There are around 230 theatres in London, ranging from large, glitzy theatres in Theatreland to little theatre companies in neighbourhoods throughout the city.
The history of theatre and, of course, London’s renowned theatres combine for a theatre enthusiast’s seventh heaven.
There are over 40 venues in “Theatreland,” which is located in or near the heart of London’s West End and is home to the city’s most renowned theatre area, the West End.
London’s finest theatres are among the city’s most recognizable cultural landmarks.
West End is the city’s theatre sector, with scores of world-class theatres presenting high-production performances that frequently feature renowned actors.
This is the place to be for a variety of theatrical performances, including plays, dance, and classical music.
Let’s have a look at the biggest theatres London has to offer.
List of the biggest theatres in London:
- Royal Albert Hall
- Hammersmith Apollo
- The Barbican Centre
- London Coliseum
- Royal Festival Hall
- London Palladium Theatre
1. Royal Albert Hall
With over 4,000 luxurious red seats, Royal Albert Hall is the largest theatre in London in terms of seating capacity.
With frequent performances by the English National Ballet and Cirque du Soleil, as well as the Royal Variety Performance, we believe it deserves a spot on the list of London’s largest theatres.
Over one million people attend events and performances at the Royal Albert Hall annually. The venue’s broad schedule of events makes it perfect for families with children as well as opera and ballet fans.
Variable performance and event durations necessitate an early arrival to secure a seat before curtain time.
The structure is also a marvel of architecture. The exterior, foyer, and auditorium date back to 1858, while the remainder of the complex was renovated in the 1990s.
As one of London’s largest theatres, the building comprises a main auditorium with four levels of boxes and balconies, an amphitheatre gallery, and a proscenium.
The majority of activities and performances at the Royal Albert Hall are ticketed. Tickets can be reserved online in advance.
Location: Bow St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DD, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)2072 401200
2. Hammersmith Apollo
The West London facility, formerly known as the Hammersmith Apollo, is one of London’s major live entertainment locations.
In 1931, the facility debuted as the Gaumont Palace cinema with two films: A Night Like This and Bad Company.
The theatre was formerly known as the Hammersmith Odeon in 1962 and has hosted world-renowned artists like Bob Marley and The Beatles.
This theater has 3,326 seats and 298 standing places: 120 in the stalls and 178 in the dress circle, should the box office decide to sell them.
When all the seats in the stalls are removed, there is space for around 3,000 standing spaces, bringing the total capacity of this facility to about 5,000.
Location: 45 Queen Caroline St, London W6 9QH, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 8563 3800
3. The Barbican Centre
The Barbican Centre is a performing arts venue that includes classical and modern concerts, theatrical productions, film screenings, and art exhibitions.
The Barbican Centre is one of the largest facilities of its sort in Europe, housing multiple theatres, cinemas, conference and trade rooms, cafés, a conservatory, and a library.
The Barbican Centre hosts thousands of events and around 1.5 million visitors each year.
Due to its extensive calendar of performances and events, the Barbican Centre is suited for a wide range of audiences, including families with small children, cinema buffs, enthusiastic culture lovers, and industry professionals.
Other amenities at the Barbican Centre include the Barbican Film, a venue with three theatres for film screenings as well as the Barbican Library, a public library with arts-related materials.
In addition, there are three restaurants, two trade show halls, and seven meeting rooms for industry gatherings.
Location: Silk St, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DS, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)2076 384141
4. London Coliseum
The London Coliseum is the city’s largest and most opulent theatre, where performances of the highest calibre are presented.
There are 2,359 seats inside, so you can anticipate magnificent and impressive performances on its stage.
The facility is lavish with the city’s widest proscenium arch and a stage that rotates three times, but this feature is rarely utilised.
There are also lifts providing step-free access to all seating levels except the Upper Circle.
The Coliseum, designed by the theatrical architect Frank Matcham, was intended to be London’s largest and most elegant “family” variety theatre.
Construction began in 1903, and the London Coliseum Theatre of Varieties opened on 24 December of the following year.
Location: London Coliseum, St Martin’s Ln, WC2N 4ES, London, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)2078 459300
5. Royal Festival Hall
The Royal Festival Hall is a 2,700-seat performance, dance, and discussion venue located in London’s Southbank Centre.
It is located near Hungerford Bridge on the South Bank of the River Thames in the London Borough of Lambeth. It is a Grade I listed structure, the first post-war structure to get such protection.
The Royal Festival Hall was constructed for the 1951 Festival of Britain and was inaugurated in May of that year.
Location: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX, London, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 3879 9555
6. London Palladium Theatre
The London Palladium is a Grade II* West End theatre located on Argyll Street in London’s Soho district.
There are 2,286 seats in the theatre. Many of the stars who have performed there have been on television.
The Palladium was constructed in 1910 to rival the London Hippodrome and London Coliseum.
The theatre has hosted the Royal Variety Performances on forty separate occasions. There have been performers such as Laurel and Hardy, Vesta Tilley, and The Beatles.
The London Palladium turned one hundred years old on Boxing Day 2010, and BBC Two aired a one-hour special titled “100 Years of the Palladium” on New Year’s Eve of that year.
Location: 8 Argyll St, London W1F 7TF, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 3925 2998