Formerly known as the Cottlesloe Theatre, The Dorfman has recently been refurbished to offer a larger seating capacity, fewer restricted views, larger foyer and lobby spaces, and more comfortable seating.
The Dorfman Theatre is shaped like a rectangular and presents itself as the most flexible theatre of the three National Theatre auditoriums. Featuring a seating capacity of up to 450 people, the auditorium's new seating system located in the pit is fully flexible and can be either lowered or raised in a matter of minutes in order to create a more shallow or steeper rake. The seats can also be completely folded away in order to create a completely flat surface.
Three sides of the room have two different levels: the Gallery and Circle, which offer a view of the pit down below. Performances and shows can be staged either in the conventional format, in a lengthways format known as "traverse" (across the space), or in what's known as "in the round." Other than the Circle or Gallery, which takes after the classic inn-yard style prevalent during Shakespeare's time, everything can be changed or altered to accommodate the demands of a particular show.