The Arts Theatre is an independent theatre situated in the heart of London's theatre district, the West End. The Arts' auditorium is intimate in comparison to other theatres in the area; with around 350 seats, the Arts Theatre tends to show smaller scale productions on a season by season basis.
The building is steeped in theatrical history. Having opening in 1927 as a members club, it housed performances of unlicensed plays and therefore was notorious for thwarting the strict theatre censorship laws of its day. Since then the Arts Theatre has been known for its Avant-garde productions and in 1955 it was notably the home of the English premier of Samuel Beckett's notoriously absurd play, Waiting for Godot. Other prominent performances included a four year run of British playwright Tom Stoppard's double-bill Newfoundland and Dirty Linen beginning in 1976.
Following a small dark period, the Arts Theatre reopened in 2010 under new ownership and has since fully restored its historical position as a commercial West End theatre, albeit the smallest in the district. Now the theatre presents four to twelve week long seasons of varied productions such as experimental musicals and small plays. The theatre also presents one off productions such as cabarets and comedy nights.
The Arts Theatre is also social venue, with a tea room and a cocktail club attached. For a slightly more sober rendezvous, tea and a fine selection of cakes and sandwiches are on offer for those looking to relax on the comfortable sofas of the Tea Room at the Arts. On the other hand, The Covent Garden Cocktail Bar is the perfect place for a spot of pre-theatre indulgence and is also open until midnight on a Friday and Saturday for those looking to continue the party after the show. What ever the occasion, both the tea room and cocktail club provide a much desired theatrical setting within which thespians and arts lovers alike can mingle.