You wouldn't if you read most mainstream theatre coverage: the stars, profits and column inches tend to be tightly concentrated in Covent Garden's theatreland. But while the pandemic has hit the capital's lesser known spaces especially hard, a plucky bunch are defying the odds to reopen with social distancing in place this month, and we reckon it's time to get to know them.
Hidden on a narrow East London alley behind one of London's most photographed doors is this photogenic, artfully-crumbling gem of a theatre. Plus, it's been freshly renovated with an eye for audience comfort: think plushy new seats and a crystal-clear acoustic.
Superpower: History and/or ghosts - dating back to 1859, this space is full of stories.
What to see: Meet an antiquated star at Scaramouche Jones, a one-man-show that takes you on a whirlwind tour of 20th century history.
This much-loved stalwart has been serving up fringe theatre alongside pints to generations of South Londoners: go for classic plays and smart new writing in a down-to-earth setting.
Superpower: Practicality as well as charm - step-free access, nearby parking spots, air-conditioning, and plenty of cosy nooks for a pint afterwards.
What to see: Stewart Pringle's Trestle is an understated delight, a story of unexpected friendship in a rural village hall.
If you want to something quirky, brain-scrambling or fiercely political, the CPT is the place to go. It's a haven for new voices in theatre and live art. And it's also used lockdown to undergo a little refurbishment so you can have your ideas of what theatre can be challenged in the most comfortable of conditions.
Superpower: Interactivity - going to a show at CPT feels like joining a party.
What to see: Brilliant theatre anarchists IN BED WITH MY BROTHER are back with Retrained, a show inspired by the government's advice that artists should forge new careers in cyber.
You'd have to be honking mad to open a new fringe theatre during a global pandemic... or would you? This new Camberwell pub-based venue seems to be doing pretty well for itself, luring in established and emerging artists alike into its capacious 80-seater space.
Superpower: Size matters - it's bigger-than-average, with a playing area that makes social distancing a breeze.
What to see: Meet a suave 1930s gay icon at Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope, a solo show that's packed with witty one-liners.
With a trip to the Edinburgh fringe almost certainly off the menu this summer, why not soak up some fringe vibes at Pleasance's North London outpost - which programmes a mixed line-up of comedy and rambunctious theatre.
Superpower: al fresco post-show pints - downstairs watering hole The Depot welcomes post-show crowds for a bevvy in a jungly beer garden that's full of tropical palms.
What to see: Lyn Gardner recommends Godot is a Woman , a ribald feminist comedy about dead male playwrights.
Follow these venues on Stagedoor and we'll keep you up to date with all their latest plans and shows. And they're just a tiny sample of all the fascinating, storied theatres that are scattered across London: and as we stay primed for news from the government on Monday on whether theatres can reopen at full capacity, we're hoping for a rule change that means more of these tiny, precious spaces can get back in action.