St James Theatre

Theatre, Performing arts space St James's Park
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St James Theatre
© Agnese Sanvito

Central London's newest theatre is a great place to catch an out of town transfer

St James Theatre is the first newly-built theatre complex in central London in 30 years, built on the site of the former Westminster Palace. Though from the outside it looks a bit like a mid-priced hotel, the 312-seat main house has been an interesting addition to the London theatre scene. Though it's produced plenty of original productions, it's perhaps most valuably served as a place for acclaimed regional productions to swiftly transfer into.

It also has a 150-capacity studio that's carved out a decent niche for itself hosting musical cabaret and suchlike.


Venue name: St James Theatre
Address: 12 Palace St
Transport: Tube: Victoria; Rail: Victoria
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Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:1
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This is a lovely theatre with comfortable seats, a programme that isn't just all-the-usuals, and a thoughtful design. 

All sorts of interesting plays and shows and musicians to be seen in the theatre and studio.

TIMEOUT... Shame on you! This show deserves a bigger stage. It kept me entertained from the beginning through to the end. Yes it was eccentric but this is what Made it interesting for me. The imagery was incredible, the cast and acting were spot on with top class performances and the music was fantastic. What more do you need.


Came to see Exposure The Musical this week (during a heatwave) so a stuffy theatre was not an exciting prospect but much to my delight we were welcomed into a cool theatre – the aircon units were definitely working overtime! From the outside this modern building does not even look like a theatre, more like a trendy exhibition space, as you step into the foyer the cleanliness is immediately apparent everything looks very fresh and crisp in this airy space. 

We were directed into the main theatre to the left, although was asked which show we were here to see so I believe there are more than one performance space. The one we went to reminded me of an American High School style auditorium, with comfortable plush red folding seats set out in rows directly facing stage with a slight curve at either end and no tiers or balconies above so no pillars required – the layout was good, you won’t find yourself stuck in a side on or obstructed viewing seat here! The only thing I would say is the front row appeared to be below stage level, so meant looking above eye line to watch the performance, giving it potential to give viewers a bit of a stiff neck. 

The theatre itself did lack some of the charm of London’s more historical theatres provide, however it done the job. Great location too, just a hop, skip and jump from Victoria which makes the midweek post-theatre commute home manageable.


A lovely modern addition to London's theatre scene. Fabulous facilities, free chilled water at the bar to serve yourself, and a decent priced bar. Oh, and this is the first theatre I have ever been to where there is not a queue in the loos during the interval (and yes, it was a full house!). The fact that Victoria station is 3mins down the road makes this almost the perfect spot for a show. 


St James Theatre is one of the newest in London, squeezed between Cardinal Place and St James's Park: not the most obvious of locations but very convenient. From the outside it's rather unprepossessing, but what it lacks in history and glamour it makes up for in comfort. The auditorium is well laid-out to allow a good view from every seat, and the seats themselves are comfortable (plus it's well air conditioned, which is a boon in a heatwave). The shows I've seen there (the wonderful Urinetown and the more questionable Exposure) have certainly been more experimental and different than those you'd see in the heart of the West End. Jolly good show!


The St James Theatre is a  sheeny shiny cultural hotspot a stone's throw away from Victoria station filled with the hubbub of intoxicated media types. Or, it was on the one occasion that I went there, anyway. 

I saw 'Around the World in 80 Days' here, starring the dad off of My Parents are Aliens, and other people too. The play had a kitchsy Vaudeville vibe (intentional) so the somewhat ramshackle setup (the music/lights cue person was plainly visible up in the dress circle) didn't actually stick out that much. Also, I got free tickets, so, I mean, there's no complaints. And I drank tap water from the bar, which was chilled and pressed with lime. Didn't spend a penny all evening.... except in the bathroom*. Badum-tish. Here all week, folks.

* I hope this euphemism for squeezing the lemon (also a euphemism) carries over. I wouldn't want anyone to think I bought cherry flavoured lube or something in the toilets, like from one of those dirty pub loo vending machines.


A good theatre space off the West End with more accessible ticket pricing.  The theatre has a steep rake but none of the seats have a restricted view so even the back row gives a clear view of the stage (worth knowing if you are short of cash but want to see a show).