Cookies: to find out more or learn how to changing your settings, click here. We are pleased to accept your consent to our policy if you are happy to continue without doing so.   

London Theatre & Music Venues' Expert Seat Reviewer and Discount Deal Hunter.
The Trusted Independent Insider Listings Guide since 2000.

Home Page
Buy the Site Book
Buy Tickets
By Venue Name
By Show Title
For Best Seat Info
For Seating Plans
For Show Time Schedule
For Day Seat Information
Latest Special Offers
Tips, Hints & Features
Top Five Charts
Theatremonkey Ticketshop
Buy CDs, Books etc
Hotel plus Show Deals
Venue Access Guide
Theatre Dictionary
FAQ's & About Us
Contact Us
Blog and Book Extracts
Take The Site Tour
Join Our Mailing List
Links To Other Sites
Other Gifts
Tourist Attraction Ticket Shop





Performance Times Ticket Prices Where to Buy Tickets  Seating Plan Seat Opinions Getting Here



KING LEAR (play)
Ends 3rd November 2018.
Audio Described performance: 12th September 2018 at 7pm (touch tour 6pm)
Captioned performance: 2nd October 2018 at 7pm

Whichever of the King's daughters praises him the most gets the biggest slice of his fortune. So why does his favourite remain silent?

Sir Ian McKellen gives us his shot at Bill the Quill's famous father creation in this acclaimed transfer from Chichester Festival Theatre.


Theatremonkey Opinion:

(Seen at the afternoon performance on 28th July 2018). When it comes to dying on stage, Ian McKellen is the master. His final moments cradling the corpse of his beloved Cordelia will remain long in the monkey memory. That is the true highlight of this very much actor-led Chichester Festival Theatre production directed by Jonathan Munby.

The time is the present, the Paul Wills wooden panel set telling us it's the historic upper echelons of society. Beyond that, though, the whole rather lacks a uniting theme or even motif. The extended family play out a power struggle that is pretty clearly defined, but not really interpreted in any particular way.

No matter, the acting is of high standard. Most notable include Kirsty Buschell as a totally sexy Regan... and crazier than a bed-bug to boot. Her joy and horror as decent Gloucester (lovely, measured decency from Danny Webb) is discomforting to say the least - husband Cornwall (Daniel Rabin) being welcome to her.

Of the other daughters, Claire Price as Goneril is the stable elder one, masking her own insanity and plotting with her own husband Albany (Anthony Howell) to good effect - Howell coming into his own later with deft politicising as things unravel. Cordelia (Anita-Joy Uwajeh) gets the best outfit (think "Miss World") at the start, and comes into her own with well-judged military and moving final scenes.

Edmund (James Corrigan) knows how to hold a stage, a real sense of how Shakespeare uses "plot summary" is clear in his work. Against him, brother Edgar (Luke Thompson) is more like his father in temperament, with a particularly impressive range from calculated poverty to devoted help. Sinead Cusack (Kent) as catalyst throughout draws on long experience to find a core of honesty that lends structure even when the plot threatens to meander or spill over into unredeemable darkness.

With decent fight sequences (Kate Waters, as usual) and effective storms, a reasonable take on the difficult "cliff" (nice backdrop) and well-costumed, it's a solid 4 star production. Had it built on the early humour and offered a few more inspired original moments, it would be elevated to a five for the monkey.

Still, if you can grab one of the few remaining tickets at a decent price, you should, is its opinion.


Your Reviews: Add your own by clicking here.
Important: Some reviews below can contain "spoilers" - please don't read if this bothers you!

(2 reviews)

Matinee was cancelled due to Ian McKellen hurting his leg. However he did take the stage and spent 90 minutes talking about his life on stage and in film. A brilliant afternoon, his impressions of the famous actors were priceless. I can't think of many people who would do that.

Sat in Stalls K3. Great seat.


I got BB8 in the stalls on 7th August 2018. Such an amazing show with brilliant performances, especially from Sir Ian McKellen himself and Luke Thompson. I got pretty wet in the end for being in that seat though. You know why haha ;).


Top Performance Times Ticket Prices Where to Buy Tickets  Seating Plan Seat Opinions Getting Here

Performance Schedule:
The monkey advises checking performance times on your tickets and that performances are happening as scheduled, before travelling.

Tuesday to Friday at 7pm
Saturday at 1.30pm and 7pm

Runs 3 hours 30 minutes approximately.



Ticket Prices:

Offers May be available - Click Here

View this information in diagram form


All seats: £125 except
"Package Seats" E 6 to 20, F 6 to 20: £145
Row A 1, 2, 11, 12; B 1, 2, 11, 12; C 1, 2, 3, 15, 16, 17; H 3, 20; J to N 1, 2, 20, 21; O 1, 2, 16, 17: £75
Restricted view rows D to F 3, 4; D 21, 22; E 22, 23; F 21, 22; H 2, 21: £57.50

Dress Circle:

Row A 5 to 14, B 5 to 18: £145
Row C 6 to 20; D and E 3 to 16: £125
All other seats: £75

Upper Circle:

Row A 5 to 17; B 5 to 20; C 5 to 21; D 5 to 19: £57.50
Row A 3, 4, 18, 19; B 3, 4, 21, 22; C 3, 4, 22, 23; D 3, 4, 20, 21; E 3 to 20; F 5 to 17: £37.50
Row A 1, 2, 19, 20; B 1, 2, 23, 24; C 1, 2, 24, 25; D 1, 2, 22, 23; E 1, 2, 21, 22; F 1 to 4, 18 to 21; rows G and H: £25


B, C, E and F: £75
K and N: £57.50
O and L: £25

"Day Seats" for those aged 16 to 25 ONLY: a very limited number of tickets, location and number at box office discretion, but usually 8 in front row stalls BB at least - go on sale at 10am on the day of performance to personal callers at the box office priced £5 each. First come-first served, these are limited to 1 per person, and may be paid for in cash or by credit card, they are subject always to availability. PROOF OF AGE IS REQUIRED, and the booking must be done by the person who will be using the ticket. The monkey always advises taking both to be safe, in case one is preferred over the other, and also calling the theatre in advance to check that the "day seat" ticket policy is in operation.


Some details may change. The monkey will update as available.


Top Performance Times Ticket Prices Where to Buy Tickets  Seating Plan Seat Opinions Getting Here

Buying Tickets Online:

Other Box Office Information

Tickets offered differ between outlets. Outlets also may offer different seats via their phone and online systems. Offers may be available click here.
Theatre Box Office:
Ambassador Theatre Group, the theatre group's own website provide the service for this theatre.


Booking fees per transaction for online bookings:
A £3.65 per transaction (not per ticket) fee is made.


Other Online Choices (with S.T.A.R. genuine ticket agencies):


When the theatre does not have tickets you'd like available, it is also worth trying the Theatremonkey Ticketshop agency, telephone 020 7420 9778 (0044 207 420 9778 if calling from outside the United Kingdom), which offers seats with a fee of £19.90 on £99.50 (£29 on £145, £25 on £125 seats) booking fee per ticket - moderate by agency standards, high by box office ones, but worth trying as they often have some choice available! Note that this system will confirm exact seat numbers prior to purchase. A £1.95 per booking, not per ticket, handling fee may apply on some transactions by telephone. NO handling fee applies for online purchases.

Encore Tickets (telephone 0207 400 1253 / 0044 207 400 1253 if calling from outside tthe United Kingdom) offer seats with a fee of £18 (£21 Saturday) on £75 (£41 on £145, £35 on £125, £28.50 on £99.50, £16.50 on £57.50, £9.50 on £37.50, £7 on £25 seats). A postage charge of £1.45 per booking, not per ticket may be applied to bookings made from UK addresses more than 5 days before the performance. The "Flexiticket" Exchange Service, allowing FREE transfer / cancellation (credit note up to 12 months) of your booking up to 3 days before the performance is also available for £1.99 per ticket. Discounts and hotel / theatre ticket packages may also be available. Quality and Value hotel / theatre ticket packages are also available.

ALSO SEE for great value "hotel and theatre ticket" packages.

Other Independent S.T.A.R. ticket agencies may also offer an alternative choice of seats.


Box Office Information:
Tickets offered differ between outlets. Outlets also may offer different seats via their phone and online systems. Offers may be available click here.
Theatre Box Office:
Telephone: 0844 871 7623
Operated by the Ambassador Theatre group's own phoneroom from 9am until 10pm (Sundays 10am until 8pm). Outside these hours the Ticketmaster agency answer calls on their behalf.


Booking fees per transaction for telephone bookings:
A £3.65 per transaction (not per ticket) fee is made.


For personal callers or by post: St. Martin's Lane, London. WC2N 4BG
No booking fee for personal callers.

Special Access Needs Customers:
Wheelchair users and other registered disabled theatregoers can book their seats and enquire about concessionary prices that may be available to them on a dedicated phone line. See Notes.


Top Performance Times Ticket Prices Where to Buy Tickets  Seating Plan Seat Opinions Getting Here

Theatre Seat Opinions:
Please remember that cheaper seats often do not offer the same view / location quality as top price ones, and that ticket prices are designed to reflect this difference.

NOTE: For "King Lear" in July 2018, the stalls will have a different layout.  Click here for the layout.


Seating Plan Diagram

Stalls Dress Circle Upper Circle Notes
A single block of seats faces the stage.

The Dress Circle overhangs the stalls at row K.

The rake (sloped floor to help see over rows in front) is noticeable from around row D back to row O.

Good in rows AA (when used) to Q, except row BB (limited for those over 5ft 10 or so, unless the row in front is removed notes Tim, a regular monkey reader). Other 6ft readers were happy in the row, though.

Adequate in R and S. Row U has less - those over 5ft 11 or so may feel cramped.

Best legroom in AA 1 to 10, B1, 12, C 1, 2, 3, 16, 17, D 1, 2, 19, E 1, H1 and 21 all of which have no seats in front.

D19 is 50% clear.

C15 and Q2 have 9/10ths of the seat with nothing in front, T1 about 5/8ths clear, E21 around 20% and A1 about 1/10th for those who are happy to peer a bit.

Choosing seats in general:
The monkey has always enjoyed the atmosphere of rows AA to C for proximity to the stage. The enclosing walls create a very intimate atmosphere at the front of this theatre.

The good news is that, given a high stage, row AA is often sold cheaply to those willing to accept neck ache.

Behind it, at top price, rows BB and A may be out for many whose health cover does not run to physiotherapy.

The positions of the boxes at the front of this theatre mean that the first and last two seats of rows C to F face walls rather than the stage. These seats (plus occasionally extra ones behind them as far back as row H) are usually a bargain when sold at restricted view prices for those accepting a little wall with their play. The monkey prefers them over “clear view” more expensive seats in row R back, anyway.

Take the seat one in from the aisle first in all cases - D2, 19, E2, 20, F2 and H2 and 20 etc, and work forward from row H to D in that order. The outermost seats lose around an eighth of the stage nearest to them, the seat further in about a tenth.

If any of these seats are sold at top price, just enquire if the wall has been demolished - the reply will be negative - and insist on central seats.

The rest of the stalls to row O are comfortable with a good rake, offering at least average value for money.

The monkey picks rows F to H as prime value, but would be wary of rows J, K, M and N – not sufficiently offset to see past the row in front, according to one reader. The monkey would add row G to the list too. Fine if you are 5ft 7 or so, but shorter and with someone tall in front, you could be weaving to see both sides of the stage.

Rows P to U feel like a large room tacked behind the main theatre. The rake is not great here, but the lower prices in rows R to U usually marks out these seats as pretty acceptable value for money. On the other hand, row U is often the same price as row AA – the monkey prefers neck ache to lost view, but accepts it is a personal choice. It's more cramped too, and feels a little grey in its spot alone.

General Hazard Notes:
Neck ache in rows AA, BB, A and B.

Ends of rows C to H face a wall rather than the stage.

A reader reported that row N is not "staggered" sufficient to see around people in row M ahead of you. These seats should possibly be avoided by the shorter person as it could cause a problem, though none has been reported to the box office at any point and the rake is good enough to generally allow a clear view of the stage, in the monkey's opinion. The cause is suspected to be a problem with flooring, allegedly...

Row P has thick pillars either end. This creates a detached environment for rows P to U.

Views from row P back are slightly affected by circle overhang - the top of the set / action happening at a higher level cannot be seen.

A sound desk can replace seats 1 to 6 in rows T and U.

Changes for the current production:
The stalls gets a radical make-over, with a centre aisle and a raised runway from the stage all the way to the back of the theatre - meaning that inner seats DO NOT have access to an aisle despite any gaps shown in a seating plan. All entry is from the outer ends of rows. The runway is shoulder-height to a 5ft 7 monkey when seated. Back rows are removed, with row O the final row.

The stage is just head height to someone 5ft 7, with a plinth. This means feet are missed back to row C. Water is used in the production, making rows BB and A splash zones if actors kick in their direction.

Row BB are "day seats" for those aged under 25, and a total bargain. Be aware that legroom is very tight for those 5ft 6 and over.

Rows A and B behind them are also tight for legroom in most seats - up to about 5ft 8 will have knee space, but feet will need to go under the row in front. Rows A and B are not "off-set" so hope for shorter folk in front in order to see the stage, as you won't see between seats.

Extra legroom is available in B 1 and 12, C 1, 2, 16 and 17, D 3 and 22 - all have nothing in front. D 4 and 21 are 90% clear in front. E 1 and 23 are 5% clear in front. C 3 and 15 have space for one leg to stretch.

Beyond row B, seats are further out to the sides of the theatre than usual. Those in rows D to F won't see the edges of the stage unless at least 3 seats off the aisle. Luckily, the action is often centre-stage. Those in the outermost seat on row H will find the pillar by row G very much in view.

From row K back, outermost seats next to the premium ones are a way to go, feels the monkey. Even row O does not feel that far from the stage.


Reader comments:
"Row AA: (Beth) The front row at The Duke Of York's is fine - it was a perfect view and the only problem was getting soaked by water and hit by debris during the production itself, which we were not expecting and came as quite a shock. It was fine though - we didn't have to pay extra for being involved actually in the production (and screaming at a tense moment when being hit by water unexpectedly) - Crash helmets advised, feels the monkey.”

"Row AA: "The Moderate Soprano" (April 2018). Warning: These day seats are particularly uncomfortable for this production as the stage is high and is built out toward the audience further than any other front row seating I have encountered. It is problematic even getting to one’s seat. I am always grateful for productions offering day seats, but in this particular situation, perhaps they should have eliminated row AA and assigned row BB for day seats."

"Row AA: "The Moderate Soprano" (April 2018). Got centre of front row for £15. These day seats have been reported as very uncomfortable. legroom is very good but stage lip juts out at eye level and is only a couple of feet from your face. Not great if you are a bit claustrophobic, and some of the action takes place at the edge of the stage so you spend a fair bit of time craning your neck upwards. For me it was fine, but a shorter person would struggle."

"AA4: "Ink" (September 2017). Day seat for 15£. Good view of the stage, good legroom - nice!"

"AA5 and AA6: the seats were really brilliant, although we did have to look up but having the whole cast standing within touching distance really is an unforgettable experience."

"AA 9 and 10: "Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense" (November 2013). SPOILER ALERT Anyone who wants to catch the helmet from Bertie can choose AA10 or AA9, I got the helmet today! SPOILER ENDS. Very restricted view."

"AA10: "Jumpy" (August 2012), (Taljaard). I asked if the stage was very high and advised not so gave over my £10 and bought the ticket. Got to my seat to find it very close to the stage but with a steep rake on the stage no problem with having to arch my neck very far."

"A5: "Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour" (May 2017). A5, front row centre, day seat for £20. The stage is pretty low, I sat just about on knee level. There’s slightly more legroom than in other rows, sadly not enough to stretch."

"BB 1 and 2: "The Nether" (February 2015). Would recommend people choose seats to the far right or far left if possible as a table centre stage might get in the way otherwise. Still good value for £10 though whichever seats you get."

"BB 5: "The Nether" (February 2015). Day seats, front row. At £10, this strikes me as a seat with exceptional value for money. You have what I would describe as an unrestricted view of all the action, with the added bonus of enormous, luxurious legroom, and being astoundingly close to the actors. There are things you cannot see: the top of the table which is a sort of enormous iPad and used throughout, the reflective floor of the virtual world, and the bed which is used in one scene, though the actors remain in clear view throughout and only sit on the front of it. However I must note that none of these things are viewable from anywhere in the stalls. Yes, if you want the best view, you definitely want the dress circle premium seats. But if you are looking for a cheap ticket, this is the one to go for! I would definitely recommend this above the £10 seats in the Upper Circle. At 85 minutes, no interval, and a cast of five, I'd say that £10 for day seats is probably fair, although I personally would have happily paid more for the same seat (if I had enjoyed the show...)"

"BB 5: "Passion Play" (May 2013). Purchased a day seat for just £10 for Passion Play. This seat was centre stage and had ample leg room, the stage height means looking up but not to any real detriment - only losing the actors' feet from view. The closeness of the stage front at first felt intimidating until the curtain went up, This then freed you from this feeling and you could happily watch the play."

"BB 6: "Jeeves and Wooster" (November 2013). There was ample legroom for me (6 foot tall), not cramped at all."

"BB8: "King Lear" (July 2018). I got pretty wet in the end for being in that seat."

"BB 8 and 9: "Jeeves and Wooster" (November 2013). We bought seats for £20 seats (9 days in advance) in the stalls (AA 3 and 4) and were quite prepared to suffer neck-ache for the privilege of being up close to Robert Webb and Mark Heap. Almost the whole row was full before the performance, however the row behind was completely empty, so the usher told us we could move back which we all did. My daughter and I ended up in BB 8 and 9 and the view was pretty good except for missing small details at floor level, plus SPOILER ALERT my daughter was the chosen one to whom the 'object' was thrown; we normally dread audience participation but this was minimal and she was thrilled. SPOILER ENDS."

"BB 10: "The Dresser" (September 2016). I obtained a usually £65 ticket (BB10) for a tenner by calling at the box office 30 minutes before the Saturday matinee. Very good value with clear view and great legroom, and I didn't find the stage painfully high."

"A1 to A3: “Under The Blue Sky” (July 2008), (James – regular reader). Ordinarily I wouldn’t book so far forward but the tickets were free so I wasn’t complaining! I was pleasantly surprised though… I thought I’d have to crane my neck a lot but it wasn’t really that bad although there is quite a bit of action that takes place with people sat on the stage rather than standing so perhaps it would be more of a problem if this weren’t the case. Good seats overall, though, but if you’re paying full price I’d go a few rows further back."

"A6: "Neville's Island" (October 2014), (Laurence T). (For this production only) this is in the very centre of row A and has an abundance of leg room as there are no seats in front, the same is true for A5 and A7. I got this seat for only 15 pounds but they have since moved the price up to 35 and 45 when the show opens next week. At a reduced price it is definitely worth a look as nothing is missed apart from the actors feet. You feel very close to the action which is great because of the set and the quality of acting on display. Be warned though, you will get wet if you sit in the first two rows! There are also 15 pound day seats on row BB (the front row) which are definitely worth a look."

"A9:(Mark) Excellent seat! Not too close to induce neck pain, but close enough to feel involved with the performance. Some people may find it too close, but I personally love to be this close to see all the actors expressions."

"A11: "The Father" (March 2016) ( Fair view of the stage from here, leg room was good. The two (removable?) rows in front were in place for this production, but A11 is slightly further out than the last seat of AA so no issues seeing past people in front. I did get a slight feeling of having to look up although the stage didn't seem that high so can't explain why...."

"A2: “Journey's End” (August 2011.) Sat here for £25 - what a bargain loads of leg room. The stage does feel high but I think this is due to the stage front projecting forward 12" from the actual stage making the view seem higher than it really is, You have a great view of the entire stage - only unable to see the actors feet ( for this production WWI boots ) so no real loss! You have a great feeling of intimacy with the actors as the stage walls are quite close to the end of the front rows. I had no problem with neck ache. For this production the feeling of being so close to the action only added to the experience of watching a wonderful play. A great value seat."

"B5 and B6: (Rebecca) These are roughly in the centre of the row and we didn't think that we were too close to the stage. I wasn't aware of any neck-ache looking up at the stage. Leg room wasn't great (I'm 5ft 9) but was by no means uncomfortable."

"B9: "Doctor Faustus" (April 2016). B9 Stalls (4th row from stage). Stage is built up quite high - from the fourth row, there was a good foot of stage visible above the heads of those in the front row. I'm 6'2", and the height of the stage didn't detract from the show from my seat at all, but I wouldn't have wanted to sit any further forward. There is an upper level to the set, but it is hardly used, so I didn't get neck ache. *Potential Spoilers - don't wear your best clothes if you sit in the front row of the stalls. If you love everything about theatre, sit in the front half of the stalls - the set is all there is on the stage - no wings, none of those hanging cloths that mask the top of the set. At the start of Act II, you can see right up into the fly tower and there are a couple of cast members up there - they don't do anything, but it is great to see so much of the stuff that you can normally only see on a backstage tour." 

"C5: "The Father" (February 2016). Excellent seat. Far enough back to have no neck ache from watching the performance (which can be an issue further forward). Legroom is also very good."

"C 7 and 8: "How The Other Half Loves" (August 2016). This is four rows back, so you're nice and close to the stage, which is great to catch all the facial expressions. There's very little rake, so my view was slightly marred by the person in front. Legroom is OK once seated, but tight when moving along the row or re-crossing your legs."

“C8 and C9: (David). Good legroom and perfect to see all expressions and hear the excellent dialogue. The front rows of the stalls look as though they should be avoided and very likely to cause a 'crick in the neck', as although the stage is sloped forwards it is also quite high. Row C is about about 5 rows back as the theatre has A, AA, B, BB method of identification and fellow theatre goers will have no problem where we sat."

“C11: (Hannah M) … which was brilliant. Leg room is OK, fine for averagely sized me at least, but isn’t hugely generous. This seat is very central and far enough away from the stage so you don’t get a crick in your neck, but close enough so that you see everything and feel really in on the action. I would say it is worthy of a green rating, but then I was paying a bargain £25 Studentmonkey price…"

"C12 and 13: "The Glass Menagerie" (February 2017). Excellent view, acceptable legroom. BUT (and this is a HUGE but for this production): if you’ve read the (universally great) reviews, all the critics mentioned the set with the powerful reflections in the surrounding blue water. It is indeed a clever set but – wait for it – if you’re sitting in the Stalls, YOU DON’T SEE ANY OF THIS, NOT EVEN A SINGLE, TINY GLIMPSE! You see the characters gazing into the orchestra pit (which is actually filled with some deep blue viscous liquid which I went to see in the interval) but who knows what ‘stunning’ effect was being produced as we saw nothing. Like many theatre fans, I choose Dress Circle for musicals and Front Stalls for plays. But, in this case, I would advise people to buy Circle (even Upper Circle) seats to get the benefit of the set (which I assume is ‘stunning’ even though I saw NONE OF IT!). Paying top price for seats and not seeing everything (this was almost like having restricted view, in my opinion) is a swizz."

"C16: "The Dresser" (October 2016). I felt like I was in the dressing room with them. Wonderfully close, no seats in front. Reece Shearsmith's tears were practically in wiping distance. Ken Stott directly in front of me was encompassing!"

“Row D: We'd booked seats for row D of the stalls in the dead centre, I really couldn't ask for seats any better than these. I didn't miss a thing from these seats at all they were actually perfect. The leg room was also really really good, being 5'11 I usually find some seats quite restricting on my knees but I had plenty of room. The seats aren't the most comfortable I've sat in at a theatre but were still very good."

“D3, 4 and 5: I would have preferred less amplification, which was even more hard on the ears in the front stalls than in the front of the dress circle (seat A5) where I sat last time."

"D17 and 18: "Twelfth Night" (December 2009). Had a good view and was close to the stage without having to look up. I would avoid D19 and E20 and 21 as you will be facing a wall and have to turn left to see the stage."

“D19 and 20: view not especially brilliant, but plenty of legroom."

“Row E centre: the view was great as it wasn't blocked by another member of the audience."

"E5: "The Glass Menagerie" (February 201&). Rush ticket through Todaytix. Excellent seat with a great clear view of all the action."

"E13 and 14: (James F). Delivered a view close to the action, but for top price tickets my view was often obscured by the people in front of me, who weren’t that tall, and also the actors. The legroom was great, but for a near three hour production, your bum does get sore after a while."

"F1: "Ink" (October 2017). At just £15 on day seat rate, F1 was excellent value. Legroom was very generous, and although advised it was restricted view, for Ink, I think I only missed a very thin slither of stage right."

"H2: "The Glass Menagerie" (February 2017). The view was fine, but the person in H1 told me she couldn't see one of the people at the table. Had a nosey in the interval and from row F forwards you can't see the table at all from seats 1 and 2 so would spend about half the play looking at an empty sofa and an abstract and pointless fire escape."

"G1 and G2: No problem with the view as the play is set quite centrally, but the dear old wall is still there."

"G8 and 9: "Ghost Stories" (July 2010). Thought these would be good... until 3 x 6' guys sat in front of us and blocked the entire middle of the stage, where what little action there was actually happened."

"G9 and G10: “Rent” (James – regular reader). Great seats to see the show from, but even row G felt a little far forward, especially when action takes place on a raised walkway, but I’m not the tallest of people."

“G10 and 11: “Constellations,” (Chris B). Got these seats in a premium seat upgrade offer, as these seats are designated premium. No complaints whatsoever, they offered a wonderful view of the fairly small stage, close enough to see all the facial expressions etc but far enough back to feel comfortable. The rake is also high enough to easily see over the heads in front. The legroom was quite plentiful too. Can't recommend these seats highly enough.”

"Row J: Very good seats! I wouldn't have wanted to be any further back, maybe a couple of rows further forward. Be advised that the floor of the main set is about two feet above the stage and the front five or six rows of the Stalls will have to look upward or slightly upward for most of the play."

“Row J: Checked online before I went out and saw that there were lots and lots of unsold seats. Went into the theatre and bought the cheapest £10 ticket in the back row of the upper circle, and was immediately upgraded to Row J stalls (in the premium seats!). Seat was very good, although I really wouldn't think it is worth the extra money for "premium" seats."

“J21: (end of the row). The person in front of me was not especially tall. But at row J there is no elevation/rake from the row in front and the angle of vision to the centre of the stage was blocked by the head in front." Again not something the monkey (or the theatre) had heard about before, but some visitors may find knowing about this issue helpful."

"K1: "Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense" (November 2013), (John from the USA). Decent view, adequate legroom."

"K3: "King Lear" (July 2018), (Taljaard). Great seat."

"N17 and 18: Great seats (on discount), would have liked to be a few rows further forward but I could still see everything from where I was."

“Q1 and 2: "Backbeat" (October 2011). Great seats from Leicester Square booth, great discount price £30 each."

"R13 and 14: "Mary Stuart" (January 2018), (Josepha). Had an excellent view of stage and side screens. These seats were especially exciting as we were on the end of a row and the actors passed by us from a back door to the stage. My sister sat in the seats on the next tier and complained of the heat on a different day. We were not hot as that back door kept opening to let actors through. It made us feel more involved in the play."

Stalls Boxes
G and H at Stalls level, at either side of the stage 

Good, as movable chairs are used. 

Choosing Seats in General:
Fair value if sold at less than top price, skip it if more expensive, though.

General Hazard Notes:
A side-on viewing angle and the nearest rear corner of the stage obscured.

Changes for the current production:
Not on sale.

Reader Comments:


Called the ROYAL CIRCLE in this theatre.

The Upper Circle overhangs the Dress Circle but does not affect the view from any seat.

A single block of seats in long rows. Row F is divided into three by pillars half emerging from the wall behind. These create a gap between seats F5 and 6 and 13 and 14.

Poor in all seats for those over 5ft 10 or so, notably row A where you don't gain any extra inches for feet to use the spaces left by the curved backs of seats in front. The ends of row E also have a little less. Oddly, readers feel it depends on "leg length" a bit, with one 6ft reader happy in row A, another 5ft 7 feeling cramped...

Seats F1 and 19 have nothing in front, worth a look if tall and not minding the loss of view, perhaps.

Seats B1 and 22 have nothing in front of half of it, allowing a thin leg to stretch a bit, perhaps.

Choosing Seats in General:
A fairly shallow rake makes the view average from row D back.

On the whole, this hairball prefers the stalls at the same price, but will accept the circle if it has to. The box office manager though, disagrees and prefers the Dress Circle... - as does a reader who rates A5 outstanding - so everyone has an opinion here!

Central rows A and B are often sold at “premium” prices. There are seats with the same view beside and behind them, and more legroom in the stalls, notes the monkey.

The length of rows B and C cause B1, 2, 21, 22 and C1, 2, 23 and 24 to be designated restricted view. Walls cut the edges of the stage off and a strange viewing angle is created - it feels like peering round a corner. You will need to sit on the edge of the seat and lean to see the nearside fifth of the stage from the end of row B in particular. At low price these are at least fair to good value, but the monkey would take same price stalls for "comfort over view" reasons. Avoid at full price and take the inner seat first as the improvement in view is noticeable - the outermost seats lose a third of the stage, the next seat in less than an eighth, the monkey felt. Take row C before B, but row F sees more of the stage, even if it is further away.

In the rear Dress Circle, row F seats 6 to 13 are expensive at top price, feels the monkey as the front of the stage is often lost.

Seats at the extreme ends of row F are normally cheaper. At top price, just about average, feels the monkey. If extra legroom is required, F 1 and 19 are possible, though. They miss the near front corner stage action.

The monkey would take the cheaper seats in rows B and C before these, to be honest, if wanting to be close to the stage, but F will see more over all.

Two wheelchair spaces in restricted view sides of Dress Circle at around row C. Theatremonkey rates the left side better than the right, but all are fair value. Still, a better view would have been nice if possible. See notes.

General Hazard Notes:
Seats on the extreme ends of rows B and C are affected by boxes intruding into view.

Seats on the ends of row F lose view to the curve of the circle cutting off the stage front.

Lighting hung on the front of the circle may affect views for short folk in row A.

Changes for the current production:
Most tickets up here are "premium seats," the rest at "top non-premium" price. The monkey would skip row A, and go for F 1 and 19 if it was sitting up here.

Bringing the stage forward has improved greatly the view from outermost "restricted view" seats. Still need to sit forward in B and C, but little action will be missed.

Everybody up here will not see the stage runway as it disappears under the circle overhang - but nothing happens and it is not important, in the monkey's opinion.


Reader Comments:
"Dress Circle: "Farinelli and the King" (September 2015). I was annoyed by the production when half-a-dozen candle chandeliers descended from the roof of the auditorium to seriously interfere with the view of us poor souls sitting in the middle of the dress circle in full price seats."

"A5: "Jumpy" (2013). Have seen some reviews that suggest the seats are cramped. View of stage was excellent as was leg room. Am 6 ft tall and had ample legroom."

"A10 and 11: "Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense" (November 2013). Minor problems for short people in A10 and A11 of the Royal Circle. Two small spot-lamps positioned just in front of these seats could protrude into your line of sight to the very edge of the stage."

"A11: "The Moderate Soprano" (April 2018). To my delight I was moved from the Upper circle to the royal circle and given A11. This seat had lots of leg room and an excellent view of the stage."

"A12 and 13: "The Dresser" (October 2016). Had a great view, good legroom - and I am tall so always a bonus. Got them at a discount, so felt very good value for money."

"A14: "Passion Play" (2013). View of stage was excellent as was leg room. Am 6 ft tall and had ample legroom. These seats are not premium price so for me represented excellent value for money."

"B4 and 5: "Posh" (May 2012), (Chris B). Excellent view, could easily make out all the actors facial expressions and have a good overview of the whole stage. Plenty of legroom."

"Row C: "Backbeat" (October 2011), (Richard). We sat in the middle of row C, which were good seats, but the Duke of York is such a small theatre that I don't think there's a poor seat in the house."

"C22: "Ink" (October 2017). A bargain at £20 for Ink, glad that the monkey is sporting a green rating for this seat. Missed maybe a few entrances/exits equating to only seconds. Legroom fine in this seat also as C23 is on a raised area, so no seat directly to the right of this one."

“D6 and D5: The leg room was exceedingly poor and it was difficult to hear - if someone opened a bottle of water it was louder than the people on stage. Also as the leg room was so bad, people were restless and constantly shifting around in their seats. The view was restricted by the people sitting in front of us - who weren't even especially tall (5ft 4?). I think only people in the centre of Row A of the Dress circle would have had a good view from the Circle. A fat person in Row A stood up during the ovation in a vain attempt to catch Orlando Bloom's eye and in so doing restricted the view of every person in the Dress Circle."

"D6: "Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour" (May 2017), (Mark). Good view but felt pretty cramped. Not a lot of legroom and with people both sides of me it got a bit uncomfortable."

"D10 and 11: "The Nether (February 2015) (Mary). The view was perfect with the entire set visible. At around 5'5" (165cm) we were comfortable."

“D12 and 13: The view was perfect (no heads in the way), the sound quality fab, the leg room good, the chair size adequate."

"Row E: "Jeeves and Wooster In Perfect Nonsense" (November 2013), (Brian & Diana). This is a small theatre, but we sat in the Dress Circle in the centre of row E in comfort and with an excellent view."

“E13 and 14: Fine at £25 but I'm not sure I would pay full price for them. The view is actually fine, but the Upper Circle makes you feel a little claustrophobic!"


Dress Circle Boxes
Dress Circle level, at either side of the stage, between the front of it and the front of the circle. 

Good, as seats are movable chairs. 

Choosing Seats in General:
With a fair viewing angle, boxes
C and F then B and E (in that order) offer especially attractive options for comfortable well-priced Dress Circle seating at less than full price. At full price, they may be considered a little average.

Box E at second price might be attractive for comfort, perhaps, to some wanting more legroom and a Dress Circle view. 

Box B, sold cheap, is considered well worth it, even if action is missed. 

General Hazard Notes:
Side-on viewing angle and the nearest rear corner of the stage obscured.

Changes for the current production:
B, C, E and F are top non-premium price and worth a look. C and F perhaps lose less of the side stage and are first pick, but all of them have a decent view of the runway. Compared to other seats at higher prices, good value, the monkey feels.

Reader Comments:
"Box F: "Goodnight Mister Tom" (February 2016). My daughter and I sat in circle box F and, as it was my birthday, we had the 'Ambassadors Experience' ..... Cost £54 each which was VERY expensive for me, but I really enjoyed it. Just two moveable armchairs in the box so, even though you're at right angles to the stage, you can manoeuvre yourself into a position where you can see All but the very left side of the stage. Was just nice to have plenty of room .... Nobody kicking the chair from behind, and no tall or fidgety people in front to obscure the view. Coat hooks meant we didn't have to screw our coats up under our chair etc and plenty of room for bags etc.
The 'experience' bit meant there were two individual bottles of Frexinet cava I and ice bucket, nuts and nibbles and two boxes of 4 Belgian chokkies waiting for us in the box. Shame the champagne flutes were plastic, but, hey ho. OK, so it was a total extravagance, and the view would've been much better from a centre seat in the stalls or circle, but we had a great time!!"

A disused balcony (housing a recording studio!) overhangs all rows on the Upper Circle. This does not affect the view from any seat.

A single block of seats curve towards the stage.

The back two short rows are benches rather than normal seats with arm rests.

Poor in all seats in rows A to F, worst in row A. The monkey estimates that those up to 5ft 6 without any leg issues should be reasonably comfortable in B to F, and advises aisle seats if possible (E 1 and 22 seemed a decent pick when it tried one time).

Row G is acceptable for those up to around 5ft 6, row H to around 5ft 8... H 1 and 8 though have no arm rests and 50% of each seat has nothing in front - allowing stretching for one leg at least.

Choosing Seats in General:
Tickets are normally split into two, sometimes three prices.

Central row A may be sold more expensively than other seats. Really not worth it unless very short, feels the monkey.
Around and behind row A, and back to row F, central seats are the next price down.

In the front section, Monkey view is to take the seats beside the most expensive in row A first, moving back from B to E before moving out to seats further towards the sides of the auditorium.

All remaining seats are more reasonably priced, so for the monkey it is just a case of picking the most central and avoiding the worst of the restricted views by skipping the outermost seats if possible. Remember that you won't see much from any of these end seats without leaning (and thus blocking views for those behind) though.

Monkey would particularly skip B8, C to E 16, F 7, 8, 14 and 15. All are overpriced, it feels, given both comfort and view.
The first and last two seats at least in rows B to F are normally sold as restricted view, due to the same 'peering round corners' effect as in the Dress Circle below. At bottom price take a box instead. There is no real bargain to be had in sitting here - and plenty of discomfort. Note that seats B 1, 2, 23 and 24 and C 1, 2, 24 and 25 have been pressed into service again after not being used for a while due to this issue. The seats next to these - two or three in each row also used to be discounted, but are now merged into the next price up.

Rows G and H are a long way from the stage and may or may not offer poor value - pick a box or seats a row or two further forward (but not on the absolute ends of the row) instead if there is action on more than one level of the stage. If something is played "front and centre" though, a possible choice.

They are benches - so arrive early to stake out your bit (and hope there is nobody too vast sharing the row that night!). Row H only has a metal bar to lean on, row G lean against a wall. The ends of row H are the most comfortable seats in the upper circle, given that they have stretching for one leg.

All other seats offer a clear view - though parts of the stage can be missing - and fair value for money relative to the price and position of the seats.

General Hazard Notes:
The curve of the circle cuts the view of the front and sides of the stage.

Anybody leaning forward blocks the view for those behind.

Some more central “restricted view” seats are often re-priced as “clear view” if producers feel the restriction isn’t sufficient.

Changes for the current production:
Everybody up here will not see the stage runway as it disappears under the circle overhang - but nothing happens and it is not important, in the monkey's opinion.

Central rows A to D are second price. Not terrible, if you can't get in on the lower level.

Still take B to D first (or A if legroom isn't an issue), or take E 9 to 15 - cheaper for similar views. Remember that most other seats in those rows are "restricted view" and are usually cheaper.

Be aware that C 7, 8, 16 and 17; D 7, 8, 16 and 17; E 7, 8, 15 and 16 and F 7 and 8 have a restricted view but are not discounted further.

A band of 2 seats next to the outermost 2 are slightly more expensive than the cheapest seats next to them. The monkey would save cash and go for the pair nearer the aisle - similar view, really.

The monkey would go for the cheaper bench behind, same price as the outermost ends of A to F... better for both view and comfort than the seats further forward. Take ends of H over G, first, but not bad at all.

Still, those paying lowest price and sitting in the aisle seats of rows B to D won't be doing too badly either, it feels. Indeed, outermost seats in all rows are not terrible value if you can tolerate the legroom, feels the monkey.


Reader Comments:
"A 1 to 3: "Jeeves and Wooster In Perfect Nonsense" (November 2013). My cheapskate brother-in-law bought £20 tickets for the Upper Circle. On the tickets (and website) it says 'Restricted View: patrons will lose 1/3 of the stage). This is SERIOUSLY misleading. If you sit upright in your sit you lose ALL of the stage apart from the very top! In other words, you cannot see ANY of the action without leaning right forward. On the plus side, by leaning right forward and resting your arms on the ledge in front, you can actually see all the stage so, bizarrely, this turned out to be a good cheap option. BUT - and here's an important warning - anyone with back problems is going to struggle leaning forward for the full performance and, as soon as they sit back, they will lose ALL sight of the show!"  

"B21: "Jeeves and Wooster In Perfect Nonsense" (November 2013). A word of caution. The show is a sell out in a theatre with its own fair share of doubtful seats. So be careful. I paid £20 + £3 booking fee 10 days prior to the performance for B21 in the Upper Circle. It was only 1 of 3 single seats remaining and it was not good. I was warned when I booked and there is a warning in the ticket so I knew that it was not going to be good. But could only see a third of the stage without leaning far forward, luckily most of the action was centre stage."

"C7: "The Judas Kiss" (February 2013), (Marcus). Though a good area of the stage is blocked from view, it's an area that's little used. The higher seat numbers would have missed more of the action so worth noting if you're booking these cheaper 'restricted view' seats."

“C17 and 18: We paid £30 each for these seats. There is no leg room at all - I am 5' 8" and my knees just wouldn't fit - my legs went to sleep and we just had to move elsewhere after the interval. The Americans sitting next to us couldn't get over how bad the seats were for the price charged. Be very careful where you sit in this theatre. Surely something could be done to improve this."

D 16 and 17: "Little Shop of Horrors" (March 2007), (Rob). Fairly good view. I see no reason for people to lean forward in these seats but they still did! Lad in front of me was very accommodating and sat back after I asked, lad in front of my partner had no-one in front of him but still spent whole show 'elbows on knees' leaning forward and spoiled it for next 3 rows behind him."

"E16 and E17: "Arcadia" (June 2009), (Marty). The view was fine. (once the girls in front of us stopped leaning forward) Apart from a very tiny bit of acting on the floor downstage at one point I could see everything. The acoustics and the projection of the actors were perfect and I never got that feeling of not being involved you sometimes get sitting in the gods. The whole upper circle were laughing and part of the experience. Bring water if it's a hot day as it was a bit muggy up there. There's a balcony in the upper circle bar with limited room, so good to head there first during the interval for some fresh air."


Upper Circle Boxes
Upper Circle level, at either side of the stage, between the front of it and the front of the circle.

Good, as seats are movable chairs.

Choosing Seats in General:
A good choice when sold, offering cheap restricted view seating with decent legroom - worth considering. Take L and O, then N and K for the maximum angle available.

General Hazard Notes:
Side-on viewing angle and the nearest rear corner of the stage obscured.

Changes for the current production:
Not yet on sale.

Reader Comments:
"Box O: "Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense" (November 2013). One of the best bargains in terms of seats is Box O. It has two seats (comfortable loose chairs) at £20 each, so the total price of £40 for the whole box is comparable with a single seat in the better parts of the Upper Circle (£39.50 or £42.50, depending on when you go). Most of the action takes places on the right hand side or centre of the stage, so the fact that you can't see the bottom left hand side unless you lean forwards doesn't much matter. Box O is a particularly desirable location for anyone who plans to go on their own - and, of course, they can then lean around as much as they please – it doesn't block the view for anyone else. Theatremonkey, it was thanks to you that I knew about Box O – and I think it's great!"

"Box O: "Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense" (November 2013). Not sure I'd sit in this box again, as I had to lean out of it the entire time which did my back in... £20 each though, so I'd better stop my complaining pronto!!!"


Total 659 seats.


Infrared loop in whole auditorium or MobileConnect. Occasional signed performances. Guide dog sitter available. 2 wheelchair spaces in restricted view sides of Dress Circle. Adapted toilet near seats, large but with inconveniently placed toilet roll holder warn the box office. Call Ambassador Theatre Group, or 0844 8717 677; Artsline 020 7388 2227 email for further info. A "venue access guide" from the team who created book "Theatremonkey: A Guide to London's West End," is available to download in PDF format by clicking here.

No food except Ice cream and confectionery.

Two Bars, at Stalls and Upper Circle level. Reader Marty notes,
"There's a balcony in the upper circle bar with limited room, so good to head there first during the interval for some fresh air."

Five toilets in all. Stalls 1 gents, 1 cubicle; Dress Circle 1 ladies 4 cubicles, 1 unisex disabled; Upper Circle 1 gents 1 cubicle, 1 ladies 3 cubicles.


Top Performance Times Ticket Prices Where to Buy Tickets  Seating Plan Seat Opinions Getting Here

Getting to this Theatre
Find this theatre on a Street Map
Nearest Underground Station Buses Car Park
Nearest Underground Station:
Leicester Square - Northern (black) and Piccadilly (dark blue) lines.


A photographic illustrated version of this route is available by clicking here.

The escalator from the platforms deposits passengers into a circular space with a number of staircases leading to the surface. Beside each staircase is a vast white panel listing the places accessible from that exit. 

Look for the one showing the Duke Of York's theatre. It is marked "Charing Cross Road East" and "Cranbourn Street". When you leave the ticket gates, do a 180 degree "U" turn. This exit is hidden behind you, between the gates! Go up the first little staircase. At the top of it, turn right, taking the "Cranbourn Street" exit (to your right, exit number 4). Go up the stairs. In front of you will be Cranbourn Street with a row of shops. Cross the road to them, and turn to your left. Follow it round and the shop curves into St Martins Lane! The Noel Coward Theatre is ahead of you. Walk past it and the Duke of York's Theatre is the next one along.

If you take the other staircase at Leicester Square station then at the top, in front of you will be Charing Cross Road. On the opposite corner, notice the Hippodrome Nightclub and a wide pedestrianised street. Turn to your left. Wyndham's theatre is there. Walk all the way across the front of it. At its far corner is St Martin's Court, a wide pedestrian alleyway of small shops and dustbins. Walk down it. You will pass the shared stage door of Wyndham's and Noel Coward theatres (say hi to the cast). At the end of the alleyway, turn right. The Duke of York's theatre is on your right, just past some shops and offices.

An American visitor puts it this way: "Exit Leicester Square tube station via the most leftward exit, up the stairs, turn an acute angle left at the top, placing you in an alley with the shared Wyndham/Noel Coward stage doors straight ahead. This alley is L-shaped to the right. Taking that turn, you face two big red phone boxes and, across another alley, J. Sheekeys. Turn left in front of J. Sheekeys, right again at the street, walk along it and you are in front of the Duke Of York's Theatre. You will have walked the equivalent of just over one block." Well put and great advice. The only warning the monkey would add is that the alley is a dark and unsavoury place at night. The monkey prefers a "street" route itself.


24, 29 and 176 stop on Charing Cross Road. Walk to the Wyndham's Theatre. Go down St Martins Court (the alleyway at the right hand side of the building). At the end of the alleyway, turn right. The Duke of York's theatre is on your right, just past some shops and offices.


A rank for Black taxis is at Charing Cross Station - a short distance from the theatre if you cannot hail one in the street or just down the road on Trafalgar Square / Charing Cross Road.


Car Park:
Trafalgar Square Spring Gardens.

From the car park, turn up the road on the left to bring you on to Trafalgar Square. Face Nelson's Column and cross the road towards it. In front of you is the National Gallery. You require the road to the right side of it - Charing Cross Road. Do not enter the Trafalgar Square area itself, but follow the pavement round towards the right corner of the National Gallery. Continue along so that you pass the National Gallery on your right. At the junction of roads just by this corner of the National Gallery, cross the road. You should have Charing Cross Road to your left and be facing towards the same side that St Martins Church is on. Walk a few steps past the building on your left and see how the road curves round. This is St Martin's Lane. Turn left into it and keep walking, the Duke of York's Theatre is clearly visible to your left.

An alternative is Newport Place, China Town. On leaving, use Gerard Street to get you onto Shaftesbury Avenue. On Shaftesbury Avenue look to your right. The brown brick building to your right is the Palace Theatre. Don't bother crossing the road, but turn to your right on Shaftesbury Avenue and walk in the direction of it. When you come to the main road intersection in front of Shaftesbury Avenue, cross Charing Cross Road at the traffic lights. Now turn to your right and walk down Charing Cross Road, crossing Litchfield Street as you go.

Next is Newport Street. Cross that too and head on, crossing Cranbourne Street towards Leicester Square Underground Station. Before you reach the station, though, turn left into Cranbourne Street. Follow it round and the shop curves into St Martins Lane. The Noel Coward Theatre is ahead of you. Walk past it and keep going - the Duke of York's Theatre is beyond it, on your side of the road, on your left.

The "Theatreland Parking Scheme" may be available. Call Q-Park car parks on 0870 442 0104 or see for details. At this car park, parking under the "Theatreland Parking Scheme" allows a 50% discount in cost. Spaces CANNOT be reserved at these prices, so choose whether you would prefer to book and pay more, or use this scheme.

If you choose the "Theatreland Parking Scheme", you must get your car park ticket validated at the theatre's box office counter (the theatre attendant will insert the car parking ticket into a small machine which updates the information held on the magnetic strip on the reverse, thus enabling the discount). When you pay using the machines at the car park, 50% will be deducted from the full tariff. You may park for up to 24 hours using this scheme and it is endorsed by the Society of London Theatre.

For a full list of car parks and theatres that participate in the 50% off theatreland scheme see


Top Performance Times Ticket Prices Where to Buy Tickets  Seating Plan Seat Opinions Getting Here










Buy Tickets

Site © 2000 to 2018. "Theatremonkey"® and "Theatermonkey are a Registered Trade Mark. Buy your tickets with confidence here: is an Affiliate Member of STAR - The Society Of Ticket Agents and Retailers - please do feel free to confirm its membership by clicking the verification system graphic (left). All rights reserved. Information on this site may not be reproduced in any form, by any distribution media, in whole or in part, without permission. This means that you MUST NOT copy graphics or text for posting on another website. Opinions expressed are those of the site owner and / or contributors, and are not those of the site host or service providers. Tickets sold from links on this site - and any other information given - are the responsibility of the supplying company, not
Comments about this page are welcome Contact Us. No responsibility is taken for accuracy of information, No liability can be taken for loss relating to individual use of data contained on this site. 'About Cookies' and 'Our Website, Your Privacy': The website DOES NOT use "cookies" on its website at any time. It does link to sites which do use "cookies" to track sales / site navigation information. Click Here for more information - as required by the 2012 UK E-Privacy Directive. Use of this site constitutes agreement with the above. E&OE. Last Update: 15 August 2018 13:51