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Performance Times Ticket Prices Where to Buy Tickets  Seating Plan Seat Opinions Getting Here

ALDWYCH THEATRE

 


 

BEAUTIFUL - THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL (musical, clue in the title!).

Schoolgirl to Superstar. Songwriter and Soundtrack to a generation. "Will You Love Me Tomorrow, 'Locomotion,' 'Take Good Care of My Baby and a myriad more... this is her untold biography.


 

Theatremonkey Opinion:

Not available. Some actors have now left the cast. Reports are that Katie Brayben as Carole King is special, keeping the dodgy book going with a spectacular delivery of great songs. Director Marc Bruni manages to provide a "slick and witty" staging too, and there's praise for the musicians.

If there's not much really dramatic story, it doesn't matter particularly, according to the professional reviewers. Sure, it means the event isn't lifted high into the realms of unmissable and unforgettable, but it provides a pleasant enough romp through a great song book, and a little background into that creative era too.

Undemanding, but a decent evening out, seems to be the verdict.

 

Your Reviews: Add your own by clicking here.
Important: Some reviews below can contain "spoilers" - please don't read if this bothers you!

(11 reviews)

Beautiful: three stars.
Tuesday 10th February 2015, 7.30pm.
For fans of Carole King, this offers a fun chance to enjoy her music and her story live, staged and impersonated. But it's just so terribly clean. I think my friend said it best when she said that she watched a documentary about Carole King recently which really moved her, and this was just a bit of fun. Even when we see her husband Gerry Goffin emotionally break down, it has all the power of a brief, mindless subplot in a soap opera. The character of Carole King isn't explored deeply, nor is her relationship with friends and family, and half the stage time appears to be devoted to the romance between two unrelated characters, who apparently were friends of King and Goffin. Moreover, two and a half hours of "trying out" songs around a piano, studio recordings, and TV tapings, strikes me as profoundly untheatrical, especially when the show doesn't even use any actor-musicians. I think it is testament to the strength of the core material of the songs and story that I didn't actually get bored.

For some people the above criticisms would be enough to not buy a ticket, but for some it wouldn't matter. Katie Brayben plays Carole King meticulously, and yet with a truthfulness that makes you forget you are watching an impersonator. The songs are indeed "beautiful", and come in thick and fast. It is a musical whirlwind through King's life and a world that is in some ways quite thrilling. But are people going to pay 90 for the best seats? For years? For something less theatrical and less moving than a documentary? I really doubt it. There were a lot of empty seats on the night I went, on all three levels, and I don't see that changing any time soon. If you're a Carole King fan and you want to see it, I'd probably recommend it sooner rather than later.

Seat Review:
Grand Circle AA Seat 3 (slips) (warning: "Extreme Impaired Side View") 15
I think the warning "Extreme Impaired Side View" is justified. Even leaning forward, I would say you probably miss half of the stage, because it is under your feet. At least two scenes went by under my feet, so I was just hearing the sound but with no visual. However to be honest for the majority of the show, it's directed in such a way that it doesn't really matter. I actually looked at the production shots on the website afterwards and realised that I had seen everything that they advertised. What's more, you're at the top of the theatre, but because you're so near the stage, the stuff that you do see you get a fantastic view of, if that makes sense! This show is also all about the music and you can see right into the orchestra pit, which is also cool. I think that since the next price band up is also in the grand circle and is 32.50 (more than twice the cost), these 15 seats are a good way to enjoy the show. I would definitely recommend them over the back of the upper circle. I would rather have a clear, up close and personal view of half the stage than a restricted view of the whole stage, more distant. But maybe that's just me. It's quite difficult to sum it up on paper but believe me at 15 I think I'd recommend them! The other thing is; lots of empty seats. We decided to stay where we were but on the slips opposite us, everybody just moved across. The ushers there are quite happy for you to do that before Act I or Act II if there are empty seats. We decided to stay where we were because we were nearer the stage and we were quite happy!
__________________________________________________________

Saw the preview on Saturday evening 21st February 2015.

It was brilliant, the best show since 'Jersey Boys.'

Very slick and fast paced with great performances from everyone involved and all those fantastic songs sounding fresh as ever. Katie Brayben is sensational as Carol King.

One of the best things about it was the sound balance which was spot on; unlike so many other West End shows where the sound is up at maximum volume and all you hear is distorted noise. So good to hear all the lyrics for once.

Five stars for this, it deserves a very long run.
__________________________________________________________

My wife and I saw it in New York (pre-Tony Awards), and I liked it, but not nearly as much as the Mrs. did. I saw it in London on Saturday night 28th February 2015, and I was even less-impressed, primarily because either the voices were a bit off (nothing horrible), the sound system was out of balance (never quite sure in an old theatre) or it was just my seat (E9, which was a pretty decent seat).

However, I decided that I consider Beautiful largely a tribute show, and, judging from the comments of the sea of females sitting all around me, their appreciation of the production was based on their memories of the music during their younger years and (and I hate this) pretending that it was really Carole King on stage (not easy to do; Ive seen CK perform and listened to all of the albums probably before many readers were born and I never heard her yell her lyrics).

I dont know what I was expecting. The female lead was entertaining, but so were the many other skilful actors, many of whom nailed it, when it came to their gestures, mannerisms, and various American dialects (yes, we have more than one). There was some real talent on the stage singing, dancing, and the occasional genuine acting (from the limited amount I know of these things).

My understanding is that in London each theatre has a minimum-sized orchestra, and I understand that to keep lots of shows alive, keeping the costs down is essential. However, and Im not sure of this, but I dont recall the orchestra in the New York production to seem as small and tinny as the one at the Aldwych.

Somewhere, it seems Ive encountered a comment concerning the show that reads something like this: "Undemanding, but a decent evening out, seems to be the verdict."

Well that seems just about right
_________________________________________________________

Fri 27th February 2015, 7.30pm.

Dress Circle, F10 and 11: Great seats in the circle with a great central view of the whole stage.

Show was one of those feel good productions where no brain power is needed and you can get picked up and carried along on a wave of nostalgic fluffy fun...

Great performances from all the cast and a well deserved standing ovation at the end.

It's very well staged and is slick in its presentation and very well paced. No real heavy drama as it zooms through Carole King's song-writing life from teenager to her solo career.

I actually really enjoyed this show even though I'm not from the era the production concentrates on. It doesn't matter because all the songs are very well known.

Two rows at the back of the dress circle were empty which surprised me being a Friday night and the week it opened! It does deserve a good run and hope it gets one. Grab a ticket now just in case it doesn't!!

Graham.
_________________________________________________________

Beautiful: three stars.
Thursday 25th June 2015, 14.30 Matinee.

As a fan of CK since Tapestry I was pleased to hear the classics again sung very well by impersonator Katie Brayben.

Other songs from her music book fill out the performance, though nothing special.
The brief look at her career is OK on stage though TV documentaries cover more and are far more interesting.

Ticket prices are ludicrously high IMHO though, even for ardent CK fans. Top seats are 127.00 and for that price I'd expect Carole herself to be performing along with other notables such as the Monkeys and Righteous Brothers!

Seat Review:
Grand Circle AA Seat 1and 2 (slips) (warning: "Extreme Impaired Side View") 15
IMHO incredible value for little discomfort. Seats 1 and 2 are the very first of these 6 slip seats (seats 12 and 11 are the ones one the other side) and you can if needed lean over the rail to see the very small area of the stage that is almost underneath you. The very top of some of the set is not visible but this is not real problem. You can look down onto the 127.00 seats and will probably have a better view.
Not sure seats 3-4 would be as good as occupants of 1-2 would block your view Seats 4-6 can be arranged to get so to miss occupants in 4-1 and almost be sat on the Grand Circle front row.
As has been said the Grand Circle front row was almost empty and others in AA11-7 and AA 4-1 moved there just before the performance. Notably AA12 stayed put.

Overall I'd recommend these seats for this show and agree that it's "Undemanding, but a decent evening out,"
Doubt I'd pay more though.
_________________________________________________________

Like everyone of a certain age, I have a copy of Tapestry in my vinyl collection. But I knew very little of Carole King.

Beautiful addresses this lack of knowledge. Starting out with her as a young girl, it takes her from selling her first song, to meeting with her long-time writing partner (and husband) Gerry Goffin, to meeting up with their great rivals and lifetime friends Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, to the collapse of her marriage and move into stardom.

I had no idea her life was so interesting. I certainly did not realise what a hit factory the two couples formed. The number of hit records they churned out was astonishing.

The show itself? Beautiful is as good a word as any to describe it. It balances humour, tragedy, light and dark moments. It also does the music credit without allowing it to take over the show, but without interfering with the songs themselves (except with Oh Carole, but that is a running joke that makes perfect sense when you see it).

Like all good shows, it draws you in and makes you empathise with the characters (not always easy when dealing with real people who perhaps have had a poor press). And credit for this goes to a top-notch cast.

Which leads me to discuss Joanna Woodward.

My wife Laura and I have been fans since we saw her compere The Hurly-Burly Show as her Alter-Ego, Coco Dubois. Since then, we have seen her stage career grow. From a smallish role in Merrily We Roll Along, to Tinkerbell in Lost Boy (her rendition of the line Im dying genuinely made me catch my breath) to a role that showed off her singing and dancing skills in Fings Aint What They Used To Be, she has moved closer to a lead.

And, when she takes over the lead in Beautiful (she is First Cover), she shines. Her comedy timing is faultless, when tragedy strikes you feel her pain. And when she sings... my word, what a voice.

Joanna, you seemed surprised at the standing ovation from the audience. Believe me, it was spontaneous and thoroughly deserved.

For anyone planning to go and sees Joanna is in the lead instead of Katie Brayben (deserved winner of Best Actress in a Musical), fear not; the part is in the hands of an accomplished performer, whose elevation to the lead in her own right cannot be far away.

Bob Pickett.
_________________________________________________________

Beautiful - Aldwych Theatre - June 2015 - Grand Circle: AA2-AA6:
For 15, I have to say these tickets are an absolute bargain. Yes, you do not see most of the side of the stage nearest you, and yes, you spend most of the show leaning forward onto the safety rail, but most of the show is based in the centre of the stage, and you don't lose any quality in any of the sound or music.

You get a superb view of the [SPOILER ALERT] keyboard player in the orchestra, and it's fun to see how amazingly the Carole actress matches the actual notes [END SPOILER]. All five in our party moved up as close to the Circle as we could, and AA6 was even rubbing knees at one point with the Circle for A LOT LESS in the ticket price. AA1, while not part of our party looked as though she was having a great time, as because these seats are movable and you have nobody behind you, you can get up and dance, as she kept encouraging us to do. In the end, we obliged and you get an even better view standing up!

Just put your drinks on the floors, and not on the rail, as we nearly found out to our (and especially the people's below us) embarrassment. You've definitely got a friend in these seats.... Zing!

Dan from Birmingham-On-Sea.
_________________________________________________________

Friday Evening Performance: 25th March 2016 - Stalls F1 and F2.

it was the wife's birthday and she had unexpectedly booked a hotel for the night in London, so we found ourselves wondering what to do for the night. As it was Bank Holiday Friday a lot of our 'first choice sees' had nothing available, so we had a pop down to the TKTS booth in Leicester Square - and in the end chose "Beautiful - The Carole King Musical."

Face value of the tickets was 69.50 each, and we got them for 39.50 each, so all in all a bit of a bargain.

I can honestly say I had not really heard of Carole King before. Of course, watching the show you realise she has had a hand in a lot (and I mean a lot) of songs I obviously recognised; but I had not really heard anything about her beginnings and life, so I was coming into this all a bit blind.

It's certainly what I would call a feel good show. Joanna Woodward was in the lead role, and she was absolutely amazing, as indeed were the whole cast - don't recall a bad one among them. It's a show where you can just sit back and relax and hum along to the tunes as they are rolled out

It's fun and enjoyable seeing the songs performed by the "original" artists such as Little Eva, The Righteous Brothers and Neil Sedaka. Highlight of the night has to be The Drifters - I'm not sure if they are supposed to be so camp, but that is how they came across and there were huge giggles from the audience every time they came on.

It's well staged and certainly was worth seeing - I'm not sure I would have wanted to pay premium prices to see it though.

Would definitely go and see it again if it goes on tour - the stalls that night were packed in the Aldwych, so it seems to be popular.

I hadn't been to the Aldwych Theatre since "Whistle Down The Wind" and it was surprising how many stairs you had to go down to get to the stalls. It was also a bit of a pain getting out, as they do not appear to let you out the way you came in so you either have to go out at the back of the stalls or right over to the other side of the theatre.

Seat Review:
I was sitting in seat F1 in the stalls and it is directly behind seat E1. The rake here is truly awful - even my wife mentioned this - if you have a tall person in front (as I did), you'll have trouble looking over them; but you can lean to the right to see around them! Seat F1 is very slightly outside the proscenium arch, so you miss a sliver of what is happening stage right as you look at the stage - although in this production I don't think you are missing much. Was great being close to the stage, although they aren't the most comfortable of seats I have been in - I couldn't complain for the price I paid.

Seat F2 looked more offset from the row in front, and as the wife didn't have a tall person in front, she had a better view.
_____________________________________________________

'Beautiful' at the Aldwych last Saturday (12th November 2016). Great show and an education to boot - did Carole King really write all those songs?!

As for the theatre, I am always apprehensive about squeezing my 6'2 frame into an old London venue but on this occasion I needn't have worried. I sat in the Dress Circle D15 and it was comfortable with excellent views. Sufficient legroom and good sight line to all areas of the stage. Worth the price.

To my surprise, no one shuffled out and back during the performance! Progress...
_____________________________________________________

31st December 2016.

Seat: stalls AY5. Ooodles of leg room in this seat, but don't put your bags in front of your feet as the theatre staff don't take kindly to it. Being the front row there is some degree of looking up but this is not uncomfortable. The only restriction is you might not always see the casts feet, If there were massive chorus numbers it might be a problem. But this musical is all about the songs and the songwriting. At times the view of the cast was restricted by the piano on stage, but this would be an issue in other seats as well.

Show: Cassidy Janson is superb as Carole. Fantastic voice and brings genuine emotion to the role. The relationship between Carole and Goffin is explored well in some great scenes, musical and non-musical. The actors playing Cynthia Mann and Barry Mann have a great chemistry. The whole thing is tied together with performances of the hits cleverly woven into the action. Occasionally it gets a bit too idealised, given this is based on a true story, some bits you wonder "did that really happen like that". There are hints of comedy thrown in which is a nice addition. Overall, this felt really well put together and was thoroughly enjoyable and I'd recommend it to everyone. I would expect this to have a long run in the West End.
______________________________________________________

Wednesday 1st March 2017: 7.30pm.
The Show : Very entertaining evening. Cassidy Janson is superb as Carole and the rest of the 18 strong cast are very good too. Lots of familiar songs spread throughout a non-taxing two hours of reminiscing. Clearly appeals to an older audience my baby boomer ' wife and I certainly werent the oldest there. Would recommend this show to anyone who is a fan of Carole King. Youll enjoy it.

The Seats : Stalls. Row C 9-10. Fifth row back but perhaps a little close to the stage. Ample legroom and the seats were very comfortable. Fairly shallow rake and although In theory we should have been able to see everything in my case I must have had one of the tallest people in attendance directly in front of my seat !! Fortunately the seats are slightly staggered so I was able to see most of the action. Just one of the hazards for the theatregoer Im afraid.

I must mention what sheer bliss it was to go through a whole West End show undisturbed my thoughtless mobile phone addicts. Yes, the phones appeared during the interval weve got to have regular fixes after all but it was so nice to be able to watch the performance without the distraction of half a dozen glaring screens bouncing around in the auditorium. One of the plusses to be had when a show attracts - ahem - a rather mature audience.
______________________________________________________

Stalls C1 and 2. Couldn't of asked for better seats. Unlimited legroom and perfect view of everything that happens in this amazing show.

Michelle.



 

Top Performance Times Ticket Prices Where to Buy Tickets  Seating Plan Seat Opinions Getting Here

Performance Schedule:
The monkey advises checking performance times on your tickets and that performances are happening as scheduled, before travelling.

Monday at 7.30pm
Tuesday at 2.30pm
Wednesday at 7.30pm
Thursday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Friday at 7.30pm
Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Runs 2 hours 30 minutes approximately.


 

Ticket Prices:
View this information in diagram form

This venue uses "dynamic pricing," prices may change according to demand.

Monday to Thursday:
Stalls

Rows AY to S: 72.50 EXCEPT
"Premium Seats" row E 5 to 17, F to H 6 to 9, 16 to 18, HH 1 to 13, J 4 to 12, K 4 to 20, L 5 to 21: 90
"Premium Seats" rows F to H 10 to 15: 99
Rows T to Y: 52.50
Row Z (restricted view): 15


Dress Circle
Rows A to K: 67.50 EXCEPT
"Premium Seats" row A 9 to 25, B and C 7 to 18: 99
"Premium Seats" row B and C 3 to 6, B 19 to 22, C 19 to 23, D 3 to 24: 90
Rows L and M: 52.50
Dress Circle slip seats A 3 to 6 and 28 to 31: 42.50


Upper Circle
Rows A to C: 52.50
Rows D and E: 42.50
Rows F to J: 32.50
Rows K and L, and row AA slips: 15

Boxes
B and E: 42.50 per seat.

 


 


Friday and Saturday:
Stalls

Rows AY to B, plus L to S side block and M to S centre block: 72.50
"Premium Seats" rows F to K: 99 except
"Premium Seats" rows C and D, plus E 1, 2, 22 and 23; F to H 1 to 4 and 21 to 24 and K 1 to 5 and 19 to 23: 90
"Premium Seats" rows F to H 10 to 15, HH 5 to 10, J 10 to 15: 127.50
Rows T to Y: 52.50
Row Z (restricted view): 15


Dress Circle
Rows E to K: 72.50
Rows L and M: 52.50
"Premium Seats" row A 8 to 26 and B 7 to 18: 127.50
"Premium Seats" row B 3 to 6 and 19 to 22, C 3 to 23: 99
Restricted view seats A 7 and 27, B 1, 2, 23, 24 69.50
Dress Circle slip seats A 3 to 6 and 28 to 31: 52.50



Upper Circle
Rows A to C: 52.50
Rows D and E: 42.50
Rows F to J: 32.50
Rows K and L, and row AA slips: 15



Boxes
B and E: 52.50 per seat.
 

 

"Day Seats": A VERY limited number of tickets go on sale at 10am on the day of performance to personal callers at the box office priced 39.50 each. They are located at venue discretion. First come-first served, they are subject always to availability and are usually limited to 1 or 2 per person. They may be paid for in cash or by credit card, the monkey always advises taking both to be safe, in case one is preferred over the other. It also always advises calling the theatre in advance to check that the "day seat" ticket policy is in operation.
 

Some details may change. The monkey will update as available.






 

Top Performance Times Ticket Prices Where to Buy Tickets  Seating Plan Seat Opinions Getting Here

Buying Tickets Online:

Other Box Office Information

Tickets offered differ between outlets. Outlets also may offer different seats via their phone and online systems. Offers may be available click here.
Theatre Box Office:
www.aldwychtheatre.com

The site allows you to select your own seats from all those available.

 

 

Booking fees per ticket for online bookings:
No fee for "printing at home" ticket option. Otherwise, a 2.50 "per transaction" (not per ticket) postage or "box office collection" fee is added to all bookings for tickets at all prices. The same as by telephone. This system allows you to choose your own tickets.





 

Other Online Choices (with S.T.A.R. genuine ticket agencies):

When the box office does not have what you require, the Theatremonkey Ticketshop agency, telephone 020 7420 9778 (0044 207 420 9778 if calling from outside the United Kingdom), offers 69.50 seats with a 12 (15.50 on 90, 9 on 52.50, 5.75 on 42.50, 5.75 on 32.50, 2.75 on 15 seats Monday to Thursday / 20 on 90, 16 on 72.50, 11.75 on 52.50, 7.25 on 32.50 seats Friday and Saturday) - per ticket booking fee. Slightly higher than the box office, but lower than most agencies. Worth checking if the box office cannot provide the exact tickets you might require. Note that this system will confirm exact seat numbers prior to purchase. A 1.95 per booking, not per ticket, handling fee may apply on some transactions by telephone. NO handling fee applies for online purchases.

Ticketmaster.co.uk offer 69.50 seats with a 6.85 (8.90 on 90, 4.15 on 42.50, 3.85 on 39.50, 2.65 on 32.50, 1.40 on 15 seats Monday to Thursday / 13.20 on 99, 10.35 on 72.50, 7.45 on 52.50, 6 on 42.50, 4.55 on 32.50, 2 on 15 seats Friday and Saturday) per ticket booking fee. A 3 per booking, not per ticket, handling fee also applies. The site also allows you to select your own seats from those it has available.

Another alternative is www.seetickets.com / telephone 0870 830 0200 which offer 69.50 seats with a 10.42 (14.85 on 99, 13.50 on 90, 7.88 on 52.50, 9.38 on 39.50, 4.88 on 32.50, 2.25 on 15 seats Monday to Thursday / 26.50 on 127.50, 19.80 on 99, 18 on 90, 14.50 on 72.50, 10.50 on 52.50, 8.50 on 42.50, 6.50 on 32.50, 3 on 15 seats Friday and Saturday) per ticket booking fee, plus an extra 2.75 per booking (not per ticket) handling fee. Note that the tickets offered may differ between phone and online sources. (FREE call if using BT.com Calling Plan at your chosen times).

Encore Tickets (telephone 0207 400 1253 / 0044 207 400 1253 if calling from outside the United Kingdom) offer 69.50 seats with a 19.50 (26 on 90, 15.50 on 52.50, 9.50 on 32.50, 5 on 15 seats Monday to Friday / 20.50 on 72.50, 15.50 on 52.50, 12.50 on 52.50, 9.50 on 32.50, 5 on 15 seats Saturday) per ticket booking fee. A postage charge of 1.45 per booking, not per ticket may be applied to bookings made from UK addresses more than 5 days before the performance. The "Flexiticket" Exchange Service, allowing FREE transfer / cancellation (credit note up to 12 months) of your booking up to 3 days before the performance is also available for 1.99 per ticket. Discounts and "Meal and Show" packages may also be available. Quality and Value hotel / theatre ticket packages are also available.

LondonTheatreDirect.com offer 69.50 seats with an 14 (19.75 on 99, 18 on 90, 14 on 69.50, 10.50 on 52.50, 8.50 on 42.50, 8 on 39.50, 6.50 on 32.50, 3 on 15 seats Monday to Friday / 25.50 on 147.50, 19.75 on 99, 14.50 on 72.50, 14 on 69.50, 10.50 on 52.50, 8.50 on 42.50, 6.50 on 32.50, 3 on 15 seats Saturday) per ticket booking fee. There is a 1 per booking, not per ticket, transaction fee for collecting tickets from the box office before your performance. Alternatively, if time allows, there is a postage to your home option, costing 2.95 (4.95 to non-UK addresses) per booking, not per ticket. Optional Ticket Insurance is also available. Discounts and Meal and Show Packages may also be available.



ALSO SEE Tickettree.com for great value "hotel and theatre ticket" packages.

Other Independent S.T.A.R. ticket agencies may also offer an alternative choice of seats.


 

Box Office Information:
Tickets offered differ between outlets. Outlets also may offer different seats via their phone and online systems. Offers may be available click here.
Theatre Box Office:
Telephone: 0845 200 7981
Operated by The Ticket Factory Agency on behalf of the venue.

Booking fees per ticket for telephone bookings:
No fee for "printing at home" ticket option. Otherwise, a 2.50 "per transaction" (not per ticket) postage or "box office collection" fee is added to all bookings for tickets at all prices. The same as online. This system allows you to choose your own tickets.

 

For personal callers or by post: Aldwych, London. WC2B 4DF
No booking fee for personal callers. Note that the theatre release any extra tickets they have for the show at noon on the day of performance.

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 a dedicated phone line. See Notes.

www.aldwychtheatre.com is the official theatre website.

 

 
 
Top Performance Times Ticket Prices Where to Buy Tickets  Seating Plan Seat Opinions Getting Here

Theatre Seat Opinions:
Please remember that cheaper seats often do not offer the same view / location quality as top price ones, and that ticket prices are designed to reflect this difference.

Seating Plan Diagram

Stalls Dress Circle Upper Circle Notes
STALLS 
Layout:
Seats run across the entire width of the theatre until row H. Row HH exists in the centre of the auditorium, with further rows in the central block continuing behind it. Two aisles split the rest of the seats at the back of the theatre into three sections.

The Dress Circle overhangs the stalls at row H. The top of the stage is not visible from row L back.

The front two rows are designated AY and AZ, before the third is designated A. This means the unwary will be seated three rows further back from the stage than the traditional alphabetical order might suggest.

The rake (sloped floor to help see over rows in front) begins at around row B and is noticeable all the way back in the auditorium.

Legroom:
Legroom throughout the stalls is acceptable for most - only a 6ft tall reader found it a little less, best in AY, A1, C1, 2, 20 and 21 and J1 to 5 and 19 to 23, all of which have nothing in front of them. A16 also has 95% clear legroom, and L 1 and 25 around 80% clear of anything in front.

Z 3 and 4 have a bit less as the row curves to meet seats in front.

Choosing Seats in General:
Front Section:
Seats in rows AY to H are all fine - shorter folk may wish to avoid the very front row if the stage is high, though. Row AY 3 to 12 also gets more legroom as the row curves - though AY 14 notably gets less.

The rake from row B to H ensures particularly good views from these rows -  sitting in the central seats of these rows ensures maximum value for money. 

If central seats are at "premium" price, the monkey would skip them - view-identical seats are available nearby at a far lower cost.

Rows HH to Z are in the rear half of the stalls. The central block is acceptable if one can live with the very low ceiling and missing top half of the stage - though the monkey doesn't feel anyone will be totally unimpressed sitting here as only any action at the very top of the stage might be missed.

A price drop around row Q or R makes these first pick over a more expensive row in front. Rows T to X may be cheaper still. The monkey would take T over dress circle L at the same price for both comfort and view.  Same price Upper Circle seats might edge them for view value though, if legroom isn't an issue, feels the monkey.

Side Blocks:
The side blocks of rows J to X feel like satellite colonies for some reason, and the odd viewing angle is mildly irritating. For most productions, monkey feeling is that the extreme ends (first and last 3 seats in row J back) are the third choice of ticket, as there are more central seats for the same price, and the overhang is most noticed here. Lighting may also be hanging in view from the circle above.

Row Z are "flip down" square perches rather than traditional theatre seats, without backrests, so that audiences lean directly against the theatre back wall. Padding is planned at some time, though it hasn't happened by 2013... and the monkey was first told it might in 2010... Less comfortable - though amazingly priced considering the view and position near an exit door. Z1 in particular is a cheap bargain as it has a view straight down the aisle beside it.

General Hazard Notes:
The circle overhang is noticeable from row L back. For productions with a lot happening at a high level, the view gets so poor that producers have been known to curtain off the rear rows to prevent embarrassment!

Speakers fixed to the walls of boxes either side of the stage may cut views from end seats.

When a sound desk is positioned in the centre of the back rows of rear stalls, there are five seats either side (3 on one side of row Y). The monkey is didn't think any of these were particularly awful - purists might want to avoid T 12 to 18 if they don't want anybody shuffling around above and behind them, perhaps.

Changes for the current production:
The front row is AY.

The stage height is normally acceptable, but those who like to see dancing feet may wish to sit around 4 rows back at least, the monkey feels.

Monday to Thursday:
Central rows E to L, plus two seats off the aisle in J to L are "Premium" seats, with a few "extra premium" ones in the middle of F to H. Not worth the extra money particularly - better seats nearby at a lower price, feels the monkey. It would take central seats in D first, then the two seats beside the premium ones in H to E next, then the rest of C to A in that order.

Top price goes right back to row S. Do skip the outer 3 seats in all rows if possible, and it should be fine, the monkey feels.

That said, also miss P back at top price if possible, the monkey feels. You won't miss much at the top of the stage, but that overhang is still there and the feeling is "letterbox" like.

Some sense sees rows T to Y at second price. Be aware that from row T back you won't see the top of the stage. More comfortable than upper circle seats at the same price, but perhaps the view is better in the dress circle seats for the same money. If over 5ft 9, go for stalls, shorter, the dress circle has the view, the monkey feels.

Row Z - seat 1 in particular, is always a bargain.

Seats X 6 and 12 and Y 10 and 16 are beside sound desk, U 13 to 17 in front. Only Y16 is really awful, the rest are just for purists to miss, perhaps.

Friday and Saturday:
Insanity reigns.

Rows AY to B and back rows from M to S are normal "top" price. Grab AY to A, feels the monkey.

From rows C to L the loonyville bus deposits passengers. All premium seats, the outer 2 seats in F to H, and side block J and K are really not worth the cash. If you must, take anything except F to H 10 to 15, HH 5 to 10 and J 10 to 15 the most expensive of all, for no difference in view.

Top price then goes right back to row S. Do skip the outer 3 seats in all rows if possible, and it should be fine, the monkey feels.

That said, also miss P back at top price if possible, the monkey feels. You won't miss much at the top of the stage, but that overhang is still there and the feeling is "letterbox" like.

Some sense sees rows T to Y at second price. Be aware that from row T back you won't see the top of the stage. More comfortable than upper circle seats at the same price, but perhaps the view is better in the dress circle seats for the same money. If over 5ft 9, go for stalls, shorter, the dress circle has the view, the monkey feels.

 

Row Z - seat 1 in particular, is always a bargain.

Seats X 6 and 12 and Y 10 and 16 are beside sound desk, U 13 to 17 in front. Only Y16 is really awful, the rest are just for purists to miss, perhaps. Not worth the extra 3 though.


 

Reader Comments:
"AY5: "Beautiful" (March 2015). Ooodles of leg room in this seat, but don't put your bags in front of your feet as the theatre staff don't take kindly to it. Being the front row there is some degree of looking up but this is not uncomfortable. The only restriction is you might not always see the casts feet, If there were massive chorus numbers it might be a problem. But this musical is all about the songs and the songwriting. At times the view of the cast was restricted by the piano on stage, but this would be an issue in other seats as well."

"AY 5 and 6: "Stephen Ward" (December 2013). Be prepared for a little neck ache from Row AY but you don't miss anything.
We recommend AY 7-12 over 1-6 simply because the drums in the pit on the 1-6 side are loud enough to overwhelm the vocals from time to time."

"AY14,15 and16: "Beautiful" (March 2015). Front row, but loads of leg room - and relatively low stage and orchestra pit giving extra distance allows for great view. Scenes with upright piano you miss a bit, but only couple of minutes. For stagey fans - also a great view of what's going on off stage in the wings."

"Row AZ": "Top Hat" (May 2012). We were sitting in the second row of the stalls - fabulous seats, we could almost touch the cast."

"AZ 14: "Stephen Ward" (December 2013). There was plenty of leg room but to be honest would recommend sitting further back as the music sometimes drowned out the singing and it was difficult to read the projections on the curtains."

"A5: "Dirty Dancing." view was really good. The rake was great so I could see the stage clearly and I saw everything."

"B3 and B4: "Top Hat" (May 2012). Brilliant seats, couldn't have asked for a better view. Also had plenty of legroom. Had a wander round during the break and thought most of the stalls seats looked pretty good. However, I note Monkey shows X6, X12, U12 and U18 round the sound box as white on the seating plan, I feel they should be red, as Monkey notes there are restricted views and I think sitting right next to the wall wouldn't be very comfortable." (Tested by the monkey, and it maintains they are excellent value as they are very cheap with a good view)."

"C1 and 2: "Beautiful" (March 2017), (Michelle). Couldn't of asked for better seats. Unlimited legroom and perfect view of everything that happens in this amazing show."

"C 7 and 8: "Dirty Dancing." Although I could see the stage well I would say that it was a little to close to the action and would have preferred to be further back, certainly not any closer as I had to move my head from side to side to see all the action. However, the theatre is quite small so it did feel quite intimate and allowed the audience to feel like part of the action."

"C 9 and 10. "Beautiful" (March 2015). Fifth row back but perhaps a little close to the stage. Ample legroom and the seats were very comfortable. Fairly shallow rake and although In theory we should have been able to see everything in my case I must have had one of the tallest people in attendance directly in front of my seat !! Fortunately the seats are slightly staggered so I was able to see most of the action. Just one of the hazards for the theatregoer Im afraid."

"E9: "Beautiful" (March 2015). A pretty decent seat, but the sound system seemed out of balance."

"E20: "Stephen Ward" (January 2014). This was an excellent seat. There was no one in E21 onwards so I had plenty of room to spread out. Excellent sightlines and good legroom. Being slightly off centre I did see a bit more of Ms Spencer than I expected at certain parts of the performance!"

"F1 and 2: "Beautiful" (March 2016). Seat F1 is directly behind seat E1. The rake here is truly awful - even my wife mentioned this - if you have a tall person in front (as I did), you'll have trouble looking over them; but you can lean to the right to see around them! Seat F1 is very slightly outside the proscenium arch, so you miss a sliver of what is happening stage right as you look at the stage - although in this production I don't think you are missing much. Was great being close to the stage, although they aren't the most comfortable of seats I have been in - I couldn't complain for the price I paid. Seat F2 looked more offset from the row in front, and as the wife didn't have a tall person in front, she had a better view. 
It was surprising how many stairs you had to go down to get to the stalls. It was also a bit of a pain getting out, as they do not appear to let you out the way you came in so you either have to go out at the back of the stalls or right over to the other side of the theatre."

"F17 and 18: "Top Hat" (May 2012), (Frank): Paid 35 per ticket under the GILT scheme, which was very good value. Unfortunately, the seating arrangement isn't the best for a theatre, as the rake is too shallow and seats barely offset. Fortunately the people in the rows in front of us weren't very tall, but even so our view was affected at times because of the above. This was more noticeable in some scenes where the characters were seated on either side of the stage; tap-dancing enthusiasts may be slightly disappointed that sometimes the main characters' feet are obscured by audience heads, as at times they tend to dance towards the front of the stage. There is, however, a lot of movement across the stage by the whole cast, and, therefore, this didn't detract too much from our enjoyment. Choose your seats carefully, but go and enjoy!!"

"F 24: "Stephen Ward" (January 2014), (John from the USA). Perfect view, but found the seat uncomfortable. Fortunately the seat next to me was empty, so I had a little more room."

"H4: "Top Hat" (May 2012). Was OK, but the seat was rather low (a complaint also made by the woman next to me) and there are nasty metal struts towards the front of the seat which dig into ones hips, well they dug into mine, anyway!"

H7 and 8: Cool Hand Luke, (Chris B). Good seats, nicely placed about halfway back in the stalls, offer a good clear view of the stage and are close enough to feel fully immersed in the show. There is more than ample legroom which is always a bonus. This is a nice place to sit in the stalls.

H11: "Top Hat" (May 2012). Went to the theatre box office about on and a half hours before the evening show! Got offered premium seats in Row H for 32.50 instead of the 85 normally! Was very pleased with this! I sat in seat 11! Excellent central seat! Great view you could see everything here! Legroom I've never had so much ever! Very spacious! I see why they cost do much! But you can get a bargain at the box office!"... if you are VERY lucky on a quiet night (this was during the London early August events in 2012, notes the monkey. Worth knowing, though, as it can happen any time...)

"J 4 and 5: "Cool Hand Luke" (September 2011). J plenty of legroom, a little tight in the seat, but we're big people. All you stick insects will probably be fine. Very good view of the stage."

"J6 and 7: "A Round-Heeled Woman" (November 2011). I'm 6ft tall and would've been uncomfortable in seat J7 due to the limited leg room but luckily J6 is an aisle seat and so I could stretch my right leg out for comfort. The row in front is HH - and is not well staggered in my opinion, with the seats almost lining up with the seats in row J making it difficult to see past the heads in front (it doesn't help that there appears to be very little rake between these two rows either). Having said all that, when the people in HH1 and HH2 slouched a bit or leaned to one side we had a near perfect view of the stage."

""J18: "Beautiful" (October 2016). For the access rate of 36.75. For the second half I moved to J18 from M15. This was slightly further to the left of the stage. View was still very good but I found leg room a bit tight there so wouldn't advise sitting there if tall."

"K7 and 8: "Cool Hand Luke" (September 2011). We had a great view of the entire stage and didn't feel the ceiling above intrude at any point. I'm 6ft tall and felt legroom was slightly uncomfortable for me and could almost feel a cramp developing by the end of the show (luckily my small friend didn't mind me intruding in on her space a little with my legs. She found her seat (K8) to be a tiny bit uncomfortable to sit in (not soft enough she said) but nothing major."

"K16, 17 and 18: "Top Hat" (May 2012). Paid full price. Very pleased with the seats. The layout of the stalls at this point means that the seats are on an end (of the central block) but almost central to the stage, with a good rake and the overall view was excellent. The overhang of the Circle doesn't come into view at all and legroom I'd say was acceptable for my height but possibly not for anyone taller or with longer legs. Only minor drawback was that the seats themselves were a bit uncomfortable, but overall I'd be happy to recommend these seats."

"L20 and 21: "Stephen Ward" (December 2013). I would agree that the angle is slightly odd and we did feel off-centre. The only noticeable impact that this had was on the projections that were sometimes difficult to read when projected against the curtain. Other than this I was delighted with the view, though the seats were much narrower than in Drury Lane and you did feel a bit more restricted leg wise. I once more sat in the aisle seat so I was lucky enough to have more leg room. We were very lucky that no on sat in front of us."

"M15: "Beautiful" (October 2016). For the access rate of 36.75, this seat is under the overhang of the theatre however nothing is missed and there is a good view of the stage with excellent leg room. For the second half I moved to Stalls J 18."

"Q21: "Wolf Hall / Bring Up the Bodies" (June 2014). Overhang of circle cuts off the view of the top of the stage quite drastically but since very little usually happens way up there, definitely worth the money at second price. Im a glasses wearer who often struggles to see facial expressions if Im more than about 12 rows from the stage, but this wasnt a problem here."


Stalls
Boxes
Layout:
Boxes C and F are really just raised bits of floor in alcoves to the sides of the stage, below stage level and a few inches above stalls floor level. 

Legroom:
Normal chairs provide excellent legroom.

Choosing Seats in General:
A very average view of about two thirds of the stage, looking upwards at it. More comfortable than other seats at the same price in the upper circle, and if you feel that lurking in a corner of the front stalls is for you, it's not a bad choice.

General Hazard Notes:
Two thirds or more of the stage is lost.

Changes for the current production:
Not in use.

Reader Comments:
None.



DRESS CIRCLE 
Layout:
The Upper Circle overhangs the Dress Circle at row B.

Single block of seats facing the stage, rising in steps.

Slip seats extend from the front of the circle down the sides towards the stage, in front of the boxes.

Legroom:
Legroom throughout the circle is average, better in rows back to E, slightly more in the last two seats at the ends of row B to M, and maybe a tad less in central L and M. Acceptable to most up to around 5ft 9 in rows B to M, the monkey felt.

Row A has less legroom due to a wall rather than seats being in front - over 5ft 6 or so may find it a struggle here. Slip seats 3, 5, 29 and 31 have least of all with the wall curving inwards, 1 and 33 have more as it curves out there. Around 5ft 5 and you'll be comfortable in 3, 4, 29 and 31, perhaps an inch or two taller at most in the other slip seats, it feels.

Choosing Seats in General:
The circle seems close to the stage creating an intimate atmosphere. No rail blocks the view (though there are short ones at the end of the aisles) and only rows J back feel a way from the stage.

The rake (way seats are arranged on steps to help see over rows in front) is steep, allowing a good view of the stage until row E. After this point the low circle above begins to restrict views of the top of the stage.

The monkey is inclined to skip row M in particular at second price as it seems a bit overpriced.

At the sides of the Circle, row A slip seats 1 to 6 and 28 to 33 offer a close up view of the stage with only a shallow triangle of the nearest side not visible; unless willing to lean. Only problem is, if others follow suit, you see less - take seats 1 and 33 first. Aside from that, not bad at third price or less, feels the monkey, who only keeps them "red" as leaners could be a real issue.

Seats C1 and C25 can be removed to provide a large wheelchair space, and transfer to C1, 2, 24 and 25 is possible. The customer gets a fairly good view, though a rail is slightly in view if the chair is beside C1 or 25. When wheelchairs are not present in front of them, those in D1 and 26 have nothing in front but a low loop of safety rail, allowing extra legroom and unobstructed views.

General Hazard Notes:
Clamps holding the lighting rail in place are in front of some row A seats, with masses of lighting dangling from the circle front too. These do not affect the view significantly.

Aisle end rails - pedants might want to sit one seat off the aisle in row A to avoid them.

Changes for the current production:
Monday to Thursday:
Most central seats in rows A to D are at "premium" price, with A at "extra premium" - really not worth it, particularly if tall. The monkey would skip them - view-identical seats are available nearby at a far lower cost. Go for row E first.

The monkey would also consider the seats beside the premium ones in rows B and C. Same view, less bananas.

Slip seats are on sale, but cramped. There is more legroom in boxes for the same price, or save money by taking row D upper circle, with legroom a bonus. On the other hand, the shortest will get a fair view from here for the money... but even they may well be rubbing legs by the interval...

Rows L and M are well discounted at second price. Picking between these or stalls row T back, stalls are a bit closer to the action - but if shorter than 5ft 6 or so, the height of the circle may help. If over 5ft 9 take stalls, otherwise these are first pick, with upper circle seats at the same price a final choice.

Friday and Saturday:
The Mad Price Fairy pays a visit.

Row A is NOT worth 127, for comfort alone, and row B isn't for view. In A, cheaper 7 and 27 may suit someone short and less fussy - as may the same priced pairs seats in B behind that, though.

If you must pay premium prices, then take centre C.

Behind that, L and M are far cheaper than E to K, at second price. Picking between these or stalls row T back, stalls are a bit closer to the action - but if shorter than 5ft 6 or so, the height of the circle may help. If over 5ft 9 take stalls, otherwise these are first pick, with upper circle seats at the same price a final choice.

Reader Comments:
"A17 and 18: "Top Hat" (May 2012), (Chris B). Centre seats, perfect view, only a smallish theatre so you feel close to the stage and part of the atmosphere. However the seats have quite restricted legroom, could just fit my legs and I'm 5'8". Seats are one of the more comfortable in the West End though."

"B16: The perfect play to see the show I think. And what a lovely theatre! Seats were very comfortable and view great."

"D15: "Beautiful" (February 2015). I am always apprehensive about squeezing my 6'2 frame into an old London venue but on this occasion I needn't have worried. I sat in the Dress Circle D15 and it was comfortable with excellent views. Sufficient legroom and good sight line to all areas of the stage. Worth the price."

"F26 and 27: "Dirty Dancing." We purchased the top tickets, figuring as it was a bit of a treat for us, we might as well get good seats! However the seats when we got there   in the dress circle had a restricted view very disappointing! We were unable to see the left side of the stage, and the steps there where at least a couple of the scenes take place. Needless to say we wrote to the company who supplied the tickets, but apparently they are fair value for money!! Not in my opinion. So, if you are considering buying tickets for this show be aware if you are in the dress circle check the seating on theatre monkey, and if you are on the end of a row, there is a good chance you will have a restricted view."

"F10 and 11: "Beautiful" (February 2015), (Graham). Great seats in the circle with a great central view of the whole stage."

"G 11 and 12:  "Dirty Dancing." (Beth). Very good seats view-wise, but not the most comfortable of theatre seats."

H5 to 7: "Top Hat" (May 2012). Thought they were great. Excellent view of the whole stage, and nothing missed. Very comfy seat with good knee space and a great rake which meant that I could see over the head of the lady in front who had back combed and raised on her scalp the blue rinse to perfection! Never been to The Aldwych before and thought it was a lovely theatre. It has a great Dress Circle anyway..."

"J19 and J20: "Top Hat" (May 2012). Excellent view and much more leg room than the Palace Theatre - my 6'4" companion had no complaints at all."

"L21: "Bring Up the Bodies" (July 2014). The views of the stage are clear enough although the overhang from the Upper circle means the top of the stage cant be seen, not a problem in Bring up the Bodies though. Leg room is ok (Ive had a lot worse) and the seats and comfortable enough. As a second price seat, these seem about right for a West End theatre."

 

 

 

Dress Circle Boxes
Layout:
Boxes B and E are on ledges to the corners of the Dress Circle.

Boxes A and D are between the circle and the stage.

Movable chairs are used in all boxes.

Legroom:
Excellent as seating is on chairs.

Choosing Seats in General:
If you can jockey your seat into a position as close to the "circle" end of the box as possible, you'll gain comfort and privacy (if you buy all the seats in the box). What you won't have is a wide view of the stage. A and D see more than B and E.

Box D can house a wheelchair and companion. Users should take the space at Dress Circle C1 instead. 

General Hazard Notes:
Boxes B and E offer a very average view of about two thirds of the stage. A bar runs across the front of the box, adding to the problem.

From boxes A and D about half the stage is not visible. Speakers set here will restrict the view further - and be noisy too of course.

Changes for the current production:
Boxes B and E at second price are just about fair value, feels the monkey, once cheaper upper circle row D has gone, but before same-price dress circle slips in front of the boxes, for sure.



UPPER CIRCLE
Known as the GRAND CIRCLE in this theatre.

Layout:
The main block of seats is split by a cross aisle into front and rear sections at row D.

Two slip areas at the sides of the circle between stage and circle.

Legroom:
This varies widely by row. There's none at all in rows E or G. Row A for those over around 5ft 6 may be uncomfortable.

Row D offers most due to a gangway running in front of it.

Rows F, H, J, K and L offer at least reasonable legroom to all but the very tallest.

For some architectural reason, the first six seats on the "low numbers" side seem to have the most in these rows.

Slip seats in row AA are movable chairs, with decent legroom for seats 1, 2, 11 and 12. The rest have less due to the curve of the circle wall.

Choosing Seats in General:
Front Block:
Aside from legroom issues in row A, the view from the front three rows is decent enough. The monkey would choose row D at full price, though, for comfort alone.

At the sides of the Circle, six slips seats are tacked to the ends of row A. These are movable chairs, and you'll have fun shuffling them around for maximum viewing - you'll see little if politely leaving them against the wall. Views depend on arrangement and how far you are prepared to lean out. A total budget choice, and pick carefully. 1, 2, 11 and 12 have more space than the others.

Rear Block:
Aside from the discounted "restricted view" seats at the end of row D - always a bargain - the rest of row D is preferable to the rear stalls row Q back since more of the stage is visible from here, even at the same price. Legroom is excellent, but you could be disturbed by latecomers shuffling along the aisle in front of you. Note that the first and last four seats have the circle aisle end rail in view, and if you are shorter the rail in front of this row may also make it worth a miss, a reader in C1 noted.

Behind, E has less legroom, though putting a leg through the bars will give a little more... but annoy those in front... skip these if possible.

Row K offers a cheap way to see the show. Sure, its at the back and you'll look through heads, but legroom is good.

Behind, a reader moans that seats in row L were pretty bad, with a view of the row in front rather than the stage as they are raised only on a very low plinth. They are much cheaper now because of this, still maybe something worth knowing, when on sale. On checking, the monkey felt the plinth had been raised a little and that anyone seated here actually gets a reasonable view - and can sit on the "end" of a tipped up seat to get even more of one if required. You will probably miss the very front of the stage if there are heads in front blocking it, though.

General Hazard Notes:
Notorious for being high and steep, the view none the less is generally good from most seats. Only rows G back feel, naturally, a little remote from the action.

A metal bar runs across the front of the circle cutting into the view from row A. Further bars at the aisle ends affect views from outermost seats in rows A to D.

Further bars run across the front of rows D, E and H, but don't cut into views except for the shortest.

There are no arm-rests in seats from row D back, and from row E seats are far narrower, with straight upright backs. Most are also not conventional "tip up" theatre seats, but fixed down.

Changes for the current production:
Rows A to C at second price are worth skipping, feels the monkey - either take third price row D 6 to 23 first for legroom or go for second price rear dress circle (if under 5ft 9) or rear stalls (over 5ft 9) first at the same price. If you must sit here, rows B and C will satisfy the shorter. On Fridays and Saturdays, this is even more the case, as they are more expensive than rear stalls and dress circle tickets.

Note row D 1 to 4 and 26 to 29, are not cheaper than seats beside them, as they normally are, and there is a rail in view at the front of the aisle. Still, the trade off for comfort makes them fair value.

Row A has a decent view, with a rail in it, and at third price a way for the short to be close to the stage. Everybody over 5ft 6 or so should head for D first, though.

Avoid rows E unless 4ft or so tall and slim - those seats really "cram 'em in."

Rows F to J at fourth price are average value, apart from cramped row G, the rest are not uncomfortable under 5ft 9 or so.

Behind them, row K at fifth price is a very decent buy, but also consider first the comfy movable chairs of row AA at the same money for being even better value, feels the monkey.

Row L, at the same price as K and the chairs, may miss the front of the stage, but again is worth consideration once the other cheapest option has gone.

 

 

Reader Comments:
"Row AA: "Dirty Dancing." Strange seats at the side of the upper circle. at an angle... not a good view in my opinion but not uncomfortable."

"Row AA 1 and 2. "Dirty Dancing." Both of us agree that these seats are under priced. At first when you walk up to them, they look like normal seats. You sit down and can't see anything! But the seats can be moved forward right to the edge of the bar in front and with a slight lean you can see everything but anything at the very edge of stage left (which is nothing really). The lean did not hurt our backs once, and I have had a bad back since a very young age. For 15 I would get these seats every time. No one is behind you so you can get up and dance, stretch your feet and there's plenty of room to put your feet up as well. These seats are so comfortable I took my shoes off like I was at home. Excellent, if you don't want them, I'll have them!"

"Row AA 1 and 2. "Beautiful" (Febuary 2015). (warning: "Extreme Impaired Side View") 15. IMHO incredible value for little discomfort. Seats 1 and 2 are the very first of these 6 slip seats (seats 12 and 11 are the ones one the other side) and you can if needed lean over the rail to see the very small area of the stage that is almost underneath you. The very top of some of the set is not visible but this is not real problem. You can look down onto the 127.00 seats and will probably have a better view. Not sure seats 3-4 would be as good as occupants of 1-2 would block your view Seats 4-6 can be arranged to get so to miss occupants in 4-1 and almost be sat on the Grand Circle front row. As has been said the Grand Circle front row was almost empty and others in AA11-7 and AA 4-1 moved there just before the performance. Notably AA12 stayed put. Overall I'd recommend these seats for this show."

"Row AA 2 to 6: "Beautiful" (February 2015) (Dan from Birmingham-On-Sea). For 15, I have to say these tickets are an absolute bargain. Yes, you do not see most of the side of the stage nearest you, and yes, you spend most of the show leaning forward onto the safety rail, but most of the show is based in the centre of the stage, and you don't lose any quality in any of the sound or music.
You get a superb view of the [SPOILER ALERT] keyboard player in the orchestra, and it's fun to see how amazingly the Carole actress matches the actual notes [END SPOILER]. All five in our party moved up as close to the Circle as we could, and AA6 was even rubbing knees at one point with the Circle for A LOT LESS in the ticket price. AA1, while not part of our party looked as though she was having a great time, as because these seats are movable and you have nobody behind you, you can get up and dance, as she kept encouraging us to do. In the end, we obliged and you get an even better view standing up! Just put your drinks on the floors, and not on the rail, as we nearly found out to our (and especially the people's below us) embarrassment. You've definitely got a friend in these seats.... Zing!"

"Row AA 3: "Beautiful" (February 2015). Slips (warning: "Extreme Impaired Side View") 15 read the ticket. I think the warning "Extreme Impaired Side View" is justified. Even leaning forward, I would say you probably miss half of the stage, because it is under your feet. At least two scenes went by under my feet, so I was just hearing the sound but with no visual. However to be honest for the majority of the show, it's directed in such a way that it doesn't really matter. I actually looked at the production shots on the website afterwards and realised that I had seen everything that they advertised. What's more, you're at the top of the theatre, but because you're so near the stage, the stuff that you do see you get a fantastic view of, if that makes sense! This show is also all about the music and you can see right into the orchestra pit, which is also cool. I think that since the next price band up is also in the grand circle and is 32.50 (more than twice the cost), these 15 seats are a good way to enjoy the show. I would definitely recommend them over the back of the upper circle. I would rather have a clear, up close and personal view of half the stage than a restricted view of the whole stage, more distant. But maybe that's just me. It's quite difficult to sum it up on paper but believe me at 15 I think I'd recommend them! The other thing is; lots of empty seats. We decided to stay where we were but on the slips opposite us, everybody just moved across. The ushers there are quite happy for you to do that before Act I or Act II if there are empty seats. We decided to stay where we were because we were nearer the stage and we were quite happy!"

"AA 11: "Beautiful" (February 2015).  Fairly dire, ok for a real enthusiast of the show but requires a lot of leaning and contortion. Almost a third of 'stage right' (left side as you look at it) lost even when leaning."

"B24: "Beautiful" (February 2015). Circle is nicely tiered, so fair view for price from here. Safety bar partially in view. Legroom OK if under about 5ft 9, otherwise may be tight."

"F 12 and 13: "Dirty Dancing." Excellent views for 33. I'm short so leg room was fine for me. But it was VERY hot up that high - one woman passed out!"

"F20: "Dirty Dancing." (James). View was fantastic and really didn't feel a long way from the stage at all, could almost see all the action, rake very good. I found leg room fine, more of a problem was width - I'm not a large person at all, and neither were any of the people around me, but I was very cosy to the people on either side!"

"F22: "Wolf Hall" (July 2014). The seats are really low down, the leg room is poor and the view whilst clear is distant. There are no arm rests on the seats which feel really narrow so unless youre very small or dont mind sitting in a squashed and uncomfortable seats, Id avoid these. I'd say the Upper Circle seats that I had were among the most uncomfortable I've sat in for a long time and I'm pretty average size wise. Also the bar area is tiny so unless you want to be crammed in whilst having an interval drink, avoid this too.

"G15 and 16. "Dirty Dancing." (Karen). I have to say the view was great and it was raked so that not even the person in front could have blocked your view. HOWEVER, leg room is REALLY tight. I am 5"4 and I have never been so uncomfortable. We were packed in like sardines. I know they were the cheaper seats but for 35 we got fold down seats with not even an arm rest separating you from the person next to you."

"J24: "Beautiful" (February 2015). As sung in the show, "you're so far away". Wouldn't want to sit up here again. Will go with monkey's recommendation of row Z stalls next time (although I usually decide day of to go and get my tickets, will have to plan!)."
 

 


Notes
Total 1176 seats.

Air-conditioned auditorium.

No food except ice cream and confectionery.

Three bars one each at the back of the Stalls, Dress Circle and Upper Circle

Occasional signed performances, hearing loop. 1 guide dog per performance allowed in box D only. Wheelchair users (non-motorised chairs only) must use the fire doors but have a level access to the Dress Circle box D. Row C seats 1, 2, 24 and 25 are available for transferees and wheelchair spaces are available replacing C1 and 25. One adapted toilet has been fitted. Fuller details from the theatre on 020 7836 5537 or Artsline on 020 7388 2227, e-mail artsline@dircon.co.uk. A "venue access guide" from the team who created book "Theatremonkey: A Guide to London's West End," is available to download in PDF format by clicking here.

Nine toilets. Foyer 1 ladies with 9 cubicles, Stalls 2 gents 1 cubicle each, 2 ladies one with 1 cubicle, one with 5 cubicles. Dress Circle 1 gents 1 cubicle, 1 unisex disabled. Upper Circle 2 gents 1 cubicle each, 1 ladies 2 cubicles.

 

Top Performance Times Ticket Prices Where to Buy Tickets  Seating Plan Seat Opinions Getting Here

Getting to this Theatre
Find this theatre on a Street Map
Nearest Underground Station Buses Car Park
Nearest Underground Station:
Covent Garden - Piccadilly Line (dark blue).

An ILLUSTRATED PHOTOGRAPHIC version of this route is available by clicking here.

For mobility impaired audience members, the Society of London Theatre provide a "photo map" - illustrated walking route to this venue from a near landmark and also Waterloo Station (the nearest fully accessible station) on their website www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk, via the theatre's listing page on that site.

On leaving the station, turn right and walk into the large pedestrian plaza that is Covent Garden. If you see a long road with cars in front of you, wrong way.

On entering the plaza space, turn to your left and walk along the collonaded area. If you see Tesco Metro Supermarket or a bank, Wrong way.

Keep walking ahead as far as the collonaded area will allow (it forms the outer part of the market Square). Follow it to the right. At the end of the building is Russell Street.

Walk along Russell Street, crossing one road, until you reach a street corner with the Fortune Theatre to the left and the Drury Lane theatre ahead of you on the opposite side of the road. Take the road to your right, Catherine Street and walk on past the entrance of the Drury Lane theatre. If you do not pass the entrance doors, or pass the Fortune theatre, wrong way.

Pass the Duchess Theatre. Cross to the other side of the street and come to the Strand Theatre. 

Turn to your left and walk across the front of the Novello Theatre along the curved road. Pass the Waldorf Hotel doorway and the Aldwych Theatre is ahead of you on your left at the next corner. If you come to a bridge or the Lyceum theatre, wrong way.
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An alternative worth considering is that also close to the theatre is Temple Station - Circle Line (yellow) and District Line (green). This is closed on Sundays and some other times, so check before using. If it is open, then leave the station turning left. If you see the river, wrong way!

Plan your tube journey to this station using the button below:

A photographic version of this walking route is available by clicking here.

Go up the steps and cross the road ahead of you. Keep walking straight on up Arundel Street (the road sloping upwards ahead of you).  Make sure you are on the right hand side pavement.

At the top of Arundel Street is "The Strand" and The Aldwych", a busy road intersection and cluster of buildings. Cross the road so that you are on the curving street ahead of you.  

Follow this street as it curves to your left. Keep going and cross "Kingsway" - a busy multi-landed street. The Aldwych Theatre is ahead of you.

 

Buses:
1, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 26, 59, 68, 76, 77a, 91, 168, 171, 172, 176, 188 and 341 all stop outside or near the theatre.

 

Taxi:
A rank for Black taxis is at Charing Cross Station - a long walk down the Strand from the theatre, if you cannot hail one in the busy street outside the venue.

 

Car Park:
Parker Street, under the New London Theatre. Exit the Car Park and stand with your back to the main foyer of the theatre. Cross the road ahead of you and turn to your right. The street corner is there ahead of you. If not, wrong way. At the corner of the street, Turn left into Drury Lane and walk along it. If you pass the New London Theatre, wrong way.

Walk straight on, crossing Great Queen Street, Kemble Street and Kean Street on your side of the road. At the end of Drury Lane is the Aldwych. Without crossing any roads, turn to your left. The Aldwych Theatre is ahead of you on your left. If you see the Novello Theatre, Wrong way.


 

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