The Seagull

Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke will star as Nina in Chekov's The Seagull, the latest production announced in the Jamie Lloyd season at the Playhouse Theatre.

A Doll's House

The Jamie Lloyd Company’s new season at the Playhouse Theatre is set to continue with Frank McGuinness’s version of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, starring Jessica Chastain.

Box Office Contacts

Box Office:0844 871 7631
Access Booking:0800 912 6971
Group Booking:020 7206 1174
Stage Door:020 7839 4292
Visit the official website


Originally opening in 1882 as the Royal Avenue Theatre, the theatre was best-known for hosting comic operas, farce, music hall and burlesque, with the first ever production being Offenbach's Madame Favart. Playwright George Bernard Shaw made his debut at the theatre with Arms and the Man (1894), earning him enough acclaim to keep him in the public eye.

In 1905, the theatre was rebuilt under new designs, but an accident from the nearby station caused the theatre to undergo repairs and reopen in 1907, with The Drums of Oudh and Toddles, as well as Shaw's The Interlude at the Playhouse. Early plays included Home and Beauty (1919), Mr. Abdulla (1926), The Letter (1927) and Dishonoured Lady (1930). Alec Guinness made his debut at the theatre in Libe! (1934).

From 1951, The Playhouse became a recording studio for the BBC, with radio versions of The Goon Show and Steptoe and Son taking place at the venue. Concerts from bands such as Queen, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, KISS, The Who and The Rolling Stones also were popular here. After the BBC departed in 1976, the theatre went dark.

1987 saw the theatre back in action, with productions such as musical Girlfriends (1987), The Rose Tattoo (1991), starring Julie Walters, Moliere's Tartuffe (1991), starring Felicity Kendal, It Runs in the Family (1992), Jane Eyre (1993), starring Tim Piggott-Smith, On Approval (1994) and Funny Money (1995). Throughout this time, the theatre changed management regularly, with further productions including dramas such as Ibsen's A Doll's House (1996).

In 1996, English Heritage put the theatre under refurbishment, reopening in 1997 with Chekhov's The Wood Demon, before becoming a receiving house for the Almeida Theatre and Cheek by Jowl, including the premiere of David Hare's The Judas Kiss.

In recent years, successes have included Chekhov's Three Sisters (2003), starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Vincent in Brixton (2003), Les Liaisons Dangereuses (2003-2004), Journey's End (2004), Romeo and Juliet (2004-2005), an RSC season (2005), The Postman Always Rings Twice (2005), As You Desire Me (2005-2006), starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Bob Hoskins, The Creeper (2006), My Name is Rachel Corrie (2006), by Alan Rickman, The Rocky Horror Show (2006), Dancing in the Streets (2006-2007), Footloose - the Musical (2007) and The Adventures of Tintin (2007-2008).

Later notable musical successes have included La Cage aux Folles (2008-2010), starring Douglas Hodge and Graham Norton, Dreamboats and Petticoats (2010-2012), Simon Callow's The Mystery of Charles Dickens (2012), Monty Python's Spamalot (2012-2014), Lindsay Lohan in Speed-the-Plow (2014), a critically-acclaimed new production of 1984 (2014), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (2015), starring Tamsin Greig and The Rocky Horror Show (2015), starring David Bedella and Ben Forster.

Recent productions have featured Michael Flatley's last production, Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games (2015-2016), Matthew Perry's The End of Longing (2016) and the return of 1984 (2016). J. B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls opened to acclaim in 2016, continuing for an extended period to 2017.

Following the departure of An Inspector Calls, subsequent productions included a return of David Baddiel's comedy My Family: Not the Sitcom (2017), due to high demand. After a critically acclaimed season at Wyndham's Theatre, The Kite Runner (2017) soared into the Playhouse Theatre for limited performances, followed by Derren Brown: Underground. The year rounded off with an all-star cast in David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, starring Christian Slater.

2018 saw Bill Kenwright's touring production of The Best Man play a limited season, starring Martin Shaw and Maureen Lipman. The Young Vic's The Jungle transferred to the Playhouse Theatre in June 2018, followed by the Chichester Festival Theatre's critically-acclaimed Caroline, or Change, which played from November - March.

2019 saw five-star Menier Chocolate Factory production Fiddler on the Roof transfer to the venue in March. In November, director Jamie Lloyd began a season of new productions at the Playhouse with an adaptation of Cyrano de Begerac starring James McAvoy.

In 2020, the theatre will host Lloyd's productions of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull starring Emilia Clarkeand Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House with acclaimed film actress Jessica Chastain.

Past Shows

Cyrano de Bergerac
(closed 29 Feb 2020)
Fiddler OT Small
Fiddler on the Roof
(closed 2 Nov 2019)
Caroline, or Change
(closed 2 Mar 2019)

The Jungle
(closed 3 Nov 2018)
The Best Man
(closed 26 May 2018)
Glengarry Glen Ross
(closed 3 Feb 2018)

Derren Brown: Underground
(closed 14 Oct 2017)
The Kite Runner
(closed 26 Aug 2017)

An Inspector Calls logo small
An Inspector Calls
(closed 23 Mar 2017)
1984 logo small
(closed 29 Oct 2016)
End of Longing logo small
The End of Longing
(closed 14 May 2016)