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

PHOENIX THEATRE

 

 


BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM (musical)

Jess has all the skills she needs to make it to the top in women's football... trouble is, her conventional Indian family have high academic and social expectations of her...

The hit film is adapted by Paul Mayeda Berges and Gurinder Chadha, with a new score by Howard Goodall and Charles Hart.



 

Theatremonkey Opinion:
(Seen at the preview performance on 2nd June 2015)
This is a gutsy, loveable and heartwarming little show. Every bit as likeable as the original film, with a little added Sikh spice for flavour.
It’s well worth Googling the religion – particularly marriage and wedding customs – beforehand, in order to get the most out of it; a real crash-course in the faith, the more you know, the more you’ll gain.

For you will want to know the Bhamras as well as you can. Mr Bhamra (Tony Jayawardena) is straight out of “Fiddler On The Roof.” Troublesome daughters, a wife firmly in charge – and a wicked sense of humour (his appearance at an engagement celebration with future son in-law Teetu’s Dad [Irvine Iqbal] is almost worth a ticket on its own). Every situation the family have faced and are facing are ones any family of any faith, and any immigrant of any nationality, will relate to, and that is the central strength of the story.

Their football mad wayward daughter Jess (Natalie Dew) is a star turn, her struggle real and her voice sweet. Beautiful (in all senses) elder sister Pinky (Preeya Kalidas) also notches up another fine performance, with her own hilarious star turn too.

As friend Jules, Lauren Samuels gets a neat running joke with her mother Paula (Sophie-Louise Dann), who in turn has a fine solo in act two. Coach Joe, (Jamie Campbell Bower) also deserves a nod for making the most of a tiny yet pivotal role.

The set is a terrific blend of stadium and high street, the girls’ bedrooms coming into view like TV “live action replay” insert boxes, and the Bhamra home is also niftily done.

This is, though, a musical, and it’s a mixture of Western and Eastern in both song and dance. As suggested by the fact the song list when the monkey attended was a paper insert rather than programme page, its obvious the material is still being shaped.

Some over-long dance sequences – and one less than well thought out (did nobody think to simply mirror traditional Sikh wedding dance moves with football player motion in a ballet style?) needed work... and there’s a fair amount of repetition of some not very memorable music.

“Girl Perfect” is the anthem, slightly lost, and “Just A Game / Fly” the dream sequence close to act 1 doesn’t gel. A song called “Bend It” also gets a prize for ill-considered ‘double entendre;’ but all is forgiven on two counts. “Look At Us Now” is a fabulous hymn to immigration, and the use of traditional Sikh wedding music is perfect.

Packed with small surprises (Victoria, who knew!) and neat lines, if the show doesn’t have quite the pace it needs at times, nor the inspiration to lift it out of the realms of the “not quite a must-see classic,” it’s a trier and certainly worth a visit before many other mediocrities in the West End. Deserves 3 points and extra time, the monkey feels.

 

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

(4 reviews)

Saw Bend it Like Beckham last night (21st May 2015), what a cracking show! I was sat in row B dress circle seat 26, picked it up for £15 about 2 hours before the show. No restrictions for this show but agree at top price you may want to be a bit more central.

Would highly recommend dress circle for this show, purely for the choreography. I don't think you would get the full impact from the stalls. The cast is massive (32) and all onstage together during the big numbers. Also there is a very high platform which I'm almost certain would be obscured from the back of the stalls.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Wednesday 27th May 2015, 7.30pm show (previews). Very busy day seat queue, arrived at 9:20am and there were already 15 people in front; when we went in at 10am there were many many others behind me as well. When I got to the box office, all the day seats had gone. I said, could you do any other seats at a day seat rate, I got two seats three quarters back in the stalls, centre, on the centre aisle. A good view and I didn't miss anything on the stage, but obviously the very top was cut off. Usually in the Band A price, now £15 each.

In fairness, I had gone with my partner because we were hoping it would be absolutely dreadful. Well it did deliver more than we had hoped. Clunky, dated and patronising dialogue, extremely weak, forgettable and disposable music and truly dreadful lyrics. The lyrics for the backing singers in "Girl Perfect" were possibly a highlight, things like singing "don't make a mistake" etc in unison. Also the song "Everybody Bends" was just dreary, an ugly and unnecessary extended metaphor.

The choreography was basic and panto, as was the cartoon flat-pack set design. It's not in the same league as 'Beyond Bollywood,' which is truly the worst thing I've ever seen and sent me into paroxysms of hysterics, but it is getting there.

I should add that the auditorium seemed sold out, and it received rapturous response all the way through, including an immediate standing ovation at the end. The ticket sales seem to be doing really well, and that's why bizarrely I think it may actually last till Christmas.
____________________________________________________________________________

Leave your brain at the box office and you will have a pleasant afternoon.

Needs to lose 20 minutes of dialogue but the songs are good, Howard Goodall's music is great but Charles Hart's lyrics don't always hit the mark. A few too many lesbian gags became a bit boring.

The fusion of Indian and European music works well and the voices were fantastic. Good set with a couple of magical moments.

All in all its 3 stars from me, well worth a visit.
 

Taaljard.
___________________________________________________________________________

B22 to 24 Upper Circle: These seats gave a really good view actually, particularly as they had seated nobody in Row A so until the interval we had an unrestricted view and there is key staging that takes place high up (the girls' bedrooms) plus the orchestra plays up high and there is narrow stage in front of them directly opposite the Upper Circle where some stuff goes on. Even when two girls came and sat in Row A after the interval, the rake is good enough you can still see all the action. And the choreography is so inventive you probably get a better view higher up. All in all, brilliant value for £19.50.




 

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

Runs 2 hours 40 minutes approximately.
 

Ticket Prices:

Offers May be available - Click Here

View this information in diagram form

Stalls
Rows B to P, plus Q 5 to 24: £69.50 except
"Premium Seats" rows G to L 11 to 18 (J 10 to 17): £90
"Package Gift Seats" row F 9 to 18: £105 or £135 depending on package chosen
"Restricted View" seats C to F 1 and 2; C 23, 24; D 25, 26; E and F 27, 28: £49.50
Rows R and S, plus Q 1 to 4 and 25 to 28: £49.50

Dress Circle
Rows A to F, plus rows G to J 3 to 26: £69.50 except
"Premium Seats" rows B to D 11 to 18: £90
Rows G to J 1, 2, 27 and 28, plus row K: £49.50

Upper Circle
Rows A to G: £39.50 except
Row A 1 to 3 and 28 to 30 and B to F 1, 2, 27 and 28: £19.50
Row G 1, 2, 27 and 28, plus rows H and J: £15

Boxes
£69.50 per seat if sold.


 

"Day Seats": A limited number, as few as 14 in stalls row A, may be available to personal callers at the box office from 10am on the day of performance at all performances, priced £15 each. These may be limited to one or two tickets per person. 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.



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

 

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

Buying Tickets Online:

Other Box Office Information

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

Booking fees per transaction for online bookings:
A £3 per booking, not per ticket, transaction fee applies.
 

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

When the box office doesn't have anything you like available, the Theatremonkey Ticketshop agency offers £69.50 seats with an £11.90 ( £15.30 on £90, £8.50 on £49.50, £6.80 on £39.50, £3.40 on £19.50, £2.60 on £15 seats) booking fee per ticket  - moderate by agency standards, high by box office ones, 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 £69.50 seats with a £6.95 (£3.95 on £39.50 seats) booking fee per ticket, and £2.75 per booking (not per ticket) postal charge. (FREE call if using BT.com Calling Plan at your chosen times).

Ticketmaster offer offers £69.50 seats with a £5.25 (£6.75 on £90, £3.75 on £49.50, £3 on £39.50 seats) booking fee per ticket; plus a £3 per transaction (not per ticket) booking fee, the same as by telephone. This system allows you to choose your own seats at most performances.

Encore Tickets offers £69.50 seats with a £19.50 (£25 on £90, £13.50 on £49.50, £11.50 on £39.50 seats) booking fee per ticket. A postage charge of 95p 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 offers £69.50 seats with a £7.50 (£5.50 on £49.50, £4.50 on £39.50, £2.50 on £19.50, £2 on £15 seats) booking fee per ticket. 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.

Londontheatredirect.com offers £69.50 seats with a £13 booking fee per ticket. 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.

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: 0843 316 1082
Operated by the Ambassador Theatre group's own phoneroom from 9am until 10pm (Sundays 10am until 8pm). Outside these hours the Ticketmaster agency answer calls on their behalf.

Booking fees per transaction for telephone bookings:
A £3 per booking, not per ticket, transaction fee applies.

For personal callers or by post: Charing Cross Road, London. WC2H 0JP
No booking fee for personal callers.

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

 

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

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

 

 

Seating Plan Diagram

Stalls Dress Circle Upper Circle Notes
STALLS 

Layout:
The Dress Circle overhangs the stalls at row K. The view of the top of the stage is slightly restricted from row P back.

The stalls are divided into two by a central aisle.

There is a reasonable rake (sloped floor to help see over rows in front) throughout the stalls from row C, noticeable from row E and really helping the back rows from L in particular.

All seats have a decent "offset" to see in front of those in front EXCEPT R1 to 8 and S 1 to 6. Here the seats are only very slightly - about 5% of the width - offset, making it hard to see around those in front.

Row S13 is set slightly behind the main entrance door, rather a nice private feel, the monkey felt.

Entrance doors are at the back of the stalls, beside all end seats in row S.

Legroom:
Fine
in all seats for all but the tallest over 5ft 10 or so except row AA.

Row AA has a little less legroom, particularly seats 6 and 15. Those under 5ft 8 or so will be fine here, but 6ft persons might like seats with nothing in front.

Row A seats 4 and 17, B 3 and 20 and C 1, 2 and 24 have nothing in front.

Row B19 has about 40% of the seat with nothing in front - stretching space for one leg on the aisle side of the seat.

Row A 5 and 16, B4 and C 3 have about 20% of the seat with nothing in front - stretching space for one leg on the aisle side of the seat.

C 23 has about 10% of the seat with nothing in front - stretching space for one leg on the aisle side of the seat.

D1 and E1 have about 5% of the seat with nothing in front - stretching space for one leg on the aisle side of the seat.

Choosing Seats in General:
The first and last four seats in rows C to K should be avoided as they are closest to the side wall of the theatre and offer an inferior viewing angle and value for money compared with other seats at the same price.

All other seats in the stalls offer at least fair value for money, and a good rake ensures clear sightlines from seats at the rear of the theatre.

Theatremonkey chooses centre aisle seats in rows E to H first in the front stalls at top price.

Legroom fans may find row A seats 4 and 17, B 3 and 20 and C 1, 2 and 24 to their taste for having have nothing in front.

It nominates "high numbers side" rows Q to S as offering good value at lower prices in the rear stalls. One reader did note that seats on the "low numbers" side were not as offset (so you can see between seats in front) as they could be. Take the high side numbers first... or hope for short folk ahead...

General Hazard Notes:
The first two seats on the highest number sides of rows A and B may have stage light fixtures in the way.

A sound desk can be installed in the rear stalls.

Changes for the current production:
The front row is A, sold very cheaply as "day seats." Very high stage, but at the price you can't go wrong, feels the monkey. Legroom there is most towards the ends of rows, but should be acceptable to those under 5ft 10 or so.

Rows B and C also look sharply up. Not that neck-aching, but the shortest may wish to go further back.

A centre aisle staircase prevents access from the centre aisle to seats A 10 and 11. Only the slender will be able to squeeze past the stairs into B 11 and 12 too.

The outermost two seats in rows C to F are sold at second price, with a slight restricted view. Better than being further back, feels the monkey. Take F then E, then C (nothing in front) then D. You only miss a sliver of side stage.

"Premium" seats are the four seats either side of the centre aisle in rows G to L, plus some "gift package" seats in front, in row F. If wealthy, take H or J over F - just a bit better raised above rows in front. For the less well-off, it leaves some great seats beside them, plus central ones in rows E - or M, if you like being that far back.

Prices drop at row R (with a few on the ends of row Q as well). The monkey would go "high numbers" side row R and S first, then "high numbers" row Q. Take the "low numbers" side seats last - row Q first. They are not off-set as well on that side.

A sound desk beside R8 and S6 shouldn't bother anyone except purists as there is a decent gap between them and the desk wall. On the other hand, the lack of off-set seating is an issue as always.

Reader Comments:
"Stalls: "Once" (February 2013). I have sat in front Dress Circle, and concluded then that I really want to see this show from the front of the stalls (my second visit was courtesy one of the group booking agencies in mid stalls so could hardly complain. but it confirmed my view about sitting down front). This is not a place I normally want to be but this show has such an intimate feel with simple staging, musicians on stage etc. I want to feel I’m sitting in the shop/bar with the actors."

"AA6: "Once" (March 2013). There are great day seats (£19.50), EXCEPT AA6, typically the seat I was in! There is a small floor heater on the stage right in front of this seat, whilst I don't feel I missed anything it was very annoying to have black square in the centre of your vision. I'm 5'11 and some bits I missed but anyone shorter will miss out a lot more. Even more annoying is the fact it doesn't even get used as a prop, I don't know what the point of it is! It does get taken off the stage for act 2 anyway."

"AA 9 and 10: "Once" (March 2013). The view was perfect. The stage is not very high so you can see absolutely everything and there's a decent amount of leg room. SPOILER ALERT But don't stretch your legs too much at the very beginning as the leading actress walks through the central aisle and then turns to the right just in front of you in order to reach the stairs which lead to the stage."

"AA 15: "Once" (March 2013). I am a big guy, 6.3" and many seats are usually pretty crappy for me, but this time around I was fairly lucky. Got day seats for £25 for the Saturday Evening performance. The stage is high and was a little under eye-level but that was fine. View was great, sound was pretty good, you could make out the singers' voices individually since they sung in your face. The legroom is a bit tight and it was a bit uncomfortable after a while. For the price and view I would always go back to these though, especially since one can grab a drink on stage fairly quick in the interval."

“Row A: “Blood Brothers” (October 2004), (Emma). Far, far too close to the stage for comfort - your knees are touching it, we had to move otherwise it would have been unbearable. I think you should consider making all Row A seats at the Phoenix Theatre bad value for money and colour them a nice shade of red."

“C2: I found excellent as row B only starts at "3" (not any longer - editor) so I could stretch my legs out (although the seat was a bit lumpy and I as usual had to cheek shuffle!). OK, the view would have been detrimental if there had been much going on stage right, but only an odd part was there so I could see almost everything. There were a couple of close PA speakers but they were not excessive."

"Row D: "Once" (March 2013). I recall the monkey admonished me to sit close - so we sat on the aisle (where I usually try to land). It was great. Thanks."

"D2, 3 and 4: "Once" (March 2013). These three seats incur a significant discount when compared to other seats in the same area (D1 I believe also discounts substantially). When booking, there is a specific warning that D2 is “side facing”. D2 loses a section of the stage. For ‘Once’ this meant the drum kit could not be seen (which does slightly spoil one scene), but does just allow a wide enough view to see [SPOILER ALERT] ‘ex-girlfriend’ talk on the tape of the recording of ‘boy’s’ music. The drum kit can be seen from D3 by leaning slightly to the side. D4 would appear to have an unencumbered view, making it a real bargain. All three of these seats are worth every penny and any slight loss of view. You are so close to the stage you can pick up on every expression."

"D6: "Once" (March 2013). It cost £21.50 (plus £2.50 booking fee) discounted, and was a great seat."

"D26: "Once" (March 2013). For the price it is a fantastic bargain! Only for the first couple of scenes does it feel like the performers have their backs to you a little more but after about 10 minutes it was fine. I would take this higher numbers over the lower ones as there is a heater onstage for act one that is in view. (it was moved in the interval, not sure why it was there). For £20 the view was barely restricted and I would certainly recommend to people if they want a good seat at a good price."

“Rows E, F and G: (Alison – group visit). Sight lines lost of scenery if sitting at outside extremities of rows, but not the action as most is centre stage or areas which can be viewed by all. I found the leg room ample as I am only 5' 3" - some of the 6' + complained of being cramped but they did not view this as a big problem as they were so absorbed in the show!"

“E 5 to 11: (Lizzie Loves the Theatre). Bought on monkey recommendation and were excellent. Probably couldn’t have been better. The Monkey comes up trumps again!"

"E13 and E14: "Once" (October 2013). By the centre aisle, pretty much based on your advice "Theatremonkey chooses centre aisle seats in rows E to H first", paid £69.50 through ATG. Excellent seats, great view of the stage, could hear and see everything perfectly. Legroom fine. Would recommend these seats without reservation."

"E19 and 20: "Once" (October 2013), (Katherine). We had a perfect view of the stage and the actors."

"F17: "Once" (October 2014) (Iris). Perfect view, Thee seats from the aisle, not too close or too far from the stage. The ticket was only £40 (£37.50 + £2.5 fee) for this fantastic seat. I must have got the matinee discount, usually seats like that would be sold for £65+ (!)."

"E27 and E28: We paid £28 each for these seats through lastminute.com on a '50% offer for best available seats' and so didn't know which seats we'd end up with. I'm 6ft tall and felt legroom was just about tolerable in E27 while my friend had the aisle to stretch out in on E28. I can see why these seats are marked as red because you're not able to see scenery on the left side of the stage though you still see all the actors. I don't think these should be marked as top price, but we loved Blood Brothers (my fourth time watching, my friends first) so didn't mind too much for what we paid."

“Row F: (Fiona). An outstanding view! Could even see Amy's tears!)."

"F11: Got for £20 for on the day student ticket from the box office. Was a fantastic view, no complaints."

“F19: “Blood Brothers”, (James). A fantastic seat. You certainly don’t feel you’re craning your neck event though you are very close. Personally, I prefer to sit in the 15+ numbers for this show. You definitely feel more involved in the Stalls here, although I’ve seen the show from Dress Circle central Row D and the view was also good… perhaps if you prefer to see more of the stage rather than be closer to the action then the Dress Circle might be preferable."

“G7: (Mark) Amazing.”

"G17: (Ian). (Which I got for just £20 from the box office about an hour before curtain-up in January 2010): Excellent seat, just the right distance from the stage and height relative to the stage. For the second half I moved a few rows further forward so I had some space on either side for my lengthy legs, but that proved to be a mistake as the amplified parts were a bit too loud that little bit nearer the speakers."

"G23 and 24: "Once: A New Musical" (May 2013), Tony. Gave a good view and decent leg room. However, I wouldn't want to be any further towards the end of the row as it might impede the view of anything happening extreme stage right."

"H17 and 18: I wasn't sure that I was going to be particularly comfortable sitting so far back from the stage, as I'm used to sitting in the first few rows so I get a close view of all the action, but with these particular seats I felt that we were just a stone's throw from the action and we could see everything up close (and personal :)). The legroom was actually pretty generous and the seats were comfortable enough (although as with every show I see I did get a slightly numb derriere towards the end!"

“J14: Legroom was very good and could have accommodated someone quite a bit taller than me (I’m 5’ 6”). Sightlines were fine provided I leant out a bit – the very tall and broad individual in front of me had quite a blocking effect on the centre of the stage, but as the action takes place all over the stage it really didn’t matter much."

“L3 and 4: “Blood Brothers” (September 2012), (Chris B). These seats feel close enough to the stage to feel part of this very intense musical. Although they are quite far to the right, didn't feel any of the set was missed and as there is quite a good rake, you get a clear view over the heads in front. There is plenty of legroom too and the seats feel more comfortable than some others. An added bonus is that there is a central aisle so the times you need to stand up to let those pesky late comers through is halved.”

"L15: (Diego). Had a fantastic view."

"L 17 and 18: "Once" (March 2013), (Matt & Sam). We had a great view of the stage. There is a slight overhang from the dress circle but it doesn't impede the view so these seats are really good."

“M3 and 4: We could see everything, but would say that if you were any smaller you might have struggled. Legroom was at a premium though and would be uncomfortable for anyone taller."

"M20: I could see very well (the joys of being 6ft 2) but some of my more averagely heighted friends struggled to see over peoples' heads when tall people were in front of them. The way in which the stalls rake makes it harder to see the stage as you go back."

“Row N: The view was great, however my mum had a bad view as a very large and tall lady sat in front of her."

"N15,16, 17: (Brianj). Pricey, and the view was not the best."

"O15 to18: (Regular contributor). We paid £25 each for our tickets through an agency. I had a tall person sat directly in front of me and so had to keep moving from side to side to properly see the stage (I myself am 6' tall). Legroom was OK for me in O16. My friend in O15 had the luxury of the aisle being next to him so he could stretch his leg out, and could also lean towards the aisle to see around the tall person sat in front of him. Our other two friends in O17 and O18 had no one sat directly in front of them and reported a perfect view of the entire stage and great legroom (both are 5' tall)."

"O19 and O20: "Once" (March 2103). We got these seats based on Monkey's suggestions, and the tickets available online the night before the matinee show. I can see why the back rows are good value since you can still get a very good view of the stage. Our seats were great. I had a rather large man in front of me, so needed to lean most of the show, but luckily the seat next to me was empty. There were quite a few seats free actually, so we moved over to O23 and O24 I think. Also great views. For £39.50 each, I think they are good value."

"P26: "Bend It Like Beckham" (June 2015). OK view, though not the greatest rake, so some bobbing about needed. Leg room good."

"R19, 20 and 21: (Paul). Got to say that even though this is almost the back row these seats were absolutely fine, clear view of the stage and we could clearly see the actors faces and expressions and hear all the music and talking. Having said that I am not sure I would have been amused if I had paid full price for them. "

"S 1 and 2: "Midnight Tango" (February 2013). Could see clearly and legroom generous but top of stage seriously cut-off (didn't really matter for much of this particular show which was great). However, wouldn't book these seats again since usual seat off-set was out of sync and as such our view was blocked by heads in front. Row R seemed to suffer from exactly the same problem to us but Row Q forwards was OK. Would have consequently been very unhappy if we'd paid full price!"


 


DRESS CIRCLE 

Layout:
The Upper Circle overhangs the Dress Circle at row A. The view of the top of the stage is slightly restricted from row G back.

The Dress Circle is split into two blocks by the centre aisle.

Seats are well "staggered" to see between the seats in front. The circle has a fairly gentle rake - the height between rows isn't as steep as in some other venues. The combination means that it may be an issue seeing around the largest person in front, but at least you won't get vertigo.

Legroom:
C
ramped in all seats for anyone over around 5ft 6 or so in rows B and C, and very poor in row A. From row E back things improve, particularly in the outer 8 and central 2 seats - for some reason the row floor curves in and out and the seats ahead are fixed further from the step behind. Those up to 5ft 8 should be OK here.

Only row K has a little more across the whole row - those of 5ft 8 or so should be OK here, and even 6ft persons have squeezed in... there's a bit more space (fraction of an inch) in the outer aisle seats of the row.

Also on the plus side, in all but row A, the traditional theatre seats have curved backs, creating foot space between each seat.

Choosing Seats in General:
Theatremonkey avoids row A for the bar and legroom.

Row A seats 27 and 28 can be transferred into by wheelchair users. Theatremonkey thinks box C preferable for comfort.

It chooses rows B then C then D seats 6 to 22 (except B 14 and 15) at top price. The stalls though, with extra legroom, are a better choice for the taller jungle dweller.

In the rear circle row G is best if the higher view of the stage is wanted, but again, for the same money, Theatremonkey prefers the stalls for comfort and value for monkey, sorry, money.

Seats 1, 2, 27 and 28 in all rows should be accepted as a last resort as they have the least central view of the stage.
Row K is particularly affected by the overhang of the circle above and should be avoided, though at a lower price, the monkey upgrades its rating accordingly.

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

At the end of the centre aisle a double height bar annoys patrons sitting in rows A to D seats 14 and 15.

Changes for the current production:
Central rows B to D are "premium" priced. The monkey would skip the aisle seats due to the rail. It would also take seats 6 to 10 or 19 to 22 in those rows first for a cheaper but similar view - bearing in mind that stalls have more legroom, though.

The outermost two seats in rows G to J, plus the whole of row K is worth a glance at second price if same price stalls have gone or legroom isn't an issue. At the ends of rows, only a sliver of stage may be missed.

 

Reader Comments:
“Circle: (Randy Grauerholz - has seen the production 14 times). This is a "brilliant" show which must be viewed in the front of the Dress Circle. Luckily, I am persistent with my booking, and wind up in the first 5 rows."

"Circle: "Once" (February 2013). I have sat in front Dress Circle, and concluded then that I really want to see this show from the front of the stalls (my second visit was courtesy one of the group booking agencies in mid stalls so could hardly complain. but it confirmed my view about sitting down front). This is not a place I normally want to be but this show has such an intimate feel with simple staging, musicians on stage etc. I want to feel I’m sitting in the shop/bar with the actors."

“A19 and 20: (Simon). The view was spot on - wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else."

"B19 and 20: (Kevin). The Monkey rates these as better than the same seats in row A. However, I would have preferred row A first and I'd suggest that these are better seats for short people like me - not bothered by minimal leg room. Total row B satisfaction is dependent on whether or not the person in A has 'big hair'. I was unlucky enough to have someone whose perm paled Leo Sayers into insignificance and therefore had the front third of the stage obscured for most of the show."

"B26: "Bend It Like Beckham" (May 2015). Picked it up for £15 about 2 hours before the show. No restrictions for this show but agree at top price you may want to be a bit more central. I don't think you would get the full impact of the dance from the stalls. The cast is massive (32) and all onstage together during the big numbers. Also there is a very high platform which I'm almost certain would be obscured from the back of the stalls."

"C9 and 10: (David). We got £55 seats reduced to £23.50 using a Theatremonkey offer at the time. During the first half of the show there was nobody sitting directly in front of us in rows A and B, although a couple moved into row B at the interval. This didn’t really matter as the way the seating is arranged – the rows are staggered so no seat is directly behind the one in front – made sure you still had a good view of the stage. I actually thought leg room was quite good, although I am only 5’8" tall! I’ve sat in a lot worse Dress Circle seats at other theatres!"

“C13 and 14: (Hazel). There was not too much legroom although the view was very good."

"D17: Half price and I thought the seats were excellent. Only complaint here was that there was too little leg room and I felt somewhat cramped. Other than that the seats were excellent."

"G6 to 9: The view of the stage was very good indeed."

"G19 and 20: "Once" (May 2013). The view is excellent: the rake is just right to ensure a clear view over anyone in front of you and far enough back to avoid guard rail issues, but still close enough to the stage that the actors are real human beings. But the lack of leg room is a real issue. In G20, at 5'10" (with shortish (29") legs), my knees were right up against the seat in front. My wife (5'1/2") found in G19 that she had barely any room as the opera glasses were taking up additional space. For the second act we were able to move further down row G to the aisle seats (G15 and 16) and there was notably more room. This takes you a little away from the centre of the stage but not by much and the added leg room was a real benefit."

"Row H: (Rob). Good view, but very little leg room."

"H 7 and 8: (Alan). Great view."

"K28: Didn't miss anything right at the back in the corner! The Phoenix has really good sightlines in the dress circle. Would be worth considering the back row just because it is cheaper."
 


Dress Circle Boxes

Layout:
To the side of the stage, between circle and stage arch opening.

Legroom:
Acceptable as movable chairs are used.

Choosing Seats in General:
Both boxes normally have similar views – only set / staging may cause one to be better than the other.

Worth taking for legroom over circle seats, if cheaper.

Box C can accommodate a wheelchair. Preferable for comfort, for transfer users, to Dress Circle row A..

General Hazard Notes:
A tenth of the nearside stage is not visible.

Lights and / or speaker fittings may be nearby.

One reader felt very “on show” sitting here.

Changes for the current production:
None.

Reader Comments:
"Box B: “Blood Brothers,” (Ali and Andrew). It had a good view of the stage, and we agree with Monkey’s opinion you lose about 1/10th stage. We were lucky to keep the side of the stage where a lot of the doorstep action took place, so I would recommend booking the right side of the theatre over the left. The boxes themselves were strange in how open they were with a low edge, and it was somewhat exposed as opposed to other boxes we had been in. That said, for comfort, it was lovely."

 


UPPER CIRCLE

Layout:
Not too high above the dress circle.

Divided into two blocks by a central aisle.

Legroom:
Cramped in all seats, very poor in row A.

If prepared to accept the metal posts or a side view, rows B to J seats 1, 14, 15 and 28 are on the aisle allowing one leg to stretch.

Choosing Seats in General:
The front rows feel pleasantly close to the stage.

The curve of the circle makes it worthwhile to choose seats 4 to 24 ( but not 14 and 15) first in all rows other than A, just to ensure the best view possible.

The only truly poor seats are row A numbers 1 to 3 and 28 to 30. These have a restricted view of the corners of the stage due to their position on the ends of the curve of the circle.

The rest of row A misses a high “value” rating because it has almost no legroom available.

Other rows at lower price offer fair value, pick B to D first.

Rows B to D (excluding seats 14 and 15) offer excellent viewing and value at the price, lack of legroom being the only snag. Despite posts in view, pick 14 or 15 first for the central view - it is worth overlooking the post problem for comfort.

All rear rows offer good value. Even if these feel a little far from the stage, a good rake ensures a clear view.

If rows G and H are a price above row J, then take G over H, or go for bottom price row J - similar view for less cash.

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

Double height bars at the end of the centre aisle annoy patrons sitting in row A seats 15 and 16 and Row B seats 14 and 15.

Metal posts are sited beside all seats on the centre aisle. Avoid seats A 15 and 16, and seats 14 and 15 from row B back, to combat interference from these.

Changes for the current production:
Well priced for this production. The outermost 2 (3 in row A) seats in A to F are second lowest price - got to be worth it, feels the monkey, who would take B and C first, then D back (A if under 5ft tall, perhaps). Even cheaper are the end two in row G, and all of row H is the same price, a saving over row G in front. Go centre H, then ends G (G ends first if you want a bit of legroom), is the monkey feeling.

If going up a price or two, B to D 4 to 24 (except the aisle seats if a rail in view annoys you) are pretty good value as well, the monkey feels.

 

Reader Comments:
"B22 to 24: "Bend It Like Beckham" (June 2015). These seats gave a really good view actually, particularly as they had seated nobody in Row A so until the interval we had an unrestricted view and there is key staging that takes place high up (the girls' bedrooms) plus the orchestra plays up high and there is narrow stage in front of them directly opposite the Upper Circle where some stuff goes on. Even when two girls came and sat in Row A after the interval, the rake is good enough you can still see all the action. And the choreography is so inventive you probably get a better view higher up. All in all, brilliant value for £19.50."

"H1 and 2: Our seats weren't the best - one row from the back of the upper circle at the very right hand side - but with half the theatre being unoccupied we asked an usher if we could move nearer the front to which she agreed so we ended up on the superior row D, nearer the centre."


 

Notes
Total 1000 seats.

Air-conditioned.

Guide dog sitter available. Occasional signed performances. Wheelchair access via a side door to the Dress Circle. Adapted toilet nearby Box C. Not single sex but private as only one wheelchair user is permitted to see at each performance. Hearing loop available. Fuller details from the theatre helpline on 0844 8717 677, www.theatre-access.co.uk or Artsline 020 7388 2227, email artsline@dircon.co.uk. 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.

5 bars; foyer, 2 Stalls, Dress Circle and Upper Circle.

7 toilets. Stalls 1 gents 1 cubicle, 2 ladies 3 and 2 cubicles respectively; Dress Circle 1 gents 1 cubicle, 1 ladies 2 cubicles; Upper Circle 1 gents 1 cubicle, 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:
Tottenham Court Road - Northern (black) and Central (red) lines.

Central line trains will not be stopping at this station until December 2015. The only exit from the station is on to Oxford Street until that date. Turn to your right, with the Dominion Theatre ahead of you. Don't cross the road. Walk to the junction and turn right. Walk along down Charing Cross Road. Cross at the next crossing, and the theatre is ahead of you, to your right.

You will pass the Phoenix Theatre box office. For the theatre entrance, take the next turning on the left, Phoenix Street and the entrance is on the left. 

 

Buses:
19, 22, 24, 38, 40 and 176 all stop on Charing Cross Road.

 

Taxi:
Best chance of hailing one is in the street outside.

 

Car Park:
Great Russell Street. On leaving the car park, change to the other side of the road turn to your right and walk towards a very busy shopping street. If you head up a quiet sidestreet, wrong way.

At the corner turn to your left, walk straight on past the Dominion Theatre. If you cross Bedford Avenue, wrong way.

Cross Oxford Street (the busy road ahead of you) and continue walking with CentrePoint office block to your left, continue on, and the theatre is ahead to your left past a row of shops.

Alternatively, try Newport Place, Chinatown Car Park. On leaving cross the road in front of you, Shaftesbury Avenue. The brown brick building to your right is the Palace Theatre. To get to the front of it, turn right and walk to the corner. 

Walk on past the front of the Palace Theatre, crossing Old Compton Street and continuing past the St Martins School of Art you enter Charing Cross Road. Change to the other side of the road. The Phoenix Theatre is ahead of you. 

The "Theatreland Parking Scheme" may be available at Newport Place, Chinatown Car Park. 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.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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