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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

The Etcetera Theatre is an award-winning London pub theatre situated above the Oxford Arms in Camden. You'll find an innovative selection of shows at this venue, which offers a variety of theatre, cabaret, comedy and music.

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2. Gate Theatre

Gate Theatre. Image courtesy of Gate Theatre.

The acclaimed Gate Theatre in Notting Hill is a fantastic place to see the most exciting emerging writers and directors. The flexible space has been a springboard for artists such as Katie Mitchell, Jude Law, Stephen Daldry, Kathy Burke 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 at 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. The Hope Theatre

Image supplied by Hope Theatre
Visit north London’s Hope Theatre to see award-winning productions in one of the capital’s newest pub venues. Expect to see a mix of musical theatre, new writing and rediscovered classics. Read More

5. Old Red Lion Theatre

Islington’s Old Red Lion Theatre was the original home of globally successful comedy, The Play That Goes Wrong. Take a seat in the 60-person theatre and you'll be treated to comedy, one-person shows or drama in one of London's long-standing pub theatres.

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6. Rosemary Branch Theatre

The Rosemary Branch Theatre is widely known for its opera, contemporary drama classics, and new comedy writing. You'll find the former Victorian music hall 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 opened in 1985 and has built a strong reputation for new writing. The studio theatre, which also has a history of hosting stand-up comedy, can be found above the Tabard Pub in Turnham Green. 

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8. Finborough Theatre

The award-winning Finborough Theatre in Earl's Court presents both plays and musical theatre, specialising in original work and neglected pieces from the 19th and 20th centuries. It is considered one of the most influential of London’s fringe venues.

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9. Theatre503

Find Theatre503, with its flexible auditorium, above The Latchmere pub in Battersea. It's run by a team who focus on new writing and directors, so is one of the best places to discover emerging talent both on and off stage. 

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10. Upstairs at The Gatehouse

Take a trip to Highgate to find Upstairs at The Gatehouse, which opened in 1895 and has been used as a music hall, a Masonic lodge and is now a theatre. The historic venue stages a mixture of drama and musicals.

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