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“Very uncomfortable theatre makes it torture”

The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
Ranked #99 of 346 Concerts & Shows in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Very uncomfortable theatre makes it torture”
Reviewed 15 February 2014

I have now been twice, once to a one woman show lasting 90 minutes and once to the Duchess of Malfi which was over 2.5 hours.

The theatre looks lovely and smells of wood. But the experience is spoiled by insanely uncomfortable seating. You are on benches with no backs unless you are in the back row. You are squished next to your neighbour, and have no place to put coats or bags.

The people behind you kick you every time they move their feet because the space is so poor.

If you sit level with the stage you will find your view blocked by actors. The candlelight seems cute but sucks oxygen out of the atmosphere. The upper levels can only see half the stage and that through the candelabra. The pit seats force you to crane your neck up to see the actors.

All in all this is definitely one for people who like to be tortured for their art. Despite two decent productions, I won't be going back. The problems aren't likely to be easily fixed. Even bringing your own cushion doesn't help. We tried.

Visited January 2014
3 Thank pmjd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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197 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Leicestershire, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Intimate Jacobean theatre”
Reviewed 13 February 2014

This new beautiful performance space at the Globe on London's Southbank is a small indoor candle lit theatre along side the larger outdoor recreation of Shakespeares's Globe. We saw a single hander but more large scale plays and music will be performed here. Like the Globe you are seated on wooden benches.So we would suggests taking a small cushion for long performances. Some seats will have restricted views due to the wooden pillars. We suggest checking with the box office.

Visited February 2014
Thank malcolm41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Solihull, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“First of Many Visits (I Hope!)”
Reviewed 5 February 2014

Brilliant theatre space. The Duchess of Malfi, excellent entertainment watched from the front of the pit. Very atmospheric in the candle-light (although I did get dripped on several times by candle wax, which made me jump out of my skin!). The bench seating is a bit uncomfortable but the benefit of being so close to the stage, outweighed the discomfort! Super performances - David Dawson wonderfully creepy, Alex Waldmann effortlessly charming and Gemma Arterton stunning. Great night out, can't wait for a return visit, but will probably take a cushion!

Visited February 2014
Thank beekay50uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Very cute small theatre”
Reviewed 4 February 2014

Beautiful reconstruction of a theatre - well worth a trip. Best seats are probably first gallery at the front - we were top gallery but at the front so we saw the show well (if a bit of leaning forward). Eileen Atkins as Ellen Terry was superb!

Visited February 2014
Thank Salilah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reading, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
276 reviews
149 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“An amazing new theatre for London”
Reviewed 1 February 2014

This theatre was only opened a few weeks ago. Originally on this Thames riverside site there had been an open-air theatre and a roofed theatre. The Globe open-air amphitheatre was opened 17 years ago and now today we have the opening of this recreated theatre. What a marvellous experience they have given us. It's a small and intimate wooden building, that is lit entirely by candle-light. We saw The Duchess of Malfi, an experience that was thoroughly enjoyed. You really felt as if you had gone back in time.

Visited February 2014
1 Thank ES1211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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