The Arts Theatre first opened in 1927 as a members only club. This meant it could avoid government censorship and stage unlicensed plays. It gained a reputation for putting on daring and experimental shows which would never have gained access to the commercial theatres of the West End. In 1955, the theatre staged the English-language premiere of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.
It’s a small and intimate venue, which still puts on shows you wouldn’t see elsewhere. It often has short-running productions and one-man shows, and has recently hosted The Vagina Monologues and Gagarin Way.
The auditorium is air-conditioned and has 351 seats over 2 levels. Disabled access is through the EXIT doors on the left of the main entrance. There is one space for a wheelchair user at the rear of the Circle and an adapted toilet on the same level. At the moment, there is no sound amplification system for the hard of hearing. There are 2 licensed bars, in the foyer and at the Stalls level. The theatre now hosts the London Cocktail Club, a private members club for pre and post-performance drinks.
The Arts Theatre is right in the middle of the West End, close to Leicester Square tube station (50m). It’s a very busy area and you might have trouble finding a place to park in the streets around the venue. Drivers can use the Westminster City Council car park at China Town or the NCP at Upper Martin’s Lane.
In our travels around the web, we found these Arts Theatre web pages useful. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to list your favourite Arts Theatre website here.
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