Hampstead Theatre: What You Need To Know
Moving into a purpose-built, 325-seat building in 2003, Hampstead Theatre has been a vibrant, award-winning performance space for 60 years.
The theatre prides itself on finding and nurturing new talent. Early works of Mike Leigh, Dennis Kelly, Michael Frayn and Harold Pinter - among others - were all developed here. New Artistic Director Roxana Silbert's debut season has just begun.
Here is everything you need to know if you're visiting - from food and drink to transport, ticket deals and accessibility.
Where to eat
Cafe Bar, Hampstead Theatre
The Cafe Bar offers light bites such as sausage rolls and soup as well as sandwiches, salads, cakes and pastries. There is al-fresco dining on the decking for the warmer months and, on presentation of your ticket, you can enjoy 10% off your first drink at the bar.
The Holly Bush
A visit to The Holly Bush is a must if you're in the area. A few minutes' walk from Hampstead Tube station, this Grade II-listed pub has a warm, inviting cosiness. Starters include crispy chilli squid with aioli, coriander, lime and spring onion, as well as wild boar, tarragon and mustard scotch duck egg with HP sauce.
Comfort food such as macaroni cheese with wild mushrooms and panagratto and the fish pie are available for mains. The pub also boasts an impressive wine list, as well as guest ales.
With inventive and original dishes, Spice Deli is a must for fans of Indian cuisine. Dishes include coriander and coconut chutney steamed cod served in a banana leaf, and Grandma's Lamb Kofta Curry.
In addition to their authentic Italian pizzas, Nona serves a variety of steaks, fish and seafood. A choice of risottos and pasta dishes are also on offer.
Where to drink
About a ten-minute walk from Hampstead Theatre, The Washington is a wood-panelled pub with period features that oozes character. A variety of beers, including limited editions, as well as an extensive array of wines and spirits are available.
Ye Olde Swiss Cottage
This slightly quirky chalet-style pub is perfect for pre- or post-show conversation, as mobile phones are strictly forbidden. The pub is within easy walking distance of the theatre.
Hampstead offers accessible pricing, which includes 'Cheap Mondays' and unlimited senior concessions for over-60s on all matinees. Those fortunate enough to be under the age of 30, as well as students, can enjoy £10 tickets for every show provided ID is presented. These tickets are limited, however, and always sell out fast.
There are also a select number of £5 tickets available for performances in the Downstairs studio.
If you're aged 16-30 and love new and original theatre, then The Downstairs Club is for you. This brand new membership scheme is absolutely free to join and offers Priority Booking for every Hampstead Main Stage and Downstairs production.
You can also sign up to The Downstairs Club and book tickets by calling the Box Office on 020 7722 9301 or by emailing email@example.com, making sure to include your full name.
Location and Transport
Hampstead Theatre is located just metres from Swiss Cottage underground, which serves the Jubilee line. Finchley Road on the Metropolitan line is around a ten-minute walk away.
Finchley Road and Frognal, Richmond-Stratford line is a ten-minute walk away via Finchley Road.
South Hampstead (Watford-Euston line) is also within walking distance.
The following buses stop at Swiss Cottage: C11*, 13, 31*, 46, 82*, 113*, 187*, 268*.
*These routes have low-level buses for people who are wheelchair users or mobility impaired.
A scheme for Camden residents who have difficulty using public transport to travel door-to-door within the borough. Membership and journey costs are free. For more information and an application form, contact:
Accessible Transport Unit
100 St Pancras Way
t. 020 7974 6438
f. 020 7974 5540
Find Swiss Cottage roundabout. From Avenue Road turn left into Adelaide Road (B509 towards Chalk Farm). Take first left into Winchester Road and first left again into Eton Avenue.
Hampstead Theatre is situated in a residential area where parking is limited. Public transport is therefore recommended.
Nearest car park: Regency Car Park (adjoining Swiss Cottage Odeon Cinema), located a few yards from the theatre
There is limited pay and display parking in surrounding streets.
There is a sign-posted cycle route which passes Hampstead Theatre.
Best Western Swiss Cottage Hotel
Within walking distance from the theatre, this hotel offers competitive room rates and free wifi. The hotel has a lounge bar as well as a breakfast room. For £11.95 you can enjoy a full English or a continental breakfast.
Smart Stay, Swiss Cottage
Located next to Finchley Road underground, Smart Stay offers rooms with fully equipped kitchens. There is free wi-fi available as well as laundry and ironing services.
London Marriott Hotel Regent's Park
Also within walking distance of the theatre, the rooms at the Marriott Hotel Regent's Park have recently been refurbished. Italian restaurant Carluccio's is located within the hotel, and it also boasts a spa and gym.
Hampstead Theatre aims to be accessible for all. The building has level access to all floors and performance spaces, accessible facilities, and assisted performances run throughout the year.
If you require assistance, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Access Membership Scheme
To book tickets with an access discount you can join the Access Membership Scheme at no cost and be provided with regular updates regarding forthcoming productions and assisted performances.
The scheme gives you access to concessionary rate tickets and, should you wish, details regarding your seating preference can be stored to make future bookings easier. If requested, the theatre can also provide cast lists and programme information in large print format, and show notes in mp3 format via email.
Access Members can book tickets online with the access concession price displayed. Wheelchair accessible seating is available in both the Main House and Hampstead Downstairs. It can be also be booked online by selecting seats with the wheelchair icon.
Assistance animals are welcome in the theatre and staff can dog-sit during performances.
Blind and partially sighted
Large print brochures can be supplied upon request.
Audio Described Performances
Live commentary via personalised headphones is available. Pre-show touch tours of the set that allow you to explore the space, props, furniture and selecting costumes can be arranged and audio show notes can be sent via email in the week prior to your attendance.
Deaf and hard of hearing
The theatre has an infra-red Sennheiser hearing system in the Main House. Headsets and hearing loops for use with or without a hearing aid can be collected from the cloakroom with a deposit of £10.
English text is displayed on a unit for people with hearing impairments. Inform the box office at the time of booking and they will ensure you are seated in the best position for the performance. A live transcribed post-show discussion with members of the cast and creative teams is also offered with all captioned performances.
There are accessible toilets on all levels of the theatre.
While you're there...
If you're making a day of it, Hampstead Heath is a haven of wildlife and rolling countryside that provides some welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. As well as the famous swimming ponds, there is a zoo, and the impressive panoramic view of the London skyline from Parliament Hill is one of the finest on offer.
The Freud Museum
The home of Sigmund Freud is now a museum housing Freud's personal library and research resources for psychoanalysis. The museum is open Wednesday-Sunday and costs £10 for adults and £5 for children aged 12-13. Under-12s have free admission.
This quaint alleyway is home to antique shops, as well as a second-hand book and clothing store. It's brimming with character. Make sure to pop into The Flask for a drink or a bite while you're there.
A walk around Hampstead Village is also a very pleasant way to while away the time.
Eton Avenue, Swiss Cottage, London NW3 3EU
Call: 020 7722 9301
Photo credit: Tony Murray