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Denman Street, London|London|W1D 7DY
Address: 16 Denman Street, London, W1D 7DY
The Piccadilly Theatre opened on 27th April 1928. The theatre was designed by Bertie Crewe and Edward A. Stone, both very well versed in the architecture of theatres, for Edward Laurillard who was a well-respected theatre producer. The famous French artists Marc-Henri Levy and Gaston Laverdet were hired to design the interior of the theatre, adorning it in rich shades of pink. The bars and foyer were decorated in grandiose Art Deco golds and greens, a large contrast to the simple façade of the building.
After the opening production (Blue Eyes, a musical by Jerome Kern) the theatre was turned into a cinema by Warner Brothers and was the house of the very first talking picture to be show in England – Al Jolson in The Singing Fool. Fortunately, in November 1929, the theatre was returned to its original state and began showing live productions again, including the successful Folly to be Wise in January 1931.
Suffering considerable damage during World War II, the venue had to be partially rebuilt and reopened again in April 1945 with a production of Agatha Christie’s Appointment with Death. The theatre then didn’t find particularly good luck with the productions it played host to, seeing a number of flops in the following years including the 1960 production of Bachelor Flat which lasted for four performances! Fortunately the theatre’s luck turned around during the 1960s and 1970s with transfers of productions from Broadway, including Man of La Mancha in 1968 and A Streetcar Named Desire in 1974.
The Piccadilly Theatre is also known for the ITV variety show Live From the Piccadilly which began in 1986, playing on Sunday evenings and hosted by Jimmy Tarbuck. Jimmy Tarbuck is not the only notable performer to have graced the stage here, with Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, Barbara Dickson, Lynn Redgrave, Julia McKenzie and Dame Edna all appearing in productions over the years.
The theatre is currently owned by the Ambassador Theatre Group.
The auditorium has three levels - Stalls, Royal Circle and Grand Circle.
The Stalls offers very good views of the stage, with a noticable rake in the seating. The overhang of the Royal Circle affects the view from Row R onwards.
The overhang of the Royal Circle affects the view from Row F onwards, but the seating at this level is very well raked which allows for excellent views.
The Grand Circle is well raked, allowing good views of the stage, but the legroom is rather slim at this level.
Facilities At Piccadilly Theatre
Seat plan: Piccadilly Theatre Seat Plan
Facilities: Air conditioned
Infrared hearing loop
Access description: 1 shallow step up from the pavement through the central and right-hand doors into the foyer (no step at the left-hand doorway). Box Office counter on the left. No steps to Royal Circle from Sherwood Street entrance (see Wheelchair Access), or up 6 steps from the foyer. Stalls are down 15 steps, Royal Circle up 28 steps (2 steps between rows), Grand Circle up 70. Staircases have handrails on both sides.
Sound Amplification: Induction loop at Box Office and infra-red system in the auditorium.
Guide Dogs: Guide dogs are not permitted inside the auditorium. Staff are happy to look after 2 guide dogs per performance.
Disabled Access: Via side entrance in Sherwood Street into a box (entrance is 65cm wide) which has space for 2 wheelchair users and their companions. 2 more wheelchairs can be accommodated in row A of the Royal Circle. The view of the left-hand side of the stage is slightly restricted. Stage left is slightly restricted. Access to transfer seating at A25-28 in the Royal Circle is through the same EXIT door in the Sherwood Street yard up one 8cm step. Scooters users allowed in the venue, but must move to transfer seats. 4 wheelchairs or 2 scooters can be stored next to the Royal Box. If you need help with transferring you should bring a companion.
Toilets: Women’s 8 steps down from the Stalls and a men’s off the Stalls bar; another women’s 15 steps down from Royal Circle and 7 up, and a men’s 8 steps up from the Royal Circle bar. Further toilets at Grand Circle level.
Disabled Toilets: Adapted toilet available
Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus
Tube lines: Bakerloo, Piccadilly
Location: West End
Railway station: Charing Cross
Bus numbers: (Shaftesbury Avenue) 14, 19, 38; (Regent Street) 3, 6, 12, 13, 15, 23, 88, 94, 139, 159, 453
Night bus numbers: (Shaftesbury Avenue) 14, N19, N38; (Regent Street) 6, 12, 23, 88, 94, 139, 159, 453, N3, N13, N15, N18, N109, N136
Car park: Brewer Street (3mins)
Within congestion zone?: Yes
Directions from tube: (2mins) Pass the famous illuminated signs on your right to take Glasshouse Street/Sherwood Street where the theatre can be seen.