Your other half has been sitting on the couch all weekend watching Chelsea FC and now you’re both in need of a bit of culture. Why not wander down the road to one of Kensington and Chelsea’s live performing arts theatres?
If you can’t convince your significant other to go, perhaps you ought to take them to one of the theatres above a pub – surely a pint of local lager after the show and some gourmet pub food will sway them! Here are some theatres in and around the area.
The Chelsea Theatre describes themselves as a “performance space” and a “community hub”, which can accommodate approximately 110 patrons. Not just your average theatre, the Chelsea Theatre provides a space for the community to explore performing arts. The theatre is a 15-20 minute walk from either Sloane Square or Earl's Court tube stations and provides various workshops, such as vocal lessons and yoga. It also has an exhibition space for local and global artists to display their works. Check their website for performances where you can also purchase tickets online.
The Finborough Theatre is located above the Finborough Arms pub just near Earl’s Court and West Brompton stations. The theatre is managed by art director Neil McPherson and has been running since 1980, concentrating on forgotten works from the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as new undiscovered works. The theatre itself has about 50 seats, so we highly recommend booking tickets in advance. After the performance, go downstairs for a pint in the newly refurbished Finborough Arms pub, which features 12 different taps from local breweries.
The MacOwan Theatre is used primarily by the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) for performing arts. The theatre was named after Michael MacOwan who was principal of LAMDA for many years and the venue has capacity for around 150 people. Check out the performances on the LAMDA website, but please be aware that the venues for performances do vary, so may or may not be at MacOwan Theatre.
Between June and August, Holland Park transforms into a venue for live opera performances. Given Mother Nature’s tendency to rain even in the warmer months, the venue is covered by a white canopy, but remains open on the sides. The venue performs several different operas and has a seating capacity of about 1,000. Be sure to arrive early for a glass of champagne or a glass of summer time Pimms. You can also pre-book a table at one of the restaurants, bring your own picnic basket or pre-order a picnic package.
Located just next to the Sloane Square tube station, the Royal Court Theatre proudly displays live performing arts, featuring new works by aspiring writers. The theatre reads and considers over 3,000 unsolicited scripts a year and the venue can hold up to 465 patrons. In addition to performances, the Royal Court Theatre also offers workshops for young persons, which explore how scripts become productions, careers in the theatre industry, amongst others.
The Drayton Theatre is located just above the pub the Drayton Arms on the Old Brompton Road. Originally a rehearsal venue for actors from the BBC who lived in the area, the theatre now shows live performances from Tuesdays to Saturdays. It is advisable to pre-order tickets on the theatre website to avoid disappointment, as the theatre only accommodates 50 patrons. Make sure to stop into the Drayton Arms on your way in or your way out from the show. The pub has a wide range of draft beers, as well as cocktails and the food is truly superb! This is an InKensington favourite.
The Gate is a small 70-seat theatre just near Notting Hill Gate tube station above the Prince Albert pub. The gate has been running for over 30 years and is currently managed by art director Christopher Hayden. After the show, head on down to the pub, which has a wide variety of ales, wines and top notch pub food.
The Tabernacle was originally built as a church in 1887. Today, the Tabernacle serves as an entertainment venue, which provides live theatre, music, art and an outdoor garden space for members of the public. The entertainment venue can hold up to 450 patrons. The Tabernacle also has a bar and kitchen which is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Check out the "What's On" section of the Tabernacle website for upcoming theatre programmes and ticket prices.