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

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

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





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



Ends 3rd November 2018.
Captioned performance: 21st August 2018 at 7.30pm
Audio Described performance: 28th August 2018 at 7.30pm

Calais, the shanty where people wait to attempt the journey to Britain. The Afghan Cafe is where they meet to share their stories.

The Young Vic Theatre hit comes to the West End.


Theatremonkey Opinion:

(seen at the afternoon preview performance on 21st June 2018).

When a theatre is transformed for a specific reason, it’s a good bet that the producers believe they are on to something special enough to justify the expense. In this case, they are partially right. This is an event that must be experienced, and it is pretty much worth braving the discomforts of benches and cushions on the café floor to be a part of it.

Framed by the court order to demolish part of the slum “Jungle” that is home to a multitude of refugees, this is a slice of community life most of us will never see and are pretty incapable of imagining.

The first half is the better by far. Some British “aid workers” arrive with various intentions – build tent homes, start a school, look after the children, clown around and escape life back home. The most important lesson comes early, when we are abruptly reminded that behind every victim is a very real and educated person in a situation as unimaginable to themselves as us.

The rest of the act is similar. A smorgasbord of stories, experiences and perceptions. Examine, challenge, understand, learn. It’s effective and engrossing, the only failures being when the action stops for a lecture or harangue. Sadly, writers Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson and directors Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin appear oblivious to this...

... Resulting in a second act that is mostly lecture and “heck, we should now bring in some stories to shape and underline our point and make us a proper play.” The credible experience dissipates fast, and the whole suddenly becomes drawn out and artificial.

There’s some decent performances – Gerard Carey (Boxer) is amusing, Alexander Devrient makes a chilling police officer, Moein Ghobsheh (Omid) a good debut. Some of the writing is impactful too, and the atmosphere is worth the sampling. It is, though, very much a performance of two halves – with the distinct feeling that there is a far sharper production in there, if someone is able to dig for it.

4 stars.


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


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 (7pm on 5th July 2018)
Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Runs 2 hours 45 minutes approximately.


Ticket Prices:

Offers May be available - Click Here

View this information in diagram form

AS FROM 20th AUGUST 2018, PRICES WILL CHANGE TO £125 / £80 / £69.50 / £59.50 / £49.50 / £39.50 / £29.50.

Stalls (Afghan Cafe)

Rows F, G, H, J, K, L, M: £65 benches at tables (F, G bench, M bench with back support).
Rows N, O, P, Q: £45 (N, O bench, P, Q benches with back support).
Rows A, B, C, D: £25 benches with tables ( B and D 7 to 9 chairs)
Rows R, S, T, U: £15 floor cushions with back support.

Dress Circle (White Cliffs of Dover)

Row A: £25
Row B to H centre block: £65 except
"Premium Seats" rows B and C 3 to 10: £69.50
Row J 8 to 20: £45
Side blocks rows D to K: £25

"Premium Seats": £69.50 per seat.

£65 per seat.


DAY SEATS: A limited number may be available to personal callers at the box office from 10am, priced FROM £15 each, located at box office discretion. Limited to maximum 2 per person. More expensive seats may be offered, subject to availability. 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.

"FRIDAY RUSH TICKETS." Every Friday at 1pm, a number of £20 seats will be released online and by phone for the following week's performances via the National Theatre's website or box office 020 7452 3000.

"MONDAY RUSH TICKETS." Every Monday at 1pm, a number of seats priced at £20 will be released online for the following week's performances via the  Theatre's website Value is between £25 and £69.50, depending on luck!


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.

For this production, offers an alternative facility, with no booking fee. An optional £1 per booking, not per ticket, postage charge applies if required and time allows.

For this production, offers an alternative facility, with no booking fee. An optional 75p per booking, not per ticket, postage charge applies if required and time allows.

Booking fees per transaction for online bookings:
A £3.65 per booking, not per ticket, handling fee applies.

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

AS FROM 20th AUGUST 2018, PRICES WILL CHANGE TO £125 / £80 / £69.50 / £59.50 / £49.50 / £39.50 / £29.50.
THE MONKEY WILL UPDATE WHEN MORE DETAIL IS AVAILABLE. offers booking fees of £4.75 per ticket on £45 seats (£8 on £65, £4.25 on £25, £2.50 on £15 seats). This system allows you to select your own seats.

Encore Tickets (telephone 0207 400 1253 / 0044 207 400 1253 if calling from outside the United Kingdom) offer seats with booking fees of £13 per ticket on £45 seats (£19 on £65, £7 on £25, £5 on £15 seats). A postage charge of £1.45 per booking, not per ticket may be applied to bookings made from UK addresses more than 5 days before the performance. The "Flexiticket" Exchange Service, allowing FREE transfer / cancellation (credit note up to 12 months) of your booking up to 3 days before the performance is also available for £1.99 per ticket. Discounts and "Meal and Show" packages may also be available. hotel / theatre ticket packages are also available. charge a booking fee of £13 per ticket on £65 seats (£5 on £25 seats). There is a £1 per booking, not per ticket, transaction fee for collecting tickets from the box office before your performance. Alternatively, if time allows, there is a postage to your home option, costing £2.95 (£4.95 to non-UK addresses) per booking, not per ticket. Optional Ticket Insurance is also available. Discounts and Meal and Show Packages may also be available.

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

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


Box Office Information:
Tickets offered differ between outlets. Outlets also may offer different seats via their phone and online systems. Offers may be available click here.
Theatre Box Office:
Telephone: 0844 871 7631
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.

For this production, The National Theatre box office on 020 7452 3000 offers an alternative facility, with no booking fee. An optional £1 per booking, not per ticket, postage charge applies if required and time allows.

For this production, The Young Vic theatre box office on 020 7922 2922  offers an alternative facility, with no booking fee. An optional 75p per booking, not per ticket, postage charge applies if required and time allows.


Booking fees per transaction for telephone bookings:
A £3.65 per booking, not per ticket, handling fee applies.

For personal callers or by post: Northumberland Avenue, London. WC2N 5DE
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.

"The Jungle" in June 2018, has a different layout.

This production sees the stalls re-modelled into "The Afghan Cafe" with seating on the floor, chairs, backless and backed benches.
The dress circle (first tier) is re-modelled into "The Cliffs of Dover" and have normal theatre seating, with extra slip seats at the sides. The Upper Circle (second tier, highest in venue) is not on sale. A set of pictures, showing an "artist's impression" of the theatre is also available on the Ambassador Theatre Group website. also has a video showing the layout of the auditorium in full.

The Monkey opinion on "The Jungle" seating is based on "first impressions." Your opinions are very welcome, to the usual address.

Seating Plan Diagram

Stalls Dress Circle Upper Circle Notes

The Dress Circle overhangs the stalls at row M but is high enough above to avoid affecting the view from any seat.

Seats are in a single block facing the stage.

A good rake (sloped floor to help see over rows in front) results in clear views from almost all seats in the stalls. Rows P and Q in particular are elevated, with a step up to Q.

ood in all seats, for all but the tallest.

C1, D 1 and 21 have nothing in front of them.

E 1 and 23 have nothing in front of 99% of the seat width.

C18 has 25% of the seat width clear in front.

A 1, B 1, F 1, F24 and G 1 have 5% of the seat width clear in front.


Choosing Seats in General:
Almost all seats offer at least fair value for money.

Those in the front rows may find the stage a little high - sit further back if shorter and wishing to avoid neck ache.

It is worth avoiding the first and last four seats from row E to P as these are outside the proscenium and suffer an awkward viewing angle.

Prime seats the monkey feels are in the centre from around rows F to K at top price.

G1 and 24 are wheelchair places. The view could be much better. Transfer is possible to any aisle seat. See notes.

In the rear stalls, rows P and Q are normally cheaper. Monkey likes all but the seats that might be near the sound desk. It does, though, note some very decent seats in the front side blocks of the dress circle and centre upper circle at the same price. It might itself take a single on the dress circle aisle before these, but that's personal preference for a bit more legroom and nothing in front, nothing more.

General Hazard Notes:
Reader Andy found the seats uncomfortable. They are fairly narrow and have hard square seat and back cushions, notes the monkey.

The stage can be too high for some in the front row.

Outermost seats in rows E to P are “outside” the proscenium and thus don’t directly face the playing area.

Sound desk avoiders might like to miss P1 to 18 and Q11 and 18 too when one is installed.

This is the theatre where – many years ago - the monkey was once sold a seat in the front row... only to find on arrival in the auditorium the front row was missing...

Changes for the current production:
The stalls are re-modelled into "The Afghan Cafe" with seating on the floor, chairs, backless and backed benches.

General note is that the actors face the main area, meaning that those in rows D, N, O, P, Q and Z, plus the higher numbers in A will not see as much face time as they many like.

Benches with back support: Take row M. It is not raised much to see over rows in front, but provides a fairly decent view of the whole show. Legroom is fine to 5ft 10 at least. Avoid rows P and Q. They are extremely claustrophobic - there is a wall and no aisle next to seat 1, and the whole is an enclosed booth on the back of the stage. Legroom for someone 5ft 6 or more is uncomfortable, the monkey sat on one of the cushions provided for back support, which at least raised it enough to provide an extra inch of leg dangling space to make it bearable for someone of 5ft 7. Further, all of them miss action near to them, and the actors face away from them most of the time. Last, they are hot, too - in peak summer expect to feel ill very fast if the air conditioning doesn't get in there.

Benches: If you don't mind being potentially kicked in the back, E and F are the best seats in the house. A raised shelf to rest your back against - except that it forms the floor of the cushioned seats behind. Cheaper, N and O are as good. All have unlimited legroom in front. G 10 to 15 is next best, with G 1 to 6 behind it also reasonable. Legroom is fine to 5ft 10 at least in the latter area of G.

Benches with tables: No backs, be prepared to sit up straight. The bench itself is only around 15cm deep, and each space isn't too wide either - so possibly not suited to the larger Theatremonkey. Take rows with tables in front if you want to lean - those thinking of leaning on the stage won't get much chance to do so. Legroom is least in A 1 to 12 and C 1 to 12, right against the stage. Fine to 5ft 6 or so, if willing to sit up straight. All other benches are acceptable to 5ft 11 or so, with space to tuck legs under. For view, go for A or C 26 to 15 first, taking C 26 to 21, then the rest of the rows. B 1 to 4 (view) / 12 to 15 (comfort) are decent, then C 12 to 15 / 1 to 4 (comfort over view).

Chairs: B 7 to 9 first, then D 7 to 9. Both excellent budget choices, feels the monkey. Squashed in among the tables, and hard wood, but at least they are cheap and have backs, and those to at least 5ft 10 can sit properly.

Cushions With Back Support: These are shelves, and you have about 80cm of personal space in front before kicking someone in the back. You could stretch out if your legs are short enough. The view is excellent, take those in T and U first, then R and S. Those in R and S 4 to 9 can expect very close encounters...


Reader Comments:
"Row AA: "Lord of the Dance, Dangerous Games" (October 2015). Bought at £25 day seat price. Low stage, excellent value."

"A14: I really liked being near the front, I felt it gave you a good opportunity to connect with the actors on the stage. Being all the way to the side didn't matter at all, I didn't miss a thing."

"B3 to 6: we found these seats excellent. However I would like to comment that the music was a fraction to loud and was in danger of spoiling the fab songs."

"B8 and 9: "Dreamboats and Petticoats" (July 2012), (Chris B). This is actually the third row back but these seats and fairly centrally located with a clear view. The theatre is definitely one of the smaller ones in the West End and feels quite intimate. For a show like this that is full of musical numbers you do feel very close to the stage, especially when they're dancing at the front of the stage. This all adds to the experience though. However I found the backs of the seats to be higher than usual. The leg room was sufficient, but be careful not to trap the persons feet from the row behind putting your seat down! But rest assured there is plenty of room to stand up and dance at the end."

"B12 and 13: Really good seats, very close to the action. As someone else has commented on, maybe sitting further back would be better for those wanting to take it all in."

"B13 and 14: (Stu). Would recommend ( row AA and BB were too close to the stage in my opinion)"

“Row C: (Rob Mumford). A word of warning before you book - as the monkey says, when the front rows have been removed from the stalls. We were in row C (2nd from the front) and while we got a good close up view of the action you might want to consider sitting a few rows back so you can see everything which is going on."

"C7: "Glengarry Glen Ross" (December 2017). Usually a premium priced seat but it was sold cheap to me for £25, an hour before the show at the theatre box office - I noted that the usual price was still the case online so this really was an in-person only offer. Perfect view of the play, and happily Robert Glenister is now back in the cast and giving a great performance."

"C10: "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" (January 2015). Fantastic view of all the action from here. No AA and BB for this production so splendidly close but no neck ache."

“Row D: "Dreamboats and Petticoats" (January 2010). Great”

"D13: "David Baddiel - My Family: Not The Sitcom" (May 2017). I got a £55 ticket for £21.50. Great view. Felt like very good value. Good audience, so felt part of the show, not too distant."

"D18 and E15: We’d booked at slightly different times using the same special offer of £10 a seat for the production we saw. View was excellent and plenty of legroom, although the seats were certainly on the shabby side."

“Row E: "La Cage Aux Folles" (2009), (N Ansari). We were sat in the stalls, row E seats 16 and 17 which were 5 rows from the front and behind the cabaret tables. The seats were perfect to see all the action and SPOILER ALERT be part of it sometimes! A wonderful show!"

"Row E: "1984" (July 2016) (T.Huckstep). Lovely interesting old theatre full of atmosphere. Sat in row E in the stalls. Not much in the way of legroom but comfortable enough for the 1hour 40 minutes."

"E1 and 2: (Barbara). Excellent for me as in the first seat I had extra legroom."

"E1 and 2: "Spamalot" (December 2013). Truly abysmal. A huge speaker blocked a vital chunk of the set thereby blanking a large segment of the French farting scene (the set is very different from the original). Still you get your moment in the spotlight – though perhaps not as completely as the patron in D1 (thank goodness)."

"E10 to 12: I would definitely recommend - close enough not to have to crane upwards and far enough away to be able to take in the sometimes very energetic action spread about the stage."

"E22: Great seat no complaints when got for £20 on a discount. Although right on the end of the row I didn't miss any of the action."

"F3: (Mark – regular reader). £20 student standby. Very good view of the stage. Have seen 'La Cage Aux Folles' twice from stalls and twice from upper circle and just think the upper circle at the Playhouse is terrible when compared the fantastic views in the stalls. It really does affect how much you enjoy the show."

"F19 and 20: Got these at a discount and chose them over more central in Row L. You feel close to the actors on stage whilst getting a full view of the stage."

"G14: "Glengarry Glen Ross" (November 2017). £21.50: Got this seat last minute at the box office. The seating is staggered so that sitting on this seat allows you to view the stage in the gap between the two seats in front, as opposed to being positioned directly in line with the seat in front. This is fantastic as it gives a great view even if someone tall sits in front. I'm 6ft (1.8m) tall and had a comfortable space between my knees and the seats in front but still felt slightly uncomfortable in the seat itself as it's a little narrow (or rather perhaps I need to cut back on the mince pies!)."

"H6 and 7: "Spamalot" (2013), (Graham): Seats were very good."

"H7 and 8: Excellent seats (and such a beautiful theatre!)”

"H8: "The Rocky Horror Show" (September 2015). Great view of stage, saw all the action (apart from when people were waving their hands in the air!) and decent legroom, but I'm only 5'4". It is a lovely, small theatre."

"H 17 and 18: "Derren Brown: Underground" (September 2017). Bang in the middle... great seats with full views of the stage."

"H 23 and 24: Didn't realise they were 'red' as bought from a half price booth. Didn't have too much of a problem with the seats (did have a problem with the fidgety man sitting next to me who made the whole row wobble every time he moved). You are to the side a bit and for 'La Cage' this meant we couldn't see the DSR door on stage but you didn't miss any of the action. Still close to the stage and at half price who can grumble!"

"K11 and 12: “La Cage Aux Folles” (October 2008), (James – regular reader). The rake felt a little shallow but staggered seats really helped - good view and great sound from here."

"K20 and 21: Great seats with a great view of the stage. I've never been disappointed with any area I have sat in the stalls, although I echo others comments on being seated further back to take in all the action."

“K25: Booked by accident - I must have been looking at the wrong seating plan on this website at the time, otherwise I would never have accepted a RED seat - even if it was discounted.

On the night, I found that the space immediately in front of K25 is used for wheelchair users, and on this particular evening an electric wheelchair was in this space. The wheelchair was so large that there was no legroom left for K25 and so high that the person occupying the wheelchair completely blocked my view. Fortunately, the theatre had anticipated such a problem and had a couple of seats had been held back from sale. I was offered F24, which technically is an even worse seat than K25 as the viewing angle is more awkward."

"L11 through 14: Comfortable and a perfect view of the stage. I don't think anywhere in the Stalls would be a problem as this is a fairly small theatre."

"L12 and 13: Perfect seats with a perfect view of the stage."

"L11 and L12: “La Cage Aux Folles” (November 2009), (James – regular reader). Excellent sound and view from here, although a fairly shallow rake still makes me hope there's someone short in front of me, despite the staggered seats."

"L3 to 5: Perfect even if slightly off centre, we still had a wonderful view and wouldn't have a problem recommending these on a discount."


Stalls Boxes 

The Gladys Cooper and Prince of Wales boxes are at stalls level either side of the stage.

Both boxes have four seats.

Acceptable, as movable chairs are used.

Choosing Seats in General:
The view from all boxes is reasonable, if sideways on, with just the nearside rear corner invisible.

Fair value at second price, expensive at top. The monkey would take rear stalls first.

General Hazard Notes:
Seats miss action in the nearside corner of the stage.

If the stage extends in front of these boxes, expect further narrowing of the views.

Changes for the current production:
Box B is used, behind a bench of people. If taller than 5ft 9 or so, a decent view, but feels like you are in a pit, a bit. Not that great, feels the monkey.

Reader Comments:



The Upper Circle overhangs the Dress Circle at row C; it cuts the view of the top of the stage from row G back.

The Dress Circle is split into a central and two small side blocks by aisles. These cut two small blocks – running rows D to K – away to either side of the main one.

comfortable for all but the tallest in all central seats from B back.

The balustrade effect front of the circle provides at least toe-space in row A.

Aisle seats in the side blocks from row D to J offer stretching space with nothing in front. D is 100% clear, the rest lose 10% of clear as each row goes further back, until J is 50% clear.

Side block D1 and 20, F1, 2, 25, 26, 27, J 1 and 27 and K 1 to 6 and 21 to 26 have much less legroom.

Choosing Seats in General:
The curve of the circle means all but the most central seats lose the very front of an extended stage, but it really isn't a noticeable issue.

The central block offers fine views of the stage in rows A to E. Pick B first, then C, D, then E or A depending if legroom / looking over the balustrade is an issue.

Choose stalls before accepting row G.

Row A 1 to 6 and 24 to 29 are often cheaper and bookable in advance... the monkey likes 4 to 7 and 24 to 26 particularly at lower price - but strongly advises those shorter folk who would have trouble seeing over a balustrade to avoid these seats.

For the same money, there is often the aisle seats on rows F to J - a spot of legroom in front here, and a decent view. The monkey itself would always take F or G first when it only requires a single seat.

Row D seats 1 to 3, 19 and 20 have walls of bars in front of them making these seats unsuitable for those under five foot tall - everyone else may well like them, though - row E in particular.

Seats D 4 and 18 have nothing directly in front, but do have railings in view. On the other hand, they are normally not top price and so fair value. E 3 and 17 edge them for view, losing less of the nearest front corner of stage to rails and walls.

In rows F to K the first and last four seats are situated in the far corners of the theatre, with a restricted view - again through bars. Sold at a very large discount they make a fair budget choice if other seats are too expensive, though be aware that you do get exactly what you pay for with this option. Consider row C of the Upper Circle instead of side block ends of rows F to K at the same price.

General Hazard Notes:
Circle curve costs off-centre seats a view of the extended front stage at some productions.

The front circle balustrade is high.

Rails behind row C and in front of side block row D at the sides restrict views.

Rails in front of side block row D cut legroom for some seats.

Outermost side block seats are claustrophobic with no adjacent aisle.

Changes for the current production:
The dress circle (first tier) is re-modelled into "The Cliffs of Dover" and have normal theatre seating, with extra slip seats at the sides.

Skip the "premium seats" in B and C and take F if you can't get in downstairs and want a top non-premium price overview of proceedings.

The front circle balustrade has been boxed in, and you will miss a lot of action happening directly below in rows back to at least E. Cheap, along with almost all other seats up here. Row A is just fair value if over 5ft 6 to see over, but going for the side block seats from F back at the same price, near the centre aisle, probably has a better view for most.

Seats J and K 6 and 7 are by a sound desk, which won't bother anyone.

Slips A and B are moveable chairs, huddled together at the side of the theatre between the main seating and the wall of the boxes. They are not a separated area, just chairs in a curve of the circle. Not much view if you want a lot of legroom, as you would have to push your chair back from the rail, losing the viewing angle - but pretty fair for the price.

Reader Comments:
“A7 to 10: “La Cage Aux Folles”, (James – regular reader). The view is adequate, but these tickets should not be full price as the balustrade cuts off part of the stage, especially when the performers walk out to the extended stage. However, for the most part it’s okay and the sound is good from here."

"A10: "The Kite Runner" (July 2017). The seat was was right in the centre of the dress circle and we had an excellent view of the stage with more than adequate leg room. The friend I went with is 6' 3"."

"Row B: (Lizzie). We were in the Dress Circle, second row from the front. The centre section (avoid front row – as there is a rail) is the best - or if you have to get the side sections take a few rows back as there are banisters either side which restrict the view. It is a small theatre but perfect for a show as it had a friendly atmosphere."

“B7: (Alison H). Excellent view. I would recommend those seats - lots of leg room, in addition to a good view. Do take theatremonkey's seating advice, though, and avoid the first row of dress circle and the ends of the rows, because of obstructed views because of the railings."

"D5 and 6: the view was great and found the seats comfortable with plenty of legroom too."

"D7 and 8: "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" (January 2015). There was a £15 offer through Theatre Fix - for young people, editor). The view was fantastic (they are premium seats). We also went down to the stalls for the post show Q&A: from there, you don't get a view of the attractive wooden floor which really contributes to the design, and I think some of the staging would appear muddled and ugly unless you see the proper shapes formed from a slight height. However, even the front row would offer a pretty unrestricted view of the actors, and you would be very up close and personal with the actors (who come to the very front of the stage in certain parts), so if you are going to see one of its many stars rather than the production and design as a whole, perhaps the stalls would be a better option. If you want to get a good sense of the production and design (and a very clear, close view of the actors too) then dress circle."

"D11 and 12: "La Cage Aux Folles" (October 2008), (James – regular reader). Excellent view and sound from here."

"D17: "Lord of the Dance" (December 2015). Row end of central block. The rake is significant, so no chance of problems with people in front. The view was good, with the balustrade not impeding the view of the stage. Leg room was good."

"F20: "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" (December 2015). Good views of the stage, but felt quite far back for my liking."

"H18 and 19: "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" (December 2015). Perfect view! A little far from the stage, but then we got the full view of the show. I would have preferred to sit a little closer, but these seats are perfectly fine too!"


Dress Circle Boxes

The George Bernard Shaw and Marie Tempest boxes are either side of the stage at Dress Circle level.

Both boxes have four seats.

cceptable, as movable chairs are used.

Choosing Seats in General:
The view from all boxes is reasonable, if sideways on, with the nearside rear corner invisible.

Fair value at second price, expensive at top, but worth considering for Dress Circle views with added legroom.

General Hazard Notes:
Seats miss action in the nearside corner of the stage.

Boxes may be shared with speakers / lighting equipment.

Changes for the current production:
Premium price, and about fair for both view and value, feels the monkey.

Reader Comments:



This is fairly high above the stage.

The rake makes the seats from row F back seem a long way away.

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

A centre rail runs down each aisle.

Cramped in all seats. D 1 and 25 are the very worst.

The balustrade effect front of the circle provides toe-space for those in row A, but even those 5 foot tall will suffer! New seats in 2013 have only increased the lack, some feel...

There is a tiny space beside E to G outermost seats, but it's hard to shift into it to use it for leg room.

Choosing Seats in General:
Centre Block:
If you are picky, aisle end rails make all aisle seats in rows B to H of the centre block are the ones to avoid, as are the three outermost end seats in the side blocks.

All seats (except on the aisle ends) offer officially "clear" views of the stage.

Rows A to D offer a fair view at lower prices. The monkey would choose rows B, C or D - or even E 9 to 15 first; vertigo and legroom are an inch less of a problem than in Row A.

From row F back the rake makes the view uncomfortably steep for the vertigo prone - and the architecture also makes these seats feel embedded in the roof.

Nostalgics will remember that Row K is a bench at the top of the theatre. When in use, if it is the same price as other seats...last choice...and arrive early to stake your claim on a bit of seat - never know if it will be invaded! Not often sold - it isn't at the moment, but was still there when the monkey last looked.

Side Blocks:
These are tucked snugly behind the extra high Dress Circle box walls. Rows A to C flick back to look directly at the stage.

Avoid the first and last unreduced price seats in rows A to E, and also the restricted view ones (usually priced cheaper) unless you can't get other seats at the same price further back and more central.

Accept other seats here only if the centre block is totally full.

The corners of the Upper Circle rows H and J are often the cheapest in the house - and expensive. Luckily they are sometimes removed for lighting. Miss them if they are there, or priced the same as more central or further forward seats elsewhere.

General Hazard Notes:
Metal centre rails and safety bars at the ends of aisles affects the view from some seats. If sold very cheap, some may find them a bargain - but remember the view is a problem. The restriction is the balustrades and rails at the front of the balcony cutting into the view of the front third of the stage, making those near corners appear through a "grating."

Steep, particularly from row F back. Not for vertigo suffers. Reader Catherine Jones actually notes: "Don’t sit in the Upper Circle if you suffer from vertigo – lean forward too far and you could end up on the stage yourself!"

A reader found the step behind sticking into his back in seats in the centre of row F.

For some productions, row J 7 to 13 are replaced by a spotlight position. Worth skipping J 6 and 12 right beside them, and purists may want to miss H 7 to 14 in front.

Another reader opines, "Avoid the Upper Circle if possible. Most seats do not have a clear view of the stage and some, when people in front lean forward, have none. Not that the theatre is going to tell you that!" A trifle harsh, particularly in the centre block, but a reasonable point, the monkey feels.

Changes for the current production:
Not on sale. Curtained off for this production.

Reader Comments:
"Row C: "Spamalot" (October 2013). Third row back of the upper circle - good view but VERY high - felt a bit sick before the show started!!"

"C8: "La Cage Aux Folles”. Actually the view was fine, apart from when they used the extended bit of stage."

"C18: "1984" (July 2016), (Sevenoaks Man). I went to see this play, having paid £19.84 for the ticket. My seat was in the Upper Circle (C18). Whilst I could see the stage, I could only see the bottom half of the screen which was above the actors on the set. Those sitting in rows behind me probably could not see the screen at all. This is a pity as it contained scenes that although not necessary vital to understanding the play, were important in the sense that they were playing whilst the actors were off the set. So if you missed them, it would have been quite annoying. Still, what do you expect for £19.84 a seat!!!"

“D 5, 6, 7 and 8 for "La Cage Aux Folles" (March 2009). Hated these seats; the bar was right in the way and people were leaning over before the show had even started, completely blocking the view. We therefore moved to seats H 12, 13, 14 and 15 just before the show started and had a much more clear view of the stage. I must say though, having seen it before from Row E of the stalls, this show is just not as effective from the Upper Circle."

"D9: "Spamalot" (2013). The impact of the safety bar was shocking. I spoke to the box office who moved us, somewhat begrudgingly, to F10 and F11.

"F10 and 11: "Spamalot" (2013). The seats were uncomfortable and there was the structure of the step* sticking through the gap in the seat. We stayed there though as the view was much better. *= I can't think of a better way of wording it but the structure of the raked upper circle."

"H13: Got for £17.25 from TKTS. Was a good seat but a little distant. Wouldn't want to pay the regular £30 for it."




Total 790 seats.

Air-conditioned auditorium.

Infra-red system covering the whole theatre. Guide dogs allowed in auditorium or dogsat. Large print information available. Wheelchair access is via foyer (cheers) Adapted unisex toilet in foyer.  Fuller details from the theatre helpline on 0844 8717 677, or Artsline on 020 7388 2227  e-mail 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.

Four bars; basement, Stalls, Dress Circle and Upper Circle.

7 toilets; basement 1 gents 2 cubicles, 1 ladies 3 cubicles; Foyer 1 unisex disabled; Dress Circle 1 gents 2 cubicles 1 ladies 5 cubicles; Upper Circle 1 gents 1 cubicle, 1 ladies 2 cubicles. Readers note the poor condition of those in the stalls and the long lines in February 2008.


On 20th November 2017, it was announced that Scottish actress, singer and musical theatre star Shona White accepted an invitation to become Patron of The Playhouse Theatre.

Shona White said “I am thrilled to become Patron of such an historic venue which holds a special place in my heart. I am looking forward to supporting The Playhouse as it goes from strength to strength”.

As a well-established leading lady, Shona has played a number of iconic roles including Magenta in The Rocky Horror Show at The Playhouse, Elphaba in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria, Éponine and Cosette in Les Misérables, Florence in Craig Revel Horwood’s Award Winning UK Tour of Chess and most recently Donna in Mamma Mia! at London’s Novello Theatre.

Shona added “I feel privileged to have performed onstage at The Playhouse and as Patron I am keen to help promote the venue to ensure its future success”.

Jenna Harvey, Theatre Manager, commented “The Playhouse is honoured and delighted that Shona has accepted our invitation to become Patron, it’s wonderful to have someone of her calibre on board to represent the theatre”.

Shona is the theatre’s first Patron and the first Patron for an Ambassador Theatre Group venue in London.


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:
Embankment - Bakerloo Line (brown), Circle Line (yellow), District Line (green), Northern Line (black).

Follow the signs from the platform to the exit into Villiers Street. On leaving the station turn left: 

and walk into the covered area "Embankment Place" - it has a taxi rank and cafes on one side:

Cross to the taxi rank side of the road and keep walking:

The theatre is on the corner at the end of the street, to your right:

Should you choose not to turn left on exiting Embankment Underground Station,  you  will walk uphill and find a sunken entrance to Charing Cross Underground Station . This is the wrong way, so turn back!


3, 6, 9, 12, 13, 15, 24, 29, 30, 53 stop nearby.


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 or on the Embankment.


Car Park:
Spring Gardens. On leaving the car park walk into Trafalgar Square. Cross Whitehall, a busy street. Walk on and take the next turning on the right, Northumberland Avenue. The theatre is half way down this road on the other side of the road.

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

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


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












Buy Tickets

Site © 2000 to 2018. "Theatremonkey"® and "Theatermonkey are a Registered Trade Mark. Buy your tickets with confidence here: is an Affiliate Member of STAR - The Society Of Ticket Agents and Retailers - please do feel free to confirm its membership by clicking the verification system graphic (left). All rights reserved. Information on this site may not be reproduced in any form, by any distribution media, in whole or in part, without permission. This means that you MUST NOT copy graphics or text for posting on another website. Opinions expressed are those of the site owner and / or contributors, and are not those of the site host or service providers. Tickets sold from links on this site - and any other information given - are the responsibility of the supplying company, not
Comments about this page are welcome Contact Us. No responsibility is taken for accuracy of information, No liability can be taken for loss relating to individual use of data contained on this site. 'About Cookies' and 'Our Website, Your Privacy': The website DOES NOT use "cookies" on its website at any time. It does link to sites which do use "cookies" to track sales / site navigation information. Click Here for more information - as required by the 2012 UK E-Privacy Directive. Use of this site constitutes agreement with the above. E&OE. Last Update: 18 August 2018 11:41