A visitor’s guide to the National Theatre


The National Theatre is one of London’s most famous attractions, offering the chance for visitors from around the world to enjoy a range of classical and contemporary stage performances by renowned artists from across the globe.

Located on the famous South Bank, the theatre was designed by Sir Denys Lasdun and offers three unique auditoriums – the Olivier, the Lyttelton and the Dorfman (formerly the Cottesloe).

Each space offers its own individual features and idiosyncrasies, with the venue as a whole having presented more than 800 performances since its opening in the early 1960s.

The National Theatre building is open to the public seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, from 9.30am to 11pm and visitors can enjoy not only the outstanding array of theatrical talent on show, but also the many spacious foyers and terraces overlooking the River Thames, as well as a wide choice of cafes and bars at which they can simply relax and grab a bite to eat.

What’s on at the National Theatre?

A changing schedule of outstanding shows can be seen at the theatre, with full details available either via the National Theatre website or by contacting the Box Office directly.

Some of the standout offerings of the theatre at present include Tom Stoppard’s newest play The Hard Problem, as well as the irrepressible Ralph Fiennes taking on the role of Jack Tanner in a reinvention of George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman.

Other performances set to the grace the stages of the theatre in the coming months include a reimagining of Charlotte Bronte’s masterpiece Jane Eyre, as well as Caryl Churchill’s Light Shining in Buckinghamshire and Alexander Zeldin’s Beyond Caring.

How to get there

Several public transport options are available for individuals keen to see upcoming performances at the National Theatre, with nearby bus and Underground links for travellers.

Tube stations in close proximity to the theatre include Waterloo (Northern, Bakerloo and Jubilee lines), Southwark (Jubilee line) and Embankment (Northern, Bakerloo, District and Circle lines).

Meanwhile, drivers venturing into the centre of London can park at the theatre’s own underground car park, although guests are advised that space is limited and charges range from £8 to £14 depending upon the length of stay.