Panton Street, London SW1Y 4DN 0844 871 7622
Ambassador Theatre Group, the theatre group's own website provide the service for this theatre.
Booking fees per transaction:
A £3.65 per transaction (not per ticket) fee is made.
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 £85 tickets with a £15.30 per seat booking fee, £12.60 on £69.50, £9.50 on £52.50, £7.20 on £39.50, £5 on £27.50, £4.50 on £25 seats / £13.50 on £75, £10.80 on £52.50, £7.70 on £42.50, £5.40 on £32.50, £4.10 on £22.50, £3.60 on £20 preview 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 £85 tickets with a £17 per seat booking fee, £13.90 on £69.50, £10.50 on £52.50, £7.90 on £39.50, £5.50 on £27.50, £5 on £25 seats / £15 on £75, £11.90 on £52.50, £8.50 on £42.50, £6.50 on £32.50, £4.50 on £22.50, £4 on £20 preview seats and £2.75 per booking (not per ticket) postal charge.
Ticketmaster.co.uk offers £85 tickets with a £16.75 per seat booking fee, £13.75 on £69.50, £10.25 on £52.50, £7.75 on £39.50, £5.50 on £27.50, £5 on £25 seats / £14.75 on £75, £11.75 on £52.50, £8.50 on £42.50, £6.50 on £32.50, £4.50 on £22.50, £4 on £20 preview seats.
Quality and Value hotel / theatre ticket packages are available.
Londontheatredirect.com offers £85 tickets with a £17 per seat booking fee, £14 on £69.50, £10.50 on £52.50, £8 on £39.50, £5.50 on £27.50, £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.
Telephone: 0844 871 7622
Operated by the Ambassador Theatre group's own phoneroom from 9am until 10pm (Sundays 10am until 8pm). Outside these hours the Ticketmaster agency answer calls on their behalf.
Booking fees per transaction for telephone bookings:
A £3.65 per booking, not per ticket, booking fee applies.
For personal callers or by post:
Panton Street, London. SW1 4DN
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 0800 912 6971.
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 Dress Circle overhangs the stalls at row L - sweeping forward over the end four seats of row J at the sides. It is noticeable in row O, and intrudes on views from row N back.
Two large pillars in row M hold the circle up and destroy the view from most seats in the rear stalls (though creating a few cut price ticket opportunities; see below).
Seats are in a single block, except in the back three rows where a central pillar divides them into two sections.
The rake (sloped floor to help see over rows in front) of the stalls is adequate from around row G back.
Row C seats 1 and 21 and row K seats 1 and 20 have restricted legroom. In practise, you can put your legs either side of the pillar or just to one side, if slim enough. No real issue that the monkey could see, unless tall and needing a lot of space directly in front.
5ft 10 reader Lany felt in C1 that "the pillar immediately in front of your right leg is not so big that you can not curl your leg around it out into the aisle."
Elsewhere, legroom is acceptable throughout the stalls for all but the tallest. The seats are pretty hard, though, and have lower than normal backs, the monkey thought.
Seats D1 and 22 have space for 1 leg with 10% clear in front. L1 has nothing in front.
Rows A and B may well be uncomfortable for many, as those seated here "look up" to the stage and suffer neck ache in the process, though the tickets aren't sold more cheaply to allow for that fact!
Row A seat 1 especially is to be avoided as it has an official "restricted view" designation, but isn't discounted significantly unless used as a "day seat."
If a production has row A heavily discounted either in advance or as “day seats,” the monkey would take 5 to 15 first, 1 and 19 last for view and comfort.
Almost all of rows C to M normally offer acceptable value for money with only the first and last two seats in rows C to H should be avoided. These are outside the proscenium arch, with a poor view of the outermost edges of the stage. Unacceptable at the price. Sadly, they are too close to the stage for distance to improve the viewing angle.
Rows D to H seats 7 to 16, row J seats 5 to 14 and K 6 to 15 offer best value at top (non-premium) price, in the monkey's opinion.
At top price, the monkey would probably skip anything top price from row N back to row U, as they are behind pillars. Against this, seats here are a better bet for comfort than the Upper Circle if at the same price. It isn't that they are restricted, just that the pillars are in view and you are looking towards a stage with them framed in the foreground like goalposts. Do watch for N16, though, a pillar clips the view of this "top price" ticket...
Pillar intrusion is noticeable from central rows P and Q onwards - the monkey would give the non-offset seats between the goalposts a miss if possible. They feel as if one is looking through a window ... and circle overhang really adds further lack-of-delight to the view from the rows beyond around row R.
If the monkey has to sit in the rear stalls, it would take seats near the outer aisles first as far back as row R. The view is surprisingly decent (at worst you have only one pillar to contend with) even if the price sometimes isn’t. A second price seat will be more comfortable here, though, than the upper circle equivalent. Hence the monkey would endure the pillars rather than the cramp...
The monkey is happy now to grab N 7 (and the pairs of seats behind it in row O) if sold for a very low price - as they sometimes are.. As reader Richard explains, in 2013,
"they have redone the seating in the stalls which affects the restricted view seats. There's now a gap between N7 (and its equivalent) and the seat next to it - so these seats no longer have the pillar in front. In fact they are now better than normal seats as you have somewhere to put your coat! I was in one of the row O seats, a bargain at (I think) £15 - it cut off the very extreme edge of the stage but could see any "action" by moving my head slightly."
another reader counters in 2018,
"I thought readers might be interested in my experience of seat O7 which was very different from Richard's. My view of a quarter of the stage was cut off by the pillar which was directly in front of me in row M. I would have had to lean quite a bit to the left or the right to see a lot of the performance which was obscured by the pillar. There was no gap between seats O7 and O6 so the pillar was straight in front of me. Also I'm quite short (5ft 1) so that may have made it more difficult for me to see round the pillar without leaning quite a bit to my left or right. Fortunately the theatre arranged for us to move to some seats which were available in row G which were excellent."
The monkey took a look in late 2018, sitting there for an entire play. It found that there was a gap between N7 and 8 and that there was a clear diagonal view to the left edge of the stage. The pillar itself is almost in front, removing 30cm of view around a quarter of the way across the stage. By leaning slightly to either side, all action could be observed. Being shorter would make this leaning more difficult, it agrees. Those of 5ft 7 or more won't have the problem, it thinks.
The monkey might also take the other cheaper seats nearby too, allowing again for the pillar issues.
Otherwise, always take the most central seat in the restricted view section - next to the more expensive seats - first, then the one that isn't directly behind the pillar, then the middle ones.
P7 and Q7 see the pillar line up almost with the side of the stage for a start.
There is a gap between seats P6 and 7 to improve sightlines. Divorcing couples don't get a discount sitting here, though.
Pillars in the centre of rows M and S restrict views of seats behind. It does little for the view from K1 either...
Outermost seats in row A have poor views.
Seats in row P are not offset to see between seats in front.
The circle overhang cuts views of the stage top from around row R.
A sound desk can replace seats in the centre of rows S to U. Worth skipping seats near it, feels the monkey.
The front row is not confirmed but likely to be A and fair value if they are sold as "day seats," just stay off the extreme ends of the row for best viewing position, feels the monkey.
"Premium" seats occupy most of rows E to K, with "package seats" mopping up D as well. Your choice, feels the monkey, who would take seats in front, then beside them first.
The usually cheap N7 and O 6, 7, 16 and 17 are third price £39.50 (usually £15!) and have a pillar in view. N7 is acceptable, the other two, the monkey would take but C 1, 2, 20 and 21 are the same price. Much closer - but you will have to put your legs around a pillar, not comfortable for the taller. Also look at row S seats near the middle as the view is slightly better, it feels.
To elaborate, there are a number of "restricted view" seats in rows P back to U are second or third price. The monkey would take the second price P or Q 7 first, then the third price ones in rows S, T and U, then on the ends of rows, anything beside them at second price. It would avoid central ones at top price or second price central seats from S back.
To be specific, after pillar seats, go for outermost seats in S, T or U to minimise intrusion - third price rows T and U are decent for the money, the monkey feels - outer edges to centre if possible to see around those pillars.
A sound desk by T and U 4 shouldn’t bother anyone much.
"A1 and 2: "Uncle Vanya" (January 2020). The stage isn't high at all, below eyeline, I could see all feet and shoes. A1 was outside of arch therefore restricted but not much happens at extreme side stage left. On the other hand stage right has a French window to the garden/forest and lots going on there. So higher restricted seats are much worse."
"A2: "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf" (March 2017), (Glen Morranjie). All day seats are described as slightly restricted view, but at £15, you can’t complain and I didn’t miss anything important, as the main action takes place centre stage. Buyers hoping for the stalls seats may wish to know that leg room is slightly restricted by speakers, blasting out discordant music between scenes, so also not for those disturbed by sudden loud noises. The play is pretty intense, especially from the front row of stalls!"
"A4 and A5: "The Children's Hour" (February 2011). Taken as they were rejected by the woman ahead of me - who took row C1 and C2 as she didn't want to be so close. Front row is actually no problem for this, ankles cut off - but prime view otherwise, with action taking place a few feet away. Bargain for £15 if you get up early enough."
"A5 and 6: "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf" (March 2017).Front row really excellent, we were in the low number seats this time and just as good a view as when we were on the other side."
"A8: "Absent Friends" (February 2012), (Taljaard). Got a day seat, A8 in the stalls. Was worried that it might be too close but was promised that the stage was not too close to the front row. And it was not. At 5'7" I hardly had to look up at all and at £15 was a bargain!"
"A14: "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf" (March 2017). Very close to the action! Got through Todaytix rush app and a bargain at £15. Stage is fairly low so no neck-ache. but seats in this venue aren't the most comfortable"
"A18: "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf" (March 2017). Wonderful view right in the heart of it for £15."
"A18: "A Chorus of Disapproval" (September 2012), (Taljaard). Bought a day seat.. Even though they have raised the stage this does not prove a problem. No neck ache to report. I would avoid A19 as it really is right on the side facing a wall but my seat was fine."
“B7 and 8: (Kevin). We sat in the stalls row B, seats 7 and 8, and I'd tend to agree with the Monkey about the possibility of neck ache because it's so close"
B 17 and 18: (Adam Walker). These were EXCELLENT! Agreed, a little neck-ache but totally worth it. You are so close to the action that you might as well be on stage with them. Neil Stuke's sweat was more than evident.
Row C: (with row A absent), (MF). We had half price seats in Row C (thanks Theatremonkey for the advice). Seats were great, close to the stage but not neck-strainingly so."
"C1: "The Children's Hour" (February 2011), (Iany). I found the seat good for £15 day seat, as the pillar immediately in front of your right leg is not so big that you cannot curl your leg around it out into the aisle - I'm 5ft 10. The pillar does not cause any sight restriction or feel imposing upon you. A small amount of restricted view of side rear of stage (not really a problem for this production) caused because you are out wider than the stage."
"C1: "Hamlet" (July 2017). Has a pillar right in front of you so that you have to sit at an angle for the performance."
"C9 and 10: "Absent Friends" (February 2012). I think row B would have been too close, C was just about OK for the neck but brilliant for the experience. Every nervous twitch and uncomfortable grimace on the stage was clear to see - and there were plenty of those. Seeing Reece Shearsmith's "Colin faces" up close was a treat in itself."
"C20: "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf" (March 2017). Great seat and lovely view, missing none of the action for £15!"
“Row D: Sunset Boulevard" (December 2008). I was in the fourth row of the stalls and loved the intimate scale and closeness of it, not sure how well it would have played to the back... hopefully another reviewer might be able to confirm."
“D5 and 6: (Mila). We had a great view from the stalls row D seats 5 and 6 (only a white but a perfect view)"
"D11 and 12: "Nice Fish" (November 2016). Perfect view for me at 5'8", but stage is built up about 18 inches, so anyone shorter would want to be further back. Rows A-C miss some details involving miniature puppets at stage level." NOTE: This was altered during previews, so the stage is far lower now - editor.
“D11 and 12: (Theatremonkey regular). Theatremonkey has, quite rightly, marked as "GREEN"! Great seats."
"D12: "La Bete" (June 2010). Brilliant seat. Very close to the stage so all the subtle facial expressions can be seen. Ideally I may have preferred the row behind, just to be a tiny bit further away."
"Row E: "Merrily We Roll Along" (May 2013). Lovely little theatre and seats in row E (third row from the front for this show) were excellent , being comfortable, enough leg room, and good sightings between heads in front."
“E 7 and 8 for “Sunset Boulevard” (May 2009), (James – regular reader). Close enough to see all facial expressions and hear everything clearly, but I would have preferred to be a few rows back to see the whole stage without turning from side to side. However, the rows behind were premium seats and I got row E at a discount, so definitely a good deal."
"E9 and 10: (Theatremonkey regular). Seats were good. It certainly isn't worth paying premium to be in the row behind as you do not have to look up from these seats.(This alludes to the fact that central seats in rows F to K were slightly more expensive for "Prick Up Your Ears" in September 2009).
“E13 to 15: "Sunset Boulevard" (March 2009). Usually I am a bit wary of sitting too close to the stage (last time I was in row G), but I really enjoyed being so close to the actors. We certainly didn't get neck ache."
"F1 and F2: “Betrayal (2011). Comfortable seats even for us bigger people, good view."
“F17 and 18: “Absent Friends” (March 2012), (Chris B). Good clear view of the stage; you are close enough to feel totally absorbed in the action and can see every last detail and facial expression. (and there are some great ones!) These seats are slightly to the left but you can see the whole stage. No trouble to see over the heads in front either. Plenty of legroom.”
"G4: (Sam). On this occasion (the first time really) I strongly disagree with theatremonkey's assessment. Even though I bought my ticket from TKTS, so it was discounted, I still would recommend this seat at full price. I felt very satisfied with my seat. The view was very clear, and legroom was good. The monkey raises the issue of the outermost edges of the stage. I can't comment on all productions, but for "Donkey's Years" that wasn't the case from G4, but I believe he is right for G1, and G2, and maybe G3. I can't comment on the first 3 seats, but personally I would give G4 a Green. White at worst."
"G11 and 12: Great seats with a full view of the stage whilst also feeling intimate."
"H7: (Mark). Very good view of the stage, no problems at all."
"H10: "Merrily We Roll Along" (May 2013). Just about perfect as far as position goes. Dead centre so a perfect view. Decent leg room. Stage highish but even with some action in this production taking place up stage you don't miss a thing with this seat."
"H12 to H14: (James – regular reader). Good rake ensures a good view from here."
"H21 and 22: plenty of legroom and comfortable seats."
"J6: "Spamalot" (August 2012). Only slightly off centre and a good view of everything, including the action (quite a bit of it in Spamalot) that took place quite tight stage left (people in the boxes were hanging by their toes). Close enough to feel part of it and decent leg room. Not a great deal of rake here, but decent height to the stage so tall people in front shouldn't be any more of a problem than in most theatres."
"J14: “Betrayal” (2011), (Taljaard). Got it for £20 15 minutes before curtain up. A really good seat and bargain."
"K3 and K4: "La Bete" (June 2010), (That Fulham Couple). A good view of the stage, but the lumbar and back support cushioning was noticeably poor as you approach the 90 minute mark."
“K5: (A 6ft 6 reader). Excellent position, legroom was adequate, therefore the seat was comfortable. However the theatre has a very shallow rake which means that there is a lot of head dodging to be done, although the spacing of the seats allows you to see through gaps. If you are smaller than average I would advise caution, suffice to say I personally didn't have a problem, although others in my group did. The person behind me did ask me to slouch in my seat but the legroom would not allow that even if I wanted to!"
"K5 to K7: "A Chorus of Disapproval." We got our tickets for £35 each. At 6ft tall I found there to be no issue with sitting in K5 and I could even stretch out a bit under the seat in front. The rake isn't great here but at least the rows are staggered so you can see between the space of the two seats directly in front. In general all three of us had a great view of the entire stage, missing nothing. I thought the seats were comfortable enough with fair padding and didn't experience any discomfort (though one lady in our group said she was a little uncomfortable towards the end of the play)."
“J 1 to 3: (Mum paying, why go with the cheap seats?) They are nice and close to the action and the view is not obscured by one of the myriad of poles the architect seems to have distributed through the theatre. However, the rake is only very slight and if you are a bit short and are sat behind some tall/with an afro you may have to do a bit of leaning. Deserving of the white rating methinks."
"J3 and J4: (James – regular reader). Unlike some theatres, these seats didn’t feel like they were too far to the side. Good view and good sound from here."
"J7 and J8: Good - as enough legroom and centre stage."
"J9 and J10: (James) Great view, feels very close to the action."
“L11 to 15: (Lizzie) Very good indeed."
"L13: "Sunset Boulevard" (December 2008), (Alison). Very good: plenty of leg room (well, I'm short, but I had plenty of room). I believe the prices in row L are less than in row K, directly ahead, and thus I think row L is a good value."
"L13 and 14: "The Children's Hour" (February 2011),
excellent seats. Highly recommended as they are completely central to the stage and just the right distance from it. Comfy seats, with loads of leg room."
“L21: Avoid as it is beside a pillar - you don't actually miss any of the stage, but perhaps lose a bit of atmosphere and legroom."
“Row M: has pillars interrupting the usual flow of seating so that, between the pillars, the seats are directly behind those in front rather than staggered as in the rest of the stalls. I suggest these seats are downgraded in your colour coded advice."
"M8: Great seat for me but not raked very well for my friends who are of an average height. They always seem to struggle when tall people sit in front of them."
"N7: "The Birthday Party" (January 2018). I did well behind my pillar. Not a bad view at all, though I suspect the other side might have been better for the set? Good leg room and room to the side for my bag."
“N7: "The Children's Hour" (February 2011). "Tested the notorious N7 and N15 £5 seats...sat in them for test purposes I would have zero complaints, easy-peasy to avoid the pillar - a no brainer giveaway if booked in advance."
"N7: "Chimerica" (October 2013). "No impressed."
"N12: "Merrily We Roll Along" (May 2013). At a discount rate of £15, is absolutely fantastic. Comfortable, plenty of leg space but not much elbow space for me I found. Excellent view with everything clearly visible. Close enough to the stage too. There is a shallow rake in the old theatre and row N isn't staggered due to support posts - causing an issue for whoever sits behind, though. It did get incredibly hot inside the theatre as it was at least 28*C outside, which made it rather uncomfortable, most likely due to the age of the building."
“N15: "The Children's Hour" (February 2011). As a £5 pillar seat it was a STEAL! Great view just by leaning on the right arm-rest slightly. I could see 100% of the stage. Excellent."
"Row O: "Old Times" (February 2013), (Richard). They have redone the seating in the stalls which affects the restricted view seats. There's now a gap between N7 (and its equivalent) and the seat next to it - so these seats no longer have the pillar in front. In fact they are now better than normal seats as you have somewhere to put your coat! I was in one of the row O seats, a bargain at (I think) £15 - it cut off the very extreme edge of the stage but could see any "action" by moving my head slightly."
"O 1 and 2: "The Importance of Being Earnest" (June 2014). £15 each (preview priced 'day seats') and were fantastic seats!"
"O7: "Consent" (May 2018). My view of a quarter of the stage was cut off by the pillar which was directly in front of me in row M. I would have had to lean quite a bit to the left or the right to see a lot of the performance which was obscured by the pillar. Fortunately the theatre arranged for us to move to some seats which were available in row G which were excellent."
"O10: "Merrily We Roll Along" (May 2013). I found this perfect for overcoming the Pinter pillar problem. It's dead centre and is positioned very well for seeing past the pillars and they don't obscure anything stage left or right from this seat. I would imagine seats 9, 11, 12 and 13 would be as good. You are back from the Dress overhang, but it doesn't spoilt the view of anything high. Leg room is very good with a half decent rake. The only problem might be if you have someone tall in front of you as seats here are not offset but directly behind each other."
“O12 and 13 in the stalls were fantastic."
"O12 and 13: "Birdsong" (September 2010), (Rich). I would recommend these seats to get a clear, central view of the stage; however I would not have wanted to be any further back. The legroom was satisfactory but considering we only paid for balcony seats and got upgraded, I can't complain."
"O17: "Hamlet" (August 2017). Really good value seat. Had to peer round the pillar a few times but didn’t really miss too much and the leg room was good."
"O 20 and 21: "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" (August 2019). In terms of space these must be some of the best seats in Theatreland: Lots of leg room, broad seats. Towards the end of the show I was fidgeting (a touch more upholstery would be appreciated). Pillar a couple of rows forward not in the way. The rake is quite shallow, so if sat behind a taller person/Marge Simpson you'll struggle but otherwise great view of the stage (overhang from the circle obscures the very top of the stage only)."
"P3 and 4: "Merrily We Roll Along" (May 2013). At a discount rate of £25 were a bargain."
“Q9 and 10: “Death and the Maiden” (December 2011), (Chris B). Centrally located seats with a good clear view of the entire stage. There is a good rake so you are not obstructed by heads in front (unless you are unlucky to have a giant sitting in front). I would say these seats are a little far back, you do feel a bit distant although it is quite a small, intimate theatre. Having sat further forward in this theatre I would recommend it for a more engaging experience.”
“Q9 and 10: “Old Times,” (Chris B). These seats are at the back of the stalls but are centrally located. They offer a clear, unobstructed view of the whole stage, as there is a good sized rake. However the overhang from the dress circle does cut off a slight bit of the top of the stage, but this doesn't impact on the view of 'Old Times' at all. You are a little too far back to clearly make out facial expressions though. The low ceiling does make it feel a little boxed in though. The legroom is sufficient, but not plentiful and Q10 is next to a small central aisle allowing for extra legroom if needed.”
"Q16 and 17: Marked white in your plan. They should definitely be red. A pillar is directly in line with centre stage and you have to keep craning your neck. This must also annoy the people in the row behind."
"R1: "Oslo" (October 2017). Got through Todaytix rush. Very good seat for this price but maybe not at full price. You would miss anything up a height (I had to bend down to look at some of the dates that pop up)."
The Upper Circle overhangs the Dress Circle at row B. The support pillars holding it up appear in row B. The overhang does not affect the view from Dress Circle seats, the pillars, do!
Seats are divided into three blocks by gangways. The outer two blocks follow the curve of the horseshoe shaped circle towards the sides of the theatre.
The circle has a shallow rake.
Legroom is poor for those over 5ft 10 or so. New seating does allow feet to stretch a little more than before, though.
There is more legroom in row A seats 6 to 12, and also E5 and 17 have a bit more (plus the aisle to stretch into). E4 and 18 are not bad either. Other aisle seats also allow stretching for one leg.
A 1 and 17 have less legroom as the circle curves in front of them.
B1 and 19 have less legroom as a wall pillar intrudes into the space on one side of the seat.
C 6 and 15 may also be cramped for those over 5ft 7 or so due to the circle curve.
Central row A, when not at premium price, is the way to go.
Of the rest, B 7 to 13 and C 8 to 13 in the centre are the better end of average. Also look across the aisle at B 4, 5, 15, 16 and C 4, 5, 16, 17.
The remaining central block seats are between pillars and sitting here feels like watching through goalposts.
The shallow rake makes rows from E back seem far from the stage. One reader reports a poor view from row E back too.
Row F is recessed behind row E in an alcove. The seat backs are set flat against a wall, which may well be uncomfortable for the taller (or anyone not wanting to feel forced upright, really).
Restricted view seats:
Those behind the pillars are poor value with a bad view at top price. Theatremonkey advises not buying them unless very cheap. If they are very cheap, take them along with the ones in stalls rows O, and before any seats further back in the stalls at that cheap price. For those willing to lean a bit. When cheap and able to accept the limitations, they are a bargain, though. C 6 and 15 in particular, for those under 5ft 8 and willing to lean a little, will see the whole stage just by moving their head a bit.
More expensive, usually, are seats behind rails in row A (the aisle end rails really do cut 50% into your view), and behind a pillar in row D. If reduced to second price or less, A6 and 12, reduced for the rail in view - are worth nabbing, it thinks.
After this, take the ones in row D if it is the only way of seeing the show. A reader comments for one previous production,
"It is true that there was a column that obstructed some of the action, but it was a very thin one. You just had to lean to one side or the other sometimes."
Worth knowing is that sometimes the pairs of aisle seats behind in rows E and F are also reduced. The row E ones are a more interesting pair, once the seat in D has gone. Note that in both rows, the seat that isn't on the aisle has a better view - a trade off for the cramped legroom if tall. Row F is pretty much the same.
Wheelchair users can either sit at seat E17, or transfer is possible from a wheelchair to E4, 5, 16 or 17. Seats on the ends of the row have some of the worst restricted views. E 5 or 17 are best bet, feels the monkey.
These offer an odd viewing angle. Seats here face the stage at an angle - the view of centre stage is fine. The view of the sides less so.
At top price, the monkey would skip all but inner aisle seats in rows B and C, really. It would go more central in the stalls for less cash in the 'restricted view' seats if it were honest.
As a reader sums it up, "A fair bit of restricted vision up here if you sit to one side, but centrally it is fine."
Each gangway has a double height bar at the end of it - it does not really affect the view (except in A 6 and 12) but the picky like to know these things and sit one seat in from them, the monkey finds.
Outermost ends of rows do not have aisles next to them – claustrophobics beware.
The shallow rake makes row E feel distant from the stage.
Poor legroom and upright backs to the seats for the tall in row F is worth underlining.
Central rows A to C (plus A 4, 5, 13 and 14 over the central aisles) are at "premium" price, a good view from A, feels the monkey - seats over the aisle last, though. Unless short and preferring a dress circle view, first take stalls at the same price, for both comfort and view. If only having a choice of seats in the centre of stalls row O back or circle seats - the monkey would again take stalls for the same price.
Row A 6 and 12 have a restricted view and are top non-premium price. You will see the show, with a rail through it, so you know what to do. Behind, B 6 and 14 are actually premium price for a similar view.
Other restricted view seats are second price in C to F centre block - good pickings, feels the monkey. A couple of singles in the corners of C to E are the same price. Deeply average, feels the monkey, if not claustrophobic and willing to miss stage edge.
Be aware that central row F is top non-premium price and a long way back for the cash. A last pick, it feels.
"A12: "The Lover / The Collection" (September 2018). I was a bit nervous about being behind the safety rail, but it didn’t cut into my view at all. I’m around 5’11’’ and I’d have had to be a good half foot shorter for the rail to have been between me and the stage. Obviously height has legroom issues (not too bad in A12), but certainly helped with my eyeline – my view was just as good as it would have been if I’d paid substantially more for the seat next to mine."
"B15: This was a good seat as you could see the whole stage and felt very close to the action. The safety bar was slightly annoying however. For the £25 I paid I thought it was good value."
"C6: "Sunny Afternoon" (October 2014). Bought as a "day seat." It was very slightly restricted view due to a pillar but it didn't spoil my enjoyment."
C6 and 7: “Spamalot” August 2012 (Chris B). The circle feels very close to the stage and it feels low down too so you feel the atmosphere. The legroom is great as the circle is on a curve so these two seats being next to the aisle (C6) seem to get more legroom. The rake is not very steep however so if you have a tall person in front this can be frustrating. There is a pillar in front of C6 and is advertised as blocking 1/4 of the stage, however it is in reality only about 6 inches wide and not the big column you are expecting. As long as you know the person next to you, you can lean towards them and only cut out a very small sliver of the stage on the far right.”
"C13 and 14: "La Bete" (June 2010). Not bad but not the best (which would be A row of dress circle)."
"C16 and 17: "Sunny Afternoon" (October 2014), (Geoffrey Hollis). Disappointed with seats because rake in front 3 rows very poor. People in row in front of us leaned forward a lot to see action on walkway so we missed large parts of central action. At half time we moved to empty seats in back row F directly behind and had much better view - rake steeper towards rear of circle. Could even stand up if we had to. We could not see some action on walkway but only slight inconvenience. No problem with leg room in either row."
"D 2 and 3: "Oslo" (October 2017). Terrible legroom (and I’m only 5’5”) but, worse, is the useless rake. I spent the entire 3 hours, bobbing my head from side to side and never once got to see the whole stage in one go, or even both actors in a dialogue. And since a lot of this play consists of dialogue, it really hampered my enjoyment. My friend actually moved into the unoccupied seat 1, which is rightly sold as restricted view. Although she could only see three-quarters of the stage, at least that was unimpeded as none of the seat 1s were occupied in front.
And I thought I’d mention how cold the theatre was. Most of the audience kept their coats on and some women in skimpy dresses were really suffering. Not sure if this was because there has been a sudden dip in temperatures outside and the theatres take a while to heat up but several people complained. I am my mother’s daughter so I was in possession of enough layers to keep me warm in a blizzard so I was OK."
"E 6 and 7: "Betrayal" (March 2019). As feared (after pre-sale chaos) E6 dress circle an utter disgrace for £65. Just outrageous. Especially given the staging - lots missed and much discomfort. Fair for E7 but inexcusable for E6. Staging is significant - I can see they could be a good bet at times e.g. would've been O.K for "Dumb Waiter" - but even then, for me, not at £65 and not at the same as E7."
“Row F: I specifically booked row F as the seating plan shows a space in front of that row which suggests extra legroom and two members of my family are over 6 foot tall. In fact the row had even less legroom than elsewhere in the dress circle and my 6'4" husband had to move to a restricted view seat. So be warned, avoid row F if you are tall.”
"F6 and 7: The back row, with a good view of the stage. The problem is the leg room. For two people, each around 6 feet tall it was impossible to sit down and I mean that. The seats were so uncomfortable, putting undue pressure on my back by being forced to try to sit so uncomfortably I was prepared to walk out without seeing the production rather than enduring such uncomfortable seats. Fortunately the box office moved us to the Stalls on my request, where the leg room is slightly better. My advice to anyone tall is to absolutely avoid all seats in Dress Circle Row F. These are charged at the top price which in my view is wrong. They should certainly come with a warning. I know leg room is a problem in many West End theatres but in more than 20 years of theatre going this is amongst the worst I’ve encountered."
"F9: “Prick Up Your Ears” (September 2009). Although the view was fine and unobscured, leg room is non-existent. I'm only 5'9" tall, but even when sitting as far back in my seat as possible, my knees were still touching the back of the seat in front.
I don't know whether microphones were used in the production I saw, but if not, either the cast were exceptionally good at voice projection, or the theatre has good acoustics, because the clarity of the dialogue was outstanding from the back row of the Dress Circle. (The monkey downgraded the seat rating on comfort grounds. It puts sound down to the age of the theatre - designed for best acoustics in an era without microphones, but would welcome observations from other guests.)
Four boxes, two either side of the stage.
Acceptable, as movable chairs are used.
The view from the boxes is sideways on. Theatremonkey rates the seats barely adequate. These seats are rarely sold. At third price or less they are a way to see the show if ticket demand is high.
The rear corner of the stage is not visible.
Boxes are not yet on sale.
“Box D: “La Bete” (June 2010), (That Fulham Couple). We noticed that occupiers in Box D stood up a couple of times and stretched out over the balcony to catch some of the action."
Called the Royal Circle in this theatre
The Balcony overhangs the Upper Circle at row B, pillars holding it up appear in row B. The overhang does not affect the view from Upper Circle seats, the pillars, as in the Dress Circle, do!
Seats are a tiered single block, curved towards the stage.
Row F is split into two sections by an aisle beside seats 9 and 10.
Poor throughout the circle, worst in row A - 1 to 3, 7 to 12 and 17 to 20 particularly - and in seat numbers B 5, 6, 15, 16, E 10 and 11 and particularly F10 and 11. Those over 5ft 7 are going to be uncomfortable anywhere here.
There's a bit of space for those up to about 5ft 6 in C1 and 20 and D1 and 23 where the rows curve forward and a leg can travel into an aisle. Only for the able-bodied, though, as it's still uncomfortable enough to trigger any underlying existing problems...
The seats have been raised on plinths now, giving an extra inch of vertical legroom to rows B back, notes the monkey. So, 5ft 6 or under should be more comfortable.
Be careful choosing seats here. Many “restricted view” seats – some quite central – are priced as high as possible by some producers.
Skip row A for comfort and view at any price.
Best seats for the short are row B 7 to 14 and row C 8 to 14. Row D 11 to 14 are also good value when sold at fourth price. At second price, the monkey would go for rear stalls or pay a bit more for best stalls, rather than squeeze itself into expensive seats up here.
The shallow rake of the circle does not help sightlines from row D back.
"Restricted view" seats B 3, 4, 6, 17 and 18, C 2 to 5 and 17 to 19, D 8 and 16, E 4, 5, 21 and 22 and F 3, 4, 16 and 17 are acceptable if discounted to fifth price or below for view, if not comfort. Again, not seats it would choose particularly. If they are more expensive, certainly worth missing.
B5 and 16 are cramped, another reason to avoid, the monkey feels, other cheaper seats might be worth a look even if this circle is more cramped than most generally.
Of the seats directly behind the pillars, consider paying more - they are too poor to recommend.
C7 has the pillar beside it, if you can stand the cramp, the view isn't bad for a restricted view ticket.
As the circle curves like the Dress Circle below it, the first and last five seats in each row face the stage at an angle - the view of centre stage is fine. The view of the sides less so. This makes these seats poor value though these aisle end seats may still appeal to some.
A metal bar runs across the front of the circle. This intrudes into the view from many seats, running horizontally across it. Vertical supports cut across the view of every fourth seat, notably in rows A and B. Further safety bars at the edges of the circle make row A seats 1,2,16 and 17 well worth missing.
One reader, taking a quick glance during an interval summed it up with,
"I thought there was quite a lot of restriction up there."
There are many central seats in A to E at second price, with some restricted view seats at a lower price next to them and behind pillars. At second price the monkey would take a look at rows B 7 to 14 and C 6 to 16 (C7 particularly) at these prices, but would actually take same price restricted view dress circle any cheaper stalls for comfort - accepting the restricted view these will have.
Rows D and E second seats seem a bit pointless - go for cheaper row F seats and get about the same view.
It notes that "restricted view" seats are at third price too. Not seats it would choose if there are same price stalls and dress circle available.
Of the restricted view seats, there's interesting stuff at fourth price once those lower down elsewhere have gone. the choice is central F or outermost row A to E seats. The particularly short may prefer to sit here (the steps will aid seeing over those in front). Outermost seats in all rows are doing fairly at this price. Sadly, the taller will have to pay a good bit more for more legroom in seats down in the stalls or dress circle.
Note that aisle balcony seats are cheaper still, if you prefer an aisle - no leg-room advantage up there, though.
"B9 and 10: "Sunset Boulevard" (December 2008), (James). Seats were great, but as they've pulled the stage forwards over the pit, we couldn't see that bit very well. I had a look from A9 and 10 and have to say that if you're over 5'11, the bar runs below the stage and the view is wonderful, better than in row B. My gripe is that they've pulled the stage forwards over the orchestra pit - fine if you're in the stalls, but makes the Upper Circle / Balcony seats suffer."
"D4 and D5: Bought a £5 Gallery ticket and was upgraded to the Upper Circle D4 and 5. We were right at the side and had a lot of trouble seeing the right hand side of the stage because of the bar. We moved into the centre but the bar still gave us problems, but we could see the whole stage from here. Would not recommend the Upper Circle at this theatre."
"D7: "La Bete" (June 2010). I wouldn't choose seats these high up personally. This seat has a pillar directly in your eyeline so you have to move your head a bit for some parts. You can see all the stage, but it's too far away from the stage for me."
“E15 and 16: (James F). I could not wait for the production to end. The seats leg room was really small, which meant everyone was really uncomfortable. I recommend buy two seats next to each other (one for you, or one for your legs) or buy the much cheaper standing tickets and you will not have to suffer the pain and you will enjoy the production more."
"E24: "Absent Friends" (January 2012). As you rightly point out, the upper circle of this theatre is (rather misleadingly) known as The ROYAL Circle – rumour has it that this is because The Queen and Prince Philip used to sit up there when they were newly married and setting up home together, not having the money to sit in their now customary boxes. OK, so it was probably misnamed by an anti-royalist theatre executive, but hey!
The view from many of the seats there is even more restricted than that of a box, with restricted views galore behind pillars and mega rails at the sides. I sat in E24 and my view wasn’t helped by the high rails that protect any royals sitting up there."
F10 and 11: "Mojo" (October 2013), (Taljaard). Seats were fine a tiny bit of the left hand side of the stage was blocked by a pillar but that part of the stage was virtually unused. Leg room was tight, even for me."
"F14: "La Bete" (June 2010), (Taljaard). Had a fine view.
Two boxes, one either side of the stage.
Acceptable, as movable chairs are used.
The view from the boxes is sideways on. Theatremonkey rates the seats adequate. Box E is rarely sold, but a good bet if it is; the other box isn't generally used at all. At third price or less they are a way to see the show if ticket demand is high.
The rear corner of the stage is not visible.
Boxes are not yet on sale.
Overhangs the Upper Circle at row B and is high up enough to see the pearly gates.
One block of seats, with aisles at either end.
A shallow rake means looking down is fortunately not particularly vertigo inducing.
Rails in front of, and at the ends of, each row add to the secure feeling. These are at knee height - the ones in front of row F 1, 2, 23 and 24 are double-height. None affect sightlines.
Poor throughout the circle, worst in all of row A - for midgets only. Even standing is an issue as the tall feel they are sweeping the ceiling with their hair...
Do also note that the way seats are arranged means it's hard to move one leg into the aisle.
As in the other circles, the first and last five seats in each row face the stage at an angle - the view of centrestage is fine. The view of the sides less so. This makes these seats poor value unless the first and last two seats in each row (which are designated restricted view) are sold cheaply.
Without pillars to add to rail intrusion, for those wanting a central view, take row C first, then B, then A; which will be uncomfortable for those over four foot tall.
When the ends of rows are cheap, the monkey would take aisle seats in rows B to D instead, for an inch of extra legroom if squirming sideways and save a few pounds at the same time.
Rows E and F are often the same price as these end seats – the shorter will appreciate a more central view, perhaps.
Sold cheaper, row E is particularly worth a thought - saving over row D but with a similar view.
A metal bar runs across the front of the circle. This affects the view from all seats in rows A and B, running horizontally across it. Vertical supports also cut across the view of every fourth seat in rows A and B.
Further safety bars at the edges of the circle make row A seats 1 and 20 worth avoiding.
One reader, taking a quick glance during an interval summed it up with,
"I thought there was quite a lot of restriction up there."
Ends of rows A to E, and the whole of row F are bottom price - cheapest in the theatre, worth a look once all cheaper seats elsewhere have gone.
Take F over row E - same view, cheaper.
If short, take either B or C first, but remember end seats and central F are cheaper for almost the same view, if you don't mind extra heads in the way. Also, if taking central seats, there are seats in the upper circle for the same cash - bit lower down in the theatre. Just mentioning, though they are really not much difference in view or value - neither are great, you may as well pay less if possible.
"Row C (centre): "The Children's Hour" (February 2011), (Gary). Rubbish seat - felt I was sitting on the ceiling. Not worth £30. Too far way. Unable to hear the dialogue at times."
"F14: "The Children's Hour" (February 2011), (Taljaard ). Last row in the Balcony. Not too bad at all, could hear and see everything."
"Gallery Standing: Let's just say I hope I never have to stand at the back of the balcony at the Comedy again. My back ache was horrendous. I swapped with someone in the front row of the gallery for act two (they had knee pain because of the cramped conditions (Moved to A3). I actually felt quite near to the performers here, could see expressions and everything albeit being high up. The bars were a problem though, especially my seat as it had one of those vertical supports you mention."
Total 796 seats.
Mobile Connect system with ipods available to hire for the performance are available, as is guide dog sitting. Wheelchair spaces or transfer seating are in row E of the Dress Circle via an 8cm ramp at a side door and into the foyer. Chair footrests may have to be removed. Adapted toilet in the foyer. Fuller details from Ambassador Theatre Group on 0844 8717 677.
No food except Ice cream and confectionery.
Three bars. Foyer, Stalls and Upper Circle.
6 toilets. Stalls 1 gents 1 cubicle, 1 ladies 8 cubicles; Upper Circle 1 gents 1 cubicle, 1 ladies 3 cubicles; Balcony 1 gents 1 cubicle, 1 ladies 2 cubicles
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.
After press night:
Before press night:
The Upper Circle is called the "ROYAL CIRCLE" in this theatre.
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.
Keep walking through this tunnel and ignore the first staircase marked "Shaftesbury Avenue". Continue along the tunnel passing the "Trocadero" doors, and follow it as it curves past another set of doors. Follow the arrow on the sign ahead of you that says "Eros" (the tunnel continues to the right).
In this new section of tunnel, take the stairs ahead and to your right up to the street.
You will emerge near the Criterion Theatre. Walk ahead of you. If you see two roads - Piccadilly and Regent Street - with a shop between them..., wrong way.
You will come to a busy road, Haymarket. A large statue of horses is to your right. Turn to your right and walk down Haymarket. At the traffic lights, cross Haymarket. Continue walking downhill (your right as you cross). The next side street on your left is Panton Street. Turn into it and cross it to the Harold Pinter (formerly Comedy) Theatre.
6,12,13,15,22B,38,53, 88,159 to Haymarket. Haymarket is a one way street. If you are travelling by bus from Trafalgar Square to Piccadilly Circus, leave the bus at Piccadilly Circus and follow the walking route above. If travelling from Oxford Street or Shaftesbury Avenue you will be able to leave the bus on Haymarket itself. Do so at the first stop in the street.
A rank for Black taxis is at Charing Cross Station - a long distance from the theatre. Walk up Panton Street to Haymarket to maximise your chances of hailing one in the street.
Whitcomb Street. Leave the car park, turn left and walk uphill. The first street on your left is Panton Street. Turn down it and pass the multiscreen film complex. Keep going straight on. The Comedy Theatre is in front of you.
The nearest option that does is Spring Gardens / Trafalgar Square. Call Q-Park car parks on 0870 442 0104 or see www.q-park.co.uk for details. At these car parks, 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.