Theatre Shows in North London
North London has plenty of theatres spread out in both the outlaying suburbs and those parts of the northern section of the capital which are closer to the centre. From Angel, just north of central London to Southgate, which lies beyond the North Circular ring road, there are many high quality theatres and production companies to choose between. A good deal of these stage productions would rival anything that you might find in the West End, London's so-called Theatreland. Before deciding to travel into the heart of the city for a show or a play, it is well worth checking out what North London has to offer, too.
Located relatively close to the middle of the city, but undeniably in North London, the Almeida Theatre is in close proximity to Angel tube station in the southern side of Islington. Opened in 1980, the theatrical space is relatively intimate with only 350 seats that can be occupied during a performance. The Almeida puts on a regular summer festival of contemporary theatrical productions including opera, music and plays. Successful new plays have often found their first London stage here only to be subsequently transferred to the West End.
Formerly a building that was used to house locomotives, the Roundhouse Theatre was converted to a multi-function theatrical space in 1964. It has been used for all sorts of theatrical productions over the years, but is especially associated with brand new musicals. It is also very well used as a gig venue and is frequently used by the BBC to record performances of established artists. It has a capacity of 3,300 standing or 1,700 when it is being used for seated theatrical performances.
The Tricycle Theatre
Situated on Kilburn High Road in northwest London, the Tricycle was first opened in 1980 but rebuilt substantially in 1998. The theatre is probably most commonly associated with serious plays, often from the most recently discovered writers. Expect political content and contemporary issues to be a feature of many of the performances. However, established writers also have their plays put on as well. In recent years, Arthur Miller and Joe Orton have both had productions of their works performed at the Tricycle.
This theatre is in fact two-in-one. The home of the world famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival in London, Pleasance's main auditorium will hold 290 people. There is also a studio which houses just 54 audience members. Pleasance is a disability-friendly theatre and is very popular amongst comedians and sketch performers. Popular shows that have been put on over the years include Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby, The Animals of Farthing Wood and The Gruffalo, a children's play.
One of London's best smaller sized theatres, the Hampstead Theatre is just over fifty years old but still has an utterly modern feel to its architecture and approach to new productions. Situated close to Swiss Cottage, the theatre can seat 325 audience members over two levels. There is also an 80 person studio. The theatre has a fantastic reputation for innovation and producing the works of new writers. The theatre also hosts so-called Start Nights, in which extracts of new plays are acted out in front of an audience who then offer feedback.
Watford Palace Theatre
Situated on the very edge of north London, this elegant theatre is an Edwardian, Grade II listed building. The Watford Palace Theatre has been producing new plays for about a hundred years and was significantly overhauled in 2002 to 2004 to allow for better disability access and the addition of new seating. A total of 600 people can fit into the auditorium comfortably and there are now two bars and a café for the theatre-going public to enjoy.
If your job is in Camden, Hampstead or any other North London business location, do yourself a favour and check out the local theatre offerings.