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: From 1 hour (family tours) to 90 mins (architecture tours)

Prices: From £10 for backstage tours (£8.75 concessions)

Address: South Bank, London SE1 9PX

Website: Information and 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 - 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 £9

Address: Sloane Square, London SW1W 8AS

Website: Information

Shakespeare's Globe

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

The Globe offers three different tours:

Exhibition and Globe Theatre Tour

Exhibition and Bankside Tour

Exhibition and Sam Wanamaker Playhouse Tour.

No need to pre-book tickets.

Tmes: Monday to Sunday 9.00am – 5.00pm

Prices: vary by tour, dicounts for children, students and seniors - family tickets available.

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

Website: Information and bookings

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
- Behind the scenes tour
- Classical tour
- The swinging sixties: bus and tour experience.

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

Prices: From £13.00 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 and bookings

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 Sunday - booking to 10 February 2018 at 10-30am, 11-45am, 2-15pm or 4-15pm depending on day.

Duration: 1hr (approx)

Address: Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JF

Website: Information and booking

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: Thursday, Saturday, Sunday at 13:00, 15:00, 16:00 17:00 depending on day - check availability on-line.

Duration: 1hr 30 mins

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

Website: Information and bookings

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

The Rose Playhouse

The Rose Playhouse

The tour here has now been replaced with Saturday open days.

Visit the site of The Rose Playhouse to discover its story through a short film narrated by Sir Ian McKellen and explore its history through a hands-on workshop using archaeological finds provided by the Museum of London.

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: Free - but donations welcome!

Dates: Saturdays 12 noon to 4.00pm

Address: 56 Park Street, London SE1 9AR

Website: Information

Booking: No need to book, but places limited

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: days and dates vary - check schedule

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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