Hampstead Theatre was established in 1959, known then as the Hampstead Theatre Club and with Harold Pinter as a permanent fixture in the early years. In 1962 the company relocated to Swiss Cottage, where – in 2003 – the current Hampstead Theatre was built with the help of the local community and the theater’s supporters.
The theater comprises of three stages: the Main stage, the Downstairs and the theatre’s satellite venue in the West End. The first is the allocated space for epic plays and big names: capable of being transformed into anything, really. Anything is possible here and the theatre has set up shows in the past like Chariots of Fire and 55 Days. Hampstead Downstairs is a more intimate venue, with only 80 seats but a flexibility that allows for different stage layouts. This intimate setting is perfect for world-class artists to present their work in close proximity to their audiences. This space is totally committed to new writing and discovering new talent and a great way to see something unconventional and surprising. Lastly, their West End venue is well known for its musicals, like the Kink’s Sunny Afternoon. Here is all the glitter of the theatre world available in abundance.
Over the years, Hampstead Theatre’s stage has seen many famous faces, like Jude Law, John Malkovich, Alan Rickman, Rowan Atkinson and John Hurt. But it also devotes a large part of its programme devoted to discovering and nurturing new talent: they are always looking for new and promising writers. You can send your play in via their website and if your writing fits their criteria, they might take it on!
In the end, Hampstead Theatre’s mission is to create original theatre without restriction. To challenge, influence and shape the future of British theatre. To create the future mainstream – entertaining experiences that are original and ambitious. For this, they want to engage with new and existing talent, setting up the most innovative and refreshing shows in three different settings.