Book The Illusionists Tickets
210 Shaftesbury Avenue, London|London|WC2H 8DP
Address: 210 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8DP
The Shaftesbury Theatre opened under a different name, The Princes Theatre, on Boxing Day in 1911 with a production of The Three Musketeers. It is the most recent theatre to be built on Shaftesbury Avenue. It was designed as a house for melodrama by Bertie Crewe for the Melville brothers, who also owned the Lyceum Theatre at the time. The interior of the theatre was lavishly decorated with statues representing comedy, tragedy, poetry and music, as well as impressive paintings. It was renamed the New Princes Theatre in 1914, and operetta was introduced in 1916 under the new management of Seymour Hicks. Notably, in 1921, Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas played a season at the theatre performed by the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, who still operate today.
Under new management, the theatre had its name changed to the Shaftesbury Theatre in 1962, reopening with the Broadway musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying which was the theatre’s first long-running musical. The musical Hair opened in September 1968 when the ban on theatre censorship was lifted, and went on for a run of just under 2000 performances. The show and theatre were forced to close when parts of the ceiling fell in on 20th July 1973. After much campaigning from actors and members of the entertainment industry the theatre was saved from demolition and is now a Grade II listed building.
Reopening in 1974, the Shaftesbury has since seen a long line of musical productions performed on its stage, starting with West Side Story, and closing the 20th Century with the Broadway sensation Rent (1998). The new millennium saw a handful of new musicals take up residence, but none particularly successful. This changed in 2007 when the Tony Award winning Hairspray transferred from Broadway and played for almost three years – the most successful production the Shaftesbury has seen.
The Broadway musical Motown opened in March of 2016 and is still enjoying considerable success.
The auditorium has three levels – the Stalls, Royal Circle and Grand Circle.
Of note, the seats in the Stalls are on a very shallow rake which means that sightlines can be problematic, and the overhang of the Royal Circle does have an affect on the view for those in Row P and onwards.
In the Royal Circle, the seats are gently raked which might impact on the sightlines depending on certain productions. Those in Row H and onwards will notice the overhang of the Grand Circle.
The Grand Circle does feel far away from the stage, but the central seats do offer good views of the stage.
Facilities At Shaftesbury Theatre
Seat plan: Shaftesbury Theatre Seat Plan
Facilities: Air conditioned
Infrared hearing loop
There are 22 stairs from the front door entrance down to side of Stalls row L & M
There are 24 stairs from the hall by BO down to front Stalls, side of row B & C
There are 15 stairs up from the back staircase of the Stalls
Row M has extra leg room as there is a walkway between row L & M
There are 34 stairs from the disabled toilet up to the GC. Then 2 more steps per row. If you were to go to row J, at the back, it is an extra 23 stairs.
Total of stairs from ground level (RC level) to back of GC is 57.
There are no stairs to the side of front RC, low numbers. There's 2 steps up per row. E.g. 8 little stairs to row D
Ramp to Box F, wheelchair access for 2 people. Door into box F is 71cm wide
Box B has 2 stairs down to it from the hall via BO. Wheelchair transferable only. Seats 3 people.
Seat numbers 18 & 19 are aisles in all cases of Stalls & Royal Circle. 18 is left leg out to aisle. 19 is right leg out to aisle.
Back Stalls row M to X - seats 12 & 13 are also aisles.
In the Grand Circle aisles seats are on seats numbers 13 & 14 also numbers 24 & 25.
SEAT AND AUDITORIUM INFORMATION
Rows U-X – the seats are under the overhang of the Royal Circle and patrons will miss top of the set and they are usually Price Band B but not classed as RVs.
Row M – Extra Leg Room.
Row E – the rake begins here.
ROYAL CIRCLE (STREET LEVEL)
Boxes C,D (seat 3) and H,G ( seat 2)– Grand Circle Level – RV’s Side View.
Box B – Transfer WC (seats 3) – Side View.
Box F – Non Transfer WC (seats 2) – Side View.
A4 and 5 – WC Transfer Seats.
Row A – Leg Room Restriction 5ft 10inches and over it’s a tight squeeze. Fantastic view.
Row A33 – RV – Side View, End of Row.
Row N – Restricted Views – will miss the top of the set , front of the stage and are located at the back of the Royal Circle.
Steep rake – quite high.
Row A5–33 – Safety Rail of about 2 inches will hit eye line if around 5ft 4inches.
Row C4, 13,24,25,34 and Row B4,13,24,25,34 – restricted views – hand rails down the sides and safety rail on Row A.
Sound Amplification: Infra-red system with 20 headsets and 15 neckloops. Collect from foyer sweet kiosk.
Guide Dogs: Guide dogs allowed in the auditorium, or theatre staff can look after them.
Disabled Access: Spaces for 4 wheelchairs in Boxes A and B (entrance approx. 73cm) which are down 3 steps off a corridor to the left of the box office. You will need help negotiating the steps. Transfer seating available to row A4 - 10 in the Royal Circle, the entrance to which is level from the foyer.
Toilets: Women’s up 4 steps from the foyer and a men’s beyond this, 2 steps down off the Circle bar. Further toilets at back of Stalls and Grand Circle levels.
Disabled Toilets: Adapted toilet adjacent to the Royal Circle and acessed through the door next to the Box Office, taking the first right followed by a sharp left.
Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road
Tube lines: Central, Northern
Location: West End
Railway station: King's Cross St Pancras
Bus numbers: (Tottenham Court Road Station) 8, 29, 55, 134, 176, 242, 390; (Museum St) 1, 19, 25, 38, 98
Night bus numbers: (Tottenham Court Road Station) 134, 176, 242, 390, N8, N29, N35, N41, N55, N68, N98, N121, N253; (Museum St) 25, N1, N19, N38, N207
Car park: Holborn, Selkirk House Museum Street (5mins)
Within congestion zone?: Yes
Directions from tube: (5mins) Turn right onto New Oxford Street (past the Dominion) for 200 metres, and then turn right onto Shaftesbury Avenue, where the theatre will be on your left 100 metres down.