Some of London's best quality theatre shows and cutting-edge comedy nights can be found upstairs (and occasionally downstairs) in the capital's pubs.
Plus, if you're looking for cheap entertainment in London, pub theatres are a great source of a good value night out. Enjoy a pint and a play or some stand-up here, and in many cases you'll find you still have change to get the bus home! See how to get to some of London’s best small theatres on TFL’s PDF map.
Above the Oxford Arms in Camden, the Etcetera Theatre is a typical pub theatre, seating 42. You'll often have a choice of two different plays, at 7.30pm and 9.30pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays (6.30pm and 8.30pm on Sundays). Etcetera offers a variety of lively shows from a talented young crowd. Tickets from £5 to £12
The multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre in Earls Court presents both plays and musical theatre; both new writing and neglected work from the 19th and 20th centuries. The theatre, which was founded in 1980, seats 50. It also runs a Literary Department and a Resident Assistant Director Programme. Tickets from £5
The award-winning Gate Theatre in Notting Hill is London's only theatre dedicated to international work. The flexible, 70-seater space has been a springboard for artists such as Katie Mitchell, Jude Law, Stephen Daldry, Kathy Burke, Ian MacNeil and Sophie Okonedo for more than 30 years. Tickets from £5 to £20
Hen & Chickens Theatre Bar
Hen & Chickens Theatre, opposite the Highbury and Islington Tube station, is an intimate 54-seat black box theatre, upstairs in the Victorian Hen & Chickens Theatre Bar. The young crowd is regularly treated to excellent new writing and comedy by the resident production company, Unrestricted View. Tickets from £6 to £12
If you want to see a musical in an intimate setting, head to the Landor Theatre in South London. The Landor Theatre holds about 60, offers new plays and new and classic musicals. The theatre has a great relationship with the fantastic pub downstairs: make sure you have time to grab a drink before the show. Tickets up to £24
Old Red Lion Theatre
Hang out in the Old Red Lion pub, and you'll hear a bell ring when a production is starting. Take a seat on the cushioned benches, and you'll be treated to comedy, one-person shows and standard plays in one of London's long-standing pub theatres. (It was founded in 1979 as the Old Red Lion Theatre Club.) Tickets from £6 to £18
The Rosemary Branch
The Rosemary Branch is widely known for its opera, contemporary drama classics, and new comedy writing. You'll find the theatre across the road from the Grand Union Canal on the borders of Hackney, Islington and Shoreditch. As well as theatre, the Rosemary Branch hosts art exhibitions. Tickets from £5 to £15
The Tabard Theatre has been around since 1985, and has a strong reputation for new writing. The studio theatre seats 80 and can be found above the Tabard Pub in Turnham Green. The Tabard has recently been renovated to make it more accommodating for both artists and audiences. Tickets from £6 to £18
Theatre 503, with its flexible auditorium, sits above the Latchmere Pub in Battersea. It's run by five close-knit directors who focus on new writing, new directors and up-and-coming comedians, who push the boundaries of theatre and nurture unusual and uncommon work. Tickets from £6 to £15
Upstairs at the Gatehouse
Located in one of the oldest pubs in Highgate, Upstairs at the Gatehouse opened in 1895 as "a place suitable for Balls, Cinderellas and Concerts". It's been used as a music hall, a cinema, Masonic lodge and is now a theatre. Theatre companies who want to stage commercial revivals are encouraged at the venue. Tickets from £6 to £15