The New Players Theatre, which is called the Charing Cross Theatre now, is a hidden gem in Central London, right under the arches off Villiers St, off Strand.
You would never imagine that behind one of those arches there is a theatre.
It is run down, I must say, but that adds to its flavour ;)
It is a small theatre, so wherever you sit you will still be close to the stage.
There is a very different crowd from the other theatres, more alternative you could say.
I watched The Exonerated here, which is still showing, and it was absolutely brilliant. If this is the type of quality to expect from the performances shown on this theatre, I will become a regular.
I'm reviewing the bar also, rather than the theatre.
I had my work leaving drinks here, so reserved the mezzanine area. The bar itself is a good size with a really nice appearance.
It's just such a shame the piano music doesn't come on from a little earlier, as this is the real appeal of this place, and the atmosphere only really comes alive once he starts playing. I'm assuming they have to wait for any performances to end.
I was here from about 5.30pm, and whilst there was some (fairly quiet) background music on, there was a corporate event downstairs, so the music was off for a large part of the evening. I hadn't realised that the piano man wasn't on until late, so whilst there were a small number of my party left to enjoy it, most people had meandered off home by that point.
It's a really nice place, I would just plan to end your work drinks here, rather than start them, as it's fairly 'plain' here without the performer.
A small-ish theatre with probably less than 300 seats in the main auditorium the New Players Theatre is an interesting and diverse venue. Well equipped for all kinds of performances - the one I was there for was rubbish but that's not important - from musicians and singers to plays and musicals (and probably others too). The seats have generous leg-room.
The bar area is quite nice though standard for drinks choices and I believe there's a small restaurant in the premises.
The theatre is located in an ally-way under Charing Cross station and therein lies the main problem. Every 15-20 minutes (this may depend on the time or particular day) you'll hear the trains rattling over head which will hamper every performance and particularly anything atmospheric they may be showing.
A nice little place but I'll be hoping the shows I go to see will be on someplace else,
I'm reviewing the bar here rather than the theatre. Regardless of whether there is a show on or not, the bar and restaurant are open until 2:30am and from 11pm on there is live music every night.
What sets this place apart from every other bar I have ever been to is the clientelle. Note the time the live music starts.... 11pm. The bar here is almost entirely inhabited by performers that have just finished a show in the West End. If you don't sing for a living or earn your crust on stage you are the exception.
The live music is almost invariably a grand piano and a singer or singers. Normally I would rather pierce my ear drums with pencils than suffer a karaoke night, here when the patrons decide to sing, you are in for something truly spectacular. The repetoire is generally much loved classic numbers from the last thirty years and show tunes and the standard is very high.
It gets very busy after midnight and there's a reason for that. The atmosphere is friendly and the live music is great.
This is one of the lesser known theatres in London. A lovely hidden-away place, under the arches near Embankment/Charing Cross.
It's got a cosy little auditorium, which makes you feel almost involved in the show. They have some good plays and occassional small musicals. I find a lot of their programmes much more inspiring than the bigger 'commercial' shows in town.
The building also houses a public bar. It's reasonably priced and has a piano room, with a pianist in there every now and again. Great atmosphere. They serve great food too.
There is a nice back area which they can hire out for private parties, which can include an upstairs room too. A friend of mine had his birthday there and it was perfect.
The staff are very helpful and friendly.
Such a shame..
I've been using this place for aprox a couple of years for production staff treats (end of show stuff) & family invites + regular visits. Spend loads of dosh, but (was) always worth it. Staff were great + food + lovely guys on piano.
Now finally..staff become brash, food fussy (pea pura with fish & chips) change of security & actually general atmosphere deadened! It's such a shame, as this WAS a real gem. The people running it must know what's happened??!! Used to be good mutual respect at this place. So very sad..now gone to the dogs with the rest!!!!!!!!!!!
The bar is a great place for post show drinks it's open till 2am and has a fun pianist who makes the bar lively. Big soft sofas, nice decor, cool vibe, great wine and bar food.
Reliable entertaining bar with 9 times out of ten an amazing piano player on - Also open quite late most evening (2am-3am) which in a world that loves to shut at 11pm makes it very useful...
Decor and choice of drinks doesn't give it five stars but if you just want 'one for the road' this is the choice of Theatreland
Perfect for a drink and chill out while the west end goes about rush hour.
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