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  • 418 St John Street
    Islington

    London EC1V 4NJ
    Clerkenwell, Angel
  • Transit information Northern Get Directions
  • Phone number 020 7837 7816
  • Business website oldredliontheatre.co.uk

Recommended Reviews

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    • Qype User gr…
    • London
    • 38 friends
    • 95 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    28/10/2007

    This is a lovely pub, built in 1415 apparently. It's of some historical importance too, as Thomas Paine wrote parts of The rights of man in here. It's got a warm and welcoming feel to it, the walls a frivolous red and the ceiling some kind of nicotine yellow. It's decorated with old black and white photographs and posters for various theatre productions. Indeed, the OLR is also home to a small theatre, which is upstairs. It's tiny and can only fit about 50 people, but it's a great venue (on right now: Salsa saved the girls, a black comedy about a dysfunctional American family, highly recommended).

    Since it's one of London's oldest pubs it seems like a natural choice for the Angel and Islington stop of the monopoly pub crawl.

  • 4.0 star rating
    20/2/2013

    This is a very nice olde style pub. The dominant red interior decor makes the place feel cosier, which is obviously a bonus. The divider to the right as you enter is particularly attractive, although ultimately pointless.
    There is a theater upstairs if beer isn't entertaining enough for you. Or you can stick downstairs and play various games.

    Beers  Sussex Best, Landlord and 1 less interesting beer I have forgotten. As common beers go, not a bad choice.
    Pub on this site for over 500 years, back when it was a village with fields n that.

    • Qype User Sian…
    • London
    • 415 friends
    • 752 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    27/4/2009

    Pretty nice pub, this. I'm a fan of the old theatre style (there is a theatre upstairs). We popped in on our way to Angel and we had fun. (Yes, we were so hungover that the walk from Farringdon to Angel was just too far without a beer on the way).

    For some reason the pub smelled of chocolate, it was nice. Nasty old fashioned decor which was actually kind of nice in a nostalgic kind of way.

    I wouldn't make a point of coming here (although it was very very cheap indeed) but it does make a change from the pubs in Angel, and the ones in Farringdon for that matter. Not too shabby.

  • 4.0 star rating
    27/5/2010
    First to Review

    This is an interesting and historic pub just south of Angel tube, with a theatre upstairs and a good choice of real ales.

    There has been a pub on this site since 1453, although the current Grade-II listed building was designed by architects Eedle and Myers and completed in 1899. Thomas Paine wrote part of The Rights of Man in the previous building.

    Although it is hard to appreciate the architecture from the busy road outside, its listed status derives from the interesting amalgam of Classical, Renaissance and Jacobean styles in the façade, executed in red brick, granite and stucco, with lots of etched glazing and original ironwork.

    The front part of the interior, which includes the bar area, is also very traditional, with glazed wooden partitions, although the rear section is - in rather stark contrast - just a big empty space with dull maroon banquettes in need of some tlc.

    The main event is a good range of real ales (currently including Fuller's London Pride, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter, and Woodforde's Wherry Bitter) and, of course, the theatre upstairs, which specialises in Fringe and new writing. It has been listed in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide since 2009.

    Service was pretty good on my last visit, although unfortunately two of the beers ran out in quick succession. Busy after work and before the theatre starts.

    • Qype User ck-on…
    • London
    • 8 friends
    • 58 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    6/10/2008

    The Old Red Lion is a theatre/bar. I didn't get a chance to experience the theatre here, but was pleasantly surprised with the bar itself. Red being the theme, the decor inside is red (carpets, seats etc), and the low-lit red lighting gives a feeling of warmth.

    This is one of the pubs suggested on the Monopoly pub crawl, but as it's only number 5 on the original version, the groups of lads that come in seem to be quite tame :)

    The bar staff were extremely friendly and there was a good range of alcohol, although I'm told that the bitters are a little disappointing. And from what I could tell they don't serve food..

    • Qype User Marmit…
    • London
    • 77 friends
    • 95 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    18/12/2007

    Been here a few times now and I always feel totally relaxed in here. Almost like I am in Ireland for some reason, probably because it is quite informal and jolly and there always seems to be an old man perched on the end of the bar. Great place to come with a friend for a chat. There is a Theatre upstairs.

    • Qype User Larrrr…
    • London
    • 2 friends
    • 38 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    17/1/2008

    I recently saw a play here about Patrick Kavangh called 'On Raglan Road'. The play was good, as was the pub. The theatre is situated upstairs and feels like a fringe theatre should- intimate and friendly. Intimate is a good word to use- the tiny space was so packed out that i was practically sitting on my neighbours lap! However one should take this as a good reflection of the theatre and its productions.

    • Qype User JujWal…
    • London
    • 32 friends
    • 210 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    29/2/2008

    A lovely pub just off the main stretch of Islington. Really old fashioned interior which gives it a cosy feel, and doesn't get overly crowded. Haven't ever been to a theatre production, which consists of about 50 seats upstairs in a small auditorium, but rumours are complimentary.

    • Qype User ma0s…
    • London
    • 10 friends
    • 72 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    17/10/2008

    I saw a play here a few weeks ago and was taken back by how good it was. Incredibly close up and intimate with very limited seating available that made you feel as though you were part of the performance. They regularly put thought provoking, interesting performances on, and the downstairs bar was a pleasant pub to drink in before the performance and to reflect on the performance afterwards.

    • Qype User reev…
    • London
    • 2 friends
    • 66 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    17/11/2008

    A friendly local theatre pub. This pub has seen many stars and is very comfy. Good atmosphere and staff and plenty of beer. An enjoyable place for a drink or to see a show.

    • Qype User tea…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 27 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    10/6/2009

    Traditional old theatre pub. Cheap drinks and 'interesting' theatre is always fun. Very mixed clientel with trendy upperstreeters mixing with numerous tramp (literally) regulars. Good fun!

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