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

HER MAJESTY'S THEATRE

 

 
Other Items


THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (musical)
Audio-Described performance: 22nd November 2014 at 2.30pm
Captioned performance: 8th November 2014 at 2.30pm

A hideously deformed musician enjoys chasing a talented young lady singer around the stage. This is not the Andrew Lloyd Webber / Sarah Brightman Story because occasionally the musician also bursts into song. Needless to say, in the end an ineffably wet aristocrat gets the girl and the deformed freak vanishes. This is a Paris set, gothic Andrew Lloyd Webber musical with Cameron Mackintosh in charge of the spectacle.

On 23rd October 2010, the production celebrated its 10,000th performance at this theatre, and its 25th Birthday on 9th October 2011.

View video clips about this production.

Website: http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/london
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThePhantomOfTheOpera
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheOperaGhosts (Please use the hashtags #Oliviers and #VoteForPhantom)


 

Theatremonkey Opinion:
Theatremonkey braces itself for the backlash when it admits it found this show utterly, utterly lame. 

The best of the elevator muzak score is heard within the first twenty minutes with almost all the best scenic effects and plot developments occurring simultaneously. Only the unexpected and deeply moving graveyard scenes and 'Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again' prevent act two drowning in bathos. Oh, and theatremonkey thinks the heroine should have got the Phantom - her bloke suffers from a total charisma bypass.

This one runs and runs. The heavy romance keeps seats filled and the thudding mock grandeur of the score seems to reassure audiences of the quality. Yes, it looks great and familiar tunes always make for an easier evening out, but why does all the emotion have to be so overblown? To overcome the staging, surmises the monkey.

2008: Just for the record, in early 2008 the monkey finally watched the screen version of this show... and actually preferred it to the stage one... sure, the lyric is still crass in places, but the revised script and actual cinematography made it like the show a whole lot more than in the theatre! And this time it can see more clearly why Raoul got the girl...

 

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

Latest reviews:
For earlier reviews by contributors, click here
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I watched 'The Phantom of the Opera' for the first time. I was in the Grand Circle in seat F21. Excellent view of the stage and I enjoyed it very much. Took a while for my parents to acclimatise to the altitude but once the show started they were fine.

Legroom is a bit tight in these seats but it didn't detract from my enjoyment. Also from the grand circle you get a great view of the chandelier rising ad when the Phantom is up above the arch. Grand circle may be better for these reasons than the rear of the stalls or dress circle where this action might be missed.

On a separate note the phantom's magic throne didn't work at the end so he didn't vanish and the ending was a bit strange with just Meg staring at the audience as the lights go down. Was a pity but nonetheless a spectacular show!

Faris.
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Having seen the show 19 times in 5 different productions, I must say I still love London's brilliant original the most. The venue is just beautiful, fits perfectly for such show. Go and see it, if you're around and be sure you book good tickets to enhance the experience.

My favourite are in the middle of row C stalls, front row of dress circle and even front row of upper circle is fine, a bit more distant but offers good value for the money. However stay clear of cheap side seats! I've once bought a single seat at the very end of row B and the view was terrible. Couldn't see half of stage from there.

Monique

P.S.
Love, love, love your website. As a lifestyle editor and frequent West End visitor I've even recommended your page to our readers :) . Keep up the great work, team Theatremonkey, you are the best in what you do!
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I went with a friend to the Saturday (June 8th 2013) matinee performance of this amazing show. I bought the tickets in November 2012 for a leaving present for my friend who after working in England for 2 years has decided to go back to Australia.

We absolutely loved it!!

We had Stalls G 1 and 2. I sat in G2 and realised that the seat looked new and had obviously been refurbished. I am 5 foot 1 inch and was wearing 3 inch heels. I sat down and realized that my feet were dangling in mid air as I couldn't reach the floor. I felt like a little kid even though I am 56 years old!! Not only was this happening but I was leaning to the right (luckily it was towards my friend in seat G1) which made my right leg dangle lower than my left one!! To top all of this I had to look left towards the stage and needless to say I ended up with shoulder/neck ache!!

I don't usually complain but having paid £85 or thereabouts for the seat I felt a little upset. Don't get me wrong there was nothing BUT good I could say about the performance, however I just wanted to point out the problem that I encountered with Stalls G2 and that it may be useful for you to know.
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Show Review: I didn’t know whether I would like this show as I find Andrew Lloyd Webber shows a bit ‘schmaltzy;’ but I have to say this was one of the best shows I have ever seen. The singing was superb (The Phantom’s voice was a bit ropey in places, but the rest of the cast more than made up for that). The atmosphere, the stage effects, props and set design were top notch and the costumes gorgeous. I would definitely recommend this show.


Seat review: Grand Circle. Row D Seats 16 and 17. Having booked these seats relatively cheaply during Kids Week (summer promotion - editor) I was very happy to then read previous Theatre Monkey reviewers giving them the thumbs up . I would agree with the reviews, the seats are central and give a clear view of all areas of the stage. The legroom wasn’t too bad ( I am 5 feet 5) and the seats were a standard size. The acoustics in this theatre are good anyway but the sound from the stage was very clear.

The only downside.........The people in the front row leaning over the balcony was a little bit annoying as they were quite tall which meant there was a ‘domino’ effect with the people in row B behind them leaning forward, then the people in row C leaning forward etc etc, but this didn’t detract too much as the majority of the action is in the middle of the stage which was clearly visible.
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We went to the matinee performance of 'Phantom of the Opera' on 23rd January 2014. Now you're talking! This is the fourth time I've seen Phantom and it never disappoints. The drama of the chandelier at the beginning always sends shivers down my spine, as does the "Masquerade" scene. Exactly what you want from a West End show - drama, excitement and a good old dose of gothicness! (is that a word?!)

We sat in the Grand Circle D17 and D18 which is right in the middle. The view was very good (except for the lady in front of me who had quite big hair) but apart from that, no complaints, plus you get a fantastic view of the Phantom up to no good in the rafters.
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Visited 25th February 2014: evening performance.

Seats M17 and M18 £35 from TKTS.

I have seen this show many times now, including the original cast of Crawford and Brightman, and I have always sat in the Stalls or Dress. My personal choice would always be to go for the Dress but being offered £65 seats for £35 made the decision to go for stalls. Now for someone like me who has seen the show before row M is fine if going for the first time it's about 4 rows too far back for the view of the chandelier rising and falling. The view from M is spot on otherwise the right distance and very central from 17/18. No problems with heads in front and I'm only 5 ft 6. strangely though I do find the seats uncomfortable, the seat pad itself seems large and very square so for my smaller legs my feet barely touched the floor, the seats also seem to lean backwards.

The cast I have to say are one of the strongest I have seen for a long time. We saw Ashleigh Fleming as Christine, who isn't one of the usual alternate 'Christine's.' I assume she is an understudy or cover, and she was fantastic both in her voice and acting; there was a real connection on stage between her and the Phantom, Geronimo Rauch. Now, I always find Music of the Night the most boring song in the show - but this time I was completely gripped by it. I think it's probably the first time in all my visits I have really been drawn into the moment of it entirely. His Phantom is both angry and vulnerable, and I have always agreed with the Monkey in thinking that Christine chooses the wrong man, and this time it feels like that even more so than with past Phantoms.

I have to say this was by far the best visit to see this long runner in a long time, and only have one gripe. My favourite song being 'Prima Donna,' I cannot understand how not since Rosemary Ashe in the original cast have I ever seen or heard anyone better. I was tempted to have a word with the sound desk operator on the way out and tell him to turn Carlotta's mic up, there are lots of times when her mouth moves and not sound can be heard.

Mark Lane,
Willenhall.
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Another, longer review is available at reader Trud's page: http://www.catnip.o-f.com/phantomreview.htm 

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Fan site "The Fan's Lair", at www.thephanlair.webs.com is also well worth a visit.

 

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.

Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm
Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Runs 2 hours 30 minutes approximately.
 

 

Ticket Prices:

Offers May be available - Click Here

View this information in diagram form


Stalls: 
Rows B to M (except B 10, 11 and 12, H 11 to 14, J 15 to 18, K to M 1,2, 27 and 28, N 4 to 25, O 9 to 24 and P 10 to 23: £67.50
Rows G and H 11 to 18: £95
Rows Q to S, plus row B 10, 11 and 12, rows K to M 1,2, 27 and 28, N 1 to 3 an 26 to 28, O 1 to 3, 5 to 8, 25 to 28, 30 to 32, P 1, 2, 6 to 9, 24 to 27, 30 to 33): £50
Restricted View seats behind pillars: £26

Dress Circle:
Centre Block
Rows A to E clear view seats: £67.50 (except row A 13 to 16 and row E 22 to 24)
Row A seats 13 to 16: £95
Rows F to H clear view seats plus row E 22 to 24: £50
Rows F to H seats behind pillars: £26

Side Blocks
Rows A to D clear view seats: £67.50
Rows E to H clear view seats: £50
Restricted view side blocks:
Row A 1 to 6 and 35, 36; rows B and C 1 to 4; row D 36 to 39: £50
Rows D 1 to 4, E 1 to 4, F 1 to 4, G 1 to 3 and H 1 and 2: £41
Seats behind pillars: £26

Upper Circle:
Centre Block
Rows A to K: £41

Side Blocks
Rows A to H side block first two seats on the centre aisle: £41
Row A 7, 8, 28, 29; B 6 to 9 and 29, 30; C 5 to 9 and 29, 30; D 3 to 7 and 38, 29; E 5 to 7 and 27, 28; F 3 to 6 and 26, 27; G 5, 6, 26, 27; H 4 to 6 and 26, 27; J 5 to 8 and 24, 25; K 5 to 8 and 24, 25: £36
Restricted "side view" seats Row A 30, 31, B 31 to 34, C 3, 4 and 31 to 35; D 29 to 31; E 3, 4 and 29 to 31; F 28, 29 G 3, 4, 28 and 29, H 3, 28 and 29; J and K 3, 4, 26 to 29: £26
Restricted view side block seats row A 3 to 6 and 32, 33; B 2 to 5 and 35, 36, C1, 2, 36, 37; D and E 1, 2, 32, 33 and rows F to K 1, 2, 30 and 31: £21

Balcony: 
All seats except first and last two in each row: £26
First and last two in each row: £21

 

 

A "restoration fee" contribution of £1.25 per ticket is included in all prices - the monkey shows this above. Some companies include it, others show it separately. Either way, the total price is the same.

 

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:
www.seetickets.com provide the service for this theatre.

Booking fees per ticket for online bookings:
£3.50 on £67.50 tickets, £3 on £50, £2.80 on £41, £2.80 on £36, £2.30 on £26, £1.80 on £21 seats, including restoration fees of £1 per ticket.

Why? Because they can, guesses theatremonkey, unless Phantom Of the Opera tickets are more bulky than others (printed on large bricks) and cost more to mail?

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

When the theatre does not have tickets available, it is 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 booking fee of £10.25 on £67.50 seats (£7.50 on £50, £6.25 on £41, £4 on £26, £3.25 on £21 seats), including £1 per ticket restoration fee contribution). Moderate by agency standards, though higher than box office prices, but worth trying! Note that this system will confirm exact seat numbers prior to purchase. Meal and Show Ticket Deals may also be available, click here. A £1.95 per booking, not per ticket, handling fee may apply on some transactions by telephone. NO handling fee applies for online purchases.

Another alternative is Ticketmaster.co.uk who offer seats with a £7.45 on £67.50, £5.50 fee on £50, £4.50 on £41, £3.95 on £36, £2.85 on £26, £2.30 on £21 tickets plus £3 per booking (not per ticket) handling charge. This system allows you to choose your own seats from the selection the company has available.

Encore Tickets (telephone 0207 400 1253 / 0044 207 400 1253 if calling from outside the United Kingdom) offer £67.50 seats with an £18.50 booking fee per ticket (£25 on £95, £13 on £50, £11 on £41, £10 on £36, £7 on £26 tickets) - including compulsory £1 per ticket restoration fee. A postage charge of £2.25 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 £2.50 per ticket. Discounts and "Meal and Show" packages may also be available. Quality and Value hotel / theatre ticket packages are also available.

Lastminute.com offer £67.50 seats with a £10.25 booking fee per ticket (£8 on £50, £6.90 on £41 seats). NOTE: Seat numbers are NOT available in advance from this company. All seats booked in the same price group will, of course, be together or at the very least be in front or behind each other in the theatre. In the very unlikely event of this not being possible this company will call you and give you the option of cancelling your booking. However if booking in two or more price bands, you will not be sat together. Please DO NOT purchase if this is unacceptable to you, as all tickets are sold subject to this condition. Discounts and "Meal and Show" packages may also be available. Quality and Value hotel / theatre ticket packages are also available.

London Theatre Direct offer seats with a booking fee of £13.50 on £67.50, (£19 on £95, £10 fee on £50, £8.25 on £41, £7.25 on £36, £5.25 on £26, £4.25 on £21 tickets). Collecting tickets from the box office before your performance is free, OR, if required and time allows, there is a postage charge option of of £2.95 (£4.95 to non-UK addresses) per booking, not per ticket applies to all bookings. Optional Ticket Insurance is also available. Discounts and Meal and Show Packages may also be available.

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

www.thephantomoftheopera.com is the official website.

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: 0870 830 0200
(FREE call if using BT.com Calling Plan at your chosen times)
Operated by See Tickets on behalf of the venue.

Booking fees per ticket for telephone bookings:
£3.50 on £67.50 tickets, £3 on £50, £2.80 on £41, £2.80 on £36, £2.30 on £26, £1.80 on £21 seats, including restoration fees of £1 per ticket.

For personal callers or by post: Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4QR
No booking fee for personal callers.

Special Access Needs Customers:
Wheelchair users and other registered disabled theatregoers can book their seats on 0844 412 4648 and enquire about concessionary prices that may be available to them.

www.hermajestystheatre.co.uk is the official venue website.

 

 
 
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.

A warning on some booking sites states that due to the nature of the staging of current production, 'The Phantom Of The Opera' all seats at every price may not have full view of all action. Theatremonkey considers this reasonable comment.

A reader says,
"Her Majesty’s theatre is beautifully acoustic, and most of the stalls and dress circle benefit from almost no amplified sound, which is a rarity."
 

Seating Plan Diagram

Stalls Dress Circle Upper Circle Balcony Notes
STALLS 

Layout:
The Dress Circle overhangs the Stalls at row G; this affects the view of the top of the stage from seats at the edges of the stalls from row J, and central stalls from row N back.

Rows A to F form a single block curving in front of the stage. A central aisle then splits rows from G back into two sections.

Legroom:
Adequate for those of average height (around 5 ft 10 or so) in all seats except row B and restricted view seats Q 14 and 21.

The end seat in rows E, F, G and N have little or nothing in front of them as rows do not quite stretch across the entire seat.

For those who are taller, reader Mark Hunter (6ft 4) warns very strongly that almost all stalls seats are VERY uncomfortable. He reports that the modern "flat backs" to the seats mean there is no space to move a leg into (the old curved seats allow taller people to do this) and the arms on the seats also restricted him and prevented a comfortable evening. Mark had centre aisle seats too - so no help there.

Choosing Seats in General:
The monkey gets many comments about this show and updates advice accordingly - asking that readers take all viewpoints into account when deciding for themselves.

Row B is cramped, with B 10, 11 and 12 sold cheaply as the conductor is in view. Popular with fans of the show, who know that the central seats have the best of the poor legroom.

The front stalls rows D to G offer the best seats in the house. Ignore the first and last two seats in each row (unless needing legroom) to get a good central view, but choose most of the rest of these rows first as the best return on your top price investment.

Rows H to K 7 to 21 are next best as top price investments, then L 7 to 21 if nothing else is left. The rest of the top price seats offer diminishing value for money and are best left in the monkey's opinion.

Row N sees the first of the famous pillars appear. No noticeable impact is noted on seats in row N 4 to 25, row O 7 to 25 and row P 8 to 25. Of this bunch, within the normal pricing structure, the monkey feels that row N seats 8 to 24 and O seats 10 to 25 offer decent value. The rest of the lower priced seats are dotted among pillars. The view is not classed as restricted, but at second price the value for money is suspect.

Seats actually behind a pillar go much more cheaply, often sold on the day to the returns queue, as nobody will risk buying them normally. Theatremonkey chooses, in order, O 4 and 29 where the pillars line up with the edge of the stage, affecting only 10% of the view, Q 14 and 21 which have pillars directly in front and can be peered around - legroom is iffy though, S 1,2, 23,24 which all offer an 80% view of the stage, then S 12 and 13, offering a 80% view. Check Dress Circle recommendations too before booking.

As an example of how opinions differ: if you are relaxed about restrictions, R12 is fine according to one reader / awful according to another. The usual monkey advice applies: ask for restricted view seats if you are seeking to have a cheap visit or get in to a normally sold out performance at the last minute. The ones highlighted above are value for money for those on a tight budget with a sense of adventure. They are NOT for the comfort seeker or bargain hunter. In this case you just get what you pay for. Remember too that the "red" rating highlights something to think about, rather than "avoid."

A wheelchair can replace stalls seat S12 or users can transfer to any aisle seat. Fair value with a restricted view. About 80% of the stage is visible. Other aisle seats offer better views, but as wheelchair places go, S12 is pretty good - equal to other seats around it.

The sound desk is on its own against the wall facing down the centre aisle behind row S. No problems for anybody, feels the monkey.

General Hazard Notes:
Row B has particularly limited legroom.

Pillars affect views from some seats from row O back.

Fan behaviour can be distracting for the less devoted... the cheaper and / or nearer the front, the more likely the extreme reactions.

Changes for the current production:
The view of the top of the stage is important for 'The Phantom Of The Opera'. In fairness to the producers they have priced any seat without a full view of the stage as less than top price.

Seats G and H 11 to 18 are sold at premium prices. The view is excellent here, whether you wish to spend the extra is totally your choice, feels the monkey...

Central row O 9 to 24 and P 10 to 23 are top price - they were previously second. You'll miss more than you would here than from other top price seats... take them as a last choice for the money, feels the monkey. The two cheaper seats either side of these in both rows are far better value, it feels.

Reader Comments:
“Stalls: (William Cooper). My personal feeling here is avoid the stalls, they are too close and you do not get an overall view. At top price, go for Dress Circle.

“Stalls: (Becky, Pontefract). Make sure you're sat in the first seven rows of the stalls or the first three of the dress circle. These make lots of difference to the quality of viewing! The last time we had the front row centre and the chandelier was terrifying!"

"Row B: (Chris). Our biggest mistake with this show was not to note the seat numbers to avoid. We had 2 seats in row B of stalls (front row), what a nightmare, No leg room at all!!!!!! People next to us were really annoyed especially as these are top price seats!"

“Row B: (Cheryl).”I always sit in the stalls as I think you get the best views, but wouldn't sit on the front row again due to a stiff neck!!"

“Row B: We were in Row B, which is the first row, I am only 5' 2" and my knees were crushed against a low black wall between me and the orchestra, sit further back for a much better view. (The monkey notes that many fans are keen on this row).

“Row B: (George). I saw recently that you'd changed row B in the stalls at Her Majesty's Theatre to red... I've sat there many times (in 11, 12 and 13 on separate occasions) and I've never had a problem... I'm about 5"7."

"Row B: (Fiona). I sat in a premium-priced seat in the stalls on my first visit, and for the second right on the front row, (I decided on this because I had the misfortune lately to end up behind some pretty tall people when sitting further back, which can somewhat ruin the enjoyment even in top-priced seats!). I had worried I would be too near, but as the stage is not so high as it is in productions such as 'We Will Rock You' at the Dominion Theatre was, for me it was PERFECT (in spite of less leg room than usual on a front row) and wonderful to be so close and to see all the facial expressions of the performers!"

"B6: Having read very mixed reviews of the front row seats at Her Majesty's Theatre I was a bit nervous about going to see The Phantom of the Opera for the 5th time and this time in row B seat 6. But I had no need to worry at all! I'm 5ft 4 and I had no problem with the leg room and the stage wasn't very high so you could see everything even at the back of the stage. The only "problem" is that you're so close that you have to decide where to look when a lot is happening at once as you can't see everything at the same time. For a first time goer I would recommend a seat further back but for someone who has seen the show at least once before it is absolutely perfect! I just love being close to the action and to be able to see the actors faces and costumes properly!"

B6 to 9 (front row): Whilst my 12 year old daughter was comfortable, my elder daughter and my wife who is 4' 11(and a half)" was cramped, so my 5' 8" was very badly catered for!

The show was magical, all the effects were as good as I remembered all those years ago, but from row "B" front stalls you were too low to see the back of the stage and thus you miss some of the effects!

I would strongly suggest that you avoid row "B" totally as if you sit there and are over 4' 6" you wont be comfortable and if you are comfortable you will miss parts of a superb show!"

“B10: (Ashleah Skinner). Restricted view because of the conductor - but he was not in my way at all, and B11 was affected slightly although it really wasn't a problem unless your under 4ft perhaps.

The only moan I have is that sound wasn't loud, so you missed parts of the singing, and the final lair boat scene, I missed parts of that. Apart from that it was excellent, and am glad I got an excellent view sold at a restricted price even though it wasn't affected in the slightest. Highly recommended. (Do note that a different, taller conductor could affect the view, of course and that these seats do have "something you need to think about before buying" and won't suit everybody – editor).

“B12: (Martin) "I can say that these are the best seats in the auditorium. You see the actors very closely, the acoustics are great because you don't hear the speaker sound, only the orchestra. To cover the enjoyment, Mickey Reed is quite short, so he is no problem in your viewing and he fits into the show very much. The only part I got unsatisfied, was during the scene where Phantom and Christine go together on a boat, the first four rows get covered into the dry ice. You see nothing and the temperature gets down ten degrees for about a minute. Nevertheless, very good seats, even £5 down (what a bargain). I'd put seats 11,12,13 as 'green'."

“B 13 and 14: (Anne). The seats were amazing and I was so close to the action, I did not have a problem with legroom or cricked necks. I could see every feature of the phantom's deformity, saw all the fine detail, and felt that the singers were singing just for me, they tended to stand just in front of these seats to sing the big pieces. The flares were startling and I could feel the heat from them, the chandelier was scary, I would recommend these seats anytime."

“B13 and 14: Front row centre - found these seats to be very good, experiencing no problems at all."

"B16 and 17: This is the front row of the stalls and it is almost like you are sat in the orchestra pit! I cannot help but feel like sitting in the front row you miss out on much of impact of the staging. Also at 5ft 9 the seat was very cramped. I would recommend sitting at least row E in order to have the best view of the stage."

“B17 and 18: (Denise). When we were sitting in row B seats 17 and 18, they were for me by far the best seats in the house. We have been to the show previously and had royal circle seats H6 and 7, which had restricted viewing especially when it can to scenes where you needed to be looking at the top of the stage, for example the chandelier scene and the angel phantom scene. The seats in row B where amazing as we also felt that the show was very angular and you need to be looking to the right a lot of the show - for example the masquerade scene. At a size 20 I consider myself to be a larger lady at 5ft 4, my partner also being larger and 6ft but had no problem with the comfort of the seats, I might also mention that when the show started I was so engrossed with it that I never noticed comfort really... I did however notice every now and then that my mouth was open, so in short I was very happy with the seats in row B."

Row C: (Monique). "Be sure you book good tickets to enhance the experience. My favourite are in the middle of row C stalls, front row of dress circle and even front row of upper circle is fine, a bit more distant but offers good value for the money. However stay clear of cheap side seats! I've once bought a single seat at the very end of row B and the view was terrible. Couldn't see half of stage from there."

" C6: It seemed more overblown than ever. And I would certainly not recommend sitting that close in the stalls for anybody who wants to get the full effect of the production. In fact, I would guess that one needs to be at least in about row F or G of the stalls (i.e. further back than the chandelier) for all the effects to be seen properly, including the appearance of the phantom at the top of the proscenium arch, and indeed to have the elaborately decorated proscenium arch comfortably in one's field of vision."

“C11: I was right behind the conductor, but as is written elsewhere on this site, he isn't very tall and from where I was seated wasn't much of a problem. On the stage right in front of me was a wooden block which may have contained lighting. This obscured some of the action, but in the second half it wasn't there.

I was so close I could easily see the microphones of the performers. I could also see how Christine and The Phantom enter the mirror, which spoiled the effect for me. Being so close has some advantages. The Phantom's deformity can be clearly seen, and you see the performers' expressions. Christine's interaction with the Phantom when she gives him a ring and kisses him being especially moving.

The lady next to me had an exciting moment (she went oohhhh) when a male dancer was leaping around and his thong showed beneath his costume! She was also excited by the falling chandelier and ducked as it passed over, but I would prefer to be further away. I found myself having to look from side to side on occasions and had to look almost straight up to see the Phantom in the chandelier.

On my first viewing (from the Upper Circle) I remember being amazed when the rows of candles appeared for the Music of The Night scene, but from row C this effect is muted, also the cloud which is so effective from further away obscures the action I reckon rows G and H would be much better, or probably the main green area of the Dress Circle.

I didn't find the seat very comfortable. The leg room was very good, but the back of the seat wasn't very forgiving, it seemed a bit too straight."

"C11, C12, and C13: The view was excellent as it was really close to the actors. Unfortunately, the conductor was in the way for some of the time and when the dry ice with the boat scene happened, we could not see anything as the dry ice completely cut off our view - and it became very cold for a while. Otherwise they were excellent seats."

"D7 to D16: (Catherine). Fantastic seats, probably the best seats in the house. We were 3 rows from the front, and was very close to the stage. We were right underneath the chandelier. I would recommend row D and above. It was worth the money."

“D9 and 10: (Christian Toime. I was impressed with the leg room, I'm 6 foot and it was ample."
“D22 and D23: (M). Tickets bought via the annual 'Get into London Theatre' offer. Legroom was ample and the view was fantastic, I think we saw everything there was to see, so didn't feel restricted in anyway. The theatre was quite warm for a chilly night, only felt cold when side door near the seats was open."

"E 10, 11 and 12: (Adam). Were very good. Probably the best view I have ever had at the theatre. Almost central, four rows from the front, right under the chandelier and with plenty of legroom for my 6ft 2ins frame. We paid top price for them but well worth the money."

"E11 and 12: I paid £35 per ticket through the GILT ticket offer (runs January to March each year). I'm 6ft tall and had plenty of legroom and a fantastic view. The seats feel like they are directly below the chandelier which is a definite bonus. The conductor, while visible, is never once in the way due to the rake from the stage. Overall, excellent seats."

"Row F: (Ciara Hemming). Fabulous, made even better by the fact that the rows in front of us were filled by school children which helped provide a flawless view of the action."

"F19 and 20: (Kirsty). These seats are very good. You are close to the stage without being too close, you can see the actors faces clearly; and the famous chandelier is just to the right of you a little bit when it goes up and down so it's not very scary being under it. The only thing I could think of that annoyed me about sitting in these seats is that Christine had her back to us in some of the scenes, so we couldn't see her reactions to the other characters."

"F23 and F24: (Debbi). The seats were phantastic (!) There was plenty of legroom and the view was very good. I don't think we missed a thing. It was great being so up close and personal to the actors and catching their eye on several occasions ;)

I don't think there is anything negative I can say about these seats, except that they are in the middle of the row and so you have to constantly stand up to let people pass. The most annoying part of this was that some people were late and so we all had to stand up to let them in to their seats during the show, so we missed a part of it, as did the people behind us!"

"G1 and 2: I sat in G2 and realised that the seat looked new and had obviously been refurbished. I am 5 foot 1 inch and was wearing 3 inch heels. I sat down and realized that my feet were dangling in mid air as I couldn't reach the floor. I felt like a little kid even though I am 56 years old!! Not only was this happening but I was leaning to the right (luckily it was towards my friend in seat G1) which made my right leg dangle lower than my left one!! To top all of this I had to look left towards the stage and needless to say I ended up with shoulder/neck ache!! I don't usually complain but having paid £85 or thereabouts for the seat I felt a little upset. Don't get me wrong there was nothing BUT good I could say about the performance, however I just wanted to point out the problem that I encountered with Stalls G2 and that it may be useful for you to know."

"G15 (aisle) and G16: (JackieMc ). Legroom was adequate for two 5' 10" people, one with a larger than average bottom (!) and long legs although some shifting was required occasionally. Terrific view of the stage and actors, it was great to be close enough to see the expressions on their faces. I would most definitely book these seats again."

" G15 to 18: (GREEN on the Monkey's plan). I am 5' 11" tall and my knees where jammed against the seat in front. The young man sitting behind me (who was taller than me) spent the whole performance with his knees banging against the back of my seat! I could not say anything as we were all so cramped together - it looks like they have added an extra row of seats and pushed the other seats really close together. Great view of the stage and all the action but no enough leg room!"

"G22: This seat provided a great view of the stage action. I found the leg room really good for my 6ft frame, the seat padding seemed quite thin though but it was comfortable. For the (access rate) of £29.75 I thought it was great value."

"G27 and 28: (Brent). Paid £55 each (full price £67) from TKTS. We were very pleased with the seats, helped rather by there being no-one in seats F27 and F28 in front of us. We felt very close to the stage giving a great view of the actors' faces. Sound was excellent. Only the extreme left of the stage was out of view and I don't think we missed anything there. Occasionally actors at the front of the stage can block some views but we didn't feel this was a problem. The view of the top of the stage and the chandelier was unobstructed. My wife has seen "Phantom" from a position further across the stalls and thought these current ones were better.
The seats themselves were a bit uncomfortable - legroom was fine, particularly for me with no seat in front of me, but you feel that you are sort of sitting at an angle backwards with your feet off the floor.
We tried a few other seats behind us during the interval, in the spirit of theatremonkey! I thought the rake flattened out further back and wouldn't have been so happy with those."

“H7 and 8: Although the seats are slightly on the side, they both offer clear unobstructed views of the stage. In addition, row H begins to curve a little bit towards the end so I found myself looking between the shoulders of the people in front of me which helped, as the rake of the seating is not that steep. In these seats you will also be able to clearly see facial expressions, especially when the cast come to the front of the stage and to also feel fully involved in the show. More importantly, these seats will also allow you to see clearly downstage right which in this production, is essential, especially in the last few minutes of the show.

This was the fourth time I have seen the show and although this was the best overall view I have ever had, I certainly feel that some scenes are best viewed in some of the upper levels. For example, the roof top / chandelier scenes are best viewed from the front of the dress circle or upper circle. For us and for those sitting further forward and in the middle of the stalls, the dramatic impact of these scenes I feel, is slightly lost. I think some people sitting around me were not even aware of what was going on at the very top of the theatre."

“H19 and 20 (Adam). The view was superb, and RIGHT under the chandelier, however the worst legroom I've ever experienced! I would never ever sit in the stalls in this theatre again! The backs of the seats are FLAT, not curved, so you can’t put your knees anywhere, I was so cramped that my feet were tip-toed and I couldn't get comfy at all, and the guy in front kept telling me to stop knee-ing his chair (as though I had a choice!!). So it really spoiled my experience. At the interval we got moved to row N 27 and 28 which were further back and right at the side, but I had a seat with no seat in front of it, so that was better at least. Ah well."

"H27: (Martin). I had a terrible seat. Yet, top price DUH! Seeing only 3/4 of the stage and listening to the music coming from the left side did not add up to my enjoyment."

"J3 and 4: (Sherrie). Had a really good view of the stage. The overhang starts at row "J" so we were able to see the chandelier but any further back and some bits of the show would have been missed. The seats are a bit old and so aren't as comfortable as some other theatres that have been updated, but we had enough leg room."

"J9 and 10: (James – regular reader). Excellent seats - not so close that you need to keep moving your head from side to side to see the whole stage but close enough to see facial expressions clearly. The sound is good from here too and the view great. The only downside is legroom - I'm not that tall and even I found it a bit cramped. Having sat in the Dress Circle three times and in the Stalls once, the Stalls are definitely a much better place to see the show from."

"J11 and 12: (James – regular reader). A little cramped, even for two short people, but the view and sound is excellent from here."

“J13 and 14: The view from here was brilliant, and absolutely fantastic for the chandelier moments, as well as enabling you to see the Phantom at the top of the rig (which you would miss out on if further forward or under the overhang if further back). The leg room however was ridiculous, and I couldn't have my legs directly in front of me. It would seem this row has been made smaller due to the premium seats in front of it, but having the aisle seat meant I could stretch my legs out fully was the only saving grace. Sitting anywhere else in this row, I would have had to change seats, as I physically wouldn't have been able to last the duration of the performance (34 inch legs...) Thankfully, the overwhelming performance and amazing view made me quickly forget about the leg room, but feel this should be mentioned when you buy the tickets."

"J13 and 14: Having the aisle seat meant I could stretch my legs out fully was the only saving grace. Sitting anywhere else in this row, I would have had to change seats, as I physically wouldn't have been able to last the duration of the performance (34inch legs...) Thankfully, the overwhelming performance and amazing view made me quickly forget about the leg room, but feel this should be mentioned when you buy the tickets."

"J19 and J20: These were excellent, could see the whole stage perfectly."

"K9 and 10: Provided a very good view, as did all seats in that row, but I think the seats should be down priced from Row N back, as they really are not worth full price. Seats are slightly uncomfortable, but legroom was good. Belonging to the 6 footer club, I have not yet had trouble fitting into seats at Her Majesty’s!"

K23 and 24: (Katie B). Found them very good, saw everything, my cousin is slightly taller than me so she could see the chandelier right to the top. Got the full effect of the chandelier falling too without being directly underneath it! My only gripe is actually about the theatre itself, something needs to be done about the seating, the seats are quite small. If you are a 'larger size lady' like me you get wedged into the seat and literally cannot move until the interval (an American lady in front of me had exactly the same problem) and then feel so stiff afterwards. Even for someone slim you also have to get out of the row to let people get past to their seats in the middle. My cousin is only 5'5" and she said there was not much leg room either. But that is only a little moan, we were so caught up in the show it didn't detract from it, we just had a good stretch in the interval and settled down again for the second half.”

“L5: (Cristopher H). Totally great.”

"M6 and M5: Booked solely based on your seating recommendation, and they offered a perfect view of the stage plus ample leg room for the average sized person. I'm 5ft 9". The acoustics were very good also".

M17 and M18: (Mark Lane). £35 from TKTS. I have seen this show many times now, including the original cast of Crawford and Brightman, and I have always sat in the Stalls or Dress. My personal choice would always be to go for the Dress but being offered £65 seats for £35 made the decision to go for stalls. Now for someone like me who has seen the show before row M is fine if going for the first time it's about 4 rows too far back for the view of the chandelier rising and falling. The view from M is spot on otherwise the right distance and very central from 17/18. No problems with heads in front and I'm only 5 ft 6. strangely though I do find the seats uncomfortable, the seat pad itself seems large and very square so for my smaller legs my feet barely touched the floor, the seats also seem to lean backwards."

"M 17 to 19: (Nadia Ansari). We were very pleased as the visibility is great. Pretty central and close to the stage so you can really experience the show. There isn't much space as the theatre is small so it does feel a bit cramped but not too bad."

“M 20,21,22: (Jamie Coniam). Checked out this guide and thought fair value was acceptable. I must say the seats were fantastic, I totally disagree with other reviewers who have said to avoid the stalls, by far the best seats we've had seeing this show. I was worried that the stage would be high and we'd get a crook neck from looking up, but the stage is low and the view was amazing, we couldn't see the chandelier going up once it had passed the Grand Circle, due to the overhang, but that's a small price to pay for such a clear and close view of the cast".

"M 28 and 27: (Beth). The seats are excruciatingly uncomfortable. Tiny (child sized it appeared), and old - they leave you aching by the end of the performance. This theatre is in need of a massive refurb. These are probably the most uncomfortable stalls we have ever been in but the view is excellent and the small theatre itself (looking from the stalls) is lovely, very sweet and intimate but desperately need new updated seats!!"

“N14: The sound was much better from row N. I picked up almost every word, the view was much better, especially the effects and scenery. Also being further back meant I didn't have to look from side to side when the action was spread out, and I didn't have to look almost straight upwards trying to glimpse the Phantom in the chandelier. I felt the seat was more comfortable as well, maybe as a result of me not having to crane my neck from side to side and upwards."
"N17 and 18: Being only £10 more than where we sat in the Grand Circle Row J before, these seats are much much better. They are more central and much closer to the action. The sound is perfect, the view is perfect and this time there was lots of legroom. You don't miss a thing at these seats, and they made the show much more enjoyable."

“Row P: (Tracy, Simon and Chris). We were in row P which was just under the Dress Circle but in the middle, the only bit we missed was the chandelier going higher up than we could see; but we saw the Phantom on the top of the building."

"R12: (Hoodlum) Was directly behind the dreaded pillar - this must be the worst seat in the house at £22.50. The pillar was dead centre stage and exactly where the main characters chose to stand for most of the performance. I had to constantly crane my neck. The good news is that in the interval I managed to move to Q11. I couldn't say that it was a better view -there was no pillar but for some reason the heads of the persons in front were in the way!

I am a big Phantom fan and I've seen the show 6 times so I didn't mind having a restricted view but for anyone else out there wanting to chance it, I wouldn't sit in that seat if it was my first time seeing the show.

It remains to say that R12 (and that's coming from someone who has tried restricted in Chicago and Lion King) wins the prize for the most restricted view. At times I thought of just standing at the back! That would have been preferable. I should also add that at the box office when I bought the ticket the 'kind' lady said "all you have to do is to look to the side" sadly that doesn't solve the problems of the pillar being dead centre stage."

"R12: Right so I remember reading on Theatremonkey that some of the restricted view seats are alright. Went into the box office and she said R12 was the best. I then got very worried when I went on my mobile internet and saw someone say the pillar was directly in front. This is really not the case!!! The Theatremonkey plan incorrectly shows the placement of this seat. It is not directly behind the pillar, unlike Q14 (which is), but is in line with S12. (Editor's note: Theatremonkey seating diagrams do not reflect the exact position of seating as rows curve.)

You therefore can see 90% of the stage by leaning slightly to your right. Or, put another way, the pillar isn't in fact centre stage as the previous report said. It is on the far left hand side. Sitting back in your seat you still see around 80% of the stage. I would definitely not mark this seat as red. For a restricted view seat it is really very good. I didn't miss ANY of the action! If you want to see phantom on the cheap then seriously, GO FOR IT!"
 


DRESS CIRCLE 
Called the
Royal Circle in this theatre

Layout:
The Upper Circle overhangs the Dress Circle at row C. The view of the top of the stage is diminished from row E back, but not sufficiently to affect enjoyment.

The circle is split into central and two side blocks by aisles.

The rake of the circle is fairly shallow, except for row H, which is higher than the others.

Legroom:
Slightly cramped in all seats, worst in row A, a little better in row H, and seats B11 and 25, the monkey felt.

Choosing Seats in General:
Centre Block:
Try row C 12 to 25 then D 13 to 27 in that order. B 12 to 24 is also prime, if lucky enough to be at a performance where "people leaning forward" isn't an issue.

Follow this with A 13 to 24 at top price or E13 to 21, depending how much an extra eighth of an inch of legroom matters to you.

Of the cheaper seats, pick row F 15 to 22, then F 10 to 12 and 24 to 26. Choose G 16 to 20 then H 16 to 19 next. The rest of the seats are below average value and consider them only if stalls are unavailable.

Slim pillars appear in row E. Only a few seats in rows F to H are badly affected enough to be designated restricted view. Theatremonkey nominates row H seat 23 as best in the house. With a little sideways movement 99% of the stage is visible from here. Also try H29, H5 and F31. The other seats truly are poor, try stalls restricted view seats instead; or be prepared to see what you can and just enjoy the music if you take anything else in the Dress Circle.

Side Blocks:
At top price choose B and C 7 to 11 and B 25 to 29 and C 26 to 29. Then D 9 to 12 and 28 to 31, and E 7 to 9. Take stalls before choosing these seats though.

Ignore the ends of rows, as the discounts do not justify the strange viewing angle. Good value may be had from row E 25 to 27, F 7 to 9 and 27 to 28, G 7, 8, 27, 28, and row H 7 and 27.

General Hazard Notes:
Shallow rake makes seeing over those in front difficult for the shortest in rows B to G. Folk leaning forward add to problems in this circle.

Pillars in row E affect views from seats behind.

Row H has a step up to it at the ends - and it is quite a steep step, for those who find such things harder than average.

Changes for the current production:
The view of the top / sides of the stage are important for 'The Phantom Of The Opera'. In fairness to the producers they have priced any seat without a full view of the stage as less than top price.


Seats A 13 to 16 are sold at premium prices. The view is excellent here, whether you wish to spend the extra is totally your choice, feels the monkey...

Reader Comments:
"Dress Circle: (The Johnson Family). We sat in the Royal Circle and found the seating cramped and the view inferior to a good Stalls seat."

“Row A: The view could simply not have been better."

Row A and B: (Monique). "Be sure you book good tickets to enhance the experience. My favourite are in the middle of row C stalls, front row of dress circle and even front row of upper circle is fine, a bit more distant but offers good value for the money. However stay clear of cheap side seats! I've once bought a single seat at the very end of row B and the view was terrible. Couldn't see half of stage from there."

"Rows A and B (Lizzie). (Ccouldn’t get 6 tickets together) and although one or two parts of the performance are out of view when they go to the far side of the stage generally good seats"

"A23 and A24: Good seats - - not much legroom"

"A22 and 23: Excellent seats. I never have a problem with legroom in the dress circle; I find the D/C my preferred place to sit in the theatre to the stalls. However, I did find this seat a little bit tight myself, however not tight enough to decrease my enjoyment of the show."

"A27: I fell in love with this production upon first seeing it in April 2003. I did not find the legroom too restricting ( I am 5'11"), and the view was spectacular, so close to all the action and with a clear sight of everything, without having to lean forward at all.

When I recently returned to see this production again however, I sat just one row back and a couple of seats over from where I had watched from the first time. I sat in B 32, (also top price seats), and the difference in view from this slight shift in position was dramatic.

There are many important parts of the Phantom of the Opera that occur at the front and to the left (from the observers point of view) of the stage. These include the opening, with the Vicomte du Chagny sat in that position, many important conversations between characters frequently occur in this position, the Phantom shows Christine the image in the mirror in this location, stairs to 'down below' open up here, and the phantom disappears into his chair at the end here.

From these seats, I could hardly see any of that, and this grossly impeded my enjoyment of the performance. To make matters worse, the people in row A in kept leaning over to see, and infringing more upon the limited view we had. It was only after the interval that this stopped, as we specifically pointed it out to an usher, who I must say was very professional.

The similar seats at the opposite side of the auditorium are not full price, yet I feel from the side I refer too, the view must be affected more. These seats should not be full price, perhaps not even second price. Do not sit here if you can avoid it!"

“A27 and 28: (Rebecca, 4ft 11). I saw Phantom of the Opera at a sold out Thursday evening showing in July 2010 from. Immediately when we sat down we realised that these should be sold as restricted view, and not the very expensive full price. If I sat back in my seat I could not see the stage at all due to the thick velvet wall at the front of the circle. Most people on the front row around me were leaning forward to see the stage. Fortunately at certain times in the show the action is elevated on a variety of platforms, which gave us the opportunity to sit back for a while. Patrons taking row B should be aware that their view might be obstructed by people on row A leaning forward, necessarily, to see the stage. Some views of the set were excellent from the royal circle, but I would recommend the stalls in future, or further back in the royal circle. A friend who is 5ft 7 struggled a little, but not as much as me.”

“B 16 to 19: “The Phantom of the Opera,” (Chris B). This certainly feels like one of the most lavish theatres in the West End, which perfectly befits one of the most successful musicals ever performed. These seats are centrally located in the dress circle and are very comfortable with plenty of legroom. They offer a great, clear view of the whole stage and are set so you can see between the heads in front so the view shouldn’t be obscured. The circle feels quite low and I think being raised above the stalls for this show is really worth it as you get a much better appreciation of the stage, from top to bottom.”

“B21: (Jon). This should have been fine as I'm 5'11" but two people in front of me actually blocked a lot of the view (they also rustled bags to show each other their shopping for large sections of the show). They were asked by the staff to stop leaning forward onto the front of the Dress Circle though, but they still obscured a lot of my view. A child near to me was given a cushion but still had problems seeing properly".

"B34 and 35: Right on the outside of the row, clearly without full view of the stage. (We used an offer but...) would have been happy to pay full price for better seats."

"C7: Has a partially obstructed view seat. You could not see all of Andre and Firmin in their theatre box and you could not see the top of the staircase in Masquerade. However, for £35 (face value £65), excellent value."

"C14: Having read the various comments on this site regarding the poor sightlines and restrictions of viewing the stage in this theatre, I thought I might be safe sitting here. Unfortunately, due to the very low rake, the 6ft high man in front of me completely blocked my view of the stage and I had to spend most of the evening with my head tilted at an angle. In addition, he was very drunk and kept on humming, waving his arms along to the music and talking to his friend throughout the show. Overall, the seat could have been really good (it was especially good when viewing the Phantom during the roof scenes) but like others in this row, it really depends on how tall (and irritating) the person in front of you is”

"C18 and 19: We sat here on the recommendation of this website - the very best seats in the entire theatre. They were dead centre; we had not a single obstruction and could see every aspect of the production perfectly. Legroom was ample, and so long as nobody in front of you leans forward, you needn't move for the entire duration of the show. The tickets were £40 each, reduced from £55 each as part of a Christmas offer; I would have happily paid full price given the quality of the seats and of the show."

"C24 and 25: (Emma). Brilliant view, although little leg room - but that is because the theatre is old, so has to be expected."

"D7 and D8: (James, Finchley). I was lucky enough to get a £25 offer - there is no way I would pay full price for these seats. I found the viewing angle quite peculiar and I missed quite a bit on the right of the stage. People kept leaning forward which obscured the view from time to time and the overhang cut off a few bits at the top which would have been nice to see, although not essential. Also, the Masquerade scene which is usually quite a spectacle is not best viewed from here either."

"E1: My view was very good. I couldn't see the chandelier rise all the way up to the ceiling due to the next level overhanging, but of the stage it was very good. I just about saw Raoul and the managers in their box during 'Think Of Me.”

“E13 and E14: (William Cooper, Phantom fan and theatre observer). With regards to the Dress Circle, I recently fed my addiction with another Phantom fix from dress circle seats, the view was not particularly special as it was a last minute (relatively- THIS IS Phantom) booking.

That said however, I have paid top price for far worse seats in the past and there wasn't really a problem with people leaning forward in their seats - it certainly wasn't enough to diminish the performance.

I was however outraged by the over-excited Welsh ladies next to me who insisted on commenting 'He comes from Swansea' every time the Phantom appeared and rustling their sweet packets all through 'Music of the Night' If I didn't know the words by heart it would have been unacceptably distracting."

"G14: I've seen the Phantom only once and from a terrible place in the Dress Circle row G seat 14. Being 1m 84cm tall I had to bend to see the chandelier and the phantom when he was inside it. Besides it feels very far. I don't suggest seeing it from this row. An exciting piece of theatre though."

“G14: I was in Dress circle row G seat 14, the same seat where another correspondent who is 1.84m tall said he had to lean forward to see the Phantom in the chandelier. Well, I'm 1.73 and could just about see him without leaning forward, that is until the chandelier moved higher.

He also said it seemed far away. I have seen Phantom twice from the Upper Circle, and where I was on Friday seemed nearer, although I must admit it would have been better if I could have got a centre seat in the Upper Circle, but the best I could get from the web site was row C seat 5 which I thought too far from centre. Maybe I should have rung them but I booked out of hours. I think I heard the words clearer this time although there were the usual people who can't sit still, paper rustlers and talkers!"

"G23: Wouldn't advise it - there's a pillar right in the way of the view."

"H6 and 7: (Denise). Had restricted viewing especially when it can to scenes where you needed to be looking at the top of the stage, for example the chandelier scene and the angel phantom scene."

"H17 and 18: (Ed). Our Valentine’s celebration was ruined by a) the restricted view we had from our seats on the back row of the Royal Circle - H17 and H18 and b) the intolerable heat. The overhang of the upper circle blocks the view of the upper part of the stage from row H. The restricted view prevented us from seeing significant action. Particularly the graveside scene at the start of Act 2, not to mention the spectacle of the chandelier and the phantom observing the scene on the rooftop. I deliberately didn't buy the cheapest tickets available as I wanted a good quality viewing experience, but I fail to see how we had anything other than the worst seats in the house. As we bent double to look at the action it was obvious that even one row forward in G the view was much, much better. I think it is criminal for the seats in the back row of the Royal Circle to be advertised and sold in the same price plan as seats with a far better viewing angle either elsewhere in the RC or in the stalls.

Not only this but the heat in our seats was intolerable. The size and space of the seats is uncomfortable enough to start with, but the added discomfort of the heat made for a very unpleasant and painful experience. This utterly detracted from the action unfolding in front of us as we were unable to focus or immerse ourselves in the performance due to the distraction of our pain. (The monkey notes that this reader wasn't aware of the "view in proportion to ticket price" policy in operation until it told him - at which point he mentioned he would have bought more expensive seats so as to see the whole show... worth underlining the problems in this venue again, feels the monkey)..

Dress Circle Boxes
Exist either side of the stage, but are incorporated into the action, so form part of the staging rather than audience seating.


UPPER CIRCLE
Called the
Grand Circle in this theatre

Layout:
The balcony is above and behind the Upper circle and thus does not affect the view from any seat.

The Upper Circle is split into centre and two side blocks by aisles.

Legroom:
Poor in most seats, worst in row A, best in the few centre aisle seats from row B to J in the side blocks – these have nothing in front.

Choosing Seats in General:
Centre Block:
Rows B to E offer good value for money as they have a clear view of the stage and seem close to the action. Choose these above stalls seats unless legroom is a factor. The rows behind also offer fair value for money.

Side Blocks:
The closest two seats to the centre aisles - rows B and C 10, 11, 27 and 28, and rows D and E 8, 9, 25 and 26 offer good value. Next try rows F to K 7, 8, 24 and 25.

The rest, almost all designated restricted view, suffer a strange viewing angle with the set in the way and are only recommended if the best restricted view seats in other parts of the theatre are sold out or too expensive.

General Hazard Notes:
A metal bar runs across the front of the circle, slightly intruding on the view in row A.

Folk leaning forward in row A are a constant moan from those seated in rows B and C.

No seat has a full view of the stage – particularly those on the extreme ends of rows.

Changes for the current production:
The view of the top / sides of the stage are important for 'The Phantom Of The Opera'. In fairness to the producers they have priced any seat without a full view of the stage as less than top price. The amount you see is directly in proportion to what you pay up here.

Reader Comments:
“Upper Circle: (William Cooper) People leaning forward is a definite problem in the Upper Circle, but these seats (especially in the centre block) beat the proverbial out of the Balcony."

"Upper Circle: (Andy B) I sat in the Upper Circle. Terrible sightlines and no legroom. I was so far away from the stage that I felt like I couldn't be further away from the action. Not that there was much action coming from the unengaging acting and plot."

"Front Row: (Jamie Coniam). We didn't find the bar an obstruction at all. although we are both over 6ft tall, which no doubt helped."

Row A: (Monique). "Be sure you book good tickets to enhance the experience. Even front row of upper circle is fine, a bit more distant but offers good value for the money."

"A18 and 19: (Edward Bernstone). They were very good seats as the bar was only slightly blocking our view. I was rather annoyed when a man came to the front of the Circle and told everyone to lean back. I just ignored him, because if I had leant back half the cast would have been beheaded by the bar."

"A21: (Chris Rouse). The balcony ledge only comes up to just under waist height, and there is a narrow bar which comes up slightly higher. I could see all the stage perfectly clearly without leaning forward at all (and I'm only average height - 5ft 8"). The bar only obstructed the view of the orchestra pit which was hardly a problem. In fact, I think it's far preferable to have a ledge/bar below the view of the stage, than be behind a row of people who could be more of an obstruction. ( Those shorter than Chris may still have a problem, though, feels the monkey).

"B16 and 17: The head of the man in front of me obscured my view slightly and my partner (who is 6'4") found that the legroom was not sufficient for him and he was a bit uncomfortable and had to keep shifting in his seat. It is a central position so good from that point of view and I would say it is probably one of the best places to get a good view of the chandelier going up and going down!"

“B27 and 28: We paid £40 + booking fee for Seats in the Grand Circle, and whilst I'd never usually choose seats this high-up, I'd read on good authority (i.e. here) that the Grand Circle isn't particularly high. Coupled with a very limited choice of seats, I went for these. We were generally happy with the seats - but they should be clearly identified as "Restricted," as my aisle seat (and much more so the seat next to me), often had a blocked view of the performance, especially when the action was Stage Right. It's typical that much of the show seemed to take place here - with very little on the alternative side of the stage - so, with that in mind I highly recommend sitting to the right hand side of the theatre if choosing. As per usual, Row B suffers from your view being spoilt if people in front lean over; I found myself envying the people sat in the central section in Row A as they paid the same price as me but are great seats. They've got it right in so much as the seats get less expensive as you move toward the wall, but the seats on the aisle and adjacent to that should also be reduced. Plenty of leg room for the aisle seats, as lots of room in front, but was also adequate when moving in."

“B29 and 30: It was a fairly restricted view - and was bought as a NON-Restricted for £20 (increased in price since, editor).. OK, I shouldn't complain.. but..! You can't see the left side of the stage without leaning over, and a very *kind* employee comes up at the beginning and informs us "please do not lean over during the performance as it distracts the view from people behind".. however, it's impossible to see a thing without leaning over. The final scene with the Phantom disappearing was useless, so everyone ignored it and just all leant over! Just thought this would help, so it was B29/30 then all the way out to the end. (The monkey felt that since these seats are 33% cheaper than those in the centre, to account for the loss of view, they were average value, you got what you paid for. The same goes for the rest of the seats in that row (all restricted view and priced accordingly). As a collection of all experiences, though, the monkey is proud to always put a reader's view, and hopes it will help everyone else to decide for themselves, based on more information than the box office staff can generally provide).”

"B36: priced at £21 (in 2011) due to its very restricted view. You can see the full body of the actors and set from the centre over to stage left wings. From centre to stage right wings, you slowly are able to see less and less... You will be able to see the top halves of the actors when they dwell in the stage right area unless they are very far upstage right or very downstage right.

However, this musical is one of the few shows that uses the stage space in a constantly varied way. It is never a consistent struggle to see the actors, since they are always moving around. The other great thing is that you are not distracted by backstage activity - very professionally/smoothly done with black masking and respectfulness to audience members. In this seat, you are sitting next to a spotlight operator, but the gentleman I sat beside was very respectful.

Additionally, I am a 6ft tall fellow, and felt very comfortable, since I was on the aisle. I'd recommend this seat, even for a first timer, as long as they are not a grump, and are a theatre fan who doesn't mind a really close view with a bit of a restriction."

"D 12,13,14,15 (Jamie Coniam). Very good seats, with a better view than the more expensive seats we had on another visit."

"D14, D15 and D16: (Sarah). Were fantastic. Great views and right in the middle of the seating so good overall view and sound. Booked these seats having reviewed them on this website beforehand and would like to add my recommendation as I was very happy."

D16 and 17: Having booked these seats relatively cheaply during Kids Week (summer promotion - editor) I was very happy to then read previous Theatre Monkey reviewers giving them the thumbs up . I would agree with the reviews, the seats are central and give a clear view of all areas of the stage. The legroom wasn’t too bad ( I am 5 feet 5) and the seats were a standard size. The acoustics in this theatre are good anyway but the sound from the stage was very clear. The only downside.........The people in the front row leaning over the balcony was a little bit annoying as they were quite tall which meant there was a ‘domino’ effect with the people in row B behind them leaning forward, then the people in row C leaning forward etc etc, but this didn’t detract too much as the majority of the action is in the middle of the stage which was clearly visible."

"D17 and 18: Right in the middle. The view was very good (except for the lady in front of me who had quite big hair) but apart from that, no complaints, plus you get a fantastic view of the Phantom up to no good in the rafters."

"E15 to 18: The view of the stage was excellent, as was the view of the top of the theatre, we had a great sight of The Phantom during his performance in 'The Gods'. The leg room was more than adequate, I am 6ft 2 and had no trouble at all. The only gripe is I had to move from side to side to see the centre of the stage, due to a tall gentleman sitting directly in front of me, but this must have applied to those sitting behind me due to my height."

"F21:  Excellent view of the stage. Took a while for my parents to acclimatise to the altitude but once the show started they were fine. Legroom is a bit tight in these seats but it didn't detract from my enjoyment. Also from the grand circle you get a great view of the chandelier rising ad when the Phantom is up above the arch. Grand circle may be better for these reasons than the rear of the stalls or dress circle where this action might be missed."

“F24 and F25: (B Groot). Seat F24 was good value and plenty of leg room as no seat in front. F25 had more restricted leg room. Both had good views except for the very bottom left corner of the stage - but as Christina's dressing room is on the right and most of the action takes place in the middle or to the right, very little is lost. Good view of the Phantom when he is high up."

"G16 and 17: I’m about 5’11 and found it hard to see over the heads of everyone else. Anything downstage was obscured by people. It’s possible I had a run of tall people in front of me, but it wasn’t especially easy to see a lot of things."

“H15 and 16: Good seats to view all the action."

“H17 and 18: (James F). Great seats in the upper circle. The only tiny problem with view the seats is that you can’t see the head when the Phantom enters (2 second obstruction), at the start of Act 2 and the chandelier blocks the phantom for a few seconds when he is at the top of the stage at the end of Act 1. Legroom is poor but manageable (I’m 6”1 and it was a small problem, but easy to forget about when watching the production)."

"H26 and 27: Legroom was just tolerable, but otherwise comfortable. The view of the stage is mainly good, however the corner of the stage (Down-Stage Right in the correct theatre terms) cannot be seen from these seats, and anywhere in this part of the circle, so everyone leans forward and that just makes it harder for you to see. In fact, I would say about a maximum of 10 minutes through the whole show is spent watching people lean. However, with the quality of the show the price is still value for money. Some of the key moments happen on Down-Stage Right, but fortunately the singing and lines are so clear you can visualise it for yourself."



BALCONY

Layout:
Above and behind the Upper Circle. The location makes it feel far from the stage and tucked away, but not high enough to induce vertigo.

The circle is divided into two centre and two side blocks by aisles.

Legroom:
P
oor, especially in row A.

Choosing Seats in General:
These seats used to offer a cheap way of seeing the show for those on the tightest budget. The view isn't good, but the bargain basement price reflects this strongly. Now they are VERY overpriced and should be avoided unless seeing the show is important enough to you, but be prepared to compromise on both view and sound quality - as well as a feeling that the tickets are at least £5 too expensive.

Centre Block:
Best seats are rows B and C 7 to 24. Then A 7 to 24 due to bars and legroom.

Side Blocks:
Side blocks A to C 2 to 6 and 25 to 29 and A 30 are adequate (row A problems also apply here); rows D to F feel isolated and far from the stage.

General Hazard Notes:
THESE TICKETS ARE OFTEN BOUGHT BY TOUTS / SCALPERS FOR RESALE. THEY ARE THEN PASSED OFF AS DRESS CIRCLE SEATS. DO NOT PURCHASE FOR MORE THAN FACE VALUE. THEY ARE NOT WORTH IT.

A spotlight positing behind row D 2 to 6 affects nobody much.

Changes for the current production:
The view of the top / sides of the stage are important for 'The Phantom Of The Opera'. In fairness to the producers they have priced any seat without a full view of the stage as less than top price.

Reader Comments:
"Balcony: (William Cooper). Another word of advice, steer clear of the balcony. Compared with similarly priced seats in other theatres the view from here is very distant and the rake appalling. On top of this, you could get better sound quality listening to the show from the bottom of a lake in a biscuit tin. I definitely recommend paying a bit extra for the Upper and Dress Circles. (This is backed up by another reader who complains about missing half the show from up there. The sound problem, though, was addressed in 2008 when a new system was installed - editor).

"Row A: (Teresa). I sat in the middle of the first row of the balcony recently (2008) and I saw everything! I can really recommend that seat. The first time I saw 'Phantom' I sat in the stalls with the roof over me and, even though the sound was great and I saw everything on the stage, I still like the balcony better because you see all the action that goes on over the stage and, the best of all - you get to see the chandelier falling :)"


 

Notes
Total 1209 seats.

Air-cooled auditorium. One reader in the Upper Circle suggests a light jacket as it was rather efficient!

Infrared headsets and dog sitters available. Some signed and audio interpreted performances. Three wheelchairs can park in stalls row S or users can transfer to any aisle seat. Access is through a fire door with level access to the seat. Adapted toilet near seat at fire exit. A theatre which tries. Specific information from www.seetickets.com or 0844 412 4648 or e-mail customer.relations@rutheatres.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.

Reader Jamie Coniam says:
"I must comment on the helpfulness of the theatre staff, as my grandmother uses a wheel chair, we were approached on entering the theatre by staff and taken round to a side door, shown the disabled toilets and taken to our seats before the crowds came in.

Our interval drinks order was taken and a selection of gifts from the kiosk was bought round to our seats of which nanny bought ............the lot!!

We all thoroughly enjoyed the show and when the crowds had dispersed the staff bought out our wheelchair and had a good old natter with nanny asking her what she thought of the performance. 

Customer service at its best!"


Food: Ice Cream and confectionery available.

Three Bars, Stalls, Dress Circle and Upper Circle.

10 toilets in all. Stalls 1 gents 3 cubicles, 3 ladies 8, 2, 2 cubicles; Dress Circle 2 ladies 3, 2 cubicles; Upper Circle 1 gents 2 cubicles, 1 ladies 4 cubicles; Balcony 1 gents 2 cubicles, 1 ladies 2 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:
Piccadilly Circus - Piccadilly (Dark Blue) and Bakerloo (Brown) lines.

The escalator from the platforms ends in a large circular underground area. 

After leaving the barriers, turn to your left, and follow the curve of the barriers around until you see an exit to your right with the sign "Subway 4" over it. Walk under this sign.

Keep walking through this tunnel and ignore the first staircase marked "Shaftesbury Avenue". Continue along the tunnel passing the "Trocadero" doors, and follow it as it curves past another set of doors. Follow the arrow on the sign ahead of you that says "Eros" (the tunnel continues to the right). 

In this new section of tunnel, take the stairs ahead and to your right up to the street.

You will emerge near the Criterion Theatre. Walk ahead of you. If you see two roads - Piccadilly and Regent Street - with a "Zavvi Record Store" shop between them..., wrong way. 

You will come to a busy road, Haymarket. Railings prevent you crossing it. A large statue of horses is to your right. Turn to your right and walk down Haymarket. 

Cross Jermyn Street, continue walking downhill. Pass the Pizza Hut, cross St James's Market and Norris Street and pass the UGC cinema Haymarket. Cross Charles II Street, and the theatre is there on your right.

 

Buses:
6,12,13,15,22B,38,53, 88,159 to Haymarket. Haymarket is a one way street. If you are travelling by bus from Trafalgar Square to Piccadilly Circus, leave the bus at the first stop in Lower Regent Street. Cross Lower Regent Street. Turn to your right, looking downhill towards the Crimea War Memorial column with the road either side of it. The first side street after the roads rejoin in front of the monument is Charles II Street. Walk along it. Her Majesty's Theatre is at the end on the right. If you come to a garden square instead, wrong way. Turn around, walk back to Regent Street, cross it, and walk down the other part of Charles II Street.

If travelling from Oxford Street or Shaftesbury Avenue you will be able to leave the bus on Haymarket itself. Do so at the second stop in the street.

 

Taxi:
A rank for Black taxis is at Charing Cross Station - a fair distance from the theatre. Best chance of hailing one is in the street outside.

 

Car Park:
Whitcomb Street. Leave the car park, turn left and walk uphill. The first street on your left is Panton Street. Turn down it and pass the multiscreen film complex. Keep going straight on. Pass the Harold Pinter (formerly Comedy) Theatre. At the end of the street is Haymarket, a busy road. Cross it and turn to your left. Walk downhill past McDonalds and UGC cinema Haymarket. Cross Charles II Street. The theatre is in front of you. If you pass the Pizza Hut, wrong way.

Spring Gardens / Trafalgar Square is also nearby, and for this car park the "Theatreland Parking Scheme" may be available. Call Q-Park car parks on 0870 442 0104 or see http://www.q-park.co.uk 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 http://www.q-park.co.uk.


 

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


 

 

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