Dorfman Theatre

The Dorfman Theatre (formerly the Cottesloe Theatre) has been redeveloped, with a greater capacity, more comfortable seats, better sight-lines and enlarged foyer spaces.

The most flexible of the National Theatre auditoriums, it is a rectangular room, which can hold up to 450 people. In the pit, the new flexible seating system can be raised and lowered in minutes to either a steep or shallow rake format;  or the seats can be folded away completely to become a flat floor.

On three sides of the room there are two levels, the circle and gallery, which look down on the pit.  Performances can be staged in a conventional format at one end; in “traverse”, lengthways or across the space; or in the round. Everything is open to change except the circle and gallery, which are reminiscent of the inn-yards that preceded Shakespeare's stages as performance areas.

Due to the flexibility of the staging, the seating is different for almost every different production, and we therefore do not have seating plans available online. If you are in doubt about the suitability of a particular seat and whether it may have a restricted view, please call the Box Office on 020 7452 3000.

The foyer, which is open daily, also gives public access to the Sherling High-Level Walkway, overlooking the theatre’s backstage workshops, and the Clore Learning Centre.  A new lift has been added to make the Dorfman accessible from all levels. There is a bar in the Dorfman foyer, and a cloakroom is also available.

The Dorfman entrance is on the east side of the National Theatre, on Stage Door Avenue, opposite the IBM building.

The Dorfman Theatre with Pit seats in a shallow rake. Photo by Philip Vile