Greenwich Theatre is one of London’s most beloved Off-West End theatres, holding a programme of drama, music, theatre, family shows, and pantomime all year round.
The theatre has a national reputation of encouraging the work of young and exciting theatre companies, consistently providing a debut stage for new writing that often transfers around the country, returns to the West End, and then makes it way across the world.
Although the Greenwich Theatre has its groundings in supporting emerging talent, the site on which the current building stands is rich with a history that reaches back many years before the opening of the present-day venue in 1969. At the beginning of the 19th century, the theatre was associated with Richardson’s travelling theatre - a fairground theatre which presented twenty-five minute shows in several genres. The shows became so popular that some records account for over 10,000 people attending the event. The show was eventually closed due to the enormous amount of attendees, who exhibited drunkenness and caused public nuisance. However, the theatre continued to celebrate its heritage, with Eleanor Bufton reciting a poem including lines concerning Richardson’s show on her first night as the manager of the Greenwich Theatre.
In recent times, the theatre is at the forefront of developing the UK’s family theatre scene, and celebrates the genre by producing the annual Greenwich Children’s Theatre Festival, and presenting one of the country’s most acclaimed traditional pantomimes. It also developed a partnership with Sell a Door Theatre Company who presented a re-run of The Who’s popular musical, Tommy, which was performed at the venue in 2015, in its first performance in over 20 years.