Harold Pinter

History of the Harold Pinter Theatre

The Harold Pinter Theatre is somewhat of a rarity amongst other London theatres as the auditorium is still more or less as it was when it was first built in 1881.

Designed by the architect Thomas Verity and built by J.H. Addison, the venue opened its doors as the Royal Comedy Theatre. One of the quickest construction projects in West End history, the theatre was completed in less than six months.

Three years after the first performance of Mascotte comic operetta lit up the stage, (playing to an audience of over a thousand, whereas today's auditorium holds just 820) the theatre name was abridged to the Comedy Theatre. The venue retained this name until 2011.

The theatre was central in challenging legalities concerning censorship in the 1950s. The New Watergate Club was established by theatre producer Anthony Field to challenge the outmoded law that all new plays be submitted to the Lord Chamberlain's Office for approval prior to production.

Formation of this association allowed banned plays to be performed under 'club conditions' and as such notable productions such as Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge and Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof were able to grace the stage, giving the theatre a place in West End history.

Travel Details

The Harold Pinter Theatre can be found a stone's throw away from Piccadilly Circus on Panton St. It is situated in the sparkling heart of the West End close to Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square and Shaftsbury Avenue.

Harold Pinter Theatre

6 Panton St London SW1Y 4DN

Bus routes: 14, 19, 24, 29, 38 or 176

The closest car park is Q Park Trafalgar (Spring Gardens, SW1A 2TS) and Q Park Chinatown (20 Newport Place, WC2H 7PR).

Charing Cross – tube and mainline station (5 minutes' walk)

Leicester Square (7 minutes' walk)

Piccadilly Circus (1 minute walk)

Harold Pinter Theatre seating information

The Harold Pinter Theatre has a capacity of 796 spread over four levels: the stalls, the dress circle, the upper circle and the balcony.

The theatre has a selection of seats that are regarded as restricted views and are therefore priced accordingly. As in many theatres of this age, the restriction is due to the rake of the stage and the supporting pillars found throughout the auditorium.

Disabled access

Please notify the management of any requirements you might have well in advance of your visit to allow them to arrange any additional services required.

Guide dogs are allowed in the auditorium but the management are on hand to provide a dog-sitting service upon request.

There are 4 spaces available for wheelchair users in the dress circle and 2 seats are also allocated for transfer. There is no accessible toilet in the venue but there are facilities that may be able to accommodate your needs – please speak to the box office or a member of staff for more information.

There is an infra-red system for those with hearing impairments available for hire from the box office.

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