Pentameters Theatre is located above The Horseshoe Pub in the heart of Hampstead Village and is nestled among an abundance of cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs to have pre/post-theatre dinner or drinks. Hampstead is also well-known for its artistic character, offering a supportive, interactive and thriving local community making it an ideal spot to promote live theatre and creative art events.

Founded by Léonie Scott-Matthews in August 1968, Pentameters is one of the most respected fringe theatres in London. Léonie has put on hundreds of professional shows from Shakespeare, classic revivals and new plays to alternative comedy, music and poetry events.

Pentameters Theatre Fundraiser
If you would like to donate, please click on the link below

Pentameters Fundraiser bespoke t-shirt.


2020 New Year Honours
Awarded a Medal of the Order of the British Empire
for services to British Theatre and to the community in Hampstead

Hampstonian of the Year Award, December 2019

Lifetime Achievement Award, October 2019

The many authors to perform at Pentameters include Dannie Abse (1923-2014), Kingsley Amis, Margaret Drabble, Ted Hughes, Laurie Lee, Roger McGough, Edna O'Brien, Harold Pinter, John Wain and the psychiatrist R.D. Laing. The Theatre has also played host to many performers at the start of their careers, including Russell Brand, Adrian Edmundson, Ben Elton, French and Saunders, Nigel Havers, Celia lmrie, Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer, Jenny Seagrove, Pamela Stephenson and Alexei Sayle.

To celebrate her commitment to the creative arts, Léonie was honoured as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and, as a Hampstead resident, received a Camden Good Citizen Award in 1998 in recognition of her outstanding work for the community.


a poem by Peter Woodcock

(for Léonie Scott-Mathews

founder of Pentameters Theatre)


Glittering stars pasted on to backdrop which

had once been blackout curtains in the old house,

climbing up the staircase

into a doll’s house, the inner theatre of imagination

with shamanistic brilliance

voices entwine, fugitives find themselves,

lost souls flourish, lives unlived 

in bedsits and pubs, a secret alliance

woven by the times, 

recovering from austerity and lack

suddenly in technicolor

fuelled by alcohol and smoke,

dangerous dreams of liberation, 

metamorphosed on a stage,

illusion and madness,

rediscovering ourselves

in the drama of now

as yet unseen, burning passions

ebb and flow,

decades later with bruised memories,

secret pathways in starlit Hampstead

still lead to magical groves.

            ***  *** ***

Léonie beckons,

Pentameters siren sounds:

Come hither, my muse

                           by Chris Purdon

  "Pentameters without virtue cannot endure."

'Best Theatre, 2016'
by Hampstead Village Voice

Léonie Scott-Matthews with cast & crew of “House of Cowards” written by Dannie Abse (1923-2014)

Directed by Conrad Blakemore (November 2013)