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Pub theatres in London

Historic, hip, happening and hugely entertaining: check out our pick of London's top pub theatres.

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 plenty of change left over.

1. Etcetera Theatre

Above the Oxford Arms in Camden, the Etcetera Theatre is an award-winning pub theatre, which seats 42 people. You'll have an exciting choice of performances throughout the week, offering a variety of fringe theatre, cabaret, comedy and music.

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2. Gate Theatre

The award-winning Gate Theatre in Notting Hill is London's only theatre dedicated to international work. The flexible space has been a springboard for artists such as Katie Mitchell, Jude Law, Stephen Daldry, Kathy Burke, Ian MacNeil and Sophie Okonedo.

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3. Hen & Chickens Theatre Bar

Hen & Chickens Theatre, opposite Highbury and Islington Tube station, is an intimate 54-seat theatre, upstairs in the Hen & Chickens Theatre Bar. The crowd is regularly treated to excellent new writing by the resident production company, Unrestricted View.

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4. Landor Theatre

If you want to see a musical in an intimate setting, head to the Landor Theatre in south London. The Landor holds around 60 people and offers new and classic musical theatre productions. Make sure you have time to grab a drink before the show.

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5. 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 in the 60-person theatre, and you'll be treated to comedy, one-person shows and standard plays in one of London's long-standing pub theatres.

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6. 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

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7. Tabard Theatre

The Tabard Theatre has been around since 1985 and has a strong reputation for new writing. The studio theatre seats 96 and can be found above the Tabard Pub in Turnham Green. 

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8. Finborough Theatre

The multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre in Earl's Court presents both plays and musical theatre; including new writing and neglected work from the 19th and 20th centuries. The theatre, which was founded in 1980, seats 50. 

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9. Theatre503

Theatre 503, with its flexible auditorium, sits above the Latchmere Pub in Battersea. It's run by a team who focus on original writing, new directors and up-and-coming comedians, who push the boundaries of theatre and nurture unusual and uncommon work.

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10. Upstairs at the Gatehouse

Located in one of the oldest pubs in Highgate, Upstairs at the Gatehouse opened in 1895 and has been used as a music hall, a Masonic lodge and is now a theatre. Here you’ll find fringe theatre, musicals and drama, produced by in-house company, Ovation.

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