National Theatre

London National Theatre new

This bleak looking concrete building on the Thames, houses 3 theatres that together make up the National Theatre complex. They are the Olivier Theatre, the Lyttelton and the Cottesloe Theatre and they vary in size and design. The National Theatre is not like a west end theatre, its remit is not about glitzy shows. Instead it brings new and exciting works to the stage and the cream of Britain’s acting talent fall over themselves to be in them. 

London National Theatre Concrete

If you’re interested in how a theatre works, the Backstage Tour is absolutely fascinating and we can thoroughly recommend it. You get to see all three theatres and walk on the stages, plus see how the scenery and props are made, and moved around and you see the building in a new light too.  You might not find it very attractive from the outside, but once you’ve seen how it functions and why it was designed that way, we actually started to like it!

London National Theatre auditorium

The tours are priced at £9.50 for adults with concessions and family tickets available too (2016 prices). They run up to 6 times a day Monday to Friday at 10.15am, 10.30am, 12.15pm, 12.30pm, 5.15pm and 5.30pm, twice on Saturday and once on a Sunday. Not all tours run on all days and they book up fast, so we recommend you book your tour in advance. Each tour lasts about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

London National Theatre indoor ceiling

If you want to book a ticket for a performance at one of the three theatre’s inside the complex, book via their own website below or their Box Office phone line.  This avoids all booking fees and can save you quite a lot of money!


Address: The National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 9PX
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7452 3000


Royal National Theatre – Official Website
Royal National Theatre – Wikipedia
Hotels near the Royal National Theatre – Great rates from
Book a London Show – Discounts and offers from our Tours & Activities pages
London Pass – Often offers free entry to the National Theatre backstage tour