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

OLD VIC THEATRE

THE MASTER BUILDER (play)
Ends 19th March 2016.
Captioned performance: 1st March 2016 at 7.30pm
Audio-Described performance: 10th March 2016 at 7.30pm (touch tour 6pm)


Hilda loves Halvard. An architect's life is changed by a woman more pleasing than any drawing board erection.

Henrik Ibsen is adapted by David Hare, with Ralph Fiennes starring.


 

Theatremonkey Opinion:

Not yet available.
 

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

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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
Wednesday and Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm



 

Ticket Prices:

Offers May be available - Click Here

View this information in diagram form

This theatre uses "Dynamic Pricing" meaning that some seat prices may increase depending on demand for a particular performance.

Stalls:
"Premium Seats" row A: £125
Rows B to V: £60 except:
"Premium Seats" rows H and P 14 to 25; J, K and R 14 to 23; L and M 15 to 26; N 17 to 26; Q 13 to 22: £90
"Restricted View" seats P 5, T 6 and 32: £50
"Restricted View" seats Q 3 and 34; V 12 and 27: £21
"Restricted View" seats U 5 and 32: £16
Rows W and X: £45 except
"Restricted View" seats W12; X 11, 12, 27, 28: £16

Dress Circle:
Rows A to D: £60 except
"Premium Seats" row A 12 to 25: £90
"Restricted View" seats row A 28; C 18, 19, 27; D 17, 29 to 32: £50
"Restricted View" seats row C 5, 6, 7, 29 to 32; D 25: £30
"Restricted View" seats row A 7, 29; B 7, 8, 9, 28, 29, 30: £21
"Restricted View" seats row C 11 and 26; D 9, 10, 18, 26: £16
Row E: £45 except
"Restricted View" seat E 34: £21
"Restricted View" seats E 10, 11, 18, 19, 27, 28: £16

Row X 15 to 22; Y 14 to 23; Z 16 to 21: £50
Row X 3 to 14 and 23 to 33; Y 1 to 13 and 14 to 36: £21

Upper Circle:
Rows A to E: £30 except
"Restricted View" seats A 3 to 11 and 31 to 33; B 2, 3, 34, 35, 36: £21
Rows F and G: £21

Rows X and P: £12

Standing: £7.50
 

"Day Seats": A limited number, located at box office discretion, are available. The box office opens at 10am. If you arrive earlier, go into their cafe, "Penny" and take a numbered voucher. When the box office opens, you will be called to the desk in voucher order. 2 tickets maximum can be purchased per voucher holder. Pay at the time, show ID, then return 30 minutes before the show with ID to collect tickets. Seats will be in the top price area, or may have restricted views, then "face value" upper circle and standing places. http://www.oldvictheatre.com/news/2016/01/day-seats-for-the-master-builder/. The monkey always advises taking both cards and cash in case one is preferred over the other. Check with the box office before travelling if this policy is still in operation.

 



For the first 5 performances, half the theatre will be sold at £10, at noon, 5 weeks before the date of performances beginning to those registered on the mailing list. Seat locations will be allocated all over the auditorium, with remaining seats at normal prices.

To register, see www.oldvictheatre.com/your-visit/pwc-10-previews/.
 


Some details may change, the monkey will update as required..





 

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.oldvictheatre.com the theatre's own website provide the service for this theatre.
This site allows you to choose your seats from those available.

Booking fees per transaction for online bookings:
£1.50 per booking, not per ticket, transaction fee is charged. Cheaper than by telephone.

 

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 £60 seats with a £10.20 booking fee per ticket (£5.10 on £30 seats Monday to Thursday / £15 on £60, £7.50 on £30 seats Friday and Saturday performances).  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. 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 www.seetickets.com / telephone 0870 830 0200 which offers £60 seats with a £6 booking fee per ticket. A £2.75 per booking (not per ticket) service charge also applies. (FREE call if using BT.com Calling Plan at your chosen times).

Another alternative is Ticketmaster.co.uk who offer £60 seats with a £6 booking fee per ticket (£5 on £50, £3 on £30, £2.10 on £21, £1.60 on £16, £1.20 on £12 seats), plus £3.05 per booking (not per ticket) handling charge. This system allows you to choose your own seats from the selection the company has available.

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

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


 

Box Office Information:
Tickets offered differ between outlets. Outlets also may offer different seats via their phone and online systems. Offers may be available click here.
Theatre Box Office:
Telephone: 0844 871 7628
Operated by the Old Vic Theatre group's appointed ticket agency, Ticketzone.

Booking fees per transaction for telephone bookings:
£2.50 per booking, not per ticket, transaction fee is charged. This is more expensive than booking online.

 

For personal callers or by post: Waterloo Road, London. SE1 8NB
No booking fee for personal callers.

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

www.oldvictheatre.com is the official theatre website. A very good auditorium photograph is available here. E-mail the theatre at: info@oldvictheatre.com 

 

 
 
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.

This theatre also uses "Dynamic Pricing" meaning that some seat prices may increase depending on demand for a particular performance. It can be pretty aggressive, with even cheap upper circle seats hitting top price for a hit. "Book Early" is the monkey advice.

 

Seating Plan Diagram

Stalls Dress Circle Upper Circle Notes
STALLS 

Layout:
The Dress Circle overhangs the stalls at row T. It doesn’t affect views of the stage... this theatre has pillars to do that instead.

The edges of the circle extend over the outermost two stalls seats down to row J. They remove a top corner of the stage for these seats from row P back.

A single block of seats face the stage.

Rows A to D are removable, with the stage extending into the space.

Pillars at the ends of row P and interspersing row U disrupt rows and views.

Rows A to H slope down from the stage rather than rise above it.

The rake (sloped floor to help see over rows in front) kicks in at around row J, is greater at L and gets really noticeable around row P.

The front row may be set with seats leaning back to help see up to the usually fairly high stage.

Legroom:
Acceptable in rows A to U for all but the tallest, less but still acceptable in rows V to X. The monkey found the end of row Q generous, someone 5ft 11 or so may be happy here.

The monkey noted that F 8 and 30 and G 6 and 31 had nothing in front, and M 35 was around 70% clear.

Restricted view seats have a bit more space, with T 5, 6, 32 and 33 having notably more, the box office feel.

Choosing Seats in General:
Sold cheap, the front row – be it A, B, C or D is always a bargain. Stage height varies by production, though, so those wishing to see feet (musical dance fans / fetishists) may wish to sit several more rows back.

The fact rows B to H slope backwards from the stage means that these may not be suitable for shorter people.

Rows J back to M arguably have the best views in the front stalls, considering the rake and height of the stage.

The monkey normally likes central row H back to K, though, for viewing comfort. It could even go further back too, with A in use, to rows J to N to avoid the dip...

Row N has an OK value end of row wheelchair space, with a slight ramp to help see over seats in front.

Rows P to V offer only fair value, being the same price but further from the stage.

The pillar to the right of seat P35 caused one person an issue as it clips the edge of the stage, obscuring action happening in the boxes...prior to that, there has never been a recorded complaint about the seat, apparently. On testing, the monkey couldn't see the issue either - the restored 2015 layout may have moved seats an inch or two, perhaps.

Pushing back to rows U and V, current pricing sees most of these rows at top price. Monkey advice is to skip U 6 to 11 and 26 to 31, and V 6 to 10 and 28 to 31, but take these over Dress Circle row A for comfort if long legged...

The central supporting pillars interfere with the view in rows V back, as well as some seats at the sides of the theatre.

The rest of the rear stalls, rows W and X are also distant from the stage - in a sort of alcove at the back - but the prices have been dropped to reflect this. Skip W 9 and 10 and X 7 to 9, and be aware that you still look through pillars, but otherwise value for money hovers at fair for second price. Comfort and personal choice in views - overhang and distance against long downwards look - should determines whether to sit here or pay the same for seats in row A of the Upper Circle instead, or E of the Dress Circle.

In the rear stalls pillars affect the view in row P seats 4, 5, and 35, row Q seat 3 and 34, row T 5, 6, 32 and 33, row U 5 and 32, row V 11, 27, row W 11, 12 and 27, and row X 10, 11, 12, 27 and 28.

In rows P to T, none of these seats usually offer any added value even at a low price, as annoyingly, producers have realised how good these seats are and re-priced them accordingly... T5 at top price is worth skipping in particular.

From Q 34 you get around a metre of stage, then a 50cm black pillar through your view, then the rest of the stage. Moving your head slightly to one side enables you to follow action behind the pillar, and there are two advantages over and above the low price: first, the seat is aligned to see between the two in front, with the pillar there too, so heads in the way isn't much of a problem. Second, there is nothing behind Q34 - so you won't get kicked... Q 3 is similar, the only hazard here being that a high wheelchair placed a few rows in front may present an issue, though unlikely.

The very low price of restricted view seats in row U back make them about average value in the monkey opinion, again based more on comparable comfort with other seats at the same price elsewhere in the theatre.

All these "restricted view" seats may be worth considering for the slightly superior legroom however, when compared to the same priced seats in the circles. Sit here for comfort, not views. The box office particularly likes row T restricted view seats for a little extra space!

It felt that V 12 and 27 may not be as good as the cheaper restricted seats behind. Simply, the pillars are quite thick and right in front of seats - being a bit further back has a slightly better view... and saves extra cash as well.

If in use, purists may wish to avoid V15 to 22 and W and X 15 and 22, with a sound desk nearby. Most won't notice, though.

General Hazard Notes:
Booking before a production opens means you may not be in the front row, as they add them at short notice.

Rows A to D don’t have a rake to speak of, and that negative slope behind them.

Sound in central seats around row J has been known to be less than perfect.

Pillars, as discussed above.

P34 has a pillar in its foot-space, so your legs have to go around and beside it.

Changes for the current production:
The front row is A, at premium price... your call, feels the monkey. Both A and B lean back to allow folk to see up to the high stage. Average value at top price, it thinks.

Most central seats from row H to Q (and they can add more at short notice too!) are at "premium" prices. Your call, says the monkey, who would sit in seats around them - less money, same view - and not pay premium prices for seats further back than row N. Around the "premium" seat thing, there are decent seats beside them. If paying premium prices and short legged, the front row of the dress circle may be an option.

 

Reader Comments:
“Row A (when in use): These seats are an amazing bargain at a discount, with absolutely no sightline problems. In fact they offer a significantly better view than any of the boxes, slips, side circles or even the rear stalls."

“E15 and 16: “Hedda Gabler,” (Chris B). I can't recommend these seats highly enough. They are central offering an amazing clear, up close view whilst bring far enough back to appreciate the whole stage. And there is as much legroom as you could wish for, which is a welcome treat. Top class seats.”

“G21: (November 2009). Fine seat, good view, but could be problematic if someone tall sits in front of you. I never knew that the Old Vic had such a deep stage - it almost stretches as far as Elephant and Castle."

"G23 and 24: for "Design For Living" (September 2010), (Clive – regular reader). Perfect view of the whole stage and very good legroom."

“G26 to 28: "A Flea in Her Ear" (December 2010), (Clive – regular reader). Comfortable seating with good legroom and a good view of all the stage."

"J4 and 5: "Noises Off" (December 2011), (Annie). Good seats, lovely view, reasonable leg room."

"J14: "The Duchess of Malfi" (March 2012). Have to say that the poor rake of the theatre meant I was craning all over the place (as was everyone in front of me) to try to see the many speeches being performed while kneeling or lying near the front of the stage in the final parts of the play. I'm not short and those in front of me were not tall, so there is no excuse but the rake. Normally I suspect J is quite a good row, especially for seeing the full stage and yet seeing faces etc, but tonight I wished I was somewhat further back where the rake seems a little steeper."

"J17 to 21: "Empire State of Mind" (2011). Perfect view of the whole stage and good legroom."

“J19 and 20: “Six Degrees of Separation” (January 2010), (James – regular reader). Good view from here, but without the first few rows in use, I would have preferred to sit a couple of rows further back."

“K21 and K22: "Speed The Plow," (March 2008)/ Excellent view again."

"L 4, 5, 6 and 7: "Six Degrees of Separation”. Seats should be red, possibly also equivalent seats at the other end of the row. The sound in these seats is variable: if the actors turn to the centre or to the other side of the stage they become inaudible. (Not something the monkey has noticed for other productions, but it strongly advises readers to bear it in mind).”

"M8 and 9: "The Real Thing" (March 2010), (James – regular reader). As always, a good rake and staggered seating ensures an excellent view, even if a little bit to the side."

"N26 and 27: "Cause Celebre" (March 2011). These were very good seats. I'd like to have been a couple of rows closer ideally, but then you're at more of a mercy if taller folk are in front of you; so row N limits the damage from such - but it's marginal."

"N30: "A Flea In Her Ear" (December 2010). Had a perfect view of the stage”

"Row Q: It looked as if (when used) Rows A, B and C were slightly raised, then dipped down from D to about H, then rose again. If you have someone in front of you either very tall, or trying to avoid someone very tall in front, constant head bobbing will spoil your own view".

"Q6: (James – regular reader). Fine view as (for the first time in my theatre-going life) had someone really short in front of me. As the seat off-setting is optimised for the middle of the rows, heads in front could be a problem for all side seats here."

"Row Q14 to 16: "Noises Off" (December 2011). Provided a pretty good view with the offsetting, and we were far enough back to take in the whole panorama without feeling too remote. For this production, where the cast run up and down and the action is rarely central but occupies the whole width and height of the stage, I wouldn't have wanted to be too close."

"Row R: We had problems seeing. The theatre is poorly raked and £45 priced seats is a lot to pay to look at someone's head!"

"S15 to 17: "Kiss Me Kate" (December 2012). Row S is a fair way back, but we had bought discounted GILT promotion tickets, so 'only' £35 each, and the rake was sufficient for a decent enough view at the price. But, most notably, I thought we had an amazing amount of legroom in these seats. Probably because the backs of the seats didn't extend down close to the floor, I was able stretch out my legs fully under the seat in front of me, and also cross my legs without resorting to contortionism - a rare treat."

"T16: "Six Degrees of Separation" (January 2010). Seemed quite distant, and at top price I would recommend going for something further forward. Was a steal at what I got it for though”.

"T26 and 27: "The Tempest" (July 2010). The rake this far back is good, the view was fine and I did not find it at all distant. The legroom in this particular row is excellent."

"T 30 and 31: “As You Like It” (July 2010), (Clive – regular reader). The legroom was good and the view also good, if slightly obstructed by a tall theatregoer in one of the seats directly in front. However as this was only one seat it was easy to adjust the view slightly to one side."

 

Stalls Boxes 

Layout:
Two large boxes either side of the stage at stalls level.

Legroom:
Good on movable chairs, and on the (uncomfortable) ledge.

Choosing Seats in General:
Normally, it is reported that boxes will not be sold. Should they be available it will only be to personal callers at the box office, where any drawbacks can be explained to them.

Value is poor at top price, not much better at second price, better if at bottom price. Choose the centre stalls – or any other central seat in the main auditorium - first.

General Hazard Notes:
The view from all boxes is angled.

At the very least, the rear quarter of the stage not visible.

Lighting / sound fixtures may further affect views.

Changes for the current production:
Not in use.

Reader Comments:
"Olivier Box: I was sold four tickets for "The Philadelphia Story" (summer 2005) in the Olivier Box. I was told it seated five so was pretty sure we wouldn't have anyone with us. We were sold seats 4 to 8. When we arrived we were surprised to find another couple with us in the box who had been shown to the only two seats with any decent view at all by the usher. I went to find her and it was all sorted out OK and they were moved to the front of the box with a very sideways view of the stage.

We then found that only one of us got any sort of decent view (seat 8). One of us had to sit on a very uncomfortable ledge behind and the friend in seat 7 had a very restricted view. My poor boyfriend couldn't see a thing as there was a pole in front of him - he ended up sitting behind the other couple and we wished we had kept quiet and taken the (supposedly worse) seats ourselves.
My point is that there is no way this should be sold as a box for six people. Four at the maximum. At a price of £40 per seat I would rather have had the discomfort of the rest of the theatre. I only took the box because it was a sell-out. When I rang the box office to complain I was told that they normally don't sell the boxes and only opened them up because it was a sell-out. However I wasn't told this on booking. Just warn your readers to steer clear of the box if they possibly can".

 


DRESS CIRCLE 

Layout:
The Upper Circle overhangs the Dress Circle at row C. Row E misses the top of the stage.

A central block, interspersed with pillars in row B, faces the stage.

Three rows of seats extend along the sides of the theatre between the circle and stage.

Legroom:
Fine in almost all seats for all but the tallest (over 6ft) in rows B, C and D; uncomfortable for those over 5ft 7 or so in rows A, E, S and X for everyone.

 

Choosing Seats in General:
Centre Block:
In the central block row B seats 12 to 25 offer the best view and comfort, followed by row A 9 to 27, and C 13 to 17 and 21 to 24. It is worth choosing prime stalls over the Dress Circle however for comfort, view and proximity to the stage.

Central block seats designated restricted view are row A 7, 8, 28, and 29; Row B 7 to 9 and 28 to 30; row C 5 to 8, 11, 19, 26 and 29 to 32; row D 4 to 8, 9, 10, 17, 18 and 25 to 32; row E 4 to 11, 18, 19 and 26 to 34.

Of these, row B seats are least affected - looking through a safety rail or three - and are worth considering if the Dress Circle is a must and you need more than one seat on a budget.

Restricted view row C 19 and 29 and E 4 and 26 seem slightly expensive, and the monkey gives them an "avoid" rating as a result – cheaper, the view would have made them a bargain.

D9 is average value at least, as unlike the others, you don't have to pay AND lean in this one. The other pillar restricted seats in C to D are also pretty good (as are those in E for the under 5ft 6 brigade) but do remember seats on the stage with similar issues are closer to the action for the same money.

Row E is expensive in unrestricted seats between 10 to 28. Cramped, and the back row at top price, it isn't a total "avoid," but it isn't great value. E 13 to 16 and 21 to 24 are pretty much the pick here. Consider rear stalls for comfort or front Upper Circle for closer view (with bar, though) at the same cost.

Side Blocks:
Rows X, Y and Z are designated restricted view due to a combination of pillars and a viewing angle that makes between a fifth and a half of the stage invisible.

Theatremonkey likes to mooch in Y seats 17 to 20.

Row Z 16 to 21 are the same price as Y, and are both second price and second choice as these are fair rather than bargain value alas. On the other hand, there's a pair of cheap seats right next to them in row Y - fair or just about, for view if not comfort.

The short legged will also find row X 15 to 22 good value after Y and Z. The view in these seats, and comfort is not great, but the value is good enough to justify the choice.
 

General Hazard Notes:
Supporting pillars affect the view from some seats in row C back.

Row E cannot see the top of the stage.

Double height bars at the ends of the aisles obstruct the view of the first three seats in each row of the centre block.



Changes for the current production:
A few seats in row A are now "premium." Good seats nearby, but may suit the wealthy in pocket and shorter in leg. If wealthy and tall, take stalls, though - just not the ones in front of the monkey, please...

Seats at the ends of rows B and C very fairly priced, it feels. A front dress circle view for the same price as an upper circle seat can't be bad.

Much of row E is at second price and fair value.

Reader Comments:
“Row B: (Julian Taylor). Plenty of leg room and an excellent view of the stage."

"B8 and B9: "Hedda Gabler" (September 2012). ‘Restricted view’ £21. We were really pleased with the seats, I was a bit worried as they are less than half the price of the £50 tickets next to us but despite the small bar we thought they were very good value for money and I would definitely sit here again. The seats feel really close to the stage and the central block of the theatre doesn’t have much of a curve so we weren’t to the side at all. The view of the front left part of the stage (about 10-15%) is partially obstructed by the small bar however not much of the play takes place here and occasionally we just had to move our head slightly to get a full view."

“C18 and 19: “Richard III,” (Chris B). The circle feels quite distant from the stage but does offer a very nice raised up overview of the whole performance. As with most of the seats at the Old Vic, there is legroom to spare. C18 is classed as restricted but in reality there is roughly a 5 inch wide pillar in front of your seat that is very easy to see around, especially if you can lean slightly over to the person next to you. And you get a discount on the ticket price.”

“C26 and 27: “Kiss me Kate,” (Chris B). The view is excellent from C26, clear and almost uninterrupted (a very small slice if the very right hand side of the stage is missed, although this doesn't detract from Kiss me Kate), if a little far from the stage to truly engage. And only marginally restricted from C27. There is a pillar in front of that seat, only about 6 inches in diameter that is quite easy to see around if you lean slightly. And the vastly cheaper price certainly sweetens the deal. There is plenty of legroom too, as with most of the seats at the Old Vic.”

"C30 and C31: (David Bone). As well as the pillars in the circle, at the front of the access aisles there are metal crash barriers, I guess put there as a safety measure to prevent the late comer who is running down the steps to get to his seat at the front of the circle from slipping and ending up in the stalls (!). Anyway, from our seats one of these crash barriers was right in front of us, breaking up our view of the stage. It wasn't a prohibitive problem but I wouldn't have accepted these seats at the price had I known."

"D9: "Noises Off" (December 2011), (Taljaard). At £15 it was a real bargain. About 2% of the right hand side of the stage was blocked but very little of the action takes place there so it was not a problem."

“D17: At second price. It is rather interesting place. The Pillar is in the view, but not in front of you (It would be if you sit in D18). To avoid it, you have to lean to your left little bit. If the play is not "action based" and the set is extremely simple I thought I got a good deal. Not sure though if there was some action to your right how you would feel. Anyway, to sum it up. Annoying rather than fatal. So, don't dismiss it, and give it a good thought. The legroom is good/very good. I am 5' 10""

"Row X: "Noises Off" (November 2011). Two seats were £35, the others £20 because they were apparently restricted view, though there was nothing to spoil anyone's enjoyment. My one complaint though is that my hearing is starting to deteriorate and a missed a lot of the dialogue - partly through the laughter and partly because the acoustics were not that great. If your hearing is poor, sit near the front or buy a hearing aid!!!"

"X19 and 20: "Sweet Bird of Youth" (August 2013): We moved to these after the interval because they were empty. These have a better view than the seats further along the side, as you don't need to lean forward to see the whole stage, although it's still slightly to the side. They're not a bad cheaper alternative to more central Dress Circle seats. The view is better than the ones at the back of the stalls in the same price band."

"X22 and 23: "Sweet Bird of Youth" (August 2013): Bought these as under 25 tickets so only paid £12, for which they were great value. *But* if you sit normally in your seat, about a third of the stage is obstructed by the barrier. There is a cushioned arm rest on the barrier, so you can lean and see the full stage, but it's obviously not ideal. *We moved up to X19-20 after the interval because they were empty*"

“Y1 to 3: the view from the seats is ok, but a little moving about was needed. I wouldn't suggest those seats (we actually had Y2/3) for a play etc as about half the stage is 'missing' but for cabaret happening centre stage, they are great value.”

"Y16: £20 plus £2.50 booking fees. I wanted to buy a better seat, but this was the best available. I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised with the seat. I am not sure how things might be for other plays with too many actors and/or bigger set, but for my one, the view is very clear. It is true that you sit little bit sideways, but not really a big deal. However, a word of caution. I think the lower you get, the worse will be, because the angle gets smaller. The worst will be those near the pillar. Legroom is O.K. (I am 5ft 10/11). Overall, taking the price into account, very good seat."

"Y28 and 29: "Hedda Gabler" (September 2012). These are amongst the strangest theatre seats we have ever experienced. They are akin to bar stools, sitting very tall (they have an inbuilt footrest!), meaning that if you are a shorter theatregoer (like my wife who is 5ft 1/2in tall), your feet cannot touch the ground - or indeed the footrest, meaning you have to support yourself on the back of the seat in front.

The seats also aim slightly away from the stage! This, combined with the horseshoe shape of the theatre, means you lose sight of perhaps half the stage unless you lean well forward onto the (cushioned) rail in front of you. But to do this you would need the agreement of other sufferers in that section.

For the second half, we transferred to the row in front as it was empty and the view improved considerably. But you still lost sight of about a quarter of the stage.

These seats are only to be considered if subject to a substantial discount (like the £10 per seat offer we found), but even then the dire viewing angle has to be strongly considered before purchasing."

 

Dress Circle Boxes

Layout:
Two large boxes either side of the stage.

Normally, it is reported that boxes will not be sold. Should they be available it will only be to personal callers at the box office, where any drawbacks can be explained to them.

Legroom:
Good on movable chairs.

Choosing Seats in General:
Normally, it is reported that boxes will not be sold. Should they be available it will only be to personal callers at the box office, where any drawbacks can be explained to them.

Choose seats 4 to 7 in all boxes for the best of the poor angled views of the stage.

Value is poor at top price - avoid totally; much better at a heavy discount (bottom price). Choose the centre stalls – or any other central seat in the main auditorium - first.

General Hazard Notes:
The view from all boxes is angled.

At the very least, the rear quarter of the stage not visible.

Lighting / sound fixtures may further affect views.

Changes for the current production:
Not in use.

Reader Comments:
None.

 


UPPER CIRCLE
Called the LILIAN BAYLIS CIRCLE in this theatre. Named in honour of the dynamic Old Vic manager. This lady believed in bringing quality theatre to the masses at affordable prices; Theatremonkey salutes her.

Layout:
This circle is high above the ground.

Like the Dress Circle a central block faces the stage.

Two rows of seats extend along the sides of the theatre between the circle and stage. These are concrete steps converted to benches by padding, and without anything except a rail to lean on in row X.

Standing places are allocated behind the side block rows.

Legroom:
Stretching it to reach "adequate" in all seats for those over 5ft 6, worst in rows A, G and X.

Go 10 or more seats in from the aisle for maximum legroom - around an extra two inches, in all rows A to F.

Row X has least legroom. Row P is higher off the ground, so those under 5ft 6 may find feet dangling, and the taller may feel able to half stand. It is possible to turn sideways facing the stage in Y 1 and 36, creating extra legroom. Also in Y18 and 19 - except you'd be facing the wrong way...
 

Choosing Seats in General:
Centre Block:
Row A seats 12 to 30 are normally sold at third price. If the bar, legroom and height don't bother you, they are worth thinking about as the alternatives to identically prices restricted view Dress Circle seats.

Row A seats 3 and 33 are a fair restricted view choice only if legroom is not an issue; otherwise: avoid.

Behind that, Row B seats 10 to 28 offer the best view here, followed by row C 10 to 28. At third price though, consider paying a little more for the rear stalls first if legroom is a priority. The monkey picks the stalls on this one.

Rows F and G feel a long way from the stage in the monkey opinion.

Side Blocks:
Row X is the front row, P the central and S the standing positions behind P.

All seats are designated restricted view with between a fifth and half of the stage not visible - and the bars don't help.

Seats 15 to 23 in all rows are a bargain bin choice - choose row P - or S for a tiny bit more comfort if you don't mind standing.

Those on tight budgets should look at side blocks if the purse is not stretching further. Rails and tight viewing angles make the last few seats in every row distinctly average value.

General Hazard Notes:
A bar runs across the front of the circle, affecting the view slightly in rows A and X.

A double height bar is found at all aisle ends. Pedants might want to avoid the aisle seat (and two next to them) here.

Less comfortable, narrower, seating is used in the centre block of this circle than elsewhere in the auditorium.

Spotlight equipment can replace G 21 to 23. Purists might like to avoid G 20 and 24 and F 20 to 24. Most won't notice, though.

Side seats are "bench style" without backs - arrive early to stake out your portion!
 

General Hazard Notes:
A bar runs across the front of the circle, affecting the view slightly in rows A and X.

A double height bar is found at all aisle ends. Pedants might want to avoid the aisle seat (and two next to them) here.

Less comfortable, narrower, seating is used in the centre block of this circle than elsewhere in the auditorium.

Spotlight equipment can replace G 21 to 23. Purists might like to avoid G 20 and 24 and F 20 to 24. Most won't notice, though.

Side seats are "bench style" - arrive early to stake out your portion!

Changes for the current production:
None.

 

Reader Comments:
“A16 and 17: "The Crucible" (August 2014 - "In The Round" layout, though seat location did not change). Do not consider these seats if you are over 5 feet six. The leg room is non existent. These seats are directly facing the stage, with the safety rail in front. This wasn't an issue for us as we could watch the action underneath the rail but it might be for someone taller. Also the seats were just too high and too far from the stage."

"B14 to 17: Perfect seats.”

"B19: 'Cause Celebre' (April 2011). Right in the middle, I was quite happy with the seat. Leg room was adequate, and the seat comfortable. You get an excellent view of the stage --- of course, one is a bit far away from the stage, but I didn't feel that distracted from my enjoyment in any way. I would choose that seat again. I certainly don't think the front row of the upper circle is worth the extra £10 GBP charged! In short, Theatremonkey's coding of B19 as a green seat was spot on."

"C33: "Electra" (October 2014 - "in The Round" layout, though seat location did not change). Glad I chose this seat rather than the rear stalls one offered by the box office at the same price - there was a great big tree 'planted' right where my eyeline would've been! I'm not a fan of the Old Vic in the round and in this case I found that those in front row slips who chose to lean forward over the rail blocked even more of your view of the right hand side of what's now 'the stage'. But for the more centrally placed action and that on the left, this seat was fine. There's also a bit of space to your right to dump your bags if you need to - useful where the legroom is a bit tight!"
 

 

Notes
Total 1067 seats.

Air-conditioned Auditorium.

Guide dogs can be dogsat by staff. Wheelchair users have access via a portable ramp over a step at a firedoor, to a decent seat in the stalls. Access to an adapted toilet through the corridor leading into the stalls boxes. More information from the theatre box office on 0844 871 7628 / 18001 0844 871 7628 (textphone) / 18002 0844 871 7628 (hearing person). Operated by the Old Vic Theatre group's own phoneroom from 9am until 7.30pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm Saturday and 9.30am to 4pm Sunday.

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.

Three bars; Stalls, Dress Circle and Upper Circle.

4 toilets; Stalls 1 gents 2 cubicles, 1 ladies 5 cubicles, 1 unisex disabled; Upper Circle 1 gents 2 cubicles, 1 ladies 7 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:
Waterloo - Bakerloo Line (brown), Jubilee Line (silver gray), Northern Line (black). Also a main line station.

This station has multiple exits, not clearly marked, so be careful! The best route is as follows:

From the platforms, follow signs for the "Waterloo Road" exit.

On leaving the glass doors, turn right. You can see the corner of the theatre - it is on the opposite corner of the next crossroads you come to. Just cross the road and walk to your right.

______________

WHEN IT RE-OPENS IN 2018 (!). If, in error, you left by the "South Bank" and / or "Shell Exit" and / or "York Road Exit" from the platform to the surface, you will be on York Road.

Cross the road and turn to your left. Walk to the corner and take the next turning, a grotty street called Morpeth Road. Walk up it. At the very end, turn right. Walk on and you will come to the station exit you wish you had taken!

You will now be able to see the corner of the theatre - ahead and on the opposite corner to the left of the next crossroads you come to. Just cross the road and walk straight on to reach it.


For mobility impaired audience members,
the Society of London Theatre provide a "photo map" - illustrated walking route to this venue from a near landmark and also Waterloo Station (the nearest fully accessible station) on their website www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk, via the theatre's listing page on that site.

 

Buses:
1, 4, 68, 176, 188, 501 all stop nearby.

 

Car Park:
Parking on street after 6 pm, or hike from Coin Street. From this car park turn left. If you come to the back of the National Theatre and London Television Studios, wrong way.

Change side of the road and at the corner, turn right. Change side of the road. Keep walking until you come to a large roundabout with a circular building in the centre of it. Follow the pavement around and take the first turning on your left, Waterloo Road.

Walk straight down it, crossing a traffic access road in front of St John's Church, then crossing Exton Street, Alaska Street and Sandell Street. 

The theatre is on the opposite corner of the next crossroads you come to. If instead you come to the front of Waterloo Station, wrong way.

 

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

 

 

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