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Help Centre

Frequently asked questions

Food and drink

Restaurants, cafés and bars can be found throughout the building, most with al fresco seating overlooking the vibrant South Bank. Seasonal and best quality ingredients are used to create a wide range of food and drink.

Please visit the food and drinks pages for more information.

Bars are open during the interval of each production and drinks and cold food can be ordered before the performance starts to avoid queues at the interval. Please speak to a member of bar staff when you arrive.

There are a number of bars available throughout the National Theatre including the Long Bar on the ground floor, bars on the Olivier stalls and circle levels and the Dorfman foyer bar. The NT is also home to The Understudy, our relaxed and friendly craft beer pub.

The National Theatre is home to three restaurants – House and The Terrace, which are located within the NT, and The Green Room, just behind the NT on Upper Ground – as well as our all-day café, Kitchen, and our Espresso Bar.

Details, including opening times and menus, can be found in our Food and Drink section.

Special restuarant packages can be booked alongside your show tickets during the online booking process. If you would like to add a restaurant package to tickets you have already booked, please contact the box office on 020 7452 3000. More information about restaurant packages can be found here.

You can also reserve a table at one of our restaurants. Menus and booking information can be found in the Food and Drink section.

 

Menus for all our restuarants can be found in the food and drink section of our website.

If you still have unanswered questions, please contact us

 

Getting to the NT

The National Theatre’s car park is located under the building. The entrance ramp is on the southwest corner of the building, accessible from Upper Ground (the street that runs behind the National Theatre building).

Our car park is open from 6am to 12 midnight Monday to Friday and 7am to 12 midnight, Saturday & Sunday.
Please note: when the NT building is closed there is no step-free access from the car park. This applies Mon - Sat before 9.30am and after 11pm, all day on Sundays and at various times on Bank Holidays.
For holiday timings, please see the information on the Your Visit page

For customers with access needs, the drop-off point for taxis is on the private road to the east of the National Theatre, between the National and the IBM building. Customers for the Dorfman Theatre can be dropped off directly outside the entrance for that theatre. For the Olivier and Lyttelton Theatres, you can be dropped off outside Stage Door (just before the bollards), which gives a step free route into the venue, around the river-front side of the building.

If you still have unanswered questions, please contact us

 

Backstage tours

As a working building, there is activity happening behind the scenes every day in our auditoriums and around the backstage areas. You may see a set change-over as part of our repertoire system or visit the workshops to observe the craft and skill of our in-house teams, preparing for future productions on our five acre site. No two tours are the same – come and see what we're making today.

Our tours run at around 75 minutes.

Yes you can. Please make your requirements known when making your booking so we can ensure that the tour route is suitable. Contego wireless audio amplification is available on Backstage Tours for partially hearing people. For more information, please contact tours at tours@nationaltheatre.org.uk

 

Our backstage tours are tailored for an adult audience, concentrating on the history and workings of the building, and so may not be of interest for younger children.

Family tours run throughout the school holidays and are suitable for children aged 5-12. They include the opportunity to handle props and try out costumes from some of our past productions. Please see the tours section of our website for more details.

If you still have unanswered questions, please contact us

 

NT venue

Currently, we have no performances scheduled at the National Theatre on Sundays. Over summer, The Understudy, Kitchen and our bookshop will be open from 12 noon to 6pm each Sunday and free events and performances may be scheduled around the building. Please check back nearer the time for more information.

The National Theatre is usually open on bank holidays but opening times may vary. Please check the Your Visit section of the website for details.

The National Theatre building on the South Bank is home to the Olivier, Lyttelton and Dorfman theatres.

National Theatre shows often transfer to the West End, and details can be found in the 'Other venues' section of Your Visit.

Cloakrooms open 90 minutes before the show begins for Olivier and Lyttelton performances, 60 minutes before the show begins for Dorfman performances and 30 minutes before Platform discussions. Cloakrooms for West End productions open as the foyer opens.

Cloakrooms will close 30 minutes after the performance ends for matinees and 15 minutes before the building closes in the evening. Please be aware that items can not be left in the cloakroom between performances.

We strongly request that you do not bring large bags to the National Theatre, as enhanced security measures are currently in place.  We cannot guarantee that we will be able to accept these larger items.

For security reasons, staff may ask to search bags on arrival. If you decline the search, you cannot be admitted to the building.

National Theatre, South Bank
Enhanced security measures are currently in place. We strongly request that you do not bring large bags to the National Theatre. Only bags measuring less than 30cm x 30cm x 15cm are permitted in the auditoriums.

We may ask to search your bags on arrival. If you decline the search, you cannot be admitted to the building.

Coats and bags can be left in the free cloakrooms. However, for security reasons, staff may ask to search items deposited there. If you decline the search, you cannot be admitted to the building.

West End, Gielgud Theatre
Large bags are also not permitted into the auditoriums of our West End productions. Currently cloakrooms at the Gielgud Theatre are unavailable so if you have a large bag you will be refused entry to the theatre.

Whilst the enhanced security measures are in place, our ground floor cloakroom will be open from 9.30am.

Please note: On arrival at the building, our security teams may ask to search your bags. If you decline the search, you cannot be admitted to the building.

Free Wi-Fi is available throughout our foyer areas. The network name is NT Public and does not require a password. If you have trouble accessing our Wi-Fi, please visit the box office on the ground floor for information and assistance.

You’re welcome to bring laptops and tablets to use in the foyers. As a theatre our performances make certain areas very busy after 1pm (on matinee days) and 6pm (all days). During these times we ask that tables in those areas are made available for theatregoing audiences to use. If you’re working, but not attending a performance, our front of house team will be happy to try and point you in the direction of less busy areas.

Our foyers are open to the public all day Monday – Saturday. There are places to get food and drink (including Espresso Bar & Kitchen), the Bookshop, and things to do for free including Exhibitions and the chance to look backstage. There are also quieter areas throughout the building with free wi-fi.

As a theatre our performances make certain areas very busy after 1pm (on matinee days) and 6pm (all days). During these times we ask that tables in those areas are made available for theatregoing audiences to use. If you’re working or holding meetings, our front of house team will be happy to try and point you in the direction of less busy areas.

Photography and filming is not permitted in any of our auditoriums but you are welcome to take pictures in our foyers to document your visit to the National Theatre. If you wish to take photographs for portfolio work or will be using professional-level equipment, you will need to sign a non-commercial agreement at the box office before you begin taking photos.

Filming or commercial photography must be arranged in advance. Please contact us for more details.

We have lots of seating throughout our foyers which can be used for meetings and discussions but, unfortunately, we are unable to reserve spaces for specific groups. Please also be aware that the foyers get busy and noisy from around 90 minutes before our performances start and so may not be suitable for meetings.

Currently, we don't have any live music scheduled for our foyers. We will, however, have a number of free  events outside the National Theatre over the summer which will include live music. Please check back nearer the time for details.

There is a Travelex ATM machine which issues British Pounds, Euros and American Dollars, located in the Lyttelton Stalls foyer next to the glass lift.

The NT Archive is located in the NT Studio at 83-101 The Cut, London, SE1 8LL, a short walk away from the main National Theatre site.

If you still have unanswered questions, please contact us

 

Car parking

The National Theatre’s car park is located under the building. The entrance ramp is on the southwest corner of the building, accessible from Upper Ground (the street that runs behind the National Theatre building).

Our car park is open from 6am to 12 midnight Monday to Friday and 7am to 12 midnight, Saturday & Sunday.
Please note: when the NT building is closed there is no step-free access from the car park. This applies Mon - Sat before 9.30am and after 11pm, all day on Sundays and at various times on Bank Holidays.
For holiday timings, please see the information on the Your Visit page

The National Theatre car park is large but can become very busy especially on Saturdays and other matinee days. We recommend that you arrive early to ensure you can find a place to park.

If our car park is full, there is an externally managed car park behind the theatre on Upper Ground. Rates for this car park may vary.

Spaces in the basement Car Park are £8.00 after 5.00pm or if you attend a daytime ticketed event (or dine in one of the restaurants) and leave before 7pm. The combined matinee and evening show rate is £14.00. Validation must be obtained from the Box Office by producing your theatre ticket (or restaurant receipt) and car park entry ticket. On Sundays and Public Holidays, there is a flat £8 rate all day.

Visitors who are not attending an event at the National Theatre are welcome to park here, but we do not offer a discount, and the following hourly rate will apply:

1 hour - £6.00

2 hours - £8.00

3 hours - £10.00

4 hours - £12.00

5 hours - £14.00

6 hours - £15.00

7 hours - £16.00

12 hours - £24.00

24 hours - £28.00

When attending a performance, or dining at an NT restaurant, Blue Badge holders can park anywhere in the car park and there are spaces near the lifts reserved for use by disabled people. There is a ramped entrance with semi-automatic doors to the basement foyer and lifts.

For free parking, Blue Badge holders should take their badge, theatre ticket and car park ticket to any Box Office in the foyers for validation, prior to leaving. You do not need to display your blue badge in your car.

A limited number of street-level car parking spaces are available for Blue Badge holders principally attending performances in the Dorfman theatre or education events in the Clore Learning Centre. Due to limited availability these spaces must be booked in advance; to do so please contact the box office.

For further access information phone 020 7452 3000 or email access@nationaltheatre.org.uk

If you still have unanswered questions, please contact us

 

Lost property

Any items found within the National Theatre building are passed onto the security team. You can contact Security to check if your item has been handed in by calling 020 7452 3473.

Any items left at the Gielgud Theatre will be held on site and you should contact the Gielgud directly to check if your item has been found.

If you have lost an item in the National Theatre building, please contact Security on 020 7452 3473 to check if it has been handed in. You will then be able to arrange collection of the item from Stage Door during our opening times.

If you still have unanswered questions, please contact us

 

Visiting other venues

The NT Archive is located in the NT Studio at 83-101 The Cut, London, SE1 8LL, a short walk away from the main National Theatre site.

If you still have unanswered questions, please contact us

 

Exhibitions