Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho, London W1D 6AR 0844 482 5130
www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk the theatre group's own website provide the service for this theatre.
Booking fees per ticket:
A £2.50 per ticket fee is charged.
Other Online Choices (with genuine S.T.A.R ticket agencies):
Ticket agencies offer an alternative way to buy tickets, with booking fees differing from those charged by the theatre box office itself. They may have seats available or special offers when theatres do not.
Ticket agency prices vary in response to theatres implementing “dynamic pricing” - which alters prices according to demand for a particular performance. Prices stated here were compiled as booking originally opened, current prices are advised at time of enquiry.
When the theatre does not have the tickets you desire available, it is well worth trying the Theatremonkey Ticketshop agency, telephone 020 7420 9778 (0044 207 420 9778 if calling from outside the United Kingdom), offers £150 tickets with a £30 per seat booking fee, £25 on £125, £17 on £85, £10 on £65, £8 on £40, £6 on £30, £4 on £20 seats - moderate by agency standards, though higher than box office fees, worth trying as they often have an alternative choice of seats available! 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 which offers £150 tickets with a £30 per seat booking fee, £25 on £125, £17 on £85 seats and £2.75 per booking (not per ticket) postal charge.
Ticketmaster.co.uk offers £150 tickets with a £22.50 per seat booking fee, £18.75 on £125, £12.75 on £85, £4 on £65, £3.25 on £40, £4.50 on £30, £3 on £20 seats per ticket.
Encore Tickets (telephone 0207 400 1253 / 0044 207 400 1253 if calling from outside the United Kingdom) offers £150 tickets with a £29 per seat booking fee, £24 on £125, £17 on £85, £10 on £65, £8 on £40, £6 on £30, £4 on £20 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.
hotel / theatre ticket packages are also available.
Londontheatredirect.com offers £150 tickets with a £30 per seat booking fee, £24 on £125, £17 on £85, £7 on £65, £8 on £40, £6 on £30, £4 on £20 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.
Telephone: 0844 482 5130
(020 7812 7498 if you cannot use the 0844 number)
Operated by Delfont-Mackintosh Theatres. At busy times / outside working hours - 9am to 8pm, See Tickets may answer on behalf of the venue.
Booking fees per ticket for telephone bookings:
£2.50 per ticket.
For personal callers or by post:
Shaftesbury Avenue, W1V 8AR
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 0344 482 5137.
www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk is the official theatre website.
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 is in a single block.
The dress circle overhangs the stalls from row K in the centre, and the boxes and slips also overhanging the first and last three or four seats from around row D back. The top of the stage is not visible from around row R back - purists might even say O, with noticeable loss from row T.
The rake (sloped floor to help see over rows in front) is noticeable from row K, feels the monkey.
Entrance doors are behind the centre of row W and to the sides of rows F and G approximately.
Adequate for all but the tallest (over 5ft 10 or so) in all seats - and there is space to tuck legs under the seats in front. A reader over 6ft tall indeed found row J cramped - partly because the seat is lower than elsewhere in the venue. Rows B to H are noticeably more cramped than the rest.
Row A 9 to 18 has particularly generous legroom, with only a little less in the other outer pairs of seats in that row.
The very tall should enjoy E4 and 24 and N1 which have nothing in front of them; G24 about 60% clear in front, and B22, C5 and G2 which have space for at least one leg to stretch into.
Much thought has gone into the layout. All rows are "offset" so that those who are shorter should see between the gaps of the seats in front between the taller folk in front.
Rows A to D are lower to improve sightlines for those behind, previously poor due to the shallow flooring rake.
Usually, the stage is at eye-level for a 5ft 7 monkey, so those in A will look up slightly (not really for neck-ache avoiders, though most should be fine). The row curves, with the central seats 9 to 19 having extra legroom - but even the ends of the row will be adequate for the shorter legged - provided they don't mind sharing seats 6 and 21 with a light fitting off to one side ahead of them.
When row A is in use, one person felt his seat in row A, "was extremely uncomfortable!"
Moving back, the rake begins noticeably at row K, and the monkey liked L too. It would pick L or K 8 to 19 first, then M or J (be aware it is lower than H in front - which helps the viewing angle but not the shortest) or back to Q in that order, then H and G or R to S at top price, or even perhaps saving a few pounds and picking U over these rows at second price.
If of average height (over around 5ft 5) it would choose F to D rather than going further back, as the rake isn't significant. This is simply because there will be fewer heads in front. Do be aware that with someone taller than around 5ft 10 in front the view to the stage may be less than optimal everywhere in the stalls, the monkey felt on first viewing - though it welcomes comments on this and strongly advises personal preference based on previous experiences is taken into account too.
Rows T to W are further back and the rake is rather good there. Row T and row V often driop a price over the row in front - save money if offered S and U by picking these as the view is similar for fewer bananas, feels the monkey.
At third price go for V 8 to 19 first, but the monkey feels itself comfy in any of these rows at lower prices - taking seats 8 to 19 first, for most central views.
Remember that the central Upper Circle is also often available for the same prices as T to W. Those who prefer not to lose a little of the stage to an overhang, and who don't need the extra legroom of the stalls / are not worried by heights will probably also enjoy well-chosen central upstairs seats as much in the monkey view...
When entering behind row W, watch out for the floor on the left hand "high numbers" side - it's somewhat uneven as you go from entrance door to side aisle, a sort of rolling hill in front of the emergency exit door there. Smoothed out since the theatre refurbished in 2012, but the infirm should be aware.
Row J is lower than the row in front, not great for the shorter theatregoer.
A sound desk makes V 7 to 18, plus W seats 7 and 18 avoidable for purists, feels the monkey, when in use.
The front row is A. Top non-premium price. It's a high stage - eye-level to someone around 5ft 10, and the stage extends out a little too, meaning you may not see to the very back easily if shorter. Not really an issue as only 2 short scenes take place there. Legroom is fine to 6ft or more in the middle, dropping to around 5ft 9 for seats 6 to 9 / 19 to 21 as the row curves towards the stage.
There are a lot of "premium" seats from rows G to O - with some going up to "Super Premium" prices. There's nothing "super premium" about the legroom in those rows, the monkey notes for the taller ape... Luckily, some very good stuff - from rows back to F, or P and from 8 to 19 - is left for the less plutocratic. You could also brave the pairs of seats next to the premium ones too, the monkey feels.
Prices drop at V. Take V over U - same view, lower price. Much of the front Upper Circle is also available for the same price as row V back, so those who prefer not to lose a little of the stage to an overhang, and who don't need the extra legroom of the stalls / are too short to see over those in front / are not worried by heights will probably also enjoy well-chosen central upstairs seats as much in the monkey view... take row B over A up there, it feels, if legroom is important to you.
Row W 11 to 14 are replaced by a sound desk. Purists may wish to avoid seats next to it. Most won't worry, though as there is a decent gap between desk and seats, and the edge of the desk is rounded to take account of it.
"Row A: "Girl From The North Country" (December 2019). Day seats for this show are front row, with excellent view and leg room."
"A8: For a tenner at 11am at the show I saw. The view at 5 foot 7 was fine for me."
“A9: “Hair” (April 2010). Incredible as a £20 “day seat”. Regular Taljaard agreed for “The Ladykillers (December 2011).
"A13 and 14: "Les Misérables In Concert" (August 2019). The problem we had were the bright lights at the back of the stage. The front row is also very close to the stage."
"A14 and 15: "Les Misérables In Concert" (August 2019). Seats dead centre, lots of legroom but strangely uncomfortable. I don’t know if it was the low back but I could barely move after act one! Literally sat at the feet of the principals, so very up close and personal. This has the advantage of the concert feeling very intimate, but the downside of being covered in spit by the two leading men! We noticed more neck ache here than other times we have sat at the front but I think that is due to pretty much everything happening at the front of the stage, no respite from actors moving to the back. However I would take the legroom over neck ache anytime. To address the lights issue, it really wasn’t one. The odd moment of blindness yes, but nothing that impeded enjoyment. Overall, a cracking view and one that really made you feel you were in the thick of it. A bit further back would have been better to get the full spectacle but not worth nearly doubling the price."
"A18 and A19 (front row): “Avenue Q” (2009). Could see everything. Booked through Delfont Mackintosh (tickets £21.75 each for the show I saw - which I thought was a bargain price considering the excellent view of the stage and television screens. (No neck ache at all)."
"A17: "Umbrellas Of Cherbourg" (March 2011). Got for £19.50 as a day ticket during previews. I thoroughly enjoyed it - even got bussed by Meow Meow - Yeow!! Did not find restricted view a problem - felt right in the action with ensemble and diva hovering all around me."
“A18 and 19: "Avenue Q”, (Kirsty). I didn't find the high stage a problem at all, and I could see everything. My very short 5ft friend though, deffo had problems seeing the actors and puppets when they moved to the back of the stage. All the actors were very close up."
"A20 and A21: "Private Lives" (June 2013). I was tempted by the £10 tickets in the front row of the stalls - (didn’t read your comments before booking). What a bad decision. The actual stage has a false floor on top to accommodate a revolve and then on top of that is another false floor that sits the act one balcony sets. We were literally sitting under the balconies and at times could actually see nothing at all due to the acute angle - things did improve a tad in Act 2 when the revolve spun the balconies away but the view was still very poor especially also on the high end numbers due to couches and pieces of set. Whilst the production was 1st rate the poor views etc did spoil the production. Yes they are inexpensive but be aware that you will probably see less than 50% of the show."
"Row B: "The Ferryman" (July 2017), (Glen Morranjie). The front row of the stalls had a lot of legroom."
"Row B: "The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time." (This is the) front row, reserved for day seats, and the stage is quite high. Being a shorty at only 5'1" I asked for one of the boosters to put on my seat and could see perfectly."
"B13: "The Ferryman" (December 2017). As this was a quiet matinee performance the entire front row was sold online for £15, just above the normal day seat price. Mostly a great view, with only a very brief scene around a table (lasting a couple of minutes) blocked by the positioning of the actors and set."
"B 15 and 16: "The Ferryman" (July 2017). Day seats. Amazing view. The stage was a bit high if you're small - but you can ask the cloakroom for cushions."
"B17: "The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time:" After other plans didn’t work out, I strolled to the box office as late as 11 a.m., but was lucky enough to get the very last day seat. The stage is quite high, you have to stretch your neck to see the floor, but I think all the projections are visible on the walls as well (I hope), so it should be okay. Also, for just 15 quid it’s hard to complain about anything."
"B19: "The Ferryman" (July 2017). Excellent for £12 (day seat)."
"C 12 to 14: "The Audience" (March 2013), "Graham." I don't like the stalls in this theatre as a large head always seems to get in my way, on this occasion a famous DJ was showing me his dandruff....
"C15 and 16: "Les Misérables In Concert" (August 2019). They all stood in a line at the front of the stage and other cast members were seated behind. In the reviews people spoke about great lighting and set changes but we were not aware of any of it. The problem we had were the bright lights at the back of the stage - my friends in the front row were affected worse than us in row C. When Alfie was singing he was on the right, and at times I could not see him at all."
" Row D (end): “Hair” (April 2010), (Beth). These seats are great, really comfortable and great value for money (if you get them discounted obviously!). I personally rate the Gielgud Theatre highly and think the seats there are really good!! I think I would rather have been further back than Row D."
"D10 and D11: "Lend Me A Tenor: The Musical" (June 2011). The stage was at head height for Row D, and in future I would book slightly further back (F or G). The amplification was ear-burstingly loud at times, and this is another reason to sit further back."
"D13 and 14: "The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night Time" (August 2014). Happily we were awarded these (normally £59 seats) for £15 as we were first in the queue on Saturday morning for day seats, and opted for the matinee. We arrived at 9.30am, when no one was there, about 5 there by 9.45am and 15-20ish when the box office opened. Worth asking the box office on two-show days which will give you better seats if you’re flexible on times. The view was very good, but because of the lack of rake there are heads in the way, and you’re just about at floor level with the stage so you can’t see any of the floor projections. The show is designed such that important floor story-points are mirrored on the wall but still it would mildly enhance the experience if you could be further back with a little bit of height. Nothing missed apart from that."
"Row E: "The Audience" (March 2013), (Helen Best). Our seats were not good – right at the end of Row E and you had to lean forward all the time to see."
"Row E: "Blithe Spirit" (March 2014), (Graham). I'm not a fan of the basement level in the auditorium as the rakes are usually poor and large heads block views etc. Here at the Gielgud is no exception, although last night it was my own head that seemed to be getting in the way of the short woman behind. I did try to sink down in my seat but the legroom for me (6 foot) was too poor."
“E15: "Equus" (March 2007). Only four rows from the front and right in the centre. It was excellent with above average legroom. Some people have commented that they couldn't always hear Richard Griffiths but I certainly had no problems where I sat and Daniel Radcliffe comes across loud and clear."
"E15: "Yes Prime Minister" (October 2010). For the £22.50 I paid it was an excellent seat; however the stage was quite high so it is probably worth sitting a couple of rows further back."
"E22 and 23: "Lend Me A Tenor: The Musical" (June 2011). These seats were great, and this heightened my experience."
"E23 and 24: "The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night Time" (August 2014). I should have compromised legroom for better view, but did the other way around instead. I opted for legroom comfort (I'm 6'2'') with seat E24 having nothing in front as mentioned. However, I feel we missed out too much with the view: the stage floor as well as the left stage wall. My opinion, especially for this show, is to go for seats in the dress our upper circle AND centred, to fully enjoyed the visual effects."
"F10 and 11: "The Audience" (March 2013), (Ann Cooper). Very central, but the man in front was tall so he blocked my view as the rake isn't very good here."
"F11 to 16: "Lend Me A Tenor: The Musical" (June 2011). Fairly close to the stage (row A removed due to the 'pit'). The stage seemed pretty high, I don't remember it being quite this high when seeing 'Avenue Q,' - but I was sat further back at that performance. I didn't suffer from any neck ache so it wasn't too bad. The rake seemed pretty non-existent, so can see why the stage would be higher. Comfortable seats in a lovely auditorium."
"Row G: "The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night Time" (August 2014). We had great seats, central and close to the stage. I really think this is a show to see from the stalls. Just my opinion, but you feel so much more involved from this position. It’s an intimate story. It helps if you can see the actors faces."
"G9: "Les Miserables" (August 2019) This seat is to the right of the centre, but gives a good view of the stage. Not much rake, but the seats are offset so the view wasn’t really restricted by those in the row in front. Legroom adequate. For the production of Les Mis, this seat was eye-wateringly expensive, I’m not sure the seat position justified the price but luckily it was an excellent production."
"G19 and 20: "Equus" (March 2007). At £22.50 with some offer. These were great seats, really close but without having to look up too much. The theatre felt really small, so even if you sat at the back of the stalls I think you’d still feel quite close to the stage."
"G19 and 20: "The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night Time" (August 2014). G19 gave a slightly better view of things as it seemed more offset to the seats in front and the view of the stage was for the most part clear. The rake isn’t great here, but I was able to just see over the taller gentleman's head who was sitting in front when I needed to see stage left. You can just about see the left hand side wall of the graph paper from these seats. The stage floor slopes towards the audience but you can’t really see what is happening, but I think for the most part what was drawn on the floor was replicated to the back screen. Seats were comfortable for the most part – only towards the end of the acts did I start to feel a bit fidgety; legroom OK as well for this 5 foot 10 inch theatregoer."
"G 6 and 7: "Hair" (April 2010). Good uninterrupted view and ample legroom."
"G17 and 18: "The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time" (June 2014). I thought the seats probably were 1 or 2 rows too close to the stage. Legroom was sufficient, nothing more. It was difficult to see that Christopher was laying a railway track on the stage. I would say that you need to sit close to the stage as the actors are unmiked."
"J7: "The Ferryman" (July 2017). £25 through todaytix rush. Rake isn't the best so be aware if short (I'm 6ft and had to dodge around the person in front at points), but a great seat at rush price."
“Row K: "Hair," (Taljaard). We had seats on the front row of the Grand Circle and were all moved to row K in the stalls. The (new) seats were fine."
"K6 to 8: "The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg" (March 2011), (James – regular reader). Got them at a discount, making them fantastic value, considering they’re next to the premium seats. Good view and sound from here."
"K15 and 16: "The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg" (March 2011), (James – regular reader). The rake is okay here, although I was lucky not to have anyone in front - as I may have struggled otherwise. The sound is great from here. A bit steep at premium price though but good if at regular price, or less / Second visit:
"K18 and K19: “Lend Me A Tenor” (June 2011), (James – regular reader). Very fair at discount price."
"Row L: "Strangers On A Train" (November 2013), (Lordship Theatregoers). One major problem was that we couldn’t hear some of the dialogue, especially, Laurence Fox, although we sat in row L. I can’t imagine what it must have been like further back. This problem was made worse by the noisy projector but even this can’t be blamed for lack of voice projection – maybe a sign of lack of experience on the West End stage compared to TV work."
"L 1 and 2: "Company" (October 2018). I thought these were brilliant seats. About half way back, but just far enough to give the perfect view, the stagger of the row in front is just right. I suppose you might miss things on the very extreme right of the stage, but that's not a problem for Company.
These are the end of the row, and the best thing about L is it's right beside the entrance door, which not only makes for rapid access to the foyer bar (which is considerably quieter and quicker than the bar at the back of the stalls). I liked these seats so much that I've just booked the same for the 'Les Misérables' extravaganza later in the year."
"L6: "The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time" (June 2014). I got this as a "day seat" for £15 in October 2014, and it was right behind a premium seat, so was excellent - a great view of the stage."
"L15 and 16: The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg" (March 2011), (James – regular reader). perfect!"
"N7 to 9: (Rupi – regular reader). Great seats, but if I was being really fussy, I'd like to be a little further forward."
“N12 and 13: “The Audience,” (Chris B). Centrally located seats about halfway back in the stalls, these seats offer a fantastic clear view of the whole stage. There is a good rake so you can easily see over the heads in front. The seats are close enough to the stage to really feel part of the atmosphere. There is plenty of legroom too which is always nice.”
"N13: "The Ladykillers" (December 2011), (James – regular reader). Perfect seat. A good place to take in the whole stage and also far enough back to avoid craning your neck as a lot of action takes place higher than the main stage level."
"N14: "The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night Time" (August 2014): Perfect distance, central and good rake. Worth the price.
"N17: "The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night Time" (August 2014). Mini spoiler - pick a prime number seat! Great view from N17. As other monkey followers have suggested, it's worth being in the latter two thirds of the stalls rows to get all the tech effects on stage. Don't forget to hang on after the curtain call!"
"P7: "Umbrellas Of Cherbourg" (March 2011). Offered a really good and clear view, and the overhang didn't obstruct my view at all, highly recommend."
"Row Q: "Chariots of Fire" (July 2012). The view is very good."
"Q 3, 4, 5 and 6: “Hair” (April 2010). They were actually pretty good seats, we were under the overhang of the circle but you could still see everything and it felt really close. I sat in Q3 and I didn't lose anything from being to the side. Leg room was fine, my friend who's 6 foot whatever didn't complain."
"Q7 and 8: "The Ladykillers" (December 2011). There is a good view of the amazing set. Ideally I would have liked to be a two or three rows forward to be able to see the top tip of the house that is cut off by the overhang of the circle, and to perhaps the faces of the actors a little more clearly. Personally I did miss a few words of dialogue that I might have heard from further forward but this was usually just due to audience laughter. The legroom was sufficient for someone of my size just over 6 foot and being a little further back in the stalls there is a reasonable rake that helps you see over the head of the people in the rows ahead."
"R1: "Company" (October 2018). Mostly a great view with the very occasional moment on the far right of the set missed, and the upper circle overhang isn't a problem for this show."
"R1: "The Ferryman" (July 2017). Really great seat. Arrived at 10:40am, and all day seats gone by the time we got to the front. However got a £15 seat in back of stalls thanks to dynamic pricing. Didn't feel like I was too far back to be honest, and could see all the facial expressions."
"R 5 to 8: "Avenue Q" (June 2009). Although 18 rows back, I normally prefer to sit near the stage then this. However you do not feel that far away from the action. Can be a bit of a problem if any action is going on above stage level, this is because the overhang from the Dress Circle blocks the view of the top of the stage. However these seats offer plenty of legroom which is vital for any West End show."
"R6 and 7: "Avenue Q" (June 2009). Towards the back and just slightly off centre - but not a problem for any part of this show I think. The seats themselves I found to be very comfortable and being over 6' I also had plenty of knee room which was great, the seats look pretty new too. It certainly seems to have been well thought out which makes a change."
"Row S: "The Audience" (March 2013). The view was fine, but I would suggest a few rows further forward would be even better."
"S1 to S4: "Hair" (April 2010), (James – regular reader). The view was adequate from here. You do lose the top of the stage and the extreme right of it due to the overhang and being at the side, but for “Hair” at least, it doesn’t lose any important action. Good sound from here too. However, for distance from the stage, a bit pricey at £65."
Row T: "Avenue Q" (June 2009), (Graham). Sat in stalls row T, leg room is good (I'm 6ft) but the row is far enough back the circle above blocks the view a couple of times when the top of the set is used. I can't see how row S commands a higher price as it would have the same issue.
Sound quality is not as good as it could have been. Unlike another reviewer, I found the volume was plenty high enough. But the vocals lack clarity, sounding muffled. Ts and Ps are especially hard to pick out making the lyrics of some songs tricky to follow. Amateur-quality sound engineering in a professional music show is a big disappointment."
"Rows W and V: "Strangers on a Train" (December 2013). These rows to do not give a full view of the stage due to the overhanging balcony so you will only see the actors feet sometimes! The set is effectively two storeys."
"Row W (off centre): (Jos). The seats afforded a pretty good view of the stage...Oh and theatre monkey were spot on in their review of the seating and the theatre!"
"W7 and 8: "The Ferryman" (July 2017), (Bob Pickett). This is the back row of the stalls, which suffers as the floor levels out, leaving it dipped slightly below the row in front. As you’re right at the back (so not blocking anyone else’s sightline), why not take advantage of a booster cushion? There happened to be one left on my wife Laura’s seat (she is 5ft ½ inch tall), so she got both a welcome help to her line of sight and added comfort for the marathon of staying in place for over three hours!"
A and C at the sides of the theatre beside the stage about dress circle height.
Each box seats 3 people.
Good, as movable chairs are used.
At top price they are poor value, second price not much better, but at a discount they may worth considering to obtain better than average legroom.
The restricted view eliminating the sides of the stage.
On sale at top non-premium price. Skip C, and be prepared SPOILER ALERT for a possible surprise in A. SPOILER ENDS.
"Box A: "Company" (October 2018). We sat in Box A, two of us. There were two seats. Leg room, with moveable seats, was great. The view was pretty good, especially for a box. The left most part of the stage is obstructed but doesn’t really take much away from the performance. I would chose this box over box C for this show given the staging. Pricing was fair. Slightly oddly, the box has an ante-room but this was use “to entertain” two guests during the interval - so we had to pass through a couple of times, however we were pre-informed on arrival so not a problem. Currently the site states each box states 3 people. This now appears to have changed - 2 people per box for this show throughout the bookings I looked at. Also, which Box A remains 2 moveable chairs, Box C is a fixed bench, flush against the back wall. Therefore I would chose Box A above box C."
"Box A: "The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night Time" (August 2014). Bit of a restricted view but made the play, which was fantastic, even better. We even had a lovely ante-room to have an interval G and T!"
"Box A: "The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night Time" (August 2014). Seat was slightly restricted view, but it did not really affect the play in any way as all the projections were clear."
A single block in the centre of the circle
Two short rows of "slips" in the space between the Dress Circle and stage boxes at the sides of the theatre.
Entrance doors are beside rows B and J.
The Upper Circle overhangs the Dress Circle at row C. This does not affect the view from any seat, though claustrophobics may find H and J a little less comfortable.
The rake is comparatively shallow by West End standards, feels the monkey.
Tolerable in all seats for all under around 5ft 9 inches, except in row A and the centre of row J, where the 5ft 7 monkey was only just comfortable.
Best in row B seats 5 and 30 with almost nothing in front, as well as B 4 and 31 which have a little space for one leg thanks to the curve of the venue and seat position. C5 and 28 gain a little from being curved back a bit too.
Slip seats are now chairs, with acceptable legroom.
Oddly, the front of the circle feels almost at stage height, with the closest slip seats in row A almost within touching distance of the stage.
In the central block, rows B to D 13 to 23 are prime viewing, then the ends of these rows or the centres of either A or E according to taste for leg-space - a little less in A. The theatre are keen on the seats in the Dress Circle, and the monkey agrees.
At the extreme corners of the central block, a few seats in rows A to C have a slightly side view. The monkey rather likes those at the ends of B as they have a little extra legroom... For some productions, those same extreme end seats in rows A, B and C are cheaper. The monkey likes the end two in B particularly for a bit of extra space at a discount, if available - wheelchair users get priority; it always hopes the producers haven't re-priced them...!
Further back, if the whole central Dress Circle is top price, the monkey would think twice about J for legroom, but for view the value is at least fair at second price it opines.
Row A seats 3 to 6 and 30 to 33, and B 3, 4, 31 and 32 are at the sides of the circle. They are now chairs rather than fixed seats, improving legroom. Seats 3 and 33 are within touching distance of the stage and the view is good without needing to lean forward too far. Behind, B 4 and 31 has over a third of the stage not visible - skip them unless there isn't another seat except row AA Upper Circle available (legroom there is tighter) and you REALLY, REALLY need to see about two-thirds of the show. If cheap, row B is the best combination of very low price and tolerable comfort only for those under 5ft 7 or so.
Wheelchair users can choose from B 3 / 4 or 31 / 32, as both pairs of seats are replaceable with a wheelchair place. B 3 and 4 are on the same side of the theatre as the adapted toilet facility.
Lighting strapped to the circle front can affect views in rows A to D.
Poor legroom for the tall and views from slip seats.
Most of rows A to C are at "premium" prices - with some going up to "Super Premium" prices. Monkey says OK in the central seats, though notes you can do very well in normal priced seats nearby; and legroom is better in the stalls for the taller, view better for the shorter from the circle. Once past the "super premium" seats in A and B, the monkey would think hard, as they are pretty far along the row, it feels.
Extreme end seats in rows A, B and C are not discounted, alas. Say no more... particularly as the view is through a rail in the last four seats...
Row J is second price. Monkey would skip it and choose more comfortable and closer to the stage seats at the front of the upper circle first.
Slip seats row A are on sale at second price. They are about fair value if you can get one with a bit of legroom, feels the monkey. Row B is for wheelchair users, and has a slightly better angle than row A, as it is slightly further along and a step up from the circle wall.
"A6: "Company" (October 2018), (Tonyloco). In the Dress Circle Slips and was surprised at how comfortable it was, with all those slips seats being individual chairs so there was no problem with lack of leg room as far as I was concerned and the view of the stage was splendid."
"A15 and 16: I had a shock on the day, when I looked the the tickets and found I had paid a booking fee of about £50. How had that happened without my realising it? I had wondered how I had managed to get possibly the best seats in the house at a few weeks' notice.
As someone who walks with a stick, I found the journey down the vertiginous steps to my seat so terrifying that I refused to go to the bar at the interval even though there was a drink waiting for me. Never again will I sit in the front row: I really had the feeling I would tumble over the edge if I stood up."
"A16: At 6'1 tall, space a little cramped but certainly not uncomfortable."
"A21: "Company" (October 2018). Excellent view and a wonderful show, marred by the fact that A21 in the Dress Circle was so short of legroom that my knees were pressed against the safety barrier at the front of the circle and I had to keep shifting position to try and make myself more comfortable (I failed). At £148.25 for the seat I felt slightly shortchanged. And speaking of short - I'm 5ft 2."
“A30 and 31: “The Ladykillers,” (Chris B). These seats are in a small section curving round the dress circle on the left hand side. There are only four seats so it does feel special. However you have a side view of the stage and have to lean forward slightly, but the safety barrier is padded. In A30 I missed a small part of the far left of the stage (eg I missed Mrs Wilberforce's lavender dress) but nothing that's too important. But there is ample legroom. If you have the option choose A32 and 33 as you can be blocked further by people in those seats leaning too far forward. All these four seats are heavily discounted and are worth a shot.”
"A32: (Blithe Spirit): A32 Dress Circle for only £28 GBP. I had to lean slightly forward to see more of the action. But the price is reflective of this limitation, and I didn't mind. Dress circle is always my preference."
"A32 and 33: "The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time" (June 2014). Front row of the Dress Circle, to the far left. I would not recommend these seats for this production. It was very hard/impossible to see the action on the left side of the stage, even with leaning forward. At the interval we moved to B26, 27 in the dress circle as they were empty. The view was much better there, albeit with slight difficulty in seeing the far left side of the stage (and very slightly obstructed view in B27 from the small barrier). If I had to do it again in this price range, I would have chosen further back but more central - the dress circle isn't that big."
“A32 and 33: “Chariots of Fire,” (Chris B). These seats are significantly cheaper than the rest of the top price dress circle, but in my opinion are definitely worth it. They are in a little section curved around the left of the circle, with only four seats it feels very private and exclusive. Because of the curve you are actually about level with the first and second rows of the stalls, so very close to the stage and all the action. These seats also give a great overview of the unique stage for Chariots of fire (a small running track with seats all round) and although you do have to lean forward slightly to see the extreme left of the stage, the safety barrier is padded and quite comfortable. As there is no one to your left either your view is not blocked any further and there is a nice space to store coats and bags. There is plenty of legroom too, and for the discount price these seats are a good deal.”
"A33: "The Audience" (March 2013). Seat for me at 5ft 6 was fine, legroom was ok and for this production I didn't have to lean too much as much of the play is centre stage. At £27 knowing people 4 seats along have paid £61 these are an absolute steal, and a decent view way above proportion of the price in comparison to other seats. I wouldn't hesitate in taking slips seats again here."
"Row B: (centre), (Mark). Good seat, got for £25 student standby. Much prefer the stalls for 'Avenue Q' though."
"B6: "Company" (October 2018). B6. This is partly obstructed by a rail, but for £25 I had no complaints."
"B11: "Les Misérables: The All Star Concert" (August 2019). Great view, the bottom of the stage on the right is just cut off but it doesn’t matter much for the Les Mis concert version (just feet missing). Decent legroom but you might struggle if you’re on the taller side."
"B19 and 20: "Blithe Spirit" (March 2014). They were really comfortable seats with great legroom and an obviously fantastic view of the stage. Are seats worth £90 each? I still don't think so but then again I'm not a greedy producer!!"
"B26 and 27, C13 to 24 and E1 to 18: "The Ladykillers" (November 2011). All these seats had good leg room - even for those over 6' tall - and an excellent view of the stage. The rake is good, so there is no having to peer around the head of the person in front."
"B 26 and 27: "The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time" (June 2014). We moved to B26 and 27 as they were empty. There is a slight difficulty in seeing the far left side of the stage (and very slightly obstructed view in B27 from the small barrier). If I had to do it again in this price range, I would have chosen further back but more central - the dress circle isn't that big."
C12 to 15: "The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time" (June 2016). "Day Seats" at £15 each. Perfect seats. Could see all of the video projections on floor, all walls, and to the front of the stage. Got a pin for a name with a prime number."
"E 17 to 20: "The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time" (June 2014). Good comfy seats and a really good view of the amazing show. But sitting in front of us in, I guess, 'premium priced' seats were 4 American tourists who seemed to treat the show like a baseball game. Much eating and Coke slurping; and in both halves of the show we had to ask them to refrain from leaning forward (why did they need to in 'Premium View' seats anyway?!) as our excellent view was otherwise obscured by their supersized frames."
"F12: "The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time" (June 2014).This was an enjoyable experience with sufficient legroom for a tall chap (6ft 2) and a good view of the stage."
"F15: "The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time" (June 2014). Very good view (perfect to see the floor)."
"G 16, 17 and 18: "Company" (October 2018). Was offered seats in the Dress Circle for £27.50. View was good for price but felt a bit distant from the action, glad I didn’t pay anymore."
"J21 and 22: "Les Miserables The All Star Concert" (August 2019). Back row. Excellent seats at £55 each. Clear view. Great sound. Top of stage was very slightly obscured by upper circle overhang but nothing to worry about. Would definitely book these seats again."
B and D are at the sides of the theatre, next to the stage between dress and upper circle height. Each box seats 3 people.
E, F and G are at the back of the dress circle, behind (and looking slightly down on) row J of the Dress Circle.
Originally intended to be partitioned into three, instead they are combined into a single plush "Royal Albert Hall" style box-space at the back of the Dress Circle, behind (and looking slightly down on) row J of the Dress Circle.
Here, fixed theatre seats are arranged in two rows. The front row has six centre seats, a gap, then four more seats either side of the central six. Behind the six central seats are another row of four seats raised up on a plinth. Fixed pillars lie at the front of the box area, between the three blocks of seats. They don't affect the sightlines in any way whatsoever, but enhance the exclusive "private room looking out into the theatre" atmosphere wonderfully.
Boxes B and D are fine, as movable chairs are used.
In E, F and G, it is adequate here for all but the tallest in the front row, but is very tight for those over 5ft 6 or so in the row behind.
B and D offer an adequate viewing angle with only a little of the stage obscured. Worth considering at third price to obtain some legroom. Expensive above that, perhaps.
E, F and G: Though the very top of the stage isn't visible (and the monkey suspects, but can't test the theory that if the stage extends forwards those seated here may not quite see the front of it), the result is an interesting and exclusive viewing position. Indeed, the monkey hereby puts a bid in for use, come its next birthday celebration...
B and D are sometimes used for technical equipment.
E, F, and G will miss top of stage action, and may miss front of stage action, if the stage is extended.
All just about fair value at second price. Take B and D first for comfort.
"Box F: “The Ladykillers” (November 2011). Tickets are very expensive (like most London shows nowadays) but we took the Theatremonkey's advice and got £45 seats in Box F. This is actually a great little collection of seats because it's right at the back of the Dress Circe but with its own entrance, which makes it feel quite private. Visibility is as good as most of the Dress Circle, bearing in mind that the Upper Circle extends across a good deal of it. In this show you can see all the action on stage including a very novel depiction of the robbery. My only comment would be that my hearing is no longer in its prime, so I did have to listen very hard. If you've good hearing, go for these seats definitely."
F7 and F8: "Yes, Prime Minister" (October 2011). Refusing to pay over £80 each for front-row circle seats, we opted instead these at less than half the price. What a delight! We were the only people in the boxes, so we could spread out and relax. Entry is direct from the Dress Circle corridor, with no steps down to the seats: something I normally dread because I walk with a stick. There are large glass windows at the back of the boxes, but someone pulled curtains over them at lights-down, so we had total privacy. The view was fine. The very top of the scenery was lost, but that was hardly noticeable and didn't matter in any case. The front of the stage was lost if I slouched in my seat.
Beforehand, my main concern had been about the sound because my companion normally uses a non-inductive hearing-aid to give a slight boost to her hearing, but she had left that behind -which meant I could always blame her if she couldn't hear properly. The higher pitches tended to be lost so we had difficulty at times with the only female player and with the male with the highest-pitched voice, but for most of the time there were no problems although a bit of concentration was occasionally needed.
All of the front-row seats (E1 to 4, F5 to 10 and G11 to 14) seemed to be equally acceptable. But I'm not sure I would choose the second-row seats, F21 to F24, which seemed to have nothing going for them even without anyone sitting in front, and could only have been worse for sound and vision. If returning to the Gielgud, we would certainly choose these seats again."
Called the 'Grand Circle' in this theatre.
A quirk of architecture splits the circle into front and rear sections, with a low wall in front of row F marking the change.
At the very front edges of the circle are six “slip” seats either side of the central block.
The circle curves tightly round towards the stage.
The front block drops quite sharply downwards in front of it, while the rear block is shallower, but feels very high and far from the stage.
The front block has five long rows wrap around without an aisle.
Row E is slightly shorter, so there is nothing behind the end two seats in row D except a safety bar.
The rear section rows F to J are split into two blocks by a central aisle.
The front section is now equipped with high-backed seats (identical to those in the Novello Theatre Upper Circle) providing both comfort and extra legroom thanks to good design and installation.
Thanks to this new seating, legroom is OK for those under 5ft 4 or so in row A and AA, though tight for everybody else.
Likely to be acceptably OK for those under 5ft 10 or so (one 6ft reader was fine in row B) in rows B and C - even moving towards comfortable for the 5ft 6 or so brigade,
Row D has less legroom, the outermost 4 seats the most cramped for those above 5ft 6 or so, innermost seats OK up to around 5ft 8.
Row E has the most legroom, those up to 5ft 9 and even taller should be very much OK.
Rear section seating is cramped in all seats from row F to J (and row F is the worst of these four rows), with the low wall using up some handy toe-space. On the other hand, without that wall the theatre might collapse, so on balance, the monkey guesses it has to stay...
Centre rows C to E first is the monkey advice, though A and B are fair enough, it feels.
Prime seats in this section are row C 12 to 18, D and E 11 to 19 in the monkey view. Take D over C when it is cheaper and save bananas for the same view.
Then take the next two seats beside these, then either take something less central E (if it is cheaper), or central row B (if B to E are the same price), or consider row A if legroom isn't a factor.
After that, stick with C, D or E a bit further along within the price band.
Only the first and last two seats in all rows really have noticeable restricted views as the curve of the circle and box intrusions cut a fifteenth or so of the stage off - roughly the bottom corner nearest to them. In fact, the next two seats in from the "restricted view" ones may even be raised from "restricted view" status at some point, if a canny producer realises the potential... as they now have in row A. The theatre feels that the further back you go in the circle, the less the restrictions are noticeable.
Of restricted view seats, for comfort take those closest to the centre first, rows D, E, C, B, A in that order, and then repeat for the seats nearest the aisles. D has the best view but least legroom - though the end seats are wide enough to angle a leg into the aisle a bit.
For view G (or F if you can stand the legroom) then H and J are better than A to E, many feel. Note that these restricted view seats are normally the same price all the way back to J, but much more comfortable in the front section of seating.
The monkey would pick discounted front section seats over those behind first without hesitation for comfort - and the view isn't bad either, all things considered.
The low wall in front of row F is only noticeable for the effect on legroom - it doesn't affect sightlines.
Views are quite clear from the rear section - though some feel it really does feel higher and further away from the stage than the rows in front (which mostly feel quite close - the monkey hopes that makes sense).
If this section, from row F back, are only tickets left: take seats as close as possible to the central aisle for both view and comfort, taking the most central seats available.
Usually, consider G or H first - whichever has the more central tickets left, then the next closest to the aisle in either row after that. Leave F unless you can get an aisle seat and don't mind sitting slightly sideways in it, in the monkey opinion.
Some productions have F to H at the same price as D and E... the monkey would skip them, and take J first as it is cheaper with similar view and (lack of) comfort.
Of the restricted view seats in this section, usually take seats 3 and 23 then 4 and 24 over the others, remembering to take row F last. The row H and J restricted view seats are the same price as those further forward, though, so take them after rows A to E but before F if legroom is an issue.
Side Slip seats:
Designated row AA, these are last pick of all, as you need to lean forward to see more than two-thirds of the stage. Take 5 to 8 first if you absolutely must, but be aware you get what you pay for... or even a bit less.
A bar runs across the front of the circle, which could affect the view in row A for the shortest - and could also bother the shortest people in the row behind too. It is double height at the aisles, which does mean those in the rear circle at the far ends have it in line.
A reader reports,
"Fair to say there is a rail at front of Grand Circle though doesn't obscure view even in front row where we sat."
A further safety rail exists at the ends of row D, meaning E 2 and 28 have it beside them. Not particularly in vision, the monkey felt, but worth knowing about if you are particularly picky.
The rear section rows F to J central aisle ends at an ornate gold rail. This doesn't affect the view from any seat, but may irritate purists.
Most off-centre seats lose a crescent shaped sliver of the front corner of the stage.
Slip seats are badly restricted and cramped.
Anybody leaning forward will restrict the view for those behind.
Central rows A to E are second price. Monkey would still take rear stalls, but if having to take seats up here, go C then D central as possible first, then B then E - always the most central seats available.
Rows F to J are third price in the centre, fourth price in the outer four seats each side. F has little legroom, G to J not much more. The monkey would probably take cheaper restricted view rows B to E ends before these and save bananas plus gain a little more legroom. On that note...
... Restricted view side seats in A to E are a single fifth price. Follow the usual rules about taking restricted view seats in the centremost front of the front section first. BEAR IN MIND HOWEVER THAT anti-social types are leaning forward, and may block your entire view from row C back. Then in the rear section, take the best available seats located closest to the front and centre aisle first, feels the monkey. NO bargains to be had in these seats - you will get what you pay for, the monkey feels.
Row AA is cheapest in the house, for the very short.
"Grand Circle" "The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night Time" (February 2016). From my seat in the centre of the Grand Circle I had a good view of all but the extreme forestage, and for many of the stage effects the high viewpoint was a positive advantage. All but a very few ensemble lines were clearly audible."
"A 19 and 20: "Les Misérables The All-Star Concert" (July 2019). All I can say is if you are sitting here you are in for a treat knowing you have spent around 2/3 less than a full price ticket in the stalls and getting a fantastic view for the money.
I'm 5 foot 10 and my knees were more than an inch away from the wall so legroom is OK thanks to the flat back seats. As long as you don't have any shopping bags with you you should have no problems if you are around my size.
You are obviously looking down on the stage but you don't miss a lot. You can see to the back of the stage and the whole orchestra and at no point do you miss any of the main performers on the stage. You have around half of the rear projected screen at the back of the stage cut off from your view but you are so busy paying attention to the performers you don't really notice it. A couple of times you get heads cut off by the lighting rig on stage but again not much is missed as it's mainly during the barricade sequence so you can work out what is going on.
The safety rail didn't impede at all for me and didn't cut off any view at all.
The sound up here is crystal clear (i had heard first couple of nights the orchestra were drowning out Ball / Boe but they appear to have sorted those sound issues out).
You also get a good view of all the lighting effects (the barricade attack sequence is amazing and also during javerts suicide the effect looks really good from up here.
Would definitely sit here again if I had to."
"Row B 9 and 10: "Strangers on A Train" (November 2013). I would not particularly recommend these seats. Although the bar at the front didn't infringe on the view, the people in the seats on row A directly in front of us did - they kept leaning forward and at times I had a very narrow field of vision which was between them. Quite irritating! I would have much preferred the dress circle, but was unable to get tickets in that section. Also, I felt the sound wasn't as good as it could have been - I was straining to hear the dialogue at first but then I think my ears must have adjusted."
"Row B 15 and 16: "The Audience" (March 2013) "Graham." I was dubious about the Grand Circle (B15 and 16) visit as don't normally do 'top tier' but have to say what excellent seats these were. Dead centre and for a 6' bulk I had knee room to spare so disagree entirely about the 5'10" comment (an approximate advisory as always - editor). The view was great and could hear everything, wouldn't hesitate booking these again, a definite green seat from me I'm afraid. Wouldn't want to be in row A as tried that when everyone left and it was very tight on legroom."
"C 8 and 9: “Macbeth” (September 2007). Unfortunately we booked quite late so we didn't have much choice but found seats - which AREN'T in the restricted view area and wouldn't seem TOO far along from the seats which ought to be the best. So I thought these might be OK. I'm pretty used to sitting 'in the gods' so I don't expect an 'amazing view' but I thought these seats were some of the worst I've ever had, I think, principally because the curve of this circle seems quite exaggerated? I don't know, I've sat much higher up in other theatres and enjoyed a much better view.
From my calculations, C 8 and 9 are 4 or 5 along from the restricted view seats but they really don't warrant the £37.50 price. A good quarter of the near corner of the stage was obscured but when folk in row A lean forward (as they mostly do, because of the bar) this rises to about half the stage, even if you lean forward yourself. Effectively, we were only able to see the left-hand triangle as it were. Added to this, I think the leg-room and seat angle were pretty poor up here - it wasn't just us shuffling about. After the interval, we were able to move to C16-17, which hadn't been available at booking. All the stage was viewable from here, though leg-room is unchanged. Be aware that if you get someone with a big head in front of you in these rows of the upper circle, the rake isn't steep enough for you to see over them - and we're quite tall! I think, on balance, C16 and 17 were reasonable value for this price range but in future I wouldn't consider any seats beyond 12 and would, in preference go for a higher row. (The monkey would welcome further comment on this from other readers. It felt (having had another long look) that the restriction in fact feels greater than it actually is: while it seems like huge lumps of circle are cutting off the whole view, it felt the circle lines up pretty well with the very front of the stage, and you don't actually lose much of the playing area itself.).”
"C23 and C24": "Blithe Spirit" (March 2014). I would usually avoid the third level of a West End theatre but needs must. At £29 + booking fee these are excellent value during the preview period. C23 and had a very clear view of the stage. I had good sightlines and was able to view everything without having to crane my neck. My partner sat in C24 however, and he found that the action that took place on the left hand side of the stage was obscured slightly and he missed some of the action. We had some good fortune in that two seats were empty in the row during the first act. Therefore during the interval everyone shuffled up a seat. I was therefore in C22 for the second act and my view was even better. My other half commented on the much better view he had in C23. I would say that the only issue was that the sound didn’t always carry, especially Dame Angela’s words. I did have to strain to hear all her dialogue. Legroom was ample and a particular comment should be made on the very comfortable seats which were clearly quite new."
“D5: Grand Circle. Restricted view. The restriction is felt. It is not negligible. The lady in front of me (C4) kept leaning forward ALL THE TIME. It was just too bad. I had to move my head around. Actually, I have been around a bunch of leaning people. At one point, they even stood!!! Leg room is just about acceptable. Considering the price, I probably go along with the Monkey’s assessment of this seat. (Bad manners never help, feels the monkey).”
“D5 and D6: “God of Carnage”. £15 each (preview prices for that production in 2008). The seats are OK for the price but it is restrictive view indeed.
We were lucky enough not to have anyone in the row in front for the first part, but then two latecomers joined and blocked our view, especially since these people kept on changing position in their seats and leaning forward and annoying everyone who had already settled down. We moved up and again were able to get empty seats in front (the ones we left). Personally I would not have wanted to pay the higher prices for a more central view but we were lucky there was some margin for keeping empty seats in front, otherwise the restrictive view would have really been annoying, at least in this show, which has only four people on stage. It is not the part that is really cut from your view (which may be behind the restrictive view classification), but that fact that if the rows in front are full, your view is really reduced. So my advice for this price range and this show would be to try and go in a less popular day so that there are free seats close to you and you can somehow ad! just your position. If other people's heads are going hinder the view, better go for a discounted price."
"D 10 and 11: “Hair”. The Monkey was totally right about these seats being the last ones in the section where you could really see the whole stage (the view was even better when I decided to move to the unoccupied D12 for the second act)."
"D17: "Company" (October 2018). Very central and gave an excellent view of almost all the action. Just occasionally I missed the odd actor at the very front of the stage but I am short."
"D18: "Blithe Spirit" (April 2014), (Lily). I had a full view of the stage, and felt the price for the seat was not bad. I am a very short person so legroom is rarely an issue for me anyway, and this theatre was no exception. I had no problem when it came to anyone in the rows in front blocking the view either."
"D23: "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" (May 2017), (tonyloco). I paid £42.50 for a fairly central seat, but the stage projects about six feet forward of the proscenium, so my view was semi-restricted. I am fairly certain that most seats in the Grand Circle must have some kind of restricted view of parts of the stage, even those seats right in the centre, because those old theatres were designed for the show to take place behind the proscenium not in front of it! The person directly in front of me was of medium height and nobody ahead of me leaned forward and yet I was getting a poor view of the stage, certainly the downstage area. It really was quite uncomfortable perched up in the vertiginous top shelf in a cramped seat with a semi-obstructed view of parts of the stage. Also, most of the seats in the Stalls and Dress Circle were £65 for that performance, so how can the Management justify £42.50 for those distinctly inferior seats in the front of the Upper Circle? When I started going to the West End theatres, the seats in the ‘gods’ were cheap in absolute terms but I do not consider £42.50 cheap, even in 2017, for an uncomfortable seat with a poor view of the stage. The moral for me is never again to sit in the Upper Circle or Balcony of an old theatre, and that includes the Palladium after my disaster with the pantomime last Christmas!"
"D26: "Les Misérables In Concert" (August 2019), (Taaljard). Missed a tiny bit of the left hand side of the stage. The sound was very good and I had a very good view of the harpist who was kept very busy."
"D26: "The Ferryman" (July 2017) I wish to complain about upper circle D26. Once everyone in rows A-C realised what 'restricted view' meant and leaned forward, I lost everything but the fireplace and the staircase. Would suggest downgrading it from green on your seating chart. (Happy ending for me though, moved to a stalls standing space with permission, perfect view!)."
"D29: "Les Misérables In Concert" (August 2019). I could see very little if the show in the first half as my view was severely restricted by a 2 bar safety rail and was also hampered by a lady in the second row who continually lent forward. My seat was D29 in the Grand Circle. During the interval I asked if I could move to an empty seat a couple of rows further back and was told that I couldn't as the seat had been sold - even though the person hadn't turned up. In fact there were 4 empty seats together. I asked if I could stand at the back and this was also declined. I also asked why the ticket wasn't sold as restricted view and was advised that the restriction would depend on how tall you are. I am 5 foot 10. I accept that sides of the stage may be restricted but not most of it which was due to the safety rail. I spoke to the manager and she allowed me to sit in seat F1 in the second half as long as I moved if the person turned up - they didn't. This seat was so much better and priced exactly the same. The side slip seats - at £17.50 - would have provided a much better view than D29 although you would need to lean forward ( but not blocking anyone else's view). I am returning to see the show a few more times but in different seats. I would avoid D29 at all costs and am amazed that no-one else has complained since opening night last Saturday - which I was advised by the usher."
"F 5 and 6: "The Ferryman" (July 2017). Can't see the stage left portion of the stage. This area is crucial for Aunt Pat's caustic remarks, the boys' discussion of Mr Muldoon and the climax at the end. You'd be better off on the stage right side of the theatre."
“F7: At first I thought, woah I'm high (and the lady next to me was scared of the height). But once the play started the distance between me and the players didn't matter. I could hear and see everything. If you're in this section, it is best to be nearer the middle if possible. I thoroughly enjoyed the play and the seat was fine."
"F12 and F13: "Chariots of Fire" (June 2012). Offered a decent view of the stage. The whole stage was visible - there was just some parts at the very top of the set which weren't visible but that didn't cause any problem for this production."
"F24: "The Ferryman" (July 2017), (Rhys). Was moved to F24 by an usher and given a Sennheiser - could hear everything, along with every cough, rustle and whisper from the whole auditorium, very clearly - but my view was restricted by 25%."
"G5: "The Ferryman" (July 2017). Can't see the stage left portion of the stage. This area is crucial for Aunt Pat's caustic remarks, the boys' discussion of Mr Muldoon and the climax at the end. You'd be better off on the stage right side of the theatre."
"G18: Les Misérables, the all-star staged concert" (August 2019). I was in G18 in the Grand Circle which is a long way up from the stage, but you lose nothing sitting at that distance...especially when Alfie Boe hits his top notes...incredible, I could feel the vibrations in the air."
G25 and 26: “Equus” (2007), (Marcus Chaplin). These were excellent value as they are sold as restricted view tickets but for "Equus" the area of the stage you can't see is very rarely used, it all focuses on the centre of the stage. Good seats if you're on a budget."
“G23 to 26: “Comedian Bill Bailey” (December 2008), (James). I thought the view was fine (the show was fantastic too). Once you first sit down you do seem to think it is fairly high, however once you get into the show you really don’t notice it at all, G26 and G25 (which I was in) has only the very side of the stage slightly, and I mean slightly, obscured by a rail but things are still visible and no problems at all. I would definitely recommend these seats as they are great value for money."
"J14: "The Ferryman" (July 2017), (Taljaard). Back row of the gods. Great seat for the price. Missed nothing."
"J19: "The Ferryman" (July 2017), (Rhys). Could not hear a word. I'm 20 and my hearing is superb and I have never had an issue before. Only the odd smattering from a few actors made it to the back of the theatre. Was moved to F24 by an usher and given a Sennheiser - could hear everything, along with every cough, rustle and whisper from the whole auditorium, very clearly - but my view was now restricted by 25%. I've been assured measures are being taken to improve the sound, but short of a miracle, if you want to hear any of the production, book a seat costing £60+. A shame."
Total 973 seats.
Air-cooled auditorium. Not as effective as proper air conditioning, so be prepared for a hot and uncomfortable time in the height of summer, alas. To minimise the effects, seating in the front stalls is normally coolest as heat rises - and is also trapped in Circle overhangs. Just a bit of advice from someone in the theatre industry who has a grasp of physics...
Sennheiser Infrared. Guide dog sitter available. Wheelchairs can replace seats B 5 and 30 in the Dress Circle. Access is via a fire exit and ramp. Adapted toilet in foyer near the bar on the B5 side. Specific information from the theatre group dedicated phoneline on 0344 482 5137.
No food except Ice-cream and confectionery. Bar snacks also available.
Three bars, Foyer, Stalls and Dress Circle. Reader Barfly noted that the Stalls one is, "nicely tucked away, meaning that it wasn't too crowded."
A VIP room leading off from a corridor behind the Dress Circle is available for hire.
8 toilets in all; Stalls 1 gents 1 cubicle, 2 ladies 6 cubicles, 4 cubicles; Dress Circle 1 gents 3 cubicles, 1 ladies 4 cubicles; Upper Circle 1 gents 2 cubicles, 2 ladies 2 cubicles each.
Reader Sam notes in November 2005 that:
"As a female I wanted to let others know that the toilets are just outside the stalls and not once (in the three times I used it) did I have to wait on line. That was the best part of the show!"
Another, in 2008 adds,
"the Gielgud has the nicest women's toilets of any theatre I've ever been to. As so many theatre toilets, especially in the West End, are so very skanky I thought it was something worth remarking on. Plenty of cubicles, room to queue (not that it's needed as there are plenty of cubicles), nice smelling soap, space to move around and not get stuck in the loo, pretty wallpaper and all very very clean."
A reader says of upstairs facilities,
"The ladies' loos in the Upper Circle are more cramped (if that's possible!) than the seating - literally no room to turn round - or to let people in and out!"
One reader notes that latecomers may have to watch part of the performance on a TV in the foyer. He found this rather a noisy location, alas, and wishes to warn others of the potential problem.
Theatres use "dynamic pricing." Seat prices change according to demand for a particular performance. Prices below were compiled as booking originally opened. Current prices are advised at time of enquiry.
Based on paying FULL PRICE (no discount!) for tickets, site writers and contributing guests have ALSO created the colour-coded plans for "value for money," considering factors like views, comfort and value-for-money compared with other same-priced seats available.
For a full discussion, opinions, reviews, notes, tips, hints and advice on all the seats in this theatre, click on "BEST SEAT ADVICE" (on the left of your screen).
On the plans below:
Seats in GREEN many feel may offer either noticeable value, or something to compensate for a problem; for example, being a well-priced restricted view ticket. Any seats coloured LIGHT GREEN are sold at "premium" prices because the show producer thinks they are the best. The monkey says "you are only getting what you pay for" but uses this colour to highlight the ones it feels best at the price, and help everybody else find equally good seats nearby at lower prices.
Seats in WHITE, many feel, provided about what they pay for. Generally unremarkable.
Seats in RED are coloured to draw attention. Not necessarily to be avoided - maybe nothing specific is wrong with them, other than opinions that there are better seats at the same price. Other times there may be something to consider before buying – perhaps overpricing, obstructed views, less comfort etc.
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 Upper Circle is called the "Grand Circle" in this theatre.
Some details may change. The monkey will update as available.
Please note: The seating plans are not accurate representations of the auditorium. While we try to ensure they are as close to the actual theatre plan as possible we cannot guarantee they are a true representation. Customers with specific requirements are advised to discuss these with the theatre prior to booking to avoid any confusion.
Piccadilly Circus - Piccadilly (Dark Blue) and Bakerloo (Brown) lines.
The escalator from the platforms ends in a large circular underground area.
After leaving the barriers, turn to your left, and follow the curve of the barriers around until you see an exit to your right with the sign "Subway 4" over it. Walk under this sign.
Walk through this tunnel and take the first staircase to your right, marked "Shaftesbury Avenue", take the stairs up to the street.
At the top of the stairs, take a very sharp "U Turn" through 180 degrees to your left. Look forwards and upwards for the huge "Sanyo" sign. Walk forwards towards it.
The busy road to your left is Shaftesbury Avenue. If you see the Prince of Wales Theatre, and Trocadero centre, wrong way.
For the Gielgud Theatre cross the road and turn to your right, walk under the covered area where the cash ATM's and street artists are. Walk straight on, crossing Denman Street, Great Windmill Street, Archer Street and Wardour Street and past the Lyric and Apollo Theatres. The Gielgud is the next one beyond these.
14, 19, 22B, 38, 53, 88, 94, 159 To Shaftesbury Avenue.
A rank for Black taxis is at Charing Cross Station - a long distance from the theatre. Best chance of hailing one is in the street outside.
Shaftesbury Avenue. Cross the road, turn left, passing the Curzon West End Cinema, and Queens Theatre and crossing Greek Street, Firth Street, Dean Street and Wardour Street. The theatre is on your right. If you come to the Palace Theatre, wrong way.
The "Theatreland Parking Scheme" may be available at this car park. Call Q-Park car parks on 0870 442 0104 or see www.q-park.co.uk for details. At this car park, parking under the "Theatreland Parking Scheme" allows a 50% discount in cost. Spaces CANNOT be reserved at these prices, so choose whether you would prefer to book and pay more, or use this scheme.
If you choose the "Theatreland Parking Scheme", you must get your car park ticket validated at the theatre's box office counter (the theatre attendant will insert the car parking ticket into a small machine which updates the information held on the magnetic strip on the reverse, thus enabling the discount). When you pay using the machines at the car park, 50% will be deducted from the full tariff. You may park for up to 24 hours using this scheme and it is endorsed by the Society of London Theatre.
For a full list of car parks and theatres that participate in the 50% off theatreland scheme see www.q-park.co.uk.
Denman Street is an alternative - NOT in the above scheme, though. Turn to your left as you leave the car park. If you see the Piccadilly Theatre, wrong way. Walk to the end of the street and turn left. Walk straight on, crossing Great Windmill Street, Archer Street and Wardour Street and past the Lyric and Apollo Theatres. The Gielgud is the next one beyond these.