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Best theatre in London

No visit to London is complete without seeing a show, so check out some of the capital’s world-class theatre venues.
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Find your new favourite West End musical, dramatic play or incredible opera. Enjoy a Shakespeare play at the National Theatre, or treat yourself to a ballet at the Royal Opera House. And experience a long-running hit or a new London theatre show.

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1. Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House is an important performing arts venue in Covent Garden. It is home to The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet and the orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Enjoy a wide range of world-class shows, or take a backstage tour of this historic London theatre.

2. Young Vic

Young Vic

An extremely influential London theatre, the Young Vic has an international reputation for staging innovative, challenging work. Here, you can find global stars working alongside emerging artists to create vibrant pieces that often attract a younger audience.

3. Sadler's Wells

Sadler's Well. Credit: Philip Vile

Sadler's Wells theatre in Islington is one of the world's leading dance venues, bringing renowned international and British dance shows to London. Enjoy all forms of dance, including contemporary, circus, ballet, Bollywood, tap, tango, flamenco and much more.

4. National Theatre

National Theatre. Credit: Philip Vile

The National Theatre on London's South Bank houses three auditoriums: the Olivier Theatre, Lyttleton Theatre and Dorfman Theatre. Experience a varied programme of shows, including Shakespeare and international classic drama, new plays and musicals. It is the home of many of London's must-see shows, and also offers behind-the-scenes tours to visitors.

5. Barbican

Barbican Theatre

The brutalist 1980s Barbican Centre, in the City of London, is comprised of a concert hall, two theatres, three cinemas, two art galleries, a library, restaurants, shops and a conservatory. The venue is the base of the London Symphony Orchestra and presents an exciting international programme of shows, talks and festivals.

6. London Coliseum

The home of the English National Opera, the London Coliseum is a beautiful theatre in the West End. It is one of the largest theatres in London and, in addition to the ENO, regularly hosts musicals and visiting companies, including the English National Ballet.

7. Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Soak up the magical atmosphere of Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. Every summer, the award-winning open-air theatre offers a season of Shakespeare, comedy, drama and family theatre performed between the lush trees of Regent's Park. It has a reputation for staging some of the best musicals in London.

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8. The Old Vic

The Old Vic is an iconic theatre in Waterloo. The first home of the National Theatre, the venue has welcomed many of the world’s most acclaimed performers, from Laurence Olivier, Peggy Ashcroft and John Gielgud, to Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Peter O’Toole.

9. Unicorn Theatre

Unicorn Theatre

The Unicorn Theatre in London Bridge is the UK's leading theatre dedicated to producing inspiring shows for young audiences. Let little ones enjoy an exciting programme of high-quality shows, aimed at introducing children and young people to the magic of theatre.