The Best London Fringe Theatre

3rd July 2023

The Best London Fringe Theatre
Georgia Carter

Georgia Carter

What makes an intimate theatre performance so special and what are the best London fringe theatre venues around? We are here to tell you that there are so many little spaces in the city where you can enjoy theatre. You will be up, close and personal with the actors and have an experience that is completely different to one on a larger stage. Maybe you will know about the venues we’ll discuss today, or you might be new to fringe theatre. Either way, we hope you enjoy the article. So as they would say in the world of theatre, places please, or let’s get the show on the road.

What Is London Fringe Theatre?

London Fringe Theatre – or Off-West End is a type of theatre that is typically smaller in scale and budget, and often showcases experimental or alternative productions. It is popular among theatergoers because it offers a diverse range of shows and allows for more intimate and immersive experiences. Fringe theatre also provides a platform for emerging artists and new voices in the industry.

The Differences Between Fringe Theatre & West End

The main differences between fringe theatre and West End productions are the size and budget of the productions, as well as the venues in which they are staged. West End productions are typically larger in scale and budget, and are staged in larger, more traditional theatre venues. Fringe theatre productions, on the other hand, are often staged in smaller, more unconventional venues, and may have more limited resources available for production elements such as sets, costumes, and lighting.

Which Are The Best London Fringe Theatre Venues

Some popular areas for Fringe Theatres include Camden, Islington, and the South Bank. Some examples of fringe theatre include; the Finborough, Jermyn Street Theatre, the Old Red Lion Theatre, Bridge House Theatre, the Arcola Theatre, The Etcetera Theatre and Theatre503. Let’s hear a little more about each of them. 

The Finborough Theatre

London Fringe Theatre

The Finborough Theatre is a small fringe theatre located in Earls Court, London. It was founded in 1980 and has a capacity of 50 seats. The theatre is known for producing new and innovative plays, as well as reviving neglected works from the past. It has won several awards for its productions, and has been praised for its commitment to diversity and inclusivity in its programming.

Jermyn Street Theatre

London Fringe Theatre

Jermyn Street Theatre is a 70-seat studio theatre located in the heart of London’s West End. It was founded in 1994 and is known for producing high-quality, intimate theatre productions. The theatre has a diverse programming schedule, featuring classic plays, new writing, and innovative productions. It also offers a range of workshops and educational programs for aspiring actors and theatre-makers. 

The Old Red Lion Theatre 

London Fringe Theatre 

The Old Red Lion Theatre is a pub theatre located in Islington, London. It was established in 1979 and has since become known for producing new and innovative plays. The theatre has a capacity of 60 seats and hosts a variety of performances, including drama, comedy, and musicals. It has also been used as a venue for rehearsed readings, workshops, and other events. Over the years, many well-known actors and playwrights have performed or premiered their work at the Old Red Lion Theatre.

Bridge House Theatre

London Fringe Theatre

The Bridge House Theatre is a small theatre located in London, UK. It was established in 2014 and has a seating capacity of 50-80 people. The theatre hosts a variety of productions, including plays, musicals, and comedy shows. It also serves as a venue for workshops and rehearsals. The Bridge House Theatre is known for its intimate atmosphere and has received positive reviews for its productions. From experience, it is a lovely theater to perform at.

The Arcola Theatre

London Fringe Theatre

The Arcola Theatre is a performing arts venue located in Dalston, London. It was founded in 2000 by Mehmet Ergen and Leyla Nazli, and has since become known for its commitment to producing environmentally sustainable theatre. The theatre has two performance spaces, the Arcola Main Stage and the Arcola Studio, and hosts a wide range of productions including plays, musicals, and operas. It also offers educational programs and community outreach initiatives.

The Etcetera Theatre

Etcetera Theatre

The Etcetera Theatre is a small fringe theatre located above The Oxford Arms pub in Camden, London. It was founded in 1986 and hosts a variety of performances including theatre, comedy, music, and spoken word. The venue has a capacity of 42 seats and is known for its intimate and experimental productions. It is also a popular venue for new and emerging artists to showcase their work. Once again, having performed here too, it is a great space for you to showcase your work. 


Theatre 503

Theatre503 is a theatre located in Battersea, London. It was founded in 1982 and is known for showcasing new and emerging playwrights. The theatre has a 63-seat auditorium and hosts a variety of productions throughout the year, including plays, musicals, and comedy shows. It has a reputation for promoting diversity and inclusivity in the theatre industry. Many successful productions have started at Theatre503 and gone on to have runs in the West End and beyond.

Southwark Playhouse

Southwark Playhouse

Southwark Playhouse is a theatre located in London, UK. It was founded in 1993 and has since become known for producing innovative and thought-provoking theatre. The theatre is housed in a former warehouse and has two performance spaces, the Main House and the Little, which can accommodate audiences of up to 240 and 120 people respectively. Southwark Playhouse is committed to supporting emerging artists and has a reputation for discovering new talent. It also hosts a variety of events and workshops aimed at engaging with the local community.

Fringe Theatre In London

Actors may enjoy doing fringe theatre because it allows for more creative freedom, a closer connection with the audience, and the opportunity to showcase their versatility as performers. Additionally, fringe theatre often provides a more intimate and immersive experience for both the actors and the audience. Are you an actor, and have you just performed yourself on one of these stages? 

As you can see from watching this video from the BBC, pretty large names such as Sheila Hancock, Ian McKellen and James Norton have graced the fringe theatre stages in London. 

Why not try and find some fringe theatre shows in London today using this link.

Summary – London Fringe Theatre

Intimate theatre performances allow for a more immersive and personal experience for the audience. The close proximity to the performers and the smaller size of the venue create a sense of intimacy and connection between the audience and the performers, making the performance feel more authentic and impactful. Additionally, intimate theatre performances such as those in London Fringe theatre venues often feature more experimental and boundary-pushing works, which can be exciting and thought-provoking for the audience.

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