Backstage tours of London theatres

Several theatres in London offer backstage, architecture or history tours.

We give details about these theatre tours below.

Click on the photos to see our theatre listings which also give details of current and future shows.

Royal National Theatre

Royal National Theatre

See the National's shows being made before your very eyes on this backstage tour.

Costume tours are also available as well as architecture tours and family tours (during half-term and school holidays).

Duration: 1 hour 15 mins

Price: £9.50 (£8.25 concessions)

Address: South Bank, London SE1 9PX

Website: Information --- Bookings

Sherling High-Level Walkway:

Take a peak behind the scenes at the National and watch sets and props being made from this innovative walkway that overlooks the busy workshops at the National where shows are made and assembled.

Entrance is FREE, and the walkway is open daily (Monday to Saturday) from 9-30am to 7-30am and on certain Sundays - check the walkway page on the National's website.

The Royal Court Theatre

The Royal Court Theatre

The Royal Court is famous for presenting new plays by establised writers and emerging talent.

Their backstage and building tours prove very popular and often sell-out quickly - check the website for upcoming tours.

Price: From £7

Address: Sloane Square, London SW1W 8AS

Website: Information

Shakespeare's Globe

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Tours of the iconic Globe Theatre take place every day (except 24 and 25 December).

Tickets include the exhibition as well as tours which start every 30 minutes.

No need to pre-book tickets.

Tmes: Monday to Sunday 9.30am – 5.00pm Exhibition: Monday to Sunday 9.00am – 5.00pm

Price: (Globe and exhibition) Adult: £16.00, Senior (60+): £14.50, Student (with valid ID): £12.50, Children (5-15): £9.00, Children (under 5): Free, Family (up to 2 adults & 3 children): £43.00

Address: 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT

Website: Information

Royal Albert Hall

Royal Albert Hall

Tours galore here. Something for everyone, even those who find themselves a bit on the peckish side.

Tours include:

- Grand Tour
- Afternoon tea tour
- Secret history tour
- The inside out architectural tour

You can also add lunch to your tours, or indulge in morning coffee instead of afternoon tea.

Prices: From £12.75 adults - tour and meal packages cost more.

Address: Kensington Gore, Westminster, London SW7 2AP

Website: Information and links to book each tour

The Old Vic

The Old Vic

Stage Door Manager Ned Seago will guide you round the building and tell you about legends who have trod the boards at one of the most famous theatres in the world.

Bespoke tours can be arranged as well as accessible tours (the standard tour is not step-free).

Price: £10

Dates: irregular Saturdays during the year

Duration: 1hr 15 mins

Address: The Cut, London SE1 8NB

Website: Information

The London Palladium

The London Palladium

The Palladium tour covers the performances, architectural and social history of this world-famous theatre.

Note: lots of stairs to encounter in this tour, so it is not recommended for the disabled, or those with mobility issues.

Bespoke tours possible on alternative dates for groups of 10 or more - call 020 7557 7309 to arrange.

Price: £12 (30 people max on each tour)

Dates: 11-30am on the second Friday of each month when the theatre is not dark.

Duration: 2hrs (minimum)

Address: Argyll Street, London W1F 7TF

Website: Information

Booking: Theatre box office, Monday to Saturday 10am to 8pm. Or tel: 0844 412 2957

Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

Something a bit different here - a dramatised tour with real actors!

It's called 'Through The Stage Door' and you'll meet characters such as Garrick, Sheridan, Nell Gwynne and Grimaldi who will inform and enterain as they take you through the theatre's history.

Price: Adults £10.50, Children and Seniors £8.50, groups of 10 or more £8.50 per person. Family ticket £30.00 (2 Adults and 2 Children)

Dates: Monday to Saturday to 7th January 2017 at 10-30am, 11-45am, 2-15pm or 4-15pm depending on day - restarts from 5 April 2017.

Duration: 1hr (approx)

Address: Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JF

Website: Information

Booking: Theatre box office, Monday to Saturday 10am to 8pm. Or tel: 0844 412 2957


The Barbican

Budding architects, or those with an interest in the subject will find something to their taste here with these architectural tours of the Barbican.

This a walking tour on which you explore the Barbican and discover the fascinating history behind the building of the Centre and the surrounding estate.

Price: Standard: £12.50; members, concessions and under 16s: £10; groups (10+): £11.50

Dates: Until 26 February 2017 at 13:00, 15:00, 16:00 17:00 depending on day.

Duration: 1hr 30 mins

Address: Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS

Website: Information

Booking: On-line via the website link above - booking fees apply.

The Rose Playhouse

The Rose Playhouse

On this tour, Rose volunteers discuss its fascinating history and exciting future.

There are several artefacts from the dig in 1989 to see and there's a film narrated by Sir Ian McKellen.

The Rose is an indoor archaeological site, but wear warm clothes as there is no heating.

Also, there are no toilets - you're advised to use Shakespeare’s Globe a few hundred metres away.

Price: A donation of £3.00 is requested.

Dates: Open days currently suspended until Spring 2017.

Address: 56 Park Street, London SE1 9AR

Website: Information

Booking: No need to book

The London Coliseum

The London Coliseum

Friendly and informal guided tours include a great deal of this extraordinary building, taking in the old Gentleman‘s Baronial Smoking Hall, Stoll’s Balcony, some Private Rooms, the Upper Glassed Terraces, the fabulous auditorium, the warren of staircases backstage, and underneath the vast revolving stage and orchestra pit (when possible).

Price: £10 (full); £8 (concessions); £5 (school tour)

Dates: 4 February to 22 March 2017 (not daily - see schedule for dates)

Address: St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4ES

Website & booking

Wilton's Music Hall

Wilton%2Cs Music Hall

Tours have been devised by Wilton's researcher and historian and last approximately one hour.

Providing a glimpse into the life of the last surviving building of its kind, these tours are perfect for students, researchers and everyone who would like to learn more about this historic venue.

Where possible, private tours are available for groups of 15-50. Call the box office for information on availability.

Price: £6

Dates: Mondays (check website before your visit as some Mondays may not have tours scheduled)

Address: Graces Alley, London E1 8JB

Website & booking

Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch

Wilton%2Cs Music Hall

Backstage tours of the Queen's Theatre can be arranged by contacting the theatre.

Price: not available

Address: Billet Lane, Hornchurch, RM11 1QT


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