London is all agog with theatres with most of the important ones being concentrated in Theatreland in the West End area. However, the city also has many fringe theatres that stage musicals, drams, leftfield theatre, and performance art. Some of these fringe theatres are being mentioned below.
Jermyn Street Theatre: An ideal fringe theatre where you can see the creations of budding playwrights as well as watch the forgotten or rarely-staged works of established playwrights. At least one new musical is shown here in a year. As a result, you will be able to see both ‘Three Women’ (the only play by Sylvia Plath) and ‘Jihad! The Musical’ (a satire by Benjamin Scheur).
Finborough Theatre: Established in 1980, The Finborough is a compact theatre but it has had a tremendous impact on the theatre scene in London. Its artistic director Neil McPherson is famous for spotting new talent and for fishing out forgotten classics and little-known texts.
Pleasance Theatre: With a strong bond with Edinburgh Film Festival, Pleasance makes its presence felt both in Islington and in Edinburgh during August’s Fringe Festival. The Islington venue operates throughout the year exhibiting new productions and hosting latest comic talent whereas its 26 Edinburgh venues only operate during the summer. Theatre personalities such as Graham Norton, Al Murray, Harry Enfield, Bill Bailey and Harry Hill have all appeared here and comic performers keep trying out new presentations before going to Edinburgh.
Royal Vauxhall Tavern: This cabaret venue has a century-old presence and has been serving confirmed bachelors. It is now the royal palace of Voho, the gay village of Vauxhall.
Visitors to London will find it convenient to stay at The Piccadilly London West End Hotel as it offers close proximity to most of the fringe theatre venues as well as to the West End theatres, besides offering comfortable accommodation.
Landor Theatre: This theatre is almost entirely dedicated to new musicals and revivals and it often hosts seasons of back-to-back sing-along productions with a few musical comedies in between.
Southwark Playhouse: Having had to vacate its home beneath the London Bridge due to ongoing redevelopment work at the station, it has moved temporarily to a warehouse near Elephant & Castle. Its new venue has a 240-seat main house and a 120-seat studio which makes it twice the size of its old venue as well as the largest fringe theatre in London.
If you are a budget traveller and would like to stay in a luxury hotel in the heart of London, it would be best to try and avail of London West End Hotel deals as you can enjoy attractive discounts and freebies.
Theatre 503: This pub theatre was launched in 2002 and ever since then this 65-seater fringe theatre has had tremendous success and has also won an Olivier for best new play ‘The Mountaintop’ in 2010.
Union Theatre: This underground theatre is housed in a former warehouse and is a shabby low-lit bar and cavernous, dank auditorium. It mostly hosts musicals and politically or socially-conscious comedies.