the drawer. McPherson guides the venue according to some very specific artistic criteria. Revivals much have been written after 1800, but not seen in London for 25 years, while new work must avoid numerous cliches, including 'paedophilia', 'Oscar Wilde', and 'plays about urban, middle-class “twenty/thirtysomethings” preoccupied with relationships or emotional problems'.

The programme takes in three-week-runs, with a 'main' play running Tuesday to Saturday nights, and a 'secondary' play running Sunday and Monday. Inevitably there are as many misses as hits, but the calibre of actors and creatives is way beyond what you'd normally expect from the fringe, and theatre's periodic stagings of lost musicals are a rare treat.

You won't get much change out of £20 for a ticket, though that's kind of par for course across the fringe these days.

Though an archetypal pub theatre, the Finborough have outlasted any number of businesses in its downstairs, from pubs to a wine bar. Currently it's the Finborough Arms, a welcoming pub with a decent range of beers.


Venue name: Finborough Theatre
Address: 118
Finborough Rd
SW10 9ED
Transport: Rail/Tube: West Brompton; Tube: Earls Court
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Pick a date

  • Drama Until Saturday February 23 2019

Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

I love theatre. My hat goes off to all the fringe venues in London clinging on as the rise in property prices, gastropubs and other mediums, more enticing to the young, all make their business's harder to run. I sometime baulk at the ticket prices but, how else would they survive? 

The Finborough falls into this group. It has a larger, better laid out space than many other fringe venues and, judging by my experience, seems to draw a slightly richer producer in than others of it's ilk. This, of course, has no bearing on the quality of work which is just as hit and miss as anywhere else. It's a pity they haven't joined in Equity's new drive to pay a minimum wage for the actors in fringe but I'm hoping they will come around as the initiative is still quite young. The pub below is pleasant, despite being next to a rather busy road but I can't say I have ever had more than a beer here.

Go and support your local fringe! Just make sure to do some background reading on what's on as they vary quite a bit from play to play. 


Intimate space that immerses you into the greatest plays. This theatre has given birth to many that have transferred to the West End. On my last visit, I experiences "My Eyes Went Dark"- "Thrilling modern tragedy about Russian architect Nikolai Koslov who suffers the deep trauma of losing his wife and children in an air accident. As he seeks justice, the story transforms into a visceral examination of the cost of blame and our potential for forgiveness." Only two cast members played over 15 different roles with much artistry. An unforgettable experience!


I've seen some great plays stages here, I like the fact that they run two productions in rep so I can visit here on a Tuesday afternoon. The staff deserve much credit.

Loved it, great performances. Special mention to the wonderful voice of Alastair Parker playing the Husband. A real treat seeing actors who can actually sing! A must see!

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