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London's Off-West End and Fringe, like New York's Off-Broadway and Off Off-Broadway, range from established theatres that just happen to be in different parts of town from the West End, to scores of small companies and venues, many in pubs, showcasing new talent. Some shows may be on only on weekends or have very short runs, so it is best to check with the theatres (Scroll down for links to some leading Off-West End and fringe theatres).

August is a festival of small and alternative theatre, with over 250 shows in central and near-north London venues, most for only 3 or 4 night runs.. CLICK HERE for the full programme.

Here are some of the more interesting and longer-running things beyond the West End this month

THE BLUES BROTHERS SUMMER SPECIAL - Hippodrome. Tribute band's tribute band. To August 26
COMING CLEAN - King's Head Theatre. Gay drama. To August 26
DESSERT - Southwark Playhouse. Business dinner gone dark. To August 5
DISCO PIGS - Trafalgar Studios. Irish teenagers run amok. To August 18
I LOVED LUCY - Arts Theatre. Salute to Lucille Ball. To September 2
INSTRUCTIONS FOR AMERICAN SERVICEMEN IN BRITAIN - Jermyn Street Theatre. Wartime culture-clash comedy. To July 29
MACBETH - St Paul's Covent Garden. Promenade production To July 29

NINA - A STORY ABOUT ME AND NINA SIMONE - Young Vic Theatre. Josette Bushell-Mingo on the soul singer's influence. To July 29
THE QUENTIN DENTIN SHOW - Tristan Bates Theatre. Musical. To July 29

right left with heels - Streatham Hill Theatre. Women in war. To July 30
THE SECRET DIARY OF ADRIAN MOLE - Mennier Chocolate Factory. Musical version of comic teenage angst. To September 9
SUMMER IN LONDON - Thetre Royal Stratford East. Romantic comedy. To July 29
A TALE OF TWO CITIES - Open Air Theatre. Dickens dramatised. To August 5

TOUCH - Soho Theatre. Thirty-something woman's misadventures. To August 26
YANK! - Charing Cross Theatre. Gay soldiers in WW2. To August 19

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And here are links to some of the more established Off-West End theatres:


BITE - Barbican and Pit Theatres. The Barbican plays host to a yearlong programme of visits by theatre, dance and performance art companies, many for only 3 or 4 performances.

OPEN AIR THEATRE, Regent's Park. Outdoor performances May-September. 

OPERA HOLLAND PARK Outdoor performances June-August

SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE THEATRE. Plays done in replica of Shakespeare's original theatre during the summer, with tours and some performances the rest of the year. 

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