In 1968, the Bloomsbury Theatre officially opened as The Central Collegiate Building for University College London (UCL) with the support of a University Grants Committee funding scheme. The theatre now offers a professional year-round programme of innovative drama, music, comedy and dance.
The main theatre was closed for three years between 2015 to 2018 in order to carry out restoration works. Prior to the renovation work, the main theatre had gained a reputation in a number of genres, including intimate productions of operatic works and inventive stand-up comedy. Drawing on its University foundations, the theatre had also developed a reputation for holding science-based comedy shows and broader academic events.
The Bloomsbury Theatre began its existence as the premier stage for some of the nation’s greatest comedic talent including the likes of Lily Savage, Eddie Izzard, Jo Brand, Jeremy Hardy, Mel and Sue, John Shuttleworth and Sooty, to name but a few! It has carried this reputation into more recent years, acting as the chosen venue by top comedians to create filmed recordings of their performances, including those of Ricky Gervais, Jimmy Carr and Harry Hill. The Bloomsbury is also a growing venue for music, having hosted the Zombies, Adele, Paul Simon and Ray Davies, in recent years.
The building has two performance spaces: the main theatre which seats 535 people, and the Bloomsbury Studio which is a flexible floor space holding up to 70. The studio regularly hosts events from University College London including Bright Club, student productions, and research-related events. The main theatre is also home to the best of the university’s budding actors, holding their annual drama production for a twelve-week run.