113 Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho, London W1D 5AY 0343 208 0500
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Each company has equal ticket allocations for this event. Tickets will be posted out 2 weeks before the performance date, if requested.
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Telephone: (+44) 0343 208 0500.
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Shaftesbury Avenue, London. W1V 8AY
No booking fee for personal callers. The box office for this theatre is "around the corner" from the foyer, on Shaftesbury Avenue itself. Just face the theatre, turn left, and walk around the corner under the canopy.
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 0330 333 4815.
https://www.nimaxtheatres.com/ is the official venue owner's 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.
Seeing the Show with Children?
Surely children will be seated on their house elf's head, if they need to see over the muggle in front. Failing that, the theatre provides booster cushions (VERY limited, so arrive early and ask an usher) or www.boosterz.co.uk have an inflatable solution.
As a general observation, many who have seen the show feel that the illusions work best for those seated further back and centrally in the theatre.
The Dress Circle overhangs the stalls at row L in the centre, J at the sides. The top of the stage is not visible from row S back and is a real annoyance from row T back.
Seats are divided into two blocks by a centre aisle.
Pillars disrupt the ends of row B, affecting sightlines from seats directly behind.
Rows AA to B are only very slightly raised. The rake (sloped floor to help see over rows in front) is noticeable from row C, and steepest in the back rows from around row N.
Unlimited in row AA, and in front of seats A 1, 2, 26 and 27 and D1. Seat D29 has 20% of the space ahead clear.
Otherwise acceptable in most central seats for those up to around 5ft 10 or so, best in seats 15 and 16 on the central aisle of all rows. .
One reader comments, that at 6ft 1 tall he had to sit bolt upright in both rows D and L, and had his knees jammed against the seat in front. He attributes this to the new seats with straighter backs that are also not so well staggered to leave kneehole gaps. Reader James T. says of J 22, "excellent seat, though if you are over 5'10 I would avoid as the leg room is pretty poor". Taller persons may find either side seats without anything in front, or box seats, might be preferable.
The monkey would point out that central aisle seats only give stretching for one leg, while only centrally located stalls have maximum legroom in the area - though a 6ft person in E15 struggled with legroom even so.
The least legroom is found in the outermost 4 seats of rows P, Q, R and S on the "low numbers" side and N, M and P on the "high numbers" side, it feels.
At "Day Seat" prices, the monkey is keen on the front row here; at top price, it is less so. For those who do like the front row to "see faces" it'll prove the usual OK choice for regular theatregoers. For those who go less often, further back may well be more to their taste - though row A isn't seating to discard from thoughts.
The front four rows have only the tiniest slope, so skip them if you are short and / or wish to see the stage floor, or if the alternative is sitting in row N or further back.
The last seats in A are restricted view. A 27 faces a wall and sees about half the stage. 26 has a slightly better view, at least it can just about see into the stage area. At low prices Theatremonkey usually likes these for being close to the stage and offering more legroom than the same priced balcony. For a first timer to the show, the monkey feels them worth avoiding.
Seats among pillars, outside the proscenium and offering a view of about two thirds of the stage have been removed; the rear and side closest to the seat were not visible.
At top price, pick rows G to K then D to N alphabetically. The first and last four seats in all rows struggle to maintain average value at top price – that price does not really reflect the lack of being central. Though the view is acceptable to many, legroom often isn’t. Theatremonkey feels though that the Dress Circle rows B to D seats 11 to 26 are better than the top priced stalls.
The rest of the stalls offer clear views with a good rake.
Edges of rows from row D back may miss top corners of the stage side stage action - avoid these, feels the monkey.
Row R at top price is only average as they feel a little distant from the stage for some.
Don’t pay top price for anything further back than row S, and try to be forward of that is possible – it really is the limit for decent value before prices drop.
Going further back, sound in these rear stalls is good, the view is clear but distant (and the top of the set is missing).
At second price row S back is fine, accepting that you will miss anything happening at the top of the stage.
Rows T and TT 23 and V 24 are beside the sound control desk and should be avoided - there is a gap between the desk and seats, but you'll be conscious of the desk, even if it isn't in your sightlines. Purists may also want to skip S16 to 22 in front of the desk too.
Row R offers a wheelchair space beside R 27, a very average (at best) view.
Row V on the "high numbers" side is slightly raised, which helps see over people, but means ducking to see action at times.
Rows AA to B are almost flat on the floor.
Legroom at the ends of some rows can be miniscule.
Rows T and TT 23 and V 24 are usually beside the sound control desk and should be avoided by purists.
Prices fall in the back rows, with S 7 to 15 first choice at second price. Be aware that with smaller children, the dress or upper circle will provide a far better view as seating is on higher steps rather than just a sloped / shallow stepped floor.
Extra row TT sits behind row T on the "high numbers" side of the aisle only. A reader says that the seats right next to the sound desk in row TT, and V on the "sound desk" side have views that leave a lot to be desired. Not "offset" or on a good rake, either. The monkey took a look and found that indeed seats are right behind each other, and the one nearest to the desk doesn't have a lot of options if anyone is taller in front.
Asking those seated in row V, the back row, they noted that they also had to duck to see action taking place at the top of a staircase, but that it was visible. The good news is that this row is cheaper, and the monkey rates V 8 to 15 good value.
The theatre itself notes that the outermost 4 seats in rows Q and R, plus all rows from S back have circle overhang in view, and that A 5, 26 and 27, D and E 2, 3, D 28, E 29 and 30 and F 29 and 30 have restricted side views, D 29 has a pillar in view.
Restricted view seats A 5, 26 and 27; D 2, 3, 28, 29; E 2, 3, 30 are the one chance of very cheap seats with legroom - all have it in spades compared to the balcony for the same bananas. Only A27 has an exceptionally terrible view - A 5 isn't great and none of the rest are perfect by any means, but it is a way of seeing the show if over 5ft 5 and not contracting DVT. F 1 and 2 are now lowest price too, and a reader rates them highly.
ADJUSTED TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT NEW ROW LETTERING. NOTE THAT "RESTRICTED VIEW SEAT" AND LEGROOM COMMENTS MAY NOT APPLY TO "HARRY POTTER" AS THE THEATRE HAS BEEN ADJUSTED. TEXT HAS BEEN EDITED TO ALLOW FOR THIS, WHERE POSSIBLE.
"Stalls: All the seats here are very cramped! Those over 6ft will not only feel uncomfortable but will also not be able to sit down. The only way to avoid this is to sit in the first row of the stalls or any central aisle seat. Never buy tickets which are inside the rows - only the aisles.
My experience in this was that I told my little problem to one of the staff members who promptly asked one person from row A to move to row J (my former seat was J22) and I got £5 back - what a deal. The show was amazing but this little problem can destroy the whole performance. Nobody gave me as many apologies as in this theatre. Think of this when buying tickets!"
"A5: "Harry Potter" (July 2016), (Mark).£20 a part. This has gotta be the bargain of the year. I had a view of around 99% of the show, missing only two little bits (floo network and a small part in the ministers office). Would sit here again tomorrow. A steal."
"A 21 and 22: "Harry Potter" (July 2016). The view was faultless, everything was right up close and very intense. Sit further back if you are bothered about seeing the actors feet - given I am very tall this was not a problem for me but might be for others. Legroom - better than it was in row Q but still very tight. I could fit in but there was no room for manoeuvre. I am grateful to the person to my left who was amenable to my invading their space a little but there really was no choice. It was very uncomfortable but thankfully I was so absorbed in the play that it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I don't think the situation would have been better anywhere else so the quality of the view was worth it."
"Row C: "Harry Potter" (July 2016). Perfect centre seats.
“Row C: (Messrs Colin and Asa McCarthy-Burton). The seats were fine, but as the stage is a little high you do miss some of the effects, but it is great to see the faces so close as you can see expressions etc".
“Row C: "Spamalot" (2006), (Zena). The front row is fab. A little bit of legroom and then a low wooden barrier between you and the orchestral pit below. The stage looks like it slopes downward so no neck ache except for during the scenes when characters appear high up."
"C4: "Harry Potter" (May 2017). I sat in C4 for both parts of Harry Potter. The tickets cost 70 pounds each which was the highest price when I booked them the previous August but I think there are now premium tickets available which cost more than that. This seat is the end of the row. You'll see on the seating charts that there is a pillar at the end of the row - the pillar doesn't obscure your view in any way - it does make it impossible for anybody enter the row without you having to get up but that wasn't a problem. I was close enough to see facial expressions and costume and set detail and I think I got 99% of the action. There was some activity at the back right hand side of the stage (when there was some magical travel going on) that I couldn't see because of the seat position and height. There was also a character entry that I missed because they stayed on the right hand side of the stage very close to the wings -the rest of the audience laughed at his appearance that tipped me off and I was able to see the character once I leaned my head a little to the left."
“C14 and 15: (Matthew and Samuel). It was a bit close to the stage but the show was at eye level and there was good leg room. We had a good view of stage but perhaps a few rows back would be better."
"C20: "Harry Potter" (July 2016). Excellent view. For top price it was worth it. Completely unobstructed views and close enough to see faces of every actor. Might be better to watch the show from the circle to get more perspective on the spectacle of the show though. Great seats still."
"C22: “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”, (Suh). My seat did demand a crick in the neck to see the performers, except for their feet."
“C27 and 28: “Priscilla”. Unfortunately found that C28 is behind a pole which restricts the view of the stage by at least a quarter. Several times during the show I lost sight of performers as they went in to the blind spot. I will just put it down to experience but I thought I would let you know. (The monkey would welcome comment on this, as it hadn't noticed that).”
“C28: "I would like to add my two pennies worth to the C28 discussion. I have to disagree with James F who includes seat C28 in the description: "Excellent leg room ... and sight lines".
Legroom: In theory you could put your legs on either side of the pillar - unless of course the occupant of D27 decides that the space on one side of the pillar would be an ideal place to put their bags and coats!!
Sightlines: The pillar causes about 25% of the stage area to be permanently obscured. So as far as I could tell, only two of the three drag queens made it to the top of Ayres Rock at the end of the show.
The stage does extend slightly further back than shown, but this area wasn't used (thankfully). In my opinion, this should be designated as a Restricted View seat (although that would make D29 an "Even More Restricted View" seat - or perhaps "Audio only").
This all may sound like I'm complaining, but I'm not. I paid next to nothing for the seat, so from that point of view I felt I got excellent value for money and thoroughly enjoyed the show. But I certainly would object to paying the standard price for that seat."
“Row D: "I thought smugly that my seat in D row would be fine. WRONG! The stage is built up high to accommodate a revolve, with the result that people sitting at the front of the stalls have to strain to look upwards all night – and there were indeed a number of places where characters were flown in that also strained the necks of us poor souls at the front -- and we could not see the feet of the cast who were at stage level, especially when anybody went upstage. And the whole show is very ‘in-yer-face’, which again was a bit overpowering for the audience in the front rows. Another problem with the raised stage was that in the very funny scene, we at the front could not really see something on the stage floor at all! (Singin' In The Rain" (February 2012) has the same "high stage" issue, though with less neck strain as the floor is lower - you still don't see it, though. Editor).
“Row D: I just revelled in sitting so close to the performers and being able to hear their voices relatively naturally and not loudly amplified (because the loudspeakers were projecting the sound way above and beyond where I was sitting). Legroom was tight, though."
"D18 to 20: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" (July 2016), (Andrew).Central seats, as close to the action as is comfortable. No action missed, a decent enough rake at this level and plenty of legroom to stretch out with. Choosing again I'd probably go slightly further back due to certain moments, and the fact that it may make it harder to see how some of the magic is done. Not much further though, in such a big theatre this area gives a nice amount of intimacy."
"D26 and 27: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" (July 2016), (Gillian). We bought top price stall tickets just over a year ago, but could not select our actual seats. We were allocated D26 and D27 in the stalls, both top price tickets. THEY ARE AWFUL! Restricted and awkward view of the stage and a clear view of cast members waiting in opposite wings. Also could see cast and crew in black moving about on stage which spoiled some of the magic and illusions. So unfair when other audience members, who paid the same price, sat in much better seats with a proper view. The two end seats of the row, D28 and 29 are classed as obstructed views and priced accordingly; the man in D28 was leaning across me on more than one occasion to see properly and I would think that D26 and certainly D27 should be classed the same. I will not book tickets for this show again unless I can choose my own seats. Very disappointed."
“Row E: (Alun, from Essex). I was in the stalls, which I often find not as good as the Dress Circle (I'm short at 5' '7'') and find the stalls often mean I can see a head more than a stage. My seat was in row F which was the 3rd row (before rows changed) seat 7 (row starts at E5 - so 3rd seat in) and was a good view - the stage was set back due to the orchestra pit, and a good view in general.”
“Row E: (Marita and Michelle). Our seats were excellent...we had a good view of everything going on."
"E 2 and 3: "Harry Potter" (July 2016), (Mark). £20. Checked these out and they looked to be great (only D2 looked to be severely affected by a pillar.)"
"E3: You can only see about two thirds of the stage. F4 is of course slightly better, and you *could* lean left against the pillar but be mindful of the person behind in G3 - their left side stage view is blocked by the pillar."
“Row E 14 and 15: "Singin' In The Rain" (February 2012). We paid £25 a ticket for Row F in the Stalls seats 14 and 15, right in the centre on the aisle. These tickets are only available on the day from the Box Office apparently - and we were warned we might get wet! There are two ways I suspect to see this show. Either from the dress circle, where you can appreciate the choreography, or from the front of the stalls where you truly experience audience participation. All the numbers in Act One are perfectly executed and then......There's a nervous laugh rippling through the front rows as we pick up our coats for protection. Adam Cooper looks at us all with a devilish glint as he kicks away and we dissolve into helpless laughter.
When we return after the interval, I point out to some of those around us that there is a reprise at the end of the show mentioned in the programme. The reprise involves the entire cast and this time no mercy is shown as they splash to the left, splash to the right and we emerge from the theatre well and truly soaked. I felt sorry for those who weren't near enough the stage. I wouldn't have missed that for the world. Try and get tickets near the front but take a raincoat!"
"E17 and 18: "Priscilla" (March 2009), (HB). Had to look up a great deal especially as there were people suspended frequently. Also the opera number was very hard to see with Felicia on the top of the bus. I'd go for a few rows back if you can get it or maybe front circle. Point of warning from Row D back: be careful not to get tickets in the last two or so seats as there are post/ pillars that will get in the way, and after all, even at a lower price you want to see the show not some post. be careful of Seat D1!"
“Row F: "Singin' In The Rain" (February 2012). Rather like the Old Vic the Palace stalls actually has an 'anti-rake' for the first 4 rows. Rake only begins in Row G. I was in Row F and most of my view of the stage was obscured by the person in front of me due to this. (The monkey didn't notice this on its own visit, though the seats in those rows did seem a tiny bit lower set than the rest).
“Row F: (Martin – regular reader). I am not keen on row F as the whole thing, but on the other hand I consider seats 14, 15, 16, 17 as the best seating in the house. To be on the safe side: very close to the action, while seeing the whole stage including feet at the behind and the top, but no neck aches after the performance, outstanding sound balance and conductor in the view but not distractingly, very good rake."
"F 1 and 2: "Harry Potter" (July 2016), (Mark). £20. Checked these out and they looked to be great."
"F 1 and 2: "Harry Potter" (July 2016). CANNOT RECOMMEND THESE SEATS ENOUGH! The tickets are billed as restricted view, but there is only one magic moment lost (the fireplace). What was missed is minimal, and to be that close to the stage at £40 (parts 1 and 2) is incredible value."
"F4: I'd be happy to pay for F4 at a reduced price only. You miss the corner of the stage, but nothing much seems to happen there so it does not matter. Yes, it is a restricted view and £32.50 (as it was then) is pricey by any standards, but as restricted view seats go, this is one of the better ones, I think, though others may disagree."
“F7: (Cristopher). Highly rated – the cast and the grail were so near!”
"F 22 and 23: "Harry Potter" (July 2016). I have to say they were brilliant. Fantastic view of the stage and much better legroom than those sitting a few seats along. I didn't feel especially off-centre (I was slightly nervous as these are right at the edge of the green section on your plan, but needn't have worried) so would highly recommend... I'm glad I splashed out on these seats."
"F24 and 25: (Stuart Mulholland). Slightly to the left of centre, but not too close to the orchestra, I would recommend these seats, but at £50 (for the production we saw) quite pricey."
“F seats 26 to 28: (James F). Excellent leg room (I'm 6ft 1) and sight lines"
"F29: "The Commitments" (November 2014), (John from the USA). Trying to get a bargain seat. This has to be the worst, most obstructed seat I have ever encountered! The view is directly of a pillar!!! Even trying to peer around it, a huge amount of the staging is missed. I paid £22.50. I would say in reality, the seat is worth £2.50. You need to find a new colour that is worse than red for your seating chart to do justice to this seat! I just read someone commented this seat may be considered audio only – I was actually going to say the same thing! This seat should not be sold at any price. A travesty! On the plus side, Killian Donnelly sounded great."
“Row G: I was very pleased that I had managed to get seats in the fifth row but it was a tad too close and we couldn't always see the bottom of the stage."
"G18 and E19: (JB). Neither of us being overly tall, we were well pleased with the seats and the clear view of the performance on stage."
"G 28 and E29: (Mark and Nicola Dunsford). Took these on advice of the box office who said: "Pretty good but off to the side a bit". However, no mention was made of the pillar which blocks visibility of about 1/3 of the stage for G29"
"J7: "The Commitments" (November 2014). Good seats. Great view of the stage and enough legroom (though this guy is slightly less than average height)."
"Row H: "Singin' in the Rain" (March 2012), (Julie, Maureen & Arthur of Middlesbrough (250 miles away). Warning! If you're sat in the first few rows in the stalls you will get a bit of a soaking but it was all good fun. We were sat in the centre aisle of Row E which gave us a brilliant view of the stage. We were told that these seats were "Out Of The Line Of Fire" by the box office but managed to get drenched at the end. If the seats directly in front hadn't been empty, we may have been "protected". But it was all in good fun and added something extra to the show!"
"H2 to H4. "Harry Potter" (July 2016). All were sold as top price (when original booking was made a year ago, now there are some at a higher price). H4 was fine. H3 OK, but slightly restricted view. H2 should definitely not be sold as anything other than restricted view. You can't see any of the top right hand corner of the stage. This means some action is missed (it would be a spoiler to specify) and on two occasions dialogue takes place and you are unable to see the characters. The seats were comfortable enough, and I may choose them again to be close if none others were available, but I could have had mid-row K instead and would have chosen them in preference had the sellers been clear that H2/3 were restricted view."
"H4 and 5: “Singin' in the Rain” (March 2012), (Debbi). The only action we missed was Don Lockwood hanging off the lamppost in the theme tune to the show but otherwise I can't fault the seats. Oh, actually, okay, so I can fault the seats but these are minor issues and I can't really complain because myself and a friend got the tickets for less than half price! Bargain! Okay, so the minor issues are that the legroom is not exactly generous, but then again it wasn't uncomfortable. The only other issue is that - and this is not the fault of the theatre or anyone really - but it's frustrating having to constantly stand up to let others through to their seats further down the aisle - this is something unavoidable unfortunately... but it really does annoy me! Oh and one more thing for me to mention, the air conditioning was awful! It was probably around 27 degrees the night we went and it was stiflingly hot. Just make sure you wear something cool when you go to see this show. PS: You do not get wet in Row F of the Stalls - except the odd stray drop of water, but further forward than that you DO get wet! Be warned!!! It's all part of the fun though."
"H6 and 7: “Singin' in the Rain” (March 2012)”. I literally could not sit with my right leg straight in front of me, my upper leg needed to be about two inches shorter to get it in so I had to sit with my legs both to the left so my right leg was between the two seats in front. (The reader is tall and had an injured leg at the time – Editor).”
"H14 and 15: “Priscilla”, (James – regular reader). A little close for my liking but you do see every expression. Great sound here but perhaps sit a couple of rows further back for a more comfortable viewing experience."
"H22: A great seat for the access (disabled) rate of £25.75, with plenty of leg room for me. I would say do not sit much further to the left of this seat because the restriction from the circle and boxes will spoil your view of one of London's great shows."
“H26 and 27: worthwhile tickets at the sides, provided actors are not positioned to mask the view of other performers.
“Row I: “Priscilla” (March 2009). Stalls are the best for this show - the furthest back I've sat and been fine is Row M, on the edge, and although I couldn't see the edge of one of the Divas as she descended from the ceiling, that was the only thing I missed (and it's not that important). Otherwise, Row J is fantastic."
"I6 and 7: (Jamie Coniam). Excellent seats, great view and very close to the action."
"I8 and 9: perfectly good seats and the view was fantastic. I have to say that the legroom is appalling for a theatre in this day and age, as others have mentioned if you are any taller than 5'10" you are going to find it tough going."
"I11: "Spamalot" (January 2009). Got on the day for £25. Fantastic seat could see everything very clearly."
"I27 and 28: "The Commitments" (November 2013). Seats were at second price (I paid £47 for a Saturday matinee). I imagine that J3 and 4 are the same. As a regular user of the Monkey's website I have on many occasions saved cash by choosing seats a couple of seats further along a row and on this occasion after sitting in J26 for a second before it was occupied I can tell you that at £20 extra for that seat the view is NO different!"
"J8 and 9: The leg room was a bit lacking for my 5'9" frame but the view and the proximity to the stage made a little discomfort worth it."
"J8 and 9: "Harry Potter" (July 2016). Fantastic seats. They should be, as I will now have to sell a kidney to pay for them… But just about worth it."
"J16 and G17 offered both a great view and plenty of legroom."
“J22: (James T). I can safely say that this is an excellent seat, though if you are over 5'10 I would avoid as the leg room is pretty poor."
"J22: "Harry Potter and The Cursed Child" (July 2016) Great seat, luckily I'm quite tall at 6ft 1 because the person in front was also tall and the seats aren't well staggered. Legroom was tight but I was so into the play it really didn't matter."
"KJ2/23: All seats around here are fantastic - near enough so that you can enjoy the spectacle of the show yet far enough away so that you can absorb fully appreciate the set".
"J23 and 24: I think I can safely say these were the two best seats I have had in the West End – a perfect view."
“J24 and 25: (GJ). Perfect position to see all the facial expressions and everything. We were both very pleased with these seats that are rightly highlighted green on the monkey, although I wouldn't have wanted to have sat any further to the left and would of preferred a position a little more towards the centre. The seats cost £60 each and I think well worth it."
"J24 and 25: These were good seats with an excellent view of the stage. You could see the performers getting ready to come on and see them going off at the back of the stage as the seats are off centre. If you can handle this they were excellent seats, but if you prefer to be engrossed and not being slightly distracted by the performers going on/off the stage then maybe go more central."
“K5: Splendid seat in K5 in the stalls. By splendid, I mean the view and not the extremely cramped legroom"
"K 22: "Pricilla" (March 2009), (Adam). Had a perfect view (as well I should have for the ridiculous amount of money they charged for it). I also note that acoustics in the theatre were bad, the orchestra overpowered the singers; sometimes I could hardly hear them."
“K27: (Chris May). No problems with the view and seats had O.K. legroom."
"Row L: Disappointed with my view this time as due to the poor cambering I wasn't able to see some parts of the show as I had somebody of about 6 foot sat in front of me, and I'm 5 foot 10."
"L2: "Singin' In The Rain" (February 2012). Just under the overhang. Perfect view of everything, aside from two moments: You can't see Don hanging off the lamppost during 'Singin' in the Rain' and you can't see Lina and Zelda's entrance when Lina finds out Kathy's seeing Don in Act 2. Also, bloke next to me in J3 had very little legroom, I was fine."
"L2: Bloke next to me in M3 had very little legroom, I was fine."
“L14 to 17: "Singin' In The Rain" (February 2012).”SPOILER ALERT: May be worth a mention that the stalls gets a good look at the “movie stars” arriving for the premiere down the central aisle; and the very central seats L and M 14 to 17 are going to get a great closeup of Kathy at the end – for anyone who has seen the film it’s just like you would expect. SPOILER ENDS."
"L16 and 17: “Priscilla”, (Musical Lover). Fantastic. Lots of legroom and great view."
"L16 (on the aisle) and L17: “Priscilla”, (Michael). For the first act we had the bonus of 2 empty seats directly in front of us. But 2 people moved along for the second act (he of the Very Large kind), meaning a switch of seats for us. His large frame and head blocking my view. Still, very worthy of the Green on the Monkey's plan under normal circumstances. Row J was clearly the optimum row as the rake increased significantly there (judge by the high change of the arm rests) but at over £100 quid (with booking fees) for Premium Seats, you really do have to be serious making that choice. "
"M7 to 9: "Harry Potter" (July 2017). We had purchased at £99 for the two shows together seats in Row M of the Stalls. The view was excellent for seats M7, M8 and M9 and there was plenty of leg room. However, our enjoyment was severely impaired because of the extraordinarily fierce arctic wind effect from the theatre’s “cooling system”. It is was both cold and irritating as the wind was strong enough to be blowing our hair around! We asked at the interval whether the effect could be moderated/turned down/off, but received a negative response. The following night, for the second performance, we turned up with hats and scarves - in July! I think seats M5 and 6 were similarly affected as the people in them also turned up dressed like Shackleton. It was like having the breath of the Dementors on you for two hours.
All the air vents in the wall to our right (looking towards the stage) and seemed to be on overdrive - and so undoubtedly there were others being similarly afflicted. It was very targeted. The people in the row behind (N) seemed to be fine, ditto row L in front. The vents are positioned mid-way up the walls - around head height, but seemed to be blowing in a diagonally downward direction, hitting at around seat 4 through to at least seat 9. I think it was more annoying as you do not expect to be tortured thus for £49.50."
"M 12 and 13: "Harry Potter" (June 2016). Even though you're under the overhang of the Dress Circle it doesn't cut off any of the stage and it's a really great view. I never normally sit in the stalls so was pleasantly surprised by the rake at the Palace and how close to the stage we were. You're two seats away from the centre aisle with these seats which makes them feel roomy and the legroom is good - we're both 5'4ish. You don't get as good a view of the end HP Part 1 from these seats, but I think that only mattered to me because I'd seen it earlier from the Dress Circle - although something that happens near the end of HP Part 2 might well make up for that!"
"M16 to 20: (David Allen). We couldn't really have asked for better seats - no restriction on the view at all, I'm 6ft and the legroom was OK, not great, but I didn't especially feel cramped in. This theatre is a lot smaller than you'd think and so it felt very intimate."
"N6: "Harry Potter" (July 2017). This row is staggered such that sitting in this seat means you see the stage between the two people sat in front (why don't all theatres do this?). This resulted in a great and unobstructed view. I'm 6ft / 1.83m tall and found leg room tolerable (my knees touched the back of the seats in front if I slumped a little). I was able to put my feet under the seats in front which helped."
“Row O: "Priscilla,” (N Ansari). We were sat in row L to the right hand side and the seats offered a great view, especially when the actors were at the front of the stage. The show is highly entertaining and just good fun!"
"O2: "Singin' In The Rain" (February 2012). Terrible legroom by the way even on the end of the row, but in my experience this entire theatre is particularly bad). Considering this is a top price seat I was pretty annoyed to find, like another reader, SPOILER ALERT that you totally miss the lamppost bit in the title scene, and Zelda telling Lina about Kathy. It’s not whole scenes that you’re missing, but given the show follows the film so closely, these are still both key segments to be effectively happening “off stage” (as that’s how it looks). I think this must affect the first 3 seats or so of every row – my advice would me to sit the other side of the theatre. Personally I would red-square the first couple of seats down the entire audience-right side because of this. I also found it irritating that the orchestra are high above the back of the stage and can barely be seen. The cast point at them during the curtain call, but you still don’t really get to see them. SPOILER ENDS."
"O7 and K8: "Pricilla" (March 2009). Had a perfect view, although any further back and you may miss some of the action."
"P2: "Derren Brown, Miracle" (December 2015). The advantage - a good view of what is happening on 9/10 of the stage, what is missed are projections on the right hand wall. However, everything important is centre stage and therefore is in clear sight. However, for £56, I feel there should be no restriction whatsoever. Disadvantage - no legroom whatsoever. I had to sit virtually sideways to fit in. Very uncomfortable to the point where I thought about going up on stage in the faith healing section to have the bad back and knee lock caused by this seat "cured"! To be fair, I couldn't see the situation being any better anywhere else. The only upside of this discomfort was that this seat is on the end of the row so I didn't have to take over anyone else's space."
"P3: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" (June 2016). No complaints about legroom! (I am over 6ft tall and generally quite fussy.) View of part of the set was obscured due to the overhang and angle -- if you were hoping for a good view of the Hufflepuff and Slytherin banners, this is not the seat for you. Rest assured, however, that you won't miss any of the action, and although some effects will quickly slip out of view, there is some compensation for this. I'm afraid that's all I can say. #KeepTheSecrets"
"P15 and P16, Q8 to 17 and R14 to S22: “Priscilla”, (James – regular reader). Everyone said they could see really well and the overhang didn't restrict any action except for one very short section in the first act where taller people in row S missed a tiny bit higher up. Sound is great from here too. I still prefer the Dress Circle only because you are looking down on the action a bit more."
"P18: "Priscilla" (March 2009), (Jackie). Paid £47 (face value £66). As the people who were due to sit in row P did not turn up I had an absolutely brilliant view of the stage, didn't have to peer around people's heads at all. There is not much room though and at 5ft 9 inches and with my leg in a brace (torn ligament) it was rather a squash and a little uncomfortable."
"P25: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" (June 2016). Sat here for £140 in December. Thought view was excellent, save for missing the very top of the stage, and felt oddly closer to the stage than it really was. More central and further forward would've been better. Legroom was awful, though."
"Q2 and 3: “Priscilla”. This was ideal for me because I'm a 6ft 7" tall lad and my seat was at the end of the aisle, which meant I could dangle my legs out slightly. Leg room (in row R at least, but it seemed to be the case for all the stalls) was painfully cramped, more so than any other musical I've been to. Tall people like myself need to seriously consider this, as even my 5ft 7" mate found this to be a problem for his legs.
In terms of viewing the stage, we were up close enough and could easily see what was happening. However, the top right of the stage is blocked by the overhanging royal circle and some of the performances which are brought out of the stage (you'll understand what I mean when you watch it!) eventually disappear from view, no matter how far you stretch your neck! The theatre have displayed television screens to combat this problem - but the blurry quality of them was almost insulting. Surely a production this expensive can do better?"
"Q16 to 19: What an amazing view you get from these seats! No action is missed at all. I know a lot of people have complained about the views in this theatre but this is a very very old theatre and there is not a lot the management company can do about this so they have installed screens to let you see some of the action that happens above and that is about as much as they can do, so try if you can to book seats in the stalls or in the dress circle."
"Q18, 19, 20 and 21: (Linda O'Reilly). Theatremonkey is correct in saying these are great seats!... The seats ramp slightly at this level so we had perfect view of the stage. Leg room was OK too, even for the men."
"R6: Offers a good full view of the stage. A tiny upper corner of the stage gets blocked out but there's not much action going on high up there anyway. Leg room is limited but not cramped."
"R 26 and 27: "Harry Potter" (May 2017). These came with a warning when booking about the overhang but I was actually pleasantly surprised. You do miss the very top left hand corner of the stage but not much happened up there so it wasn't really an issue. The rake here is quite good and as long as you don't have a giant in front you get a good view. It is near the back of the stalls but you don't feel too far away and the sound is still good. Definitely happy to pay £42.50 per part."
"S8: I had no problem with leg room or the view - apart from the mirrors that line the side of the theatre and occasionally had reflections of the action. A minor distraction."
"S20: “Priscilla”. Had seen it twice before from the upper circle and whilst I like this seat more I wouldn't have liked to be any further back. The only thing I missed was when the shoe comes forward in the opera section. I would rate these RED for value (that is if they cost you ;) ). I'd still say for a 99.9% unrestricted view to go for E10 / 11 in the upper circle for £25 over these seats in the stalls."
"T8 and 9: “Priscilla”. Top price seats, but much of the top of the stage was out of sight due to the circle overhang - and this show has quite a bit of the action at high level. There were several top price rows behind us and their view must have been even worse. Whilst we are on a negative note, we must mention the legroom or lack of it! It must be one of the worst we've encountered and several of our neighbours mentioned it too. And it was so hot!"
"T8 and 9 (top price): (Jay Hunt). The leg and knee room was so tight that I could barely sit down. I am 6ft 5 so never expect much room, but I have never sat in any theatre seat this tight After realising that there was no way I would last the first Act, let alone the whole show sitting with my legs jammed against my neighbour and seat in front, I spoke to an usher, who moved us to a box at the left rear hand side of the stalls. The view from here was terrible- as other reviewers have pointed out, the back third of the stalls, including the rear boxes, are distant from the stage. From this particular box the top two thirds of the stage was obscured, as was a good third of the lower part of the stage! So we insisted on moving yet again, this time to Box A, at the front of the theatre and accessible from the Dress Circle. Here we enjoyed a fantastic view. If I go to see this show again, I'd be tempted to book the same box or the front few rows of the dress circle. By the way, the Usher did admit there are several rows of seats in the stalls that do have particularly tight legroom- I can certainly vouch for Row 'R'!".
"TT23: "Harry Potter" (June 2016). TT23 is the seat which is right next to the sound desk. Also there are two more rows behind TT. The Row directly behind TT had the same number of seats but the row behind that one (the last row) had the one seat missing which is right next to the sound desk as there would be zero visibility from that seat.
Review of seat TT23: DO NOT SIT HERE. The seat is sold at full price with only a warning saying "might be issues with overhang". The overhang issue did however not bother me at all - I don't think you really miss anything because of the overhang. However the seat itself is awful!!!! You are crammed in right next to the sound desk - again this does not actually restrict the view, but what does restrict the view is the way the seat is angled in relation to the seat directly in front of you.
The rake which produces good views in most of the stalls stops somewhere around Row TT, meaning that your head is pretty much on the same level as the head in front of you and also the seat is pretty much directly behind the one in front so it resembles more the seating in an aeroplane. As it happened, the person's head who was sitting in front of me, was so high that my eyes were level with their shoulders - consequently the person's head blocked out all the action from the stage 'floor' right to the fly floor. Because of this I completely missed all the action all the way from Centre Stage to the Stage Right Wing. With my left eye, blocked by the person's head in front (a normal sized person), I could only see the Stage Left Wing. At least with my right eye, I could follow some of the action that was closer to Centre Stage, however after an hour of this, I kind of got tired of following the play with only one eye, and pretty much just closed my eyes most of the time just listening to the dialogue as the one eyed thing was giving me a headache.
There is a possibility of moving out of your seat and edging all the way to the right in your seat to avoid the person's head in front of you. However, you do have one person sitting again directly behind you (also on the same level) who when I moved my head into this space, told me that this was the only place they could see anything, and, as I did not want to start a fight, I did not wedge myself into this space.
I really really think this seat should only be sold as a restricted view seat; I have sat in restricted seats before, where the view has been far far better than in this seat."
"U 26 to 28: "Singin' In The Rain" (February 2012). With GILT discount tickets, our seats in the back stalls were further away from the stage than we would have liked - under the slightly oppressive dress circle overhang and with the side of the stage to our left out of view, we felt a bit ‘disconnected’. Having said that, neither were problems for us with this production because no action takes place up high, nor on the left hand side: both lamp-post and cast’s entrance are on the right and we all had good sight-lines. Knee room is generally limited, but there was no sign of the mirrors, which appeared to have been covered up."
“Row V: “Priscilla”. We paid £62.50 to sit in Stalls row W. I am so glad it is marked "Red" on the Monkey's plan! The seats were cramped and I could not put my knees together and I am only 5'11" tall! I ended up with my leg jammed up against the lady sitting next to me. The overhang of the circle means you miss a lot of the action. The TV screens at the side at next to useless when you sit in the middle."
"V 25: "Singin' In The Rain" (February 2012). View of the stage is near perfect but I am 5'9" and the legroom is just awful. My knees started to hurt way before the interval and I had to bother the person left to me, because there was no way I could fit my left leg in front of me. I'd rather stand for the whole show than sit in this place again. Would I have worn heels instead of sneakers I would have had to walk out in the middle of the show. I paid £62 for 'Singin' In The Rain' and, while the show is awesome, I couldn't enjoy it at all so this is overpriced. I would definitely mark this as a red seat in your map."
"V 25, 26, 27: (Richard Bradbury). Gave a decent view of the lower half of the stage but the entire top half is blocked by the circle". Reader Heath concurs with this.”
“V 28 and 29: "Priscilla" (March 2009). Almost at the back and right on the side. As there is as much action at mid height and at the top of the stage as there is at floor level those seats were awful, as we could only see the bottom of the stage as the Circle is very low and cuts out the view of most of the stage - and for this show it must apply to seats much further forward than we were. It would have been impossible to see the Divas singing who were high up and had great voices, and for me were the best part of the show. We only saw them because for some unaccountable reason after about five minutes we were asked to show our tickets and were told we were in the wrong seats and they moved us to row K or L which were much better, but still very tight on the knees."
“V26 and 27: (Shona). Our seats were right at the back and left hand side of the stalls I was impressed with the legroom and the view was fine.”
“V9 and 10: (Jonathan Bridges). Both of these had excellent viewing. You couldn't see the top right corner of the stage."
“V23: “Spamalot” (Brian McKinney - former Goodshow.com owner and Theatremonkey friend). Wasn’t impressed”
At stalls level box X is in an alcove halfway along the sidewall of the theatre.
Box Z is at the back of the stalls behind row W.
Acceptable, as movable chairs are used.
Box X: The view is poor with a third of the stage missing, but sitting in the far right side of the box improves it slightly. Choose these only if box Z and the restricted view stalls are not available.
Box Z: The view is restricted to the lower two thirds or the stage, but it is clear. Choose box Z as a comfy cheaper alternative to a seat in the Upper Circle, IF you are not worried about missing the top sections of some scenes.
Missing the top / sides of the stage.
A reader notes that box Z had an "odour problem" ("hint of drain" is the scent again) pointed out at time of booking! Hopefully the building work since then has cured it permanently!
Box X is on sale at second price. A last choice, feels the monkey.
"Box X. "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" (June 2016). The view of the stage is OK, but SPOILER ALERT we were watching feet act every time they climbed those staircases. and the Dementors are a lot less scary when you can only see their robe tails. SPOILER ENDS. Having read the script I knew what was coming most of the way through, so to be honest the view did not detract from our enjoyment of the play, and it was wonderful not to be packed into the seats with all those other bodies. For the price I paid for the tickets, I will be very happy to use this box again."
"(Jay Hunt). The view from here was terrible - as other reviewers have pointed out, the back third of the stalls, including the rear boxes, are distant from the stage. From this particular box the top two thirds of the stage was obscured, as was a good third of the lower part of the stage."
“Box X: “Priscilla”: "Box X offers an impressively obstructed view with two thirds of the top of the stage missing. All the main action can be seen, and it feels close to the stage. They've installed two monitors - left and right the auditorium - to catch the stuff that it missing... a shame that the image quality is worse than youtube videos though. Okay seats, comfy with lots of room but not worth their usual price. It's a joke they sell them for £45."
The Upper Circle overhangs the Dress Circle at row C, cutting the view of the top of the stage from row H back.
The Dress Circle is split into left and right blocks by an aisle.
In all rows, except J, seats 18 and 19 are next to the centre aisle offering extra comfort and a good view.
Row J is set between pillars, behind the outer corners of row I.
Outstandingly awful in row A, and most readers agree. Also tight in rows I and J compared with rows in front.
Adequate in rows B to J (though may be tight for those over 6ft 5 or so). The outermost four seats in row H have a bit more.
The restricted view seats in row B have far more legroom than C, though those in C36 can turn slightly to one side to make the most of aisle space for one leg.
A 6ft tall reader reported no issue in E24, and another (in G31) advises "My partner is 6ft and found he had adequate legroom, aided by the aisle to stretch into."
The monkey really, really hates row A, with its cramped legroom and sightlines potentially affected by lights hanging from the front of the circle. but others feel differently. If the lights are absent, the view from the central seats is excellent... for the short legged...
Theatremonkey rates the Dress Circle rows B to D seats 11 to 26 the finest in the house. Accept that the seats feel oddly upright, but the view of the stage is great.
Further out in these rows, the first and last few seats in rows A to C are restricted view. A safety bar at the front corners of the circle might worry those in the end two seats, but it’s intrusion of boxes / speakers / lights into sightlines that cause real problems. Prices allow only a VERY little for the interference. Still, at second price those in rows B and C may be worthwhile if no better cheap box seats - or only Dress Circle row J - is left. B has more legroom.
Strange architecture and ornate metalwork at the ends of row E back make the first and last four seats in rows D to I worth avoiding.
Row F back the monkey had felt overpriced at top price. Reader Edward, notes that row F25 was "stunning" when available at a discount. With reader feedback, the monkey was convinced to raise those in F and G to "white" in the end...
One reader even felt H23 fine at a discount, with a clear view, good sound and not too much intrusion by the circle overhang.
The seats in row I seems oddly lower than the row in front - if anyone tall is in front, it is a real issue.
Row J is tucked on its own shelf at the edges of the circle. The roof feels low and the value is poor. These are the last resort at top price.
In row A, sightlines are often affected by lights hanging from the front of the circle.
A safety bar at the front corners of the circle might worry those in the end two seats.
End seats in all rows lose a tiny sliver of stage nearest to them due to box / speaker protrusion - hence its advice to sit further in.
Strange architecture and ornate metalwork at the ends of row E back; another reason to “go central.”
Row I seating is lower than the seats in front.
The whole circle is top price.
Unless you are short yourself and have short children, the monkey would skip row A for potential lighting in view and legroom (if over 5ft 5 or so) issues, though some readers have been happy here.
Row J is top price for this production. Compared with seats elsewhere at the same price, the monkey feels you will see more from them and be slightly more comfortable too. Worth a thought with small, wriggling children if you buy them all, though, as it is a fairly private space.
The outermost pairs of seats in rows A to C are not discounted. Those in B and C are the least worst at top price, feels the monkey. Take those in B first for comfort if taller, but really, don't bother if you are paying full price - everybody else gets a better deal than you do...
A reader (see below) notes a large projection unit on the front wall of the circle.
The theatre itself notes that A 3, 4, 33 and 24 have a handrail in view, and B 2 and 35, plus C 1, 2, 35 and 36 have a restricted side view.
“Dress Circle: (Siobhan): Dress circle are the best seats.”
“A13: The leg room is not as bad as that described by Theatremonkey. The view is superb but certain seats have lighting units affixed to the front of the balcony that project forward. At £50 a ticket you don't expect that. Watch out for A13, which was one of ours."
A 13 to 16: I took advantage of an offer which saw me paying £35 for £60 seats. I didn't find it too bad, we were in 13 to 16, and I wasn't uncomfortable.. but as some people mention you cannot stretch out as much as in the other rows. The seats were fairly central and had a great view of all the action."
"A14 "The Commitments": I bought J8 balcony for £35 from a ticket booth, but they were offering an upgrade to stalls or dress circle for an additional £10 GBP, so I took them up on it, and was quite pleased with A14 in the dress circle. I won't bother with the balcony again."
"A19: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" (June 2016). I was very happy with the seat. I'm short so leg room is pretty much never a problem, and it wasn't here, I guess a taller person would possibly have a problem but they'd have a better view! When I first sat down I decided the only thing that would be restricted was if someone was to lie down on the stage in the first 1 or 2 metres. There's a bar quite far out that causes a small restriction but it's only right in the centre so won't affect many seats at all, think it stops around between one and two seats further to the left. Most of the time the bar is irrelevant, every now and then it'll obscure someone's feet but that's about all. However a couple of minutes before the end of Part 1 something important happens in that area, I sat up as straight as possible and did see what was happening. So, so far a very nice seat, especially for the thing that happens just after the thing that I'm talking about at the front of the stage. In part two, two things happen in the restricted view area, one in the same place as at the end of part one, the other is that a person walks down some steps off the stage and up the aisle. Obviously from that seat the person disappears from slightly faster but there are other things happening on stage at that point.
At the end of the show once my fellow row occupants had left I quickly tried a couple more seats, the bar restricts the important central stage area from A19 to A21, A22 is fine, and then it's the same 3 seats on the other side of the aisle as well. In all cases a bit of head movement or sitting up will allow you to see it even when you're relatively short. At part two, instead of looking over I looked under and moved my head slightly to the left.
A19 and 20: "Singin' in the Rain." Marked red on the seating diagram. Surprisingly, I found this position to be great. The legroom was a little narrow but I have had much worse (and expected much worse)– I think it gets narrower the further from the centre you get. However, it has to be said that being of well above average height, I could see over the railing without any of the lights getting in the way, or having to lean forward. Obviously I can't compare this with the view anywhere else in the circle for the same money but I was very pleasantly surprised."
“A19 and 20: “Singin’ In The Rain,” (Chris B). The view cannot be faulted and has to one of the best on the West End, in what has to be the most grand theatre. Centrally located, a clear, unobstructed view and the perfect distance to appreciate the whole stage, yet still see all the facial expressions. However, the legroom is a little cramped (fine for me at 5'8" but any taller you might struggle) which is the only drawback to these amazing seats. A19 is an aisle seat though allowing a bit of extra legroom if needed.”
“A25 and A26: (K Favelle). The legroom in was so tight that I was finding it uncomfortable at just 5 foot 6 inches in height. My husband, who is 6 foot 6 inches tall with much of that height in his extra long legs, was absolutely crammed in and was forced to spread his legs so wide he was intruding into the space of his neighbours. A25 also had the added disadvantage of a metal strut (for the lights, attached to the front of the dress circle balcony) reaching up and over the balcony which meant it was not possible to lean forward and rest ones arms on the velvet balustrade. Which is a shame as the seats were so tight they gave me backache and I had to keep changing position in order to avoid cramp. I absolutely second Theatremonkey’s comment about dress circle row A seats being "outstandingly awful."
“Row B: (Celia Robinson). Had an excellent view of the action.”
"B7 and B8: “Priscilla” (March 2009), (James – regular reader). It would have been nicer to be a little more central but at a discount this seats were fantastic!"
"B19 and 20: (Jayne). We booked these after reading the Theatre Monkey reviews. The seats in my opinion are the best in the house, you feel so close to the stage even though you are upstairs. You can see everything and are central to the stage - better seats than row A in front of you. Without Theatremonkey I would have booked tickets in the stalls, but I'm so glad I read the monkey reviews first. I paid £64 each for the seats, plus the usual booking fee, but for me it was well worth it. I understand how costly this can be and there are cheaper tickets available - but all I will say is, 'just go the once and splash out.'"
"B 19, 20, 21 and 22: “Priscilla”, (K Braithwaite). As recommended by "Theatremonkey." Would sit here again. We had an excellent view of all the action."
"B30 and B31: "Priscilla", (James – regular reader). Despite being quite a way off on the side, the view was perfect from here and you don't miss any of the action, although you do have to turn slightly towards the stage."
"C15 and 16: (James – regular reader). Amongst the best seats in the house."
"C17 and C18: “Priscilla” (James – regular reader). The seats were perfect for the view and the sound. I went during the preview period and was lucky enough to get them for £50 by booking early. However, I’ve since discovered that these seats are in the designated premium zone which means they now sell for £82.50 and a staggering £92.50 at the weekends, excluding booking fees! It seems that there a large amount of seats like this for this production so it’s definitely worth checking out the ticket price seating plan on this website and then searching for seats just outside these areas."
"C 23, 24 and 25: (Paul Nicholls). Just about the best seats you can get."
"C25: (Paul Nicholls). Excellent view, plenty of leg room. If you were to take your own seat into the Palace Theatre, this is where you would probably put it!"
"C 25 to 27: "Harry Potter" (July 2016). They were really great seats. You get a very good view of the stage, although because of the curve of the circle you might miss a tiny amount of the corner of the stage but really only if you've got a tall person in front of you. It's also a perfect seat for the ending of the HP Part 1 and I'd happily sit there again just to see that. You don't feel far away from the stage and the seats have a decent rake to them and not bad legroom."
"C33 and 34: (James – regular reader). A little far to the side at top price as you start to lose a little bit of the action but take them at a bit of a discount."
"Row D: "Priscilla" (March 2009), (Jess B). Brilliant seats and had a perfect view of what was going on."
"D6 to 9: “Priscilla”, (CC Queen N.Ansari). We were not disappointed (apart from one bit in the show where we wished we had sat in the stalls!). Previous reviewers commented on the lack of visibility on these seats but the view was great. Not obscured at all, and sitting in the front few rows offers a really good view of the stage whichever end you sit."
"D9 and 10: "Singin' In The Rain" (August 2012), (N Ansari). We had a fantastic view of the entire show."
"D12 to 14: The Dress Circle is my fave place in this venue. D12 to 14 were perfect in every respect, so I'll say no more... apart from we were told by the guy on the door that Bette Midler had sat in these seats / or one of them anyway!"
“D18 and 19: “Priscilla”, (James – regular reader). I managed to get them at regular top price, which was fair, but these seats are usually in the premium allocation and would then be very over-priced."
"E18: "Singing In The Rain," (Faris). This has no obstructions to the top of the arch an has an excellent clear view of the stage. I normally prefer seats in the stalls but sitting in the circle gives a nice overview of the dance routines and action."
"E18 and 19: The most perfect seats ever. Clear view, comfy, lots of legroom and an aisle to lean into. Well worth the 55 quidies we paid!"
"E24: I paid £35 per ticket through the GILT ticket offer (runs January to March each year). I'm 6ft tall and felt that I had plenty of legroom. I was able to see the entire stage, except for a couple of occasions when the person in front of me lent forward, but that wasn't really an issue. Overall, great seats!"
"E29 and E30: The best we could get at short notice. Excellent seats albeit with a slightly sideways view and a very tiny amount of stage not visible from E30."
"F 23 and 24: We found the view excellent, with a full view of the stage including the very top (which is important for this show). Your plan shows these seats as red which we don’t understand. We thought they were good with adequate (for West End) legroom."
"F23 and F24: “Priscilla” (June 2011). These were fantastic seats, more leg room than I thought, and we could see everything that was going on, no problem seeing the Divas descending. I think they would have been worth their full price (£66.00), but we got them on a special offer for 47.99."
"Row G: "The Commitments" (October 2013). The offer (seat in dress circle plus a free glass of wine for £23) was too good to miss. Good seats with plenty of leg room, great view of the stage, wine was pretty horrible and served in a plastic cup but it was free."
"G11 and G12: "Derren Brown - Infamous" (June 2013). The view was fantastic, if maybe a little bit too far to see Derren's facial expressions - but overall, you get the show. We are both tall, 6'3" and while there was enough to sit comfortable-ish, our knees were touching the front seats."
"G11 to 13: Excellent view of the stage and the booster seat provided for my ten year old helped a lot. Only criticism was that it was very hot and stuffy in the Dress Circle. Had it been a serious play I would have been in danger of nodding off!!"
"G30 and 31: Seats were really good. View wasn't at all obstructed by the wrought iron metal work as commented by one of your readers. Upper circle was over hanging us which meant you couldn't quite see the top of the pros arch, but only just and for this show you didn't miss out on much of the action. My partner is 6ft and found he had adequate legroom, aided by the aisle to stretch into. On the whole really good seats, although I did get a discount through the GILT promotion (January 2007) so didn't pay the full whack."
"H15: "Singing In The Rain," (Faris). Got through the annual "Get into London Theatre" offer. I was in the dress circle seat H15. Which is currently marked red. For previous productions the top of the stage may of been missed but for SITR nothing is missed as they don't use the full height of the proscenium arch. ("Red" as it just isn't great at top price, editor). Politely asking the steward got me moved to seat E18. I wouldn't pay full price for row H but it is perfectly fine. If at full price go for a few rows forward."
"H 15 to 18: “Priscilla”. Have to say they were great seats especially on a discount, we paid £40 rather that the top price of £60.
There was only one row behind us, and they would have been affected by sightline issues, but only when the divas descend from above; we just managed to see them all. There were no sightline issues from where we were situated. Leg room was adequate, bearing in mind I am 6'+, and found them to be pretty comfortable too. I think I preferred being up in the dress circle to being in the stalls from where I saw' Spamalot'. I would agree with the monkey's opinion that some of the best seats in the house would be up here. I wouldn't hesitate to buy seats in the dress circle again."
"H 19 to 22: Although these seats are classed red in your opinion I can say that they were great seats which had good leg room and a superb view of the stage. Although the Grand Circle does intrude into the sight-line, only the very upper part of the set is lost - but in 'Spamalot' this is only clouds. (Helpful to know, comments the monkey, who would also sit here if there was a substantial reduction - even consider at top price as a final choice - Editor).”
"I5, 6 and 7: "Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert" (March 2009), (Vicki). Legroom was acceptable but it's worth noting that seat 5 is more tucked in behind H6 than the seating plan suggests, so if you're choosing that one to stretch out in, it's really no better than any other end-of-row seat. With regards to this particular show, I think I would actually categorise these seats as having a restricted view, as the over-hang of Upper Circle really does obscure some fantastic bits of the performance. I think the view improves towards the middle of these rows as seats are definitely higher at the sides. Avoid row J at the back as these seats sit a lot higher than row I, so their view must have been very disappointing. Selling these seats at top price is pretty scandalous if I'm honest.
Please warn people that if they are paying this top price for the Dress Circle (and who on earth can afford those premium priced seats??!) that they should choose seats towards the middle of the rows and as far forward as they can find. 'Priscilla' is a gorgeously visual show and so it's worth picking your seat carefully so you don't miss an inch of the sparkle."
"I21 and I22: "Singin' In The Rain" (February 2012). Offered a good view of the stage (this was the back row of the Dress Circle). However, if someone is sitting in front of you, the view is quite easily obscured. The legroom is restricted - I am 5'8" and I wasn't too cramped but my partner is 6'4" and was quite uncomfortable and wasn't able to have a lot of room to move his legs at all."
"I29 and 30: “Priscilla”. Since you asked about sight line issues at Priscilla, I thought I would mention that most of the Dress Circle should be fine except for the back three rows. We sat in I29 and I30 almost at the back and to one side and could see most of the show although we did have to lean forward to see a few things like the faces of the performers when they are on top of Uluhru in the climax. A couple of rows in front no one was leaning forward so I believe they had no issues."
Boxes A, B, C and D are either side of the stage.
B and D are closest to the stage.
Box J was the old seats J18 and 19 - a theatre secret, rarely appearing on seating plans. Tucked against the back wall at the end of the central aisle.
Acceptable, as all seats in boxes A to D are movable chairs. Box J are fixed seats with nothing in front.
B and D are closest to the stage and lose a quarter of it, A and C lose around an eighth.
B and D are thus second choice, as they lose so much of the view.
All offer moderate value and are a choice for those requiring more legroom than is available at the same price elsewhere.
The monkey’s readers prefer cheaper upper circle boxes.
Box J has a view like looking down a tunnel to the stage. Only the centre of the stage is visible if all the aisle seats in row I are occupied, and the seats in front muffle the sound. If you MUST see the show, take these if EVERYTHING else is gone (and the box office won't sell them until then anyway - if at all). Useful to know about, but to sit in?
Loss of view of nearest side.
Boxes may be shared with lighting / speakers, making them noisy.
Box A is on sale at top price. An OK choice for those wanting privacy and legroom, feels the monkey. Fair view, though.
he theatre itself notes that the box has a restricted side view.
Box J has been declared "non-existent," though there are remains there.
“Ask the box office what seats they have in Dress Circle Box A or box C. Seats 1, 2 and 3 in both these boxes are sold as restricted view but the view from them is really excellent so they are great value for money (for "Priscilla Queen of the Desert - The Musical" they are top price, though, so perhaps less value). If they only have seat 4 available in these boxes then don't take them as they are at the back of the box and you don't get to see much. The box office also warns that these seats are not for those who dislike loud noise, as speakers are situated among them.”
"(Jay Hunt). Here we enjoyed a fantastic view. If I go to see this show again, I'd be tempted to book the same box or the front few rows of the dress circle."
“Box A: (Annie Gross). We had tickets for Box G and were upgraded to Box A, which was fine. Sideways view, but you don't miss too much, and you are almost close enough to touch some of the performers. All the seats in the other 2 Dress Circle boxes (B and D) are very restricted so if that's all they have then you'd be much better off elsewhere, unless legroom is a factor. The second time we bought tickets from TKTS and got tickets for the stalls, full price £60 but we got them for £30. Row F seat 3, a little bit to the side but still a really good view of the stage! It's lovely to sit that close to the actors!”
Called the Grand Circle in this theatre
The balcony overhangs the Upper Circle at row C, affecting the view of seats from row E back. The Upper Circle is high above the stalls.
The Upper Circle is split into left and right blocks by an aisle.
Rows A and B extend a long way around the sides of the circle towards the boxes and stage.
In all rows except H seats 22 and 23 are next to the centre aisle offering extra comfort for one leg, and the most central view.
Row H is set between pillars, behind the outer corners of row G.
Poor in all seats and worst in row A.
Some seats in rows A and B are sold at lower prices to compensate for legroom issues. The ends of both rows are particularly tight where the circle bends to meet the boxes.
The "high numbers" side of B and C seem to have the most legroom of all seats here, though that is STILL VERY LIMITED and cramped for anybody over 5ft 6 or so, it felt.
The monkey notes that C8 has no legroom at all.
Row G seats 10 to 13 and 32 to 35 have a little more, the monkey felt.
Seats E9 and 36 are only for contortionists – though they’ll find legroom that way.
Metal bars guard the aisles at the ends of most rows and are intertwined around the extreme ends of rows B and C, and in front of each row of seats there too, prices and restricted view warnings reflect this, though the fact legroom is also restricted is a far greater worry, thinks the monkey.
Row A seats 3 to 8 and 37 to 42, and row B seats 1 to 10 and 35 to 43 are designated “restricted view” as they are sideways to the stage too. Pick row B over A, but also consider the balcony for other bottom price seats.
Other seats in row A are normally discounted due to the dire legroom.
Take any discount as a warning not an enticement, unless you work in a diamond mine and house share with Snow White, feels the monkey. Anybody else should be genuinely willing to put up with the pain for three hours. These tickets are best left alone in the monkey's opinion.
The best seats in the Upper Circle are in rows B to D in that order. It is worth avoiding the first and last four seats in these rows for best value. Even third price is quite a bit pay for little legroom and distance from the stage, if nothing else, though.
Row E back feels high up and combined with the low ceiling above cutting the view, the value for money is dubious at best.
Row E seats 9 and 36 are sideways to the stage, and peer through bars. Creative contortionists should find that twisting gains them a bit of legroom to the side, but not in front.
If you must, pick row F or G seats 15 to 30, but they are the same price as E for similar views...
One box office staff member's opinion is that the single restricted view seats at the ends of rows F and G are worth considering as they are next to "full price" seats and have little viewing problem.
Row H has similar problems to row J in the Dress Circle, being on a shelf at the back of the circle, again a last resort at the price - take an Upper Circle box instead.
Row A seats 3 to 8 and 37 to 42, and row B seats 1 to 10 and 35 to 43 are restricted view.
Metal bars guard the aisles at the ends of most rows and are intertwined around the extreme ends of rows B and C.
Those leaning forward block views for anyone behind.
A reader says, "As regards the vertigo issue. Can I suggest for anyone that does suffer that they eschew the central steps and take their seats via the stairs at either side of the theatre. The side stairwells have handrails and break up the downward path into what feels like a more segmented and steady trip, as opposed to the "straight down, no handrails, hope you brought a sherpa / goat" position the central stairs provide."
All seats except the restricted view sides, restricted view and legroom front row, and very back row are second price.
Don't bother with row A or B 1 to 7 and 38 to 43 seats here unless very short indeed. In fact, the monkey would go further, and tell sane folk not to even think of these at all. It would also add any other seat in the circle at the same price. Balcony seats one tier up are the same price in the middle block, have slightly better views and an aisle balcony seat provides a possible way of gaining an inch of legroom you won't find here.
The view elsewhere in this circle is better than the rear stalls at the same price, but legroom is vastly less. If over 5ft 6, don't even think about these seats. Anyway, take stalls W and X, before upper circle seats in rows G and H unless short and wishing to see over heads in front.
Do remember that up here, you will pay the same as folk miles below you in far less cramped seats. Watch for trick seats E9 and 36 at the same price as other seats which actually face the front.
Row H is cheaper - same price as row A, or the back of the stalls. Those under 5ft 6 will see more from here than the same price seats in the stalls. The taller should take the cheapest stalls first for comfort, but be aware the view from this circle row is better as there is less of an overhang in view.
The theatre itself notes that A 8 to 37 have restricted legroom, A 3 to 7 and 38 to 42 and B 2 to 7 and 38 to 43 have restricted side views and restricted legroom. F 10 and 35 have handrails in view.
"Upper Circle: (Gem) The seats in the front rows are cramped but the sightlines are superb and completely unrestricted, and at the reduced price I think they are very good value for money".
"A15 and 16: (June). I would not recommend these seats. The ticket did alert us to the restricted leg room although at 5ft tall this is not an issue for me. The lack of restricted view warning was much more of an issue for me. I lost about one third of the stage if I was sitting back in my seat as one should. The only way for me to have full view of all the action was to lean on the cushioned area in front of me. Hence I had a really sore back next morning."
I would not recommend the seats 15 and 16 in row A of the Grand Circle. The ticket did alert us to the restricted leg room although at 5ft tall this is not an issue for me. The lack of restricted view warning was much more of an issue for me. I lost about one third of the stage if I was sitting back in my seat as one should. The only way for me to have full view of all the action was to lean on the cushioned area in front of me. Hence I had a really sore back next morning."
“A23, 24 and 25: "Priscilla" (March 2009), (Jos Hockley). Make a note because these are probably the best seats to get. Once we made the climb down stairs that rivalled the Himalayas (most people went sideways), we wedged ourselves into the seats (my friend is 5' 0" and she struggled to find legroom), petite comes to mind when describing the space around us, but the simply there wasn't any. Despite descending mountains and being shoehorned into our allotted space, we had the perfect view. Sitting back I could still see the edge of the stage (I'm 5'3"), and were perfectly situated for the aerial views and the 'shoe' where, at 15 foot away from the performer, we had direct eye contact! Simply, we missed nothing.
However, I would advise caution in buying tickets as this performance involves a slightly higher stage apparently - and lots of aerial and performances on top of the bus. People lower down will miss the fantastically funny shoe by being underneath it, and have to crane their necks to see up. Those sitting too far back will be obscured by the overhangs from the balconies above."
"A36 and 37: "Harry Potter" (July 2016). Leg room was tight but I'm 6'1 and if I sat right at the back of the seat I had one inch of gap in front of my knees. I would sit there again as view if stage was great! Restrictions on the view wasn't a problem we maybe couldn't see 10% of back left corner although seats to the left (higher numbers) the view deteriorated very fast so would suggest avoiding unless heavily discounted."
“B 30 to 34: A small corner of the stage couldn't be seen without leaning forward, but not enough for it to be a problem. Any further round and it may have been."
"B31 and 32: Good value tickets, and the comments about the seating plan where spot on. We had to lean forward slightly to see the front LHS corner of the stage once or twice but otherwise the seats where fine."
"B34 and 35: (Jan). The view wasn't bad - except the usual problem of the people in front of us peering over the top of the ledge, caused us all to follow suit! It seems that the trend to bring the set out into the auditorium, which looks good, also cause the audience in any of the front circle seats to have to lean over to see any action going on down the front near the Orchestra pit causing the wave of 'peerers' and 'leaners!' I hope they realise this and start raising the stages higher!
But, even though the Grand Circle is the third level up, it is on top of the Dress Circle (some would say the best seats in the house) so the general view is OK. "
"B35: "The Woman in White" (December 2004). The view was perfect really - especially when it is only £15"
"B41: “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”, (Mark – regular reader). Quite restricted, but when I leant forward could see most of the stage, missing about 25% at the front (You only see 1 of the people when the phone calls happen etc). The good thing with these is when you lean forward there is nobody behind you so you aren't obstructing their views."
"Row C: Although I could see everything that was happening high up, I was not happy about what was going on near the front of the stage! These old theatres like the Palace were designed in the expectation that the front of the stage would end at the proscenium arch, but when the stage is extended out six feet or more beyond that into the auditorium and any action takes place right at the edge of the apron, then there are problems for people sitting in the higher levels, especially when the people in the front row lean forward and further obstruct the view of the people sitting behind them!"
"D 8 and 9: Priscilla" (March 2009). Upper Circle Restricted seats at the edge aren't actually too bad - though I would advise sitting on the left side rather than the right (D8-9) as quite a lot of action takes place on the right hand corner but not much on the left. They also cost £25, £20 less than the seats directly next to them. Bargain."
"D16 to 18: "Singin In The Rain" (February 2012). The view was spectacular! Only one problem, any action happening downstage - like the bench scene ending -happens downstage of the corner that is obstructed sitting on this side, my advice would be to get tickets with higher numbers than these if in the upper circle as we could see the other downstage side but nothing happened down there. (It's due to the stage extending over the orchestra pit, the monkey and reader jointly concluded).”
"D20: "Priscilla" (March 2009). Great seat and great view!"
"D23 to 26: (James – regular reader). You do feel very high up but as long as people don’t lean forward in front of you, it’s a fantastic view and the sound is great from here too. I only paid £1 per ticket which was a bargain ("Spamalot" December 2008 promotion price - editor) but at regular price (£42.50) it seems a bit on the pricey side. Also, it was quite hot and legroom was not great here.”
Reader Jaime Coniam says,
" D29, 30 and 31: (Jaime Coniam). Clear view of the stage, however the "looking down" on the stage is a problem if the view of a vast black stage floor detracts from the scenery."
"D31 and D32. "The Commitments" (November 2013). Both seats on The Monkey's map get a white designation. We would tinge D31 in pink. It isn't bad and the steep rake ensures a good view, but D31 does lose a reasonable corner of the stage. D32 loses a slice, but is significantly less affected. Legroom didn't seem as bad as people said. I was comfortable enough for the entire show, but did enjoy an interval stretch of the legs. As regards the vertigo issue. Can I suggest for anyone that does suffer that they eschew the central steps and take their seats via the stairs at either side of the theatre. The side stairwells have handrails and break up the downward path into what feels like a more segmented and steady trip, as opposed to the "straight down, no handrails, hope you brought a sherpa / goat" position the central stairs provide."
"E10 and 11: The strange thing about these seats is they are on a very noticeable slope, but for £20 they would have been absolutely fine."
“E10 and 11: "Priscilla" (March 2009)."We had the "Restricted View" seats in the Upper Circle; these were NOT restricted view in the slightest. Could see everything apart from a tiny corner in the bottom of the stage, which really didn't matter at all. Considering we paid half the amount of the people sitting next to us, I would make these seats GREEN for value for money. You can see everything extremely well. Would rather have sat here than the back of the stalls where I have heard there is so much restriction from the overhang. Probably the best value seats I have had in quite a while."
"E16: Good seat, and I only paid £20 for it off a woman who had double booked and was selling outside of the box office (bad practice but she was obviously genuine, and I got a £45 ticket for £20). Was just about to book a restricted view one for £5 more so was very handy! I don't think these are worth £45, I'd rather pay £20 less to sit 4 more seats to the side, but hey I was happy getting it at a bargain price. (A risky gamble indeed, feels the monkey).”
"F35: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" (August 2016). This seat has a restricted view. For Harry Potter it is not classed as having a restricted view and carries no warnings. The seat is full price (second highest price). However the handrail for the three steps up to the row obstructs the centre of the stage. It is an "n" shaped rail so does obscure the view quite a bit. The adjacent seat has a great view. I presume, but don't know for certain that seat F10 at the other end of the row will have the same issue."
"G 21 and 22: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" (August 2016)." These worked very well for us. View was excellent, especially as they were central. Facilities were immediately accessible although I had to go upstairs for a hot drink where it was a bit crowded in the bar but I was able to be served in time. I did find the diction very clear and audible from all of the actors throughout, which I greatly appreciated. We were at the back, so you couldn't see actors' facial expressions, although I did take binoculars which at least helped get some take if not continuous close ups on each of the main cast.
Which leaves the comfort rating...
Had I been in the middle of the row, I think it would have been good practice for my economy long haul flight on Monday, but, sitting on the end as I did, it did work out as planned I am glad to say, with room at the side to compensate for the more limited space in front. So apart from stretching etc in the intervals, I felt no need to stand up or move to stand behind (which I could easily have done, had it been allowed) during the performances. However my daughter who is only five feet three did complain about the limited space when we first took our seats but seemed absolutely fine throughout thereafter."
"G 29 and 30. The view from here was ok, there was no restriction apart from the very front left corner of the stage, and the legroom was fine. However, it did feel like a long way from the stage. I would think it worth it to pay the extra £15 for top price seats for a closer view if available - £45 seems very steep for this position, although as so much of the action takes place high on the stage, I would think it is better to sit here than the restricted view seats lower down."
"G30: "Pricilla" (March 2009): Bad value at £45, much better seats to be had in the upper circle."
"G31 and 32. They were not restricted view, and we could see everything up to the top of the stage very clearly, apart from only the edge of stage right that was slightly obscured by the curve of the front of the Grand Circle itself."
"G31 and 32: Booked via the get into London Theatre Promotion - January to March each year - so I only paid £35 pounds for each seat). Seats were okay, a bit distant from the stage but not really obstructed. However it was pretty tight, which is why we were moved to Box X in the stalls."
Boxes E, G and H are either side of the stage.
3 seats in each.
Box K is the old row H seats 22 and 23 - a theatre secret, rarely appearing on seating plans. Tucked against the back wall at the end of the central aisle.
Acceptable in all seats, as movable chairs are used in boxes E, G and H. Box K has fixed seats with nothing in front.
Boxes E and H lose about a quarter of the stage view, Box G about an eighth.
Choose box G first, but all three offer fair value at low prices and are preferable to the stalls boxes for view and to balcony seats for comfort.
Box G in particular is a Theatremonkey readers’ favourite, with many buying all the seats there to either have privacy or a “box party” depending how sociable they are feeling.
Box K looks down the central aisle - like a tunnel to the stage. Only the centre of the stage is visible and the seats in front muffle the sound. If you MUST see the show, take these if EVERYTHING else is gone (and the box office won't sell them until then anyway - if at all). Again, useful to know about, but to sit in?
Loss of view.
Boxes E and H may be shared with lighting / speakers, and be noisy.
Sound muffled in box K.
Not currently on sale. Box K has been declared "non-existent," though there are remains there.
"Box: At 'Spamalot' (2006) we sat in a box to the left of the stage and even though we sat pretty close to the stage we couldn't see half of it. We also sat just next to the confetti-blowing-cannon which came as a shock in the end, but they did warn us about loud bangs, they just didn't tell us when :)"
"Box: (Jake Brunger). View not great at all - had to stand to see a lot of things, but I saw all their facial expressions and heard it perfectly thanks to a speaker next to me - not bad for £20"
"Box G: I booked all 3 seats in Box G as I wanted something a bit private / special for a birthday treat, and, after reading Theatre Monkey’s review about losing 1/8th stage, I was happy to pay £20 per seat, so £60 for both of us … I think this price was very fair for the view we had, and would happily book again."
“Box G: (Yvonne). I booked Box G (after reading a review on Theatremonkey) and was really pleased with it. Great value for money. Although a slightly restricted view it was well worth the £60 for three of us. I always prefer the privacy and extra leg room of a box and this one is a bargain."
The front of this circle is over sixty feet from the stage - straight down. Row P, 104 feet away, has warning lights to deflect aircraft that have achieved cruising altitude. Oxygen tanks and snowshoes may be hired in the foyer.
Joking apart, those prone to even mild vertigo should sit elsewhere, and everyone should know that from row J back the steep rake and height take some getting used to. If vertigo does strike, walk upwards in this theatre away from the drop. There are enclosed back stairs here leading down safely.
The circle is split into a wide central and two narrow side blocks by aisles.
In the side blocks, an aisle replaces row D, cutting rows A to C are cut off from those behind.
Thick bars cage the public in and every aisle seat has a metal post at the end of it.
The rake from row J back is particularly steep.
Pillars appear between seats in side blocks row L.
Very poor in almost all seats, worst by far in row A, a bit better in row M seats 8 to 21 and in the aisle seats where one leg can get a bit of space - compromised view or not!
The monkey spotted E 7 and 22 as having nothing in front, but a long drop...
One reader goes so far as to say don't even consider sitting in the Balcony as the view is so poor.
The public is safely caged in behind thick bars that run across the width of the circle, affecting the view drastically in rows A to C. More metal pops up at the outer ends of many rows, notably B, C, E and G.
Rows G to H were worth considering first, as they offered a clear view and the best value for money - relatively speaking of course...£20 plus is not cheap, but the monkey has to judge on what it is given. Just don't expect TOO much for the price.
Rows N and O are short rows at the rear of the theatre. The view is clear but the height is noticeably vertigo inducing and £15 seems a lot...
Decide between a relatively clear, but very distant, view of the stage in this block; and restricted view seats for the same price in other parts of the theatre. Theatremonkey chooses Upper Circle boxes ( or rear / front row-ends Upper Circle if the legroom isn't an issue), then stalls boxes, then the balcony. This is mostly based on legroom and proximity to the stage, not clarity of view. There isn't a lot of choice in the £30 or less range, so it is a real case of making do as you can.
Metal posts at the end of the row disrupt the view for the first seats off the aisle. Seats 7 and 22 in all rows suffer this problem worst and should be avoided.
Row E has a wall / bars in front of it restricting legroom and intruding on the view of anyone five foot three or shorter.
Take rows F to K - as near too the central aisle as you can, but NOT actual aisle seat numbers 7 and 22 if possible...unless legroom is a factor and you accept the compromised view. Also remember that the outermost 2 seats in rows F to K are perhaps not as great as seats further towards the centre aisle.
Row M seats 24 and 25 have a pillar in front - avoid them!
Rows N to P feel like private colonies at the back of the side blocks. The view downwards is heart-stopping and the performers look like ants. Sit here if your Sherpa allows you a rest period; and plant a national flag. You can say you saw the show, you got a seat! And you lived to tell the tale.
Use any seat in the side balcony to see the show if on the tightest of budgets. Enjoy the music and what you can see of the rest. These seats are no bargain but if taken this way is at least an honest attempt at theatregoing on a shoestring.
Vertigo, both from the view from the circle to the stage, and from the steepness of the steps to your seats.
Bars galore, at the front, in front of row E in the side block, at the ends of all rows.
Heads in front in view from most seats. Accept nowhere in this circle has a decent view, basically...
A reader reports that those in row D have been annoyed by people in the rows in front leaning forward.
Pillar in side block row M.
The most expensive seats up here are central block F to M. Go for aisle seats for legroom, and as far forward as you can - M the last choice. You get what you pay for, average seats, cramped and a high view.
A price down, rows B to D 8 and 9, B19 and 20 and C and D 20 and 21 possible fair value for bargain hunters who don't mind bars in view. Take the aisle ones if taller, for a means of sitting sideways to move a leg into.
Rows N and O have to be a final choice for the money - centre block N, as it is cheaper, first. The view is slightly affected by equipment on the circle front. The only advantage of sitting in these back rows is that they are less affected by bars or those in front leaning forwards, the monkey and reader reports both note.
At lowest price the sides of row C 4 to 7 and 22 to 25, plus E 7 and 22 for legroom, are worth a glance. Fairly priced, cramped but holding at average value. Well done producers, for not trying to over-price these.
Row P has been removed.
Basically, be prepared for cramped disappointment, and you could feel a bit luckier than that, is the monkey warning.
The theatre itself notes that rows A to D, plus H1 have handrails in view and that the centre block from E to O is steeply stepped. All seats are high up, too.
“Balcony: We all suffered neck and back ache because the only way to see the show was to lean as far forward as we could manage. Normally, I would be conscious of not getting in the way of the views of the people behind, but sadly on this occasion leaning forward was the only way we could see any of the action on stage. A lot of the performance took place towards the very front the stage so we had to sit back and just listen to what was going on and watch the people back-stage set-up the props!! I will be writing to the theatre to express my concerns, I have been to many theatres and I feel these are the worst seats I've sat in."
"Balcony: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" in March 2009). My friend booked this show for a Saturday evening in March 2010, but could only get £25 tickets mid-way back in the Balcony (top tier in theatre). I have only one comment to make - CLOSE THE BALCONY FOR ANY FUTURE SHOWS!"
"Balcony: All the seats here are very cramped! Those over 6ft will not only feel uncomfortable but will also not be able to sit down. The only way to avoid this is to sit in the first row of the stalls or any central aisle seat. Never buy tickets which are inside the rows - only the aisles."
"A14 and 15: "Singin' In The Rain" (Lynn). I'm only 5ft 4" but my knees were jammed up against the edge. However, considering we had two bars in front of us we didn't have a bad view. By looking down we could see everything on stage except the steps at the front of the stage and not a lot happened there. Then when they showed clips on the screen at the back of the stage we just looked up and could see it perfectly. The seats were £34 each, but I was happy with what we got. When we got upstairs we were offered an upgrade to best available seats for £10 each. don't know if this is common practice, but might consider next time, depending what's on offer."
"A 21 to 23: "Singin' In The Rain" (February 2012). I managed to get very cheap seats in the Balcony, row A 21 to 23, and they were brilliant! Perfect view."
"A 24 and 25: "Priscilla”, (Jenny). I took a gamble and bought two seats for a tenner from a certain online organisation that specialises in things of a last minute nature. I did think that it would be a bit of a waste, and when we picked up the tickets we saw they had "partially restricted view" on them. Well, this wasn't the case at all. We had a fabulous experience! We felt every bit of the atmosphere, had no-one in front of us blocking our view (ha!) and all in all had a brilliant time. I would say to anyone on a budget - go for it!"
"D9 to 14: £22.50 each. Once we had acclimatised to the altitude and made sure our parachutes were correctly packed, we settled down for a good afternoon out! Seriously though, the stage is a long way down and it's a bit off-putting to be looking at the top of the heads of the cast, but we soon get used to it! None of us are terribly tall, so there was a bit of neck-craning going on as well. We couldn't see the top of the stage, so we missed some of the cartoons and imagery and the far downstage left front corner was out of sight as well, but as there wasn't much action there, it didn't matter too much!"
"E8 to 14: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" (June 2016), (Howard, North Lincolnshire). A party of 7 of us saw this show in July 2017. We sat in The Balcony E8-14. I'd read other reports re: The Balcony's seating problems but since we couldn't afford any of the more expensive seats I booked these with a little trepidation - particularly since I was responsible for the other 6 in the group!
We found no problems at all in those seats. The person on the aisle seat, E8, said the metal safety rail marginally cut into the right front corner (as you were looking at it) of the stage, but this hardly mattered. Those of us further towards the middle of the row had no such obstructions...your view is 'over' the rail... it doesn't 'cut into' the view. Yes, you are high up, but you can see everything clearly and all the illusions/special effects are designed in such a way as to be appreciated from wherever you sit.
There were no problems with leg-room. There were a couple of moments, 2 scenes each probably only a couple of minutes long involving water, (I'll say no more), which took place right at the front of the stage, and for which you needed to lean slightly forward to see the action. Everything else was easily seen.
The rake is so steep up here that your feet are level with the shoulders of the row in front so there is absolutely no problem seeing over heads, (apart from the aforementioned leaning forward bit) but they are very short scenes, and you can hear even if you can't quite see!! All other action had a clear view.
During the interval and between Parts I and II a few of us moved around to 'sample' views from other seats. I would agree with other comments that views from Rows A - D (centre block) are hindered by the safety rails, and the further towards the ends of the rows you go, the more of the edges of the stage are 'cut off'.
Row E where we were is priced at £20 per Part. Row F, directly behind(!), is £40, (in fact it may now be even £42?). DON'T spend double the money to sit a row further back!!!! There is no need to. You won't gain anything!! This is the gamble I took and it paid off.
For people on a budget as we were, go for £20 in Row E centre block every time. My sister is under 5' tall and had no problem seeing from E10. Avoid Rows A-D. The further back you go the steeper the rake and from the very rear of The Balcony you would most likely lose much of the top/back of the stage."
"E16: "Singin' In The Rain" (February 2012). For only 30 minutes I seemed to have one of the better views, as I would have been able to look straight down on the tops of the actors' heads. People behind me were complaining that they couldn't see anything but the back of the stage.
The seats went up at such an extreme rake that they were set very high from the floor. At 5'9", my feet barely touched the floor. That's so uncomfortable on the lower back. The aisle getting to the seats was very narrow, and one had the feeling of falling forward even when the aisle was empty of other guests to work around. The seats were hard and narrow, with little padding. They would have to pay me to watch an entire performance from that balcony!"
“F12 and 13: We were in the balcony and from what I could see all the seats were bad. I would avoid the balcony at all costs if you want to see the show or if (as someone else has commented) you're over 5' 10". Row F was VERY cramped. Row E and Row G seemed to have better views as the rows in front were lower. Row E was not a lot lower than F, and the drop almost vertical, so ANYONE sitting in front of you will obstruct views. For me, the best seats would be in Row E 3-7 and 22-26 as there is no-one sitting in front of you and you can dangle your legs over the barrier in front. Cannot comment on the views from these seats but it cannot be any worse than F12 and F13."
"F10 to 13: "Singin' In The Rain" (February 2012), (Vicki). Bought 4 balcony tickets from Ticketmaster for £30 each plus usual booking fees. Nothing was mentioned about a restricted view, just 'high and steeply stepped'. What a waste of money, seats10 to 13 in row F barely have any view of the stage as the rows are tightly packed, hardly any legroom - and all I could see from seat 13 was the back of the head of the lady in front. From what I could gather most of the balcony seats have a very poor view, the people behind were also complaining. Most disappointing night at the theatre ever, complete rip off."
"Row F22 to 27, Row G22 to 26: "Priscilla" (10 friends). We paid £26.24 each. All I can say is "avoid these seats at all costs!!" About a third of the stage cannot be seen simply because the balcony and bars are in the way!”
“H10: "Spamalot,"(2006). I booked in the balcony on Ticketmaster before looking at Theatremonkey’s opinion, but actually it wasn't that bad. Yeah I could've done with a little more room and seeing some things a little better, but I was anticipating being up with airplanes and it actually wasn't that bad. I could see some facial expressions and they were made PERFECTLY clear with the binoculars that I only had to use occasionally. So for an American student saving up for a 5 week trip around Europe, 20 pounds was an amazing price for a pretty good seat to an incredible show!"
"Seats H 19 and 20: "Spamalot" (2006). I thought that describing them as unrestricted was a bit off which I am going to raise with the theatre. Quite a bit of the action takes place towards the front of the stage and is totally obscured by the safety bars etc at the front of the balcony.
It doesn't help that if the people in front of you are both tall and chose to lean forward - you may as well sit back, close your eyes and imagine what is going on!
I remembered this theatre from Jesus Christ Superstar donkey's years ago I went quite a few times and didn't ever have a problem seeing from up there... I don't think I would bother booking in the balcony again unless I could get A or B - from H the top of the set is obscured by the lighting rig and as I said you may as well give up on anything that happens at the front of the stage..."
"J8 (The Commitments"): J8 Balcony, bought from a ticket booth for £35 GBP. Don't even bother! I was up so high I felt like I should have an oxygen tank. They were offering an upgrade to stalls or dress circle for an additional £10 GBP, so I took them up on it, and was quite pleased with A14 in the dress circle. I won't bother with the balcony again."
“Row L: (James – regular reader). I originally sat in the middle of row L - I didn't find the distance any worse than the back of many other theatres, but the view was absolutely appalling. The rake, whilst being steep, wasn't steep enough, and if you have anyone above midget-height in front of you, you will be struggling to see the stage. .As it was only two-thirds full, I tried a few other seats, with the same problems. Bars block the stage view from all side block seats. I usually don't mind cheap seats far away, but I would not sit in these seats again as view was so bad. Whole block should be red..."
"L7: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" (June 2016). My friend had balcony L7 for £30. He thought it was very cramped, but view wasn't too bad. Missed around 20% of downstage left. Safety rails didn't intrude too much. More the curvature of the circle."
"L7: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" (June 2016). This ticket was sold with a restricted view so I wasn't sure what to expect but the view wasn't too bad at all for the price. There are safety rails in the sight line but you can see the majority of what is happening on stage including the special effects. However there is absolutely no legroom at all. I am 6ft tall and my legs were forced out into the aisle and pressed against a safety rail causing bruising and a dead leg. It was difficult to concentrate on the performance and at the interval I complained to staff that I just couldn't sit there any longer. I was offered the opportunity to watch the second half on a screen by the bar, this wasn't ideal as it was noisy while staff were clearing the bar area and lights were left on reflecting into the screen... And you don't come to the theatre to watch the performance on screen! On the second night I was offered alternate seating in one of the 'Harry' seats as they call them in house - at the back of the dress circle, behind the other seats at the top of the aisle. The view from this seat was much better, however due to missing parts of the first part I was left filling in the gaps. However if you are really uncomfortable it's worth asking about these ‘Harry’ seats. The seats in the balcony are of a poor description and should be sold with a warning of severely restricted legroom as well as a restricted view, if this was the case I would not have purchased tickets in this area."
"N22: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" (June 2016). My advice would be, 'don’t sit here unless there are no other seats available!' Very high up so you end up watching the tops of actor’s heads, missing a bit of the front of the stage, some rails blocking the view and as soon as people in front of you lean forward to see they block a large portion of the stage! If you sit here be prepared to spend most of the performance leaning to see around bars/heads in front of you. The one good thing about this seat is the aisle next to you that you can stretch your legs into to make up for the almost non-existent legroom. For Harry Potter the tickets sold so fast that I was lucky to get a ticket at all… but if you can pay the extra to sit elsewhere I would highly recommend doing so!"
“O5 and 6: “Priscilla Queen of the Desert,” (Chris B). Avoid these seats at all cost! I only got these tickets as we really wanted to see the show and it was the very last performance. True, they were very cheap but I can see why. You would have felt closer to the stage being sat on the moon, they are so ridiculously high up and with the very steep rake, if anyone leans slightly forward you can’t see the stage. Making out the actors was practically impossible and we could only just see the enormous bus. This is the one time I’ve hired the binoculars and even then it wasn’t a clear view. If you HAVE to sit around here, I’d suggest the back row as then you can stand up and not restrict people behind. The only good thing was we could hear all the music and the sound was good, but may as well have just listened to the soundtrack at home.”
Total 1480 seats.
Air-cooled auditorium. A reader reported way back in 2003 that this is temperamental and the theatre gets stuffy as a result - something those in April 2005 concur with. Refurbishment has not really helped - rented portable units still sometimes substitute for the permanent fittings! In August 2012 reader Debbi says from stalls row F, "The air conditioning was awful! It was probably around 27 degrees the night we went and it was stiflingly hot. Just make sure you wear something cool when you go to see this show." And it is no better in 2020...
Induction loop or Williams Soud Infrared. Occasional audio described and signed performances, only once a year or so. Guide dog sitter available. Adapted WC in Stalls. Access for wheelchairs via side door, up a shallow step and down a gentle slope to seat W27 in the Stalls. Users may also transfer to any other stalls aisle seat. Large print programme available. This theatre tries. Fuller details from Nimax Theatres on 0330 333 4815 (10am to 6pm, Monday to Friday) or email access(insert the @ symbol here) nimaxtheatres.com.
Ice cream and confectionery in auditorium.
Four Bars; Stalls, Dress Circle, Upper Circle and Balcony.
11 toilets; Stalls 1 gents, 1 ladies (17 cubicles). 1 unisex disabled at rear of stalls, next to wheelchair entrance; Dress Circle 1 gents (beyond the bar), 1 ladies (on main foyer stairs, through first set of doors); Upper Circle 1 gents, 1 ladies - in the same positions on Upper Circle level as the Dress Circle ones are; Balcony 1 gents, 1 ladies - both at the very top of the stairs, plus 1 gents on the left hand side of row C, 1 ladies on the right hand side of row C.
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.
A tiny number of premium £199 or £250 (£99.50 / £125 per play) seats are also released on a weekly basis by the theatre. Located at box office discretion. See www.harrypottertheplay.com for details.
The "Upper Circle" is known as the "Grand Circle" in this theatre.
Those over 5ft 10 or so are advised that legroom may be very tight in all seating. Readers also warn of the view from the balcony. For more information click "Best Seat Advice" to the left.
SOME DETAILS MAY CHANGE. THE MONKEY WILL POST AS AVAILABLE.
Please note: The seating plans are not accurate representations of the auditorium - seats not sold are not shown. 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.
Leicester Square - Northern (black) and Piccadilly (dark blue) lines.
The escalator from the platforms deposits passengers into a circular space with a number of staircases leading to the surface. Beside each staircase is a vast white panel listing the places accessible from that exit. So look for the one showing the Palace theatre. It will be marked "Charing Cross Road West" Exit 2, and is to the right of the exit gates. Go up the staircase.
At the top, in front of you will be Charing Cross Road. Next to you, notice the Hippodrome Nightclub and a wide pedestrianised street. Turn to your left and walk on, passing many shops. Follow the road as it curves, pass a red brick covered arcade of shops and keep walking straight on. You will come to a large crossroad with the Palace Theatre on your left.
If at the top of the underground stairs you see a narrow street with only a row of shops and offices in front of you, this is Cranbourn Street. Turn to your right. Walk to the end of the street. If you see the Hippodrome Nightclub on the opposite corner across a busy road, good. You do not need cross the road to it, but might like to know that the underground exit you should have used is on the opposite corner! If you reach the end of Cranbourn Street and see a large restaurant, The Sussex on the opposite corner, Wrong way, turn around and retrace your steps to try again.
If you got it right, then turn to your right and walk on, passing many second-hand bookshops. Follow the road as it curves, and cross Litchfield Street, keep walking straight on. You will come to a large crossroad with the Palace Theatre on your left. Cross to it.
14, 19 and 38 stop on Charing Cross Road by the Palace Theatre on Cambridge Circus.
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.
Newport Place, China Town.
On leaving, use Gerard Street to get you onto Shaftesbury Avenue. On Shaftesbury Avenue look to your right. The brown brick building to your right is the Palace Theatre. To get to the front of it, turn right and walk to the corner. If you pass a cinema, wrong way.
The "Theatreland Parking Scheme" may be available. 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.