Venue and Travel Information
Nearest Tube: Charing Cross
Tube Lines: Bakerloo, Northern
Directions from nearest tube: Turn left on the main road Strand. Follow Trafalgar Square around onto Whitehall and the theatre’s on your right.
Railway Station: Charing Cross
Within Congestion Zone: Yes
Venue Facilities: Air conditioned, Bar, Infrared hearing loop, Toilets
Trafalgar Studios London: Formerly the Whitehall Theatre, Trafalgar Studios is now two modern theatre studios in one building close to Trafalgar Square in the West End. Architects Tim Foster and John Muir have created two new intimate and dynamic theatre studios that has injected vibrancy and excitement into the venue. The Trafalgar Studios opened with the RSC’s production of Othello, which was followed by the Watermill Theatre’s acclaimed production of Sweeney Todd.
The Whitehall theatre originally opened in 1930 with a transfer of The Way to Treat a Woman by Walter Hackett (who was also the theatre’s licensee). He presented several more very successful plays of his own until leaving in 1934. The theatre continued to build its reputation for popular modern comedies throughout the 1930s and is today at the forefront of West End theatre.
During the war this tried and tested formula was rejected in favour of revue shows, which were very popular elsewhere in the West End. In 1942 The Whitehall Follies was launched, featuring a non-stop performance by Phyllis Dixey, and audiences flocked in, mostly due to the fact that the celebrated Miss Dixey was the first stripper in the West End! In the 1980s under Ian B Albery, there was extensive refurbishment to match the new regime of high quality theatre. Many of the building’s unique art deco features were retained, and the Whitehall reopened with a successful revival of J B Priestley’s When We are Married.
Highlights of the late eighties and early nineties include Run for Your Wife, Alan Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular and A Tribute to the Blues Brothers. Other popular productions include Cooking With Elvis starring Frank Skinner, Only the Lonely, Trainspotting and John Godber’s Bouncers. The theatre has also played host to radio and television shows and live theatre running concurrently.