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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).

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

Every August hundreds of small theatre companies trek to Edinburgh for the Festival and Fringe. Meanwhile, hundreds more decide to stay in London instead. The Camden Fringe features some of the best alternative theatre to be found south of the border.

ABSENT - Shoreditch Town Hall. Promenade production. August 24 - October 25

AMERICAN IDIOT - Arts Theatre. Musical built on the songs of Green Day. Reviewed in an earlier production. To September 29
BAKKHAI - Almeida Theatre. Greek tragedy. To September 19
BEARS IN SPACE - Soho Theatre. Comedy about bears in space. To August 22
BRUISES - Tabard Theatre. Life in the sex industry. August 11-29.
BUGSY MALONE - Lyric Hammersmith Theatre. Gangster musical with child cast. To September 5
THE CAR MAN - Sadler's Wells Theatre. Matthew Bourne's dance adaptation of Bizet. Reviewed in an earlier production.To August 9
CARMEN - Soho Theatre. Small-scale opera. To September 19
CATASTROPHE and PRIVATE VIEW - Drayton Arms Theatre. Double bill of Beckett and Havel. To August 15
CROSSING JERUSALEM - Park Theatre. A day in the troubled city. To August 29
DUSTY - Charing Cross Theatre. Life and songs of Dusty Springfield. To November 21
THE GATHERED LEAVES - Park Theatre. Family reunion drama. To August 15
GRAND HOTEL - Southwark Playhouse. Musical based on classic film. To September 5
THE INVISIBLE - Bush Theatre. Problems of the Legal Aid system. To August 15
JEKYLL AND HYDE - Platform Theatre. Stevenson tale. To August 8
LADY ANNA ALL AT SEA - Park Theatre. Imagining novelist Trollope. August 19 - September 29
LEONCE AND LENA - Jack Studio. Buchner drama. August 18-29

A NUMBER - Young Vic Theatre. Caryl Churchill on the ethics of human cloning. To August 15
OPERATION CRUCIBLE - Finborough Theatre. World War II drama. To August 22
OUR HOUSE - Union Theatre. Musical built on the songs of Madness. August 19 - September 12
THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD - Southwark Playhouse. Synge classic. August 12-29
THE RAILWAY CHILDREN - King's Cross Theatre. Family classic, featuring real train. To January 3
RICHARD II - Shakespeare's Globe. To October 18
THE SCHOOL OF LIGHT - White Bear Theatre. New Age satire. August 11-29.
SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS - Open Air Theatre. Stage version of 1950s film musical. To August 29
SHAKESPEARE'S R&J - Tabard Theatre. Modern schoolboys' interpretation of Shakespeare. To August 8
THE SPITFIRE GRILL - Union Theatre. Musical set in American small town. To August 15.
TAMBURLAINE THE GREAT -  Tristan Bates Theatre. Marlowe epic. August 25 - September 12
THE TRIAL - Young Vic Theatre. Nick Gill adaptation of Kafka novel. To August 22
TWELFTH NIGHT - The Space. Shakespeare in music hall style. To August 8
WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT? - Menier Chocolate Factory. Songs of Burt Bacharach in new arrangements. To September 5

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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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