Location: Sloane Square
Currently Showing: The Woods
Access: Sloane Square
The theatre originally opened in 1870 as the New Chelsea Theatre. It was quickly renamed the Court Theatre. The theatre played host to many of W S Gilbert’s early works (including Randall’s Thumb, Great Expectations and The Wedding March) and Arthur Wing Pinero’s farces (including The Schoolmistress and Dandy Dick).
The theatre moved to its current site in 1888 and opened on 24th September as the New Court Theatre.
The venue was used as a cinema from 1935 to 1940 before it was damaged during the Blitz and was forced to close.
The theatre reopened in 1952 and, under artistic director George Devine, was aimed to be a platform for new writers. The theatre was host to work by John Osborne (Look Back in Anger and The Entertainer (which starred Laurence Olivier)), Arnold Wesker, Ann Jellicoe, Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, and Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show.
In 1965, the theatre was host to John Osbourne’s Patriot for Me and Saved by Edward Bond. These two productions required the theatre to be turned into a private members’ club and helped bring about the end of theatre censorship.
By the 1990s, the theatre was in dire need of renovation and refurbishment. Having received funds for the works, the theatre reopened in February 2000.
The Royal Court Theatre is located on Sloane Square. The venue is equipped with a 380-seat main stage (The Jerwood Theatre Downstairs), a smaller 85-seat studio (The Jerwood Theatre Upstairs) and a restaurant.
Our favourite restaurants nearby are:
- Cote Brasserie – Sloane Square, French
- Tartufo – Cadogan Gardens, Italian
- The Five Fields – Blacklands Terrace, European