A great alternative to West End theatre is to visit one of the capital’s many fringe theatres. Often these are better for a date, with smaller audience sizes and a more intimate setting. What’s more, fringe theatres offer new and experimental theatre that you would not otherwise get the chance to see if you stuck to West End shows. Not to mention that it’s often a more affordable option too!
Match.com’s top 10 London fringe theatres
1) The Courtyard, Hoxton
This 150-seat theatre is a fine place to impress your date, with it situated in a red brick, Grade II listed, former public library. There is also the iambic bar, serving a number of fine wines, which is a great place to relax and have a drink with your date before a show.
2) Almeida Theatre, Islington
A 325-seat theatre with a distinctive stage designed to help the audience feel closer to the action. Performances here include a stage-adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984, which has proved so popular that it is making its way to the West End soon.
3) Jacksons Lane, Highgate
A 160-seat theatre set in a “striking red-bricked gothic church conversion”, Jacksons Lane is a multi-purpose space where you can see experimental theatre, or even catch a comedy show.
4) Finborough Theatre, Earls Court
Founded in 1980, the Finborough Theatre is going strong despite remaining unfunded, and is located in an attractive area above an Earls Court pub. Many shows here end up in the West End – a great barometer for their quality.
5) Etcetera Theatre, Camden Town
A truly intimate venue, seating just 42 people, this is a great place to take a date to see some of the best of London’s fringe theatre. This is also another good place to see comedy shows as well.
6) Jermyn Street Theatre, Piccadilly Circus
This theatre is situated in the heart of theatre-land, but is a more intimate space, with 70 seats. It serves up an eclectic mix of new theatre (with at least one new musical each year) and well-known playwrights’ lesser-known works!
7) Theatre 503, Battersea Park
A 65-seat theatre specialising in ground-breaking and innovative new theatre. More recently they’ve launched ‘Second Look’, which revives overlooked plays from decades past.
8) Southwark Playhouse, Elephant & Castle
A large fringe theatre in London, Southwark Playhouse currently has a 240-seat residency in Elephant & Castle, with a view to moving to London Bridge once redeveloped. The theatre also works closely with local youth and community programmes.
9) Landor Theatre, Clapham North
Specialising in musicals, the Landor Theatre is a great alternative to the West End. The intimate nature of the venue means you’re never more than two rows from the front! You can also enjoy a pre-theatre meal in the Landor Pub or relax in the beer garden.
10) Pentameters, Hampstead
A 60-seat theatre located above The Horseshoe Pub in Hampstead, Pentameters has witnessed many authors perform, such as Ted Hughes and Harold Pinter, and performers earlier on in their careers such as Russell Brand, Ben Elton and Rik Mayall.
For more date ideas, head back to our London dating page.