Last Updated on 9 June 2021 by Showcall Editorial Team
The Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End was renamed after one of Britain’s most influential modern dramatists.
Originally opened as the Royal Comedy Theatre in 1881, it became more commonly known as The Comedy Theatre until on 13 October 2011 the theatre was renamed the Harold Pinter Theatre.
The Harold Pinter Theatre was designed by Thomas Verity. The theatre has three tiers of horseshoe-shaped balconies. It underwent major reconstruction from 1950 re-opening in December 1955 with its auditorium largely unchanged. The theatre was Grade II listed by English Heritage in June 1972.
The theatre’s original seating capacity was 1,186 comprising 140 stalls, 120 dress circle, 126 upper boxes, 100 in the amphitheatre, 400 in the pit and 300 in the gallery. The Harold Pinter Theatre’s current licensed capacity is 796.
The theatre opened in 1881 with Edmond Audran’s opéra comique La mascotte in an English adaptation by Robert Reece and H. B. Farnie.
Notable productions in the 20th century included Raffles (with Gerald du Maurier in the title role in 1906), six dramas by Somerset Maugham and others starring Marie Tempest, Peg o’ My Heart with Laurette Taylor, Andre Charlot’s revues This and That, Seasaw, Bubbly and Tails Up.
In 1956 to circumvent censorship by the Lord Chamberlain’s Office under the Theatres Act 1843, the theatre was established as the New Watergate Club. Formation of the club allowed plays that had been banned due to language or subject matter to be performed under the auspices of the “Club”.
Plays presented by the Club included Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge, Robert Anderson’s Tea and Sympathy and Tennessee Williams’ Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.
Recent productions have included Michael Frayn’s Donkey’s Years, The Rocky Horror Show, Boeing-Boeing, Dickens Unplugged, Sunset Boulevard, Prick Up Your Ears, Mrs Warren’s Profession, Birdsong, Betrayal, A Chorus Of Disapproval, Merrily We Roll Along, Mojo, Sunny Afternoon, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf, Blithe Spirit and Uncle Vanya.
The Harold Pinter Theatre hosted the Pinter At The Pinter where all of Harold Pinter’s plays were presented in an epic season presented by the Jamie Lloyd Company.
Most recently the Harold Pinter Theatre has hosted Sonia Friedman’s Re:Emerge season as theatres in the West End re-open after the pandemic.
HOW TO GET THERE
Panton Street, London SW1
Nearest Tube Station:
Piccadilly, Leicester Square
Nearest Train Station:
3, 6, 9, 12, 14, 15, 19, 22, 23, 24, 29, 38, 88, 91, 94, 139, 159, 176, 453
NCP Denman Street, Trafalgar (Q Park Scheme)
THE HAROLD PINTER THEATRE SEATING PLAN