Theatre Shows in South London
Most people associate London's theatrical district with the West End and this is fair enough considering the number of shows which are put on there at any given time. Musicals, serious theatre, ballet, comedies, opera and modern dance productions can all be found at any one time in London's so-called Theatreland. Nevertheless, South London also possesses some theatrical spaces of note, so you should not miss out on this part of the capital when considering an evening at the theatre.
The National Theatre
Located on the south bank of the Thames, next to Waterloo Bridge, the National Theatre is a modernist structure that dominates the skyline in this part of London. The arts centre is a place of education as well as performance. You can find exhibitions and lectures here as well as films and theatres. Often associated with serious plays from up-and-coming writers as well as productions of classic writers, the National Theatre has more than one auditorium and is second only to the Barbican - in the City of London - in terms of its size and variety.
The Old Vic
Just down the road from the National Theatre is the Old Vic which, for many years, has been under the artistic guidance of Hollywood actor, Kevin Spacey. Its smaller sister venue, The Young Vic, is across the road on The Cut. The Old Vic was built in 1818 and has been putting on a mixture of new and old productions ever since, including some modern interpretations of classics. More experimental theatrical experiences can be found at the Young Vic.
A recreation of a Tudor theatre, the Globe lies near to the site where many of Shakespeare's plays were originally performed. From the thatched roof to the half-timbered walls, an evening spent here is like travelling back in time. You can sit on the benches, or stand at the front of the stage for a much lower price as a so-called groundling. As the theatre is open to the elements somewhat, the production season is summer-based but tours are offered year round.
The South London Theatre
This theatre is based in South Norwood, well away from the West End and the bright lights of central London. This is one of the busiest locations for amateur dramatic societies in the UK and there have been non-professional productions put on here for over four decades. In any given year there will be over 20 shows put on, spanning many different genres. The quality is usually very high considering the amateur nature of the performers.
This theatre is tucked away in Deptford, in south east London. It is part of a wider community centre which caters for all things from youth groups to a local MPs surgery. The theatre is quite intimate and is unusual because it has an octagonal shape with no proscenium arch. This gives any performance here a studio like feel, without it ever seeming too small.
The Landor Theatre
Situated in Clapham, the Landor Theatre is a tiny theatrical space that occupies the upstairs floor of a pub. At most, an audience of up to 60 people can be accommodated comfortably. As you might expect, the theatre means that audiences enjoy an intimate and friendly atmosphere. As well as plays, you will find it used as a stand up comedy venue at times.
New Wimbledon Theatre
Located a little further to the south west, the New Wimbledon Theatre was designed and built in 1908. For a regional theatre it is very large and can accommodate audiences of well over one and a half thousand. The hey-day of the theatre is probably most associated with the pre-war years, when it was popular with Noel Coward and Ivor Novello. These days, it has a range of productions and a very popular pantomime which is put on each Christmas.
If you work in a popular South London business location like Fulham or Wimbledon, South London theatres offer an easy after-work option without having to drag your colleagues across town.