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National Theatre

#77 of 1,615 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
Neighbourhood:
Southbank
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Address: South Bank, Waterloo, London SE1 9PX, England
Phone Number:
+44 20 7452 3000
Website
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Description:

This is a theatre that everyone can enjoy, from the classics and...

This is a theatre that everyone can enjoy, from the classics and spectacular musicals to new plays and special events for the entire family.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Great experience

My first time at the national theatre seeing Ugly Lies the Bone in the Lyttelton theatre. I can't say i'm much of a fan of the brutalist architecture outside or in, but that said... read more

Reviewed 6 days ago
Emily R
via mobile
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787 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 727: English reviews
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

My first time at the national theatre seeing Ugly Lies the Bone in the Lyttelton theatre. I can't say i'm much of a fan of the brutalist architecture outside or in, but that said, once inside it is probably my favourite London theatre. I was on the back row but had lots of legroom, comfy seats and a good view... More 

Helpful?
Thank Emily R
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
182 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We went to the Dorfman theatre, the newest theatre at the National. We hadn't been there before. It's comfortable and a great space. We saw Nina Raine's play called Consent. It explored the issues of rape trials but also follows the lives of the barristers and their families. It explored serious issues as well as being laughing out loud funny.... More 

Helpful?
Thank sdee101
Glasgow, Scotland
Level Contributor
1,184 reviews
899 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 432 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

This was our first visit to see a play at the Olivier Theatre and we were lucky enough to have seats for the last night of Twelfth Night. It is a lovely theatre and the seats are comfortable. We had an excellent view in row J in the stalls but there would have been a good view from all seats.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Taxidevil
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

We were lucky - went to the NT early morning and got same day tickets for only £15! I asked if it was obscured view and was told no. However, because the seating and staging changes per show, the agent didn't realize that it WAS obstructed. However, given that there were seats in the pit that were empty - we... More 

Helpful?
Thank MidwestCoastie
Hamilton, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 week ago

My spouse and I went for a late in the day backstage tour the afternoon of May 10th and we really enjoyed it! We had bought the London Pass (3 day) and the that afternoon was our last chance to use the pass. I was very happy that the theatre did the tour for us as we didn't really give... More 

Helpful?
Thank matthewfreeland
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
146 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I went with a friend to see a new play, Salome, mid-week. Just walking along South Bank is a pleasure, and the architecture of the different centres is interesting and always provide something to look at. Inside, again, it is different from an average theatre, and I think I heard that there are architecture tours available - something to investigate.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Maytrea
Management response:

Thank you for posting your comments and for the 5 star rating. You're right to point out that the Olivier is an impressive space, with an open stage, containing a revolve which has lift mechanisms to raise and lower the performance area, as well a fan-shaped auditorium. Based on the plan of a Greek Theatre is the perfect setting of... More 

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
68 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We are regulars at the National and when a play starts at 7:00 pm the logistics of travel and getting something to eat can get complicated. We booked the House Restaurant right on site this past week and it was outstandingly good. We were able to book a few days in advance, service was excellent throughout and the food, including... More 

Helpful?
Thank EDWARD M
Management response:

Thanks, Edward. I was pleased to pass you comments on to the team in House, the National's restaurant. With an early start for 'Angels in America 'we plan our service around getting audiences to the theatre, refreshed and replete especially if they are seeing both parts of the story. I do hope you enjoyed the production, as well and we... More 

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Always wonderful to walk around the bustling area and enjoy the river-side view. Atmosphere inside the theatre complex is just as lively before you go watch a play. All the four plays I saw were incredibly thought-provoking and entertaining. Seats at the Dorfman and Lyttleton are comfortable and generally provide a good view. Visit the bookshop and you just might... More 

Helpful?
Thank Gene C
Management response:

Thank you for the review, Gene, and the 5 star rating. I'm glad you were able to see 4 plays here and enjoy the ambience of the building including the bookshop. We hope we can tempt you back with more thought-provoking and entertaining work for you next visit to the National Alison More 

Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
44 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Saw Angels in America on the first night and the play was excellent. But this review concerns the National Threatre itself. I saw 9 plays in 9 days in London (yes, I'm a theater junkie from California). Ordering tickets was very simple on its website. The staff at the theater were uniformily helpful and friendly. The facility was large with... More 

Helpful?
Thank resipsaloquitur
Management response:

Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed review of your experience at the National Theatre, particularly for the appreciative comments about the staff. We aim to make the whole experience enjoyable, not just the performances with a selection of places to eat and drink, as well as the well-stocked bookshop, which has also entered in the spirit of the Angels... More 

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

If you love theatre then the National is one of the best in London. Comprised of The Dorfman, The Lyttelton and The Olivier Theatres all have magnificent stages and comfortable seats. The plays are well-chosen and often cutting edge an usually have a stellar cast of actors. Whatever you choose to see at The National, you can be safe in... More 

Helpful?
Thank Sarah G
Management response:

Thank you Sarah, for your 5 star view of the National Theatre. With over 20 new productions a year we programme work from the Classics to new plays and aim to give a range of repertoire for different tastes and budgets so that's good to know those choices are appreciated. We hope you'll have treat the next time you are... More 

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Staying in Southbank

Neighbourhood Profile
Southbank
Big time attractions such as the London Eye and a thriving theatre scene (compliments of the National Theatre and the Young Vic) are but a few of the reasons that Southbank is such a collectively cherished part of town. With plenty of family friendly activities and venues lined up along a pedestrianized river bank between Westminster Bridge and Waterloo Bridge, visitors can always expect a casual and festive atmosphere. On top of all the fun stuff to do at Southbank is the opportunity to simply sit back and admire photo-op views of iconic landmarks like Parliament and St Paul's Cathedral, just on across the Thames.
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