National Theatre – Dorfman Theatre London

Venue Information

National Theatre - Dorfman Theatre
Address: Upper Ground, SE1 9PX
Nearest Tube or Train: Waterloo (Jubilee line, Northern line, Bakerloo line)
Nearest Buses: 1, 4, 26, 59, 68, 76, 139, 168, 171, 172, 176, 188, 243, 341, 521, X68, RV1

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Theatre Quick Facts

Date opened: 16 March 1976
Designer: Sir Denys Lasdun and Peter Softley
First production: Shakespeare's Hamlet
Number of seats: 450

Theatre History

The Queen officially opened the National Theatre complex on 25 October 1976.

The Dorfman Theatre (originally called the Cottesloe Theatre) is the smallest but most flexible of the National Theatre’s auditoriums. It was redeveloped in 2014 to increase capacity, enhance site-lines and provide more comfortable seating.

In the pit, the new flexible seating system can be raised and lowered in minutes to either a steep or shallow rake format; or the seats can be folded away completely to become a flat floor.

On three sides of the room there are two levels, the circle and gallery, which look down on the pit. Performances can be staged in a conventional format at one end; in “traverse”, lengthways or across the space; or in the round. Everything is open to change except the circle and gallery, which are reminiscent of the inn-yards that preceded Shakespeare’s stages as performance areas.

The theatre is named after philanthropist and chairman of Travelex Group Lloyd Dorfman. 

Theatre Previous Shows

Past shows playing at the National Theatre - Dorfman Theatre:

Evening At The Talk House
Husbands & Sons
Rules for Living
The Hard Problem
Here Lies Love
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