The first proposal for a National Theatre was made in 1848 by Effingham Wilson, a London publisher, and supported by leading figures of the day, including Charles Dickens, critic and poet Matthew Arnold, and actors Charles Kemble and Sir Henry Irving. There then followed several unsuccessful attempts to launch the scheme during the rest of the century. Definite plans were formulated in a book by Harley Granville Barker and William Archer in 1903.

Work however did not commence until 1951 where the first foundation stone was laid by the Queen Mother next to the Festival Hall. Work on the site where the National Theatre actually stands started on 3 November 1969, and was inaugurated by Jennie Lee (made Baroness in 1970), then Minister for the Arts.

House Restaurant and Bar is a stylish dining destination set within the National Theatre on the first floor, serving a contemporary take on classic restaurant dishes, cocktails and an interesting wine list!

Address: National Theatre, Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PX