The Dress Circle overhangs the Stalls at row Y. The
view of the top of the stage is only affected very slightly from row CC
When seating is used, the stalls are split into sections by aisles. The
front section is divided off by an aisle in front of row N, and contains
a central and two side blocks. The rear section from row N to FF has six
blocks. Either side of the centre aisle are two blocks. Beside them are
two outer blocks. These outer blocks are split into middle and rear
sections by aisles in front of row X. Only the centre two blocks have
seats in row W.
The stage front is
usually flat, so that seats no longer curve around the front of it.
There is also often a decent gap at either end of the front rows between
the proscenium arch and the start of the seating. The gap means speakers
can be put there without encroaching on sightlines as badly as they did
before, for those lucky enough to be in the front rows for concerts.
Without seats, a few rails to lean on are provided around the
Good throughout the stalls, best in rows
A, N and in row X seats 1 to 16 and 37 to 52.
Choosing Seats in General:
Theatremonkey rates front section central block
seats in rows E to M particularly worth buying,
offering a fine view. A reader
notes the rake had gone in 2014, though, before row M. Then try rows D to A in that order before choosing the inside aisle seats in the
side blocks of the
In the two front section side blocks, seats closest to the inside aisle
have a fair view, but for the same money, choose the central blocks.
Depending on the performance, the outermost two seats in rows B and C,
three in D and four in E to M may not see into the stage corners with
speakers or other bits of set in front. Still, they may be worthwhile if
you are trying to sit as close to the stage as possible, and don't mind
the slight lack of view. The box office note that rows B to E can also
be very noisy if the speakers
are often placed here...bring earplugs is the advice!
Central two blocks rows N to S are worth buying. Row N seats 13 to 38 in
these blocks combine good views and extra legroom. The rest of the
central blocks offer just average value, try for the front section seats
mentioned above first before taking rows T to Z. To be fair to the
venue, all rows in the stalls feel relatively close to the stage
considering the size of the place, but if all seats are the same price,
why not sit as close as possible?
The two front outer blocks in the middle section offer fair value, with
exception of the outermost four seats as again
they are mostly outside the proscenium with a poor viewing angle.
Even the rear corner blocks are not terrible -
ignoring the outermost four seats once again. Again the architecture allows
them all to feel fairly close to the stage and, if not able to see
performers faces, at least to see more than just a moving matchstick as
in other venues.
In all blocks, the last
rows, particularly AA to CC can offer particular value at a low price for those like
Theatremonkey who feel in need of a bargain. Take these before the back
of the Dress Circle for the same money, though watch for row FF 36 to 48 which have the sound desk behind and could be a noisy place to
sit. The rest of these blocks are also fair value.
A final advantage is that the corners of the rear section are close to the exits and
high number seats are
near the ladies toilets, low numbers near the Gentlemen's. These are the
advantages. Take these seats only if you really, really must.
Beside the rear outer blocks is a section for wheelchair users on either
side of the auditorium. Each has two
chair spaces, with two companion seats beside them. These have an
acceptable average view, with the advantage of being slightly elevated.
Behind this is space for two rows of 60 people to stand. Arrive early so
that you don't have to stand behind the sound desk!
General Hazard Notes:
Seats in the front row may have views blocked by
speakers stacked either on the stage front or up the sides.
Seats are not "offset" to see through the gaps ahead as well as they
could be - around a quarter rather than half way between.
Sound desk behind row FF seats 36 to 48.
Changes for the current production:
"E 1 and 2: "American Idiot" (December 2012). I saw
American Idiot at the Hammersmith Apollo theatre 13th December 2012. We were
in the stalls Row E Seats 1 & 2. These tickets were not sold as restricted
view but they definitely were. The show has a speaker tower at the front of
either side of the stage. This blocked not only the rear quarter of the
stage but about a third of the stage (front and rear). This ruined the first
half of the show as the staging of the show consists of three focal points
and one was situated in the area we were unable to see. Plus there is some
upper level staging which we were unable to see. We were lucky enough to
move to seats E8-9 in the interval and we had an unrestricted view. I would
definitely recommend the show but from central seats."
"K 33: "Kate Bush" (September 2014). (aisle seat) and there is no rake at
all anymore in that front section. Plus there was a seat in front of me,
which is not on your plan. The rake it seems starts after the gap on row N,
though possibly M was a tiny bit higher than the other rows. I think after
the referb they had, they must have levelled out the floor then."
in this theatre
overhangs the stalls at row Y.
It is divided into front and rear sections by an aisle (and barrier) in
front of row G.
The front section is split
into five blocks, the rear into six.
There is a low safety rail
at the end of each aisle in the front blocks. The monkey has had no
complaints about the view being affected by these.
Average in all seats, up to around 5ft 8 in row A. Those over 5ft 10 or so may find all
other seats uncomfortable, alas. A reader found seats in row K behind the
stairwell excellent, I’ve sat in much worse at 6ft 2, though.
Choosing Seats in General:
Block 9 rows B to F and the six seats just off the centre aisles in
blocks 8 and 10 offer the best value in the circle. The rest of the seats in
all blocks are fair value. The distance from the stage means a comfortable
viewing angle, but Theatremonkey feels for the same price that the stalls
blocks 23 and 24 offer better value for money, being closer to the action.
Rows soar towards space with a dizzying rake, a remnant of this
theatre's previous life as a cinema. Theatremonkey generally prefers the
stalls rear blocks to any of these rear blocks at the same prices. Circle blocks 2, 3, 4 and 5 rows G (if the barrier
is not a problem) to N are preferable to the outermost seats in the stalls,
though, but in the
circle row O back is a long way from the stage so the rest of the seats are
a choice between distance, view and comfort. The stalls is closer and more
comfortable. The circle has a wider view of the stage. Theatremonkey takes
the stalls, accepting both options are not great.
The outermost four seats in the two corner blocks in the circle 1 and 6 are worth avoiding. Far away in
the corners of the theatre the viewing angle is poor and the value worse. As
the last seats available take the centre aisle rows L to P then rows G to J
before anything else, but prepare for disappointment.
If they are not discounted, the other seats worth avoiding in all blocks are
rows X to Z for being closer to Hammersmith Flyover than the stage. Take
these last when all other seats have gone unless they are cheaper.
Standing place tickets will generally be marked "GA" for "General
Admission". They are often sold as "Circle
Standing", just to be clear, though!
General Hazard Notes:
Smaller children may find the sloped wall at the front of the circle a
little high to see over if in row A or even B for the smallest. Those over
about 5ft tall should be fine.
The barrier in front of row G may annoy some shorter people.
Row K seats 11 to 13, 24 to 26, and 64 to 66 and row L seats 54 and 55 are
behind stairwell walls. These restrict the view for those under five foot
Changes for the current production:
"B65: "Kate Bush" (September 2014). Right at the far end and red on
your diagram. Keep it red, overall the view was good but part of the stage
was obscured by speakers hanging down. I appreciate this is not always going
to be the case but if you have the choice (I didn't - only got the ticket
last week) why risk it? I wouldn't have expected this to be a problem for a
£135 ticket! You do see almost everything ( mostly it was part of the
backdrops that were obscured) and if the performance was more fixed towards
the front of the stage as more traditional concerts are then it would be a
negligible problem. Bear in mind also if the people in front lean forward
that's a huge chunk of the stage gone. Leg room was ok but i was on an aisle
so I could stretch slightly to the side, not much width though. So whilst
Kate and her overall show was fabulous enough to not have these aspects
annoy me too much I would not choose this place again. On the plus side, you
can see where the money has been spent for the refurbishment of the venue -
it looks great!"
"D53 and 54: "Nativity" (December 2017). As a rule I prefer the
Circle for musical theatre but, in this venue, the Circle is a VERY LONG
WAY BACK. Fine for concerts but, for a musical, way too distant. Plus
these were the same (high) price as the Stalls. Great rake however. Will
sit in Stalls for another similar production."
"K64: "Kate Bush" (September 2014). Just behind the stairwell. You
have it rated red for lack of legroom, but I am 6’2” and legroom was
excellent, I’ve sat in much worse. Think same would be true for the two
seats next to it, 65 and 66."
"N62: "Nativity" (December 2017). Too far back to see facial
expressions, felt a bit isolated from the action back here. It’s just
too big of a venue for a musical, definitely needed to be closer."
"O79 and 80: (Robbie). I was quite worried
about these (as they are right in the very corner of the circle in a place)
I thought the seats were O.K. I could see very clearly. The circle isn't
really that far from the stage either, the centre blocks would be better but
I think wherever you sit in the circle you will have a good view, as all
seats are one higher than the row in front. This means that the person in
front of you does not block you from seeing like it would do in Wembley in
the flat floor seating."
"S21: "Nativity" (December 2017). A good seat, with a clear view of
the stage and plenty of leg room and a bargain for £25. However, it was
very high up and might not suit people who suffer with Acrophobia. For
people of average height there was plenty of leg room, but those who are
taller might find themselves a bit squashed. The seats are well ranked,
however it was a long way from the stage and although you could see all
the action, you could not really see the faces of the actors very
clearly. At this venue there are also insufficient toilets for the
gentlemen and queuing was an issue during the interval, especially as
there were a lot of young children in the audience."
Total 3341 seats, with 298 standing places are also available, 120 in the stalls, 178 in
the Dress Circle, should the box office choose to sell them. When all stalls
seats are removed, around 3000 standing places are created, taking venue
capacity to about 5000 in total.
Not air conditioned.
Guide dog sitter available and some signed performances. Wheelchair access is
via a fire door and over a small ridge to a 12% ramp into the stalls. One adapted
toilet. Theatremonkey rates
facilities as "trying very hard to do the best they can" in this venue
- rare and praiseworthy in London.
For more information, and to make
bookings, wheelchair users can call 020 8563 3806 for booking and access information and details of
any concessionary prices available to them. Please DO NOT use this number for
any other enquiries.
Fuller details are also available at www.theatre-access.co.uk,
Artsline 020 7388 2227 email email@example.com.
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 / popcorn. A reader notes that
hot-dogs are also available.
Two bars, Stalls and Dress Circle.
Toilets on both stalls and circle levels at the sides and back of the