Hampstead Theatre is a theatre in the vicinity of Swiss Cottage and Belsize Park, in the London Borough of Camden. It specialises in commissioning and producing new writing, supporting and developing the work of new writers. In 2009 it celebrated its 50-year anniversary. The original theatre (The Hampstead Theatre Club) was created in Moreland Hall in 1959. James Roose-Evans was the first Artistic Director, and the 1959-1960 season included The Dumb Waiter and The Room by Harold Pinter, Eugène Ionesco's Jacques and The Sport of My Mad Mother by Ann Jellicoe.
In 1962 the company moved to a portable cabin in Swiss Cottage where it remained for nearly 40 years, before, in 2003, the new purpose-built Hampstead Theatre opened in Swiss Cottage. The main auditorium now seats between 150 and 325 people. The studio theatre, the Michael Frayn Space, seats up to 80 people and hosts Heat&Light, Hampstead Theatre's Young Company for ages 10-25. Heat&Light produces 12 productions each year, including, previously, new plays by Bola Agbaje, Mike Bartlett, Joel Horwood, Jane Bodie, Ed Hime, Nick Grosso and John Donnelly. As part of its commitment to developing new writers and new writing, the theatre nurtures and commissions playwrights, and also hosts regular Start Nights, where extracts of new plays are performed to an audience who give their constructive feedback on what they have seen.