What can be better after a hectic week in the office, than to pay a visit to the theater? If you live in London or have come to this city on business or for vacation, include attending Arts Theatre in your schedule!
Arts Theatre History
If you are not the lover of huge public venues, this “pocket theater” will be an ideal choice for you! Its capacity is just 350 seats. It was opened on the 20th of April in 1927. Then it was called The arts Theater Club. It was supposed like a club for everyone, who liked theater. Professional and non-professional actors were invited to play here. The repertoire of the theater was also unusual. If the other professional theater had a right to stage only licensed plays, this theater was supposed for unlicensed scenarios too. This freedom gave the staff of the theater an opportunity to choose the plays they liked and act the way they wanted. It was the main secret of the rapid increase of popularity of this theater. It was opened with the play “Picnic’. It was shown in a small beautiful building of the theater. The theater was designed by P. Morley Horder. The capacity of the club was just 300 seats.
The managers of an independent theater didn’t stage the plays of famous British playwrights. They welcomed new authors to write the plays for the troupe of the theater. Thus some new names in playwriting appeared. Some of the plays that were staged at Arts Theater for the first time later were transferred to bigger theaters at West End, London.
Arts Theater was located at the central part of London. Thus many theater lovers passed by its small attractive building and popped in to watch a new play and to have a glass of noble wine or a cup of famous English five o’clock tea. Many plays that were officially forbidden were performed here. It was the other reason of great popularity of this venue.
In 1942 Alec Clunes became the main manager in this theater. Being the famous actor and a film star, he had various ideas, how to make the theater popular. He devoted himself to the renovation of Arts Theater. From that year the new page in the history of this theater was opened.
During the years of his work many popular plays were staged. Thus, the spectators watched such performances as “Mourning becomes Electra”, “Maria Marten”, “The Murder in the Old Red Barn” and many others.
Alec Clunes spent £20,000 to make the theater more comfortable and more modern. After that update some famous actors were invited to stage here. The visitors could see the play of young Ronnie Barker, Martin Clunes (the son of Alec Clunes) etc.
In 1952 the play was staged at the theater, that became one of the most prominent events in the history of the theater. “Waiting for Godot” of Samuel Beckett was staged here. Later it was shown in many other big theaters in London.
In 1962 the theater was renamed into New Arts Theater. It was known under this name during 5 years.
Although Arts Theater was very successful, several times it was close to demolishing. In 2006 it became almost closed. But in 2011 its new manager JJ Godman made the theater successful and popular again. Till now lots of people come here to enjoy interesting plays in the warm intimate atmosphere of the theater.
Arts Theatre Plays
Many plays, written by popular English playwrights were staged here. The free informal atmosphere of this small theater was a great opportunity for young authors to start their career. The visitors of this theater enjoyed “Dirty Linen and New-Found-Land” of Tom Sheppard, “Another Country” of Julian Mitchell, “Closer to Heaven”, “The Vagina Monologues” and many others.
If you plan your visit to Arts Theater in October, 2015, you will be able to see “Ushers: the Front of House Musical” and “American Idiot”.
In fact, the theater is very small, that’s why the stage here is not so big as in other theaters. In spite of this fact, the actors of this theater are professional enough to manage this small space. They provide their visitors with the great show.
Thus, “Ushers: the Front of House Musical” is an interesting story, that was awarded several times. Not everyone knows that people, who act on the stage, sometimes go out to foyer. They sell ice cream and souvenirs to people. Thus they get acquainted with their public. They are called ushers. The play is about two ushers and lovers at the same time, Ben and Harry. Their love story and career problems are in the centre of the play.
The other popular play that is performed in the theater just now is “American Idiot”. The play is marvelous, according to the numerous reviews of people! If you are the lover of Green Day, this play is a must have for you! It is based on the songs of this musical band.
Check the opening hours of the box office to get there!
Arts Theatre Opening Hours
The tickets for both shows, “Ushers: the Front of House Musical” and “American Idiot” can be bought at the box office of the theater. Its opening hours are from 10:00 to 22:00. They work 7 days per week, so you can get tickets whenever you like!
As for the prices for tickets, they start from £15. But it is not recommended to get the cheapest seats as not everything is visible from there.
The seats are quite comfortable in the building of the theater, but the toilets here leave much to be desired. Nevertheless the visitors prefer this small theater to the others for its intimate ambience.
The address is 6-7 Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7JB, United Kingdom. The most suitable way to come here is by tube. In this case you should get out at Leicester Square Station.
There’s no car park that belongs to the theater, so if you come by car, you can choose any car park nearby.
Cycling is the other way you can get there. Docking stations are not far from here!
Arts Theatre Shops and Restaurants
There’s a comfortable bar just in the building of the theater. You can come here in the interval between two acts of the play, or anytime you like as the bar is joined to the theater, but it works independently. It is called “Madd Hater’s Café”.
There’s another café called “Covent Garden Cocktail Club” that is situated just in the building of the theater, so you can pay a visit there too!
There’s no shop in the building of the theater, but if you like to get some souvenirs to remember about this day, visit “Orbital Comics” that are situated within 1 minute walk and get the book there.
Arts Theatre Contacts
Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at +44 020 7836 8463.