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National Theatre

#71 of 1,568 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Address: South Bank, Waterloo, London SE1 9PX, England
Phone Number:
+44 20 7452 3000
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

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

Read all 768 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 516
  • 134
    Very good
  • 37
  • 15
  • 8
Twelfth Night was amazing.

Five stars for the show. Maybe three and a half for the Olivier Theatre. The seats are comfortable if not a bit close. But I felt like no matter where you are in the venue you... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 days ago
via mobile
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768 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 710: English reviews
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Five stars for the show. Maybe three and a half for the Olivier Theatre. The seats are comfortable if not a bit close. But I felt like no matter where you are in the venue you have a pretty good seat (we were in Aisle 4, Row M). Bathroom stalls are tiny but clean. Didn't venture to any other part... More 

Thank ab512241922
Addlestone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

We seen Amadeus and it was fantastic. Facilities i.e. Bar seating areas in the National are very poor. If we go here again then we would go elsewhere for pre performance beverages.

Thank Alison d
Macclesfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
127 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

When the National Theatre opened its doors in 1976 the stark grey concrete walls of the interior were a reflection of the exterior. The concrete is imprinted by the wooded planks that were used in the shuttering frames but the interior was lifted by rich purple carpeting and magnificent views through the building. The carpets have gone to be replaced... More 

Thank Mike R
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

I go frequently, and love all three of the theatres here, particularly the magnificent Olivier, the largest of the three. Choose your production carefully. The quality is generally good, but as everywhere else, this isn't always the case. For example, the current Twelfth Night is brilliant and imaginative, but Hedda Gabler is confusing, with unhelpful modern dress in a context... More 

Thank John L
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

You are asked to book in advance but when you get there the restaurant is empty but for the afternoon tea crowd which is served on 5 tables - all next to each other. Hence "private" conversation is impossible. Staff is welcoming and friendly and explains what's on the plate. The quality of the savoury sandwiches and pastries is of... More 

Thank Nettie02
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Saw 'Amadeus' in the Olivier Theatre and it was brilliant. The National Theatre is a great venue, always busy and situated in a great spot on the South Bank. The staff are very helpful and offer excellent customer service. Lots of bars and restaurants in the vicinity for pre-theatre/cinema refreshments.

Thank AmbridgeGirl
Management response:

Thank you for the review - of the theatre as well as the performance. If you like theatre and afternoon tea, you may already know about our themed tea in House Restaurant, which you can combine with a Backstage Tour, for a real treat. The tea menu even includes Salieri's macaroons, though these aren't props, they are the real thing... More 

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

There are 3 auditoriums at the National. They all give you a good view of the stage wherever you are seated. The tickets are good value, the productions are varied and rarely disappointing. I have been to many productions and have never been disappointed. The National really is a national treasure.

Thank londongirl60
Management response:

Thank you for your review and rating the National Theatre. Sounds as though you are a regular attender so we appreciate you taking the time to share your comments. We're chuffed to be a National Treasure - please come back and visit us again soon ! More 

Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

A good meal BUT the waitress poured the sediment in the bottom of the bottle of Shoredich Lager into the glass. It should have been poured more carefully.

Thank eric_watts4
Management response:

Dear Eric, thank you for posting your comment and review. Redchurch Shoreditch Blonde isn't a bottle conditioned beer so shouldn't have any sediment but as it is unfiltered it may have some residual yeast or hop matter. My colleagues in Understudy, our craft beer pub, noted that this isn't anything 'bad' but, of course, this is a matter of personal... More 

London, UK
Level Contributor
129 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

My first time to this refurbished (old Cottesloe) theatre and it was a pleasure. It's spacious and versatile and the production was captivating. The bar is pleasant and the staff friendly and welcoming. All in all a memorable visit.

Thank Gakeitse
Management response:

Thank you for posting your review of your visit to the Dorfman, formally the Cottesloe Theatre. It was designed to have the same flexibility but with additional seating, so that's great to read that it feels spacious and versatile. I'm pleased the visit - the show and the experience - was a success all around and the staff made this... More 

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
151 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The National is definitely one of my favourite theatres, it's absolutely brilliant. There are three auditoriums in this rather clunky, 60s style building. The Olivier is the largest and there isn't a bad seat to be found. The auditorium is fan-shaped, spreading around the circular, rotating stage. Stage design is always fantastic and appropriate for the show, I've seen over... More 

Thank Shinylifeforme
Management response:

Thank you for posting your review - and for rating us 'the best !' With a choice of plays in each of the three auditoriums, there is a range of shows as well as range of ticket price so we hope there will be something to suit any theatre-goer. That choice should also extend to pre- and post- show eating... More 

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Staying in Southbank

Neighbourhood Profile
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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