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

THEATRE ROYAL DRURY LANE

 


42nd STREET
(musical)

Broadway, 1932. It's the great depression (and we are not talking the fan-girl behaviour at "Wicked" when their favourite is off, this is serious, well, more serious). Anyway, producer Julian Marsh is forced to send on understudy dancer Peggy Sawyer...

... the rest is history...

Classic songs like "Lullaby of Broadway" and "42nd Street" return to Drury Lane a mere 28 years after the last run here.


 

 

Theatremonkey Opinion:

(seen at the preview performance on 29th March 2017)
In a West End season that sees three “dance musicals” open in the space of a few weeks, this is the monkey’s second after “An American in Paris.” Unusually for a London theatregoer, it loves this particular genre, and was keen to see how this revival measured up, not just against the original production (which it did see, many moons ago) but also the competition. Its conclusion?...

“42nd Street” plays cappuccino to “An American In Paris’s” espresso. Which it enjoys more simply depends on its mood, as there isn’t a thing to choose between them in terms of the skills, talents and music on stage. Paris’s darker post-war tale feels it throughout. The ‘Street may be set in a depression where no work means starvation, but it never really lets the troubles intrude – this really is froth all the way. That can be detrimental. The lack of suspense and feeling of peril costs it the drama to give a final edge to proceedings, but no matter, there’s always a gorgeous song and dance instead.

The ensemble (24 expert tapping ladies, 12 equally tapping gents) drop jaws in the opening number, and top even that in the final encore. In between, they simply dance up a storm – ladies a little better rehearsed on their marks than the gents, at the preview monkey saw – and “Keep Young And Beautiful” in particular is eye-poppingly beautiful. Notable in the team are Jasner Ivir (Maggie Jones), Emma Caffrey (Annie), Ella Martine (Lorraine) and Clare Rickard (Phyllis) for the ladies, whose small roles are performed with skill. For the gents, Mark McKerracher (Mac / Doc / Thug) manages to both beat and cure fellow-cast members with aplomb, and Luke George, Ryan Gover and Dylan Mason are notable dancers.

The leads deliver the old classic numbers with polish if not actual flair. Sheena Easton (Dorothy Brock) is every inch the diva, her final scene though a lovely piece of credible turnaround. No wonder Bruce Montague (Abner Dillon) stands by her and Norman Bowman (Pat Denning) chases. Replacement Clare Halse (Peggy Sawyer) is a dream dancer, with a sweet voice and stage presence that has the audience on her side from the off. Small surprise that enthusiastic Stuart Neal (Billy Lawlor) wants to help her – and he’s no mean dancer himself, just needing to stand an inch or two over at times. Tom Lister (Julian Marsh) also has us well believing his love of producing, his closing “42nd Street” a highlight of the show.

If there are the odd cheap moments – an insubstantial railway set, painted bottles behind a bar, and a downright peculiar waxwork stagehand duo; the (mostly) in-house painted backdrops and “cloths” are exquisite – the “Pretty Girl” one in particular is stunning. Gareth Owen gets the sound to match, so not a tap is missed, and Roger Kirk’s costumes deserve special note.

The monkey hopes this outing proves as successful as the original run, as it is a true classic in a loving lullaby of a revival.
 

 

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

(17 reviews)

What a show!!! Might be the most uniformly polished ensemble I've ever seen in London. Not a single tap or step is out of line. It's truly sensational. Not to be missed. Clare Halse is marvellous as Peggy Sawyer - totally believable and bursting with energy and talent. A terrific night out.

My seat, however... K23 in the Grand Circle is, like all the seats up there, an instrument of torture. At 6'3", sitting between two people, I had to sit bolt upright in the narrow seat and was wedged in so tightly with so little legroom that my kneecaps went over the rim of the seat in front. The view was totally clear and didn't feel as distant as it should have done, and it was a comparative bargain at £25 - but I was in so much pain I was moved to Royal Circle J12 by the very helpful FOH staff instead.

Now Royal Circle J12 was blissful - plenty of legroom, larger, more comfortable seats, and feels very close to the stage. A perfect view. Perhaps quibbling I'd want to be a little further forward but this was excellent. Sit up here for this show. The spectacle can't be as impressive from the stalls.

Rhys.
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25th March 2017, afternoon performance.

THE SEATS: Stalls K18 and 19.
These are aisle seats, giving good leg-room. It was annoying having people walking backwards and forwards right up to the moment the show started. The seats are very low: being partially disabled, I had a lot of difficulty standing up again. The view was not fantastic: with a tap-dance show the one part of the performers' anatomy that it is vital to see is their feet, but we could not. I would not choose these seats again.

THE SHOW:
Don't expect a deep plot. The only plot is an excuse for 2 hours of song and dance - not that I'm complaining since it was 100% enjoyment. The choreography took full advantage of the large stage at Drury Lane; did I really count over 40 dancers on the stage at one time? The costumes were beautiful: SPOILER ALERT I particularly like the scene where the girls were dancing round in different-coloured costumes, but it was only when they lined up at the end that it became clear they formed a rainbow. SPOILER ENDS. Pure pleasure, and to be highly recommended for all ages.
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"42nd Street" this afternoon (1st April 2017) was sensational, but you do need to like tap dancing!

For me, I was in musical theatre heaven right from the very first moment when the conductor, Jae Alexander, rose up in front of the orchestra pit in a spotlight and took a bow as the orchestra swept into the overture. It was two-and-a-half hours of almost non-stop singing and dancing, mostly tap, in songs that I have known and loved for more than 70 years.

Everyone on stage was brilliant, the dancing was brilliant, the orchestra was brilliant, the costumes were brilliant, the sound was brilliant, the scenery was brilliant...oh, did I say it was all brilliant?

The book might be slight but for me it worked perfectly well as a framework for all those wonderful songs and routines. I didn’t see the original London production back in 1984 but I was blown away by the production at Chichester a few years ago and I could hardly imagine the show being mounted and performed any better than it was today. Full marks to the entire cast – principals and hoofers – and if all the critics unanimously thought An American in Paris was worth five stars then for me 42nd Street gets six!

Regarding the cast, I thought Sheena Easton was inspired casting for Dorothy Brock and perfectly represented the ageing Broadway star who had fought her way to the top as a singing actress. She reminded me of how I imagine Helen Morgan (the original Julie in 'Show Boat') might have been as a stage performer. Jasna Ivir was new to me but was tremendous as the wise-cracking co-writer of 'Pretty Lady,' who also sang a mean song and held her own in the dancing. She gave us the parody version of ‘Shuffle Off to Buffalo’ (‘Matrimony is baloney, She’ll be wanting alimony in a year or so’) and led ‘Go into your dance’ and ‘Keep young and beautiful’. And at £5, the glossy programme was good, certainly more manageable than the huge £8 monstrosity at the Dominion for An American in Paris.

My seat in E3 in the stalls was pretty much as I was expecting. I had a clear view of the floor of the stage so I could see ‘those dancing feet’ but the on-stage piano (stage right) in the first scene was a bit obstructed when people went over to it, and several times actors placed downstage centre in early scenes were in the way of the action. But being so close I was very much swept up in the energy and excitement of the dancing and I felt so exhilarated after standing at the edge of the orchestra pit for the play-out music (and cheering them all at the end) that instead of going to the Covent Garden Tube Station I walked all the way along the Strand to Charing Cross just to unwind – and that sort of thing doesn’t happen to me very often.

Second visit:
Despite A1 having the best leg-room of the four £15 seats, for '42nd Street' you actually get a marginally better view of the show from A23. In A1, as in E3, there are occasions mainly in Act I when characters standing downstage block the view of other characters further upstage, which never seemed to happen from A23. This is not a major problem but is worth noting for this particular production.

Otherwise, it was again an extremely enjoyable experience to be so close and I particularly wallowed in the wonderful arrangements and orchestrations of all those great 1930s songs, performed with such verve by the wonderful orchestra under Jae Alexander. The three trombones and three trumpets raised the roof and yet the balance of the brass with the rest of the orchestra, as well as with the singing voices, was perfect. It may not be as musically sophisticated as the Gershwin at the Dominion, but boy, is it fun!

Later visit: I saw 42nd Street for the fourth time last night (21st August 2017). I was in A1 and I put my Canadian cousin in A23 because you get a better view of the show overall from A23 than from A1. Clare Halse was off and replaced by Gabrielle Lewis-Dodson, and Tom Lister was off and replaced by Norman Bowman. Both the covers were brilliant and I actually felt that Gabrielle made a slightly more convincing star of 'Pretty Lady' than Clare, who remained a little bit 'Allentown' even as she blossomed into a star during the opening performance of ‘Pretty Lady’, but there was nothing to choose between then in singing and dancing. I certainly didn't feel I was missing anything with the covers – and I had seen Clare and Tom three times before. Everything about the show is top class – singing, dancing, acting, sets, costumes, lighting, sound, painted cloths, etc – and I would love everybody in the world to get as much pleasure out of seeing it as I continue to do. Sadly, the balcony was closed and I could see a lot of empty seats at the back and sides of the stalls, although I guess for a Monday night that is understandable. I also gather that they had been selling some very good seats for £15 on the day. PS. I felt Sheena Easton's performance has slightly strengthened, the orchestra continues to sound sensational and Jae Alexander's conducting remains inspired.

Tonyloco
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SIMPLY FANTASTIC, Quite simply the best tap/dance musical I have seen in years, The entire cast put their heart and soul into this, every step was in time, every tune was delivered wonderfully, the set was amazing, and the crowd lapped it up. I have to say, although Sheena Easton is billed as the leading lady, and she didn't fault in any way, the leading lady in my eyes was most definitely Clare Halse (playing Peggy Sawyer) - she literally stole the show, and the standing ovation at the end was primarily for her I wouldn't wonder. 5 out of 5 from me all the way.

Seating - We were in the last row of the stalls, ZZ10 and ZZ9, viewswise, well, we knew it was the last row when we booked so we were prepared to lose some of the top of the set, it didn't impact on the enjoyment at all. What we didn't bargain for was the ladies loos on the right of the stalls at the back. These were used often throughout the show, I have to say too, by staff also (!), and the light that shone out into the audience was blinding for the last two rows from about seats 1 to 14 inc, the crowd were not best pleased ! This could be remedied so easily and it's a shame the theatre don't seem bothered by this at all. It did impact upon the enjoyment of the show sadly.

Tom Murray.
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I attended the opening preview of the current run.

I sat in seat D13, high up in the balcony, but perfectly placed if you love watching the dancers' formations, which in this show are superb. For the money, I preferred it to being at stalls level.

Carrie J.
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10th April 2017 show, balcony seats row A 24 & 25. Fantastic seats for the price £25 each. Great view of the stage for all the big dance numbers. Much better I'm sure than the view from the stalls. From the very first number right through to the finale I was tapping my fingers and toes. I would book these seats again even if the leg room is restricted.
__________________________________________________________

Well, continuing a series of reviews for claustrophobic theatre-goers (who don’t like heights much either), we were at the show last night (10th April 2017). I wouldn’t describe it as the best experience I’ve had, although the show was spectacular, because I have rarely felt so squashed. We were in the Stalls, E16-17. Centre of the centre block and as we arrived shortly before curtain up (oh, the queues in the ladies – the poor ushers were going from one to the other trying to direct the queues as we all squeezed in and out of the tiny spaces), those already seated had to virtually climb onto their seats to let us past – the ones in the aisle seats just came out into the aisle. We all had to do a lot of breathing in.

I sank into my seat (there is a lot of sinking with these seats, too) and felt very hemmed in on all sides. Maybe partly also because it’s such a big theatre. I did feel very enclosed there – would not choose those seats again, but go for aisle ones. Luckily there wasn’t long before the show started, to distract me. I felt the leg room was only just enough even for 5’7 me and for 5’11 daughter, well, it’s a good thing she’s flexible. And the seats themselves seemed fairly narrow. 

Good view of the stage, and even of the dancing feet, although the rake didn’t seem terrific. I was blessed with another empty seat in front of me, though. My daughter enjoyed being so close to the stage, but I did come away feeling that possibly seeing it from the circle might have been better for this particular show. The ‘star’ of the show is those big chorus numbers and from where we were sitting, you were turning your head from side to side like a tennis match, to take it all in. From further back and higher up, it might have been easier to see the spectacle all in one?

Oh, and when the audience rises to its enthusiastic feet at the end to applaud, that’s great. But when the company then moves on to a final tap dancing number after the first curtain calls, it’s a good idea to SIT DOWN again, particularly if you are in the centre, right at the front …! I missed half of that number dodging from side to side trying to see round the last man standing.
_____________________________________________________________

I went to see this on 15th April 2017. I loved the show when I saw it in the 80's and gosh, absolutely loved this one.

We sat in the stalls row E22/23 and the view was great. Only problem is there is no leg room but was fine for me. I was worried it would be too close but it was fine.

The show was outstanding - the dance numbers were wonderful. I just want to see it again.
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Just returning for a trip to see "42nd Street" on 19th April 2017. It was meant to be "Matilda" with my mother, which is always entertaining - and a little mortifying , but she backed out so I sold the tickets and headed for this. I'd seen the original tour way back in the late 80s at the Bristol Hippodrome and found it over amplified and shallow, but heard too many good things about this to pass it by. After passing the hoards of schoolchildren (shudder) heading into the Cambridge Theatre I was already sure I had made the right choice.

And so it proved - what a sensational show. You could write the plot on the back of a stamp; but the dancing, singing, and costumes were absolutely stunning. I found it uniquely thrilling to see such a large cast on stage tapping and dancing as if their lives depended on it, each scene and set piece a moment of joy.

Clare Halse was wonderful and really does deserve the final bow, although the finale and her encore routine was sensational. Sheena Easton played the diva well, but her star casting was on essential. Showing my age when I kept picturing her in the shell suit singing about the morning train... But it's time like this when I don't begrudge the high prices - you can see every penny up on stage.

Sat in the stalls row C number 9. Legroom not too bad, width room a little cosy, but a fantastic view. To be honest, being a little further back or higher might be good for the spectacle, but being so close meant no peripheral distractions, the whole thing felt like a glorious Technicolor film.

I will be back - sadly my wife had to work today but she'd love it.

Thanks again, your site continues to be a wonderful source of knowledge and inspiration.

LATER VISIT:

Made a return visit yesterday (14th July 2017), this time with my wife and in-laws. I thought they'd love it... and thankfully I was proven correct - it might have been a long train journey back if not!

My mother in law wanted to be near an aisle, so I chose dress circle row B seats 34 to 37. Overall: a great height to see the show from, and felt a lot closer than I expected. They were extremely happy.

I sat in B37 - marked red on your diagram. It needs to be kept red, because although overall the view was great, the speakers blocked the far left of the stage - meaning on occasions lines of dancers were hidden. But, given that I had sustained a literal monkey-related injury (dressed as a gorilla for a school play, did a spectacular onstage fall and badly injured my leg), the legroom for this seat was stunning. With nothing in front I could stretch out completely and avoid the pain that I thought I was going to be in. Seats that are comfortable for me are hard to come by-  so even without an injury I would consider these again if there wasn't an obvious better alternative.

Paul.
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I sat in Stalls P2 which had a good view, and was just about tolerable on 6' 2" knees, but the seat was so tight that it was a bit of a problem trying to stand up but what the hell did that matter.

This show is pure joy and for a member of 'The International Al Jolson Society' the inclusion of songs like 'A Quarter to Nine' and several other well know Jolson songs made this for me absolute Musical Theatre heaven, and so it did for all the 20 in my group who came to see it.

Everyone was raving about it while waiting for the coach to pick us up, and when they got off the coach back home all said what a wonderful spectacle it was with all those tapping dancing feet and the singing was pretty good too. Everyone who saw it had big beaming smiles and went home very happy and thanked me for a fantastic day.

Fortunately I do have another full coach load going in May, so I can have the delight of seeing it again.
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I’m here to tell you that A23 in the stalls for ‘42nd Street’ last night (1st May 2017) was the best £15 I have ever spent in my entire theatre-going life! I didn’t remember until about half-way through the first act when I slightly altered my sitting position that this very low price is because of the limited leg-room and the fact is that I barely noticed the restriction, being relatively short. From A23 one gets a perfect view of the floor of the stage and for this particular production there was nothing missing from what I could see happening stage left. I was expecting to miss something in the scenes in Dorothy Brock’s dressing room and also in the upstairs hotel room but I missed nothing at all. This is all very different from those terrible seats at the ends of the rows in the front stalls at the Palladium which are so far to the side they feel as if they are out in the street!

Sitting so close was a totally immersive experience both aurally and visually, as I guess it would be for any other seats in the front row but at a much higher price – £75, no less. I see that other people have commented that to fully appreciate the dance routines it is better to be further back but I got so much fun out of being so close to the dancers and the actors that I would not want to see the show from anywhere else. Sheena Easton is currently suffering from ‘flu so Dorothy Brock last night was played by her first cover, CJ Johnson. Ms Johnson is very different from Sheena Easton, being tall and thin, but she filled the role convincingly and sang it extremely well. Interestingly she is also cover for Jasna Ivir as Maggie Jones, which would be even more different physically.

I am back in June in A1 which theatremonkey say is the best of the four £15 seats for legroom so I am hoping to get as much pleasure for my £15 then as I got last night!

Tonyloco
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26th April 2017. Got Stalls AA11 for £15. Wonderful seat. The stage is low enough, even in front row you have a perfect view of dancing feet.

The story is paper thin and the characters are rather two-dimensional, but when the curtain lifts knee-high at the beginning and you can see hundreds of feet (probably fewer, but it FELT like hundreds) starting to tap dance, all is forgiven. It’s a song-and-dance extravaganza and on that front it delivers in spades.
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29th April 2017 - Matinee Performance.

This was a total punt for us as we weren't looking to go to the theatre at the time but by total chance I read on the theatre forums that you could get front row side seats for £15 - never one to let up on a bargain I had a search and found 2 seats for £15 each so snapped them up without giving it a second thought. Booking them was a bit fiddly though - it wouldn't let me buy both the seats that were available so i thought they must have gone - however I found that if I put them in one by one it let them through - totally bizarre.

The show itself is amazing - All the cast were in great voice and the tap dancing is amazing - the opening sequence when the curtain goes up sets the scene nicely for the spectacular dancing you see during the whole show.

As others have said, Clare Halse is outstanding as Peggy Sawyer - she steals the show - her singing and dancing were exquisite. Tom Lister surprised me as Julian Marsh - didn't realise how great a voice he had (his version of '42nd Street' right at the end was great) and was unrecognisable from Emmerdale (I didn't even know it was him until I read the cast notes in the programme). Stuart Neal as well stood out - his singing and dancing also very good.

Sheena Easton was off so we had CJ Johnson instead - couldn't fault her really - her character reminded me of Norma from Sunset - it was surprising to us that she virtually disappears from the second act after being in the first act for most of it, and how she gets the last bow at the end when others in the cast have been on for longer and impressed more - would be interested to see how Sheena plays it.

The audience lapped this up - I couldn't see a spare seat in the stalls or circle; and they rose to their feet at the end to show the cast how hard they had worked and how much entertaining they had done.

The highlights for me were: the scene with the dancers on the floor and the mirror floats above them, and also the scene very near the end when the cast are performing the title song and the stairs extend from the back of the stage towards the front and the whole cast are on them tap dancing - utterly gob smacking!

There's not really a lot bad you can say about this production...

The Seat:
I sat in the dreaded A0 - I was a bit worried about this seat with it being so close to the stage - however the stage is very low so you didn't miss any of the feet dancing - you are outside the proscenium arch so do miss a sliver of what is going on stage right as you look at it, but I don't think it was a great deal - certainly not as bad as the outer row seats at the Dominion (which I thought were awful for view). You do get a blocked view at times from when the actors are standing in front of you during a scene, but it's not for very long - there are speakers in front of you which knock another few centimetres off your view but nothing major - I was expecting to be shaken violently by booming sound and not being able to hear much, but surprisingly voices were crystal clear and weren't drowned out by the music.

Biggest issue with this seat is legroom - i am 5 foot 10 and I found my right knee was constantly pushing against the pit wall - you have to twist slightly to make it not so tightly pushed against the wall. Near the end of the first act it was getting a bit irritating and slightly painful - however at the end of the first act I got up out the seat and had a stretch during the interval and found that during the second act it didn't seem to annoy me as much.

What made the pain less was knowing that the seat only cost £15 - this is amazing value for money and if your legs are shorter than mine then it's even better as you may find you aren't pushed up against the wall so much - should also mention there is space beside this seat for bags which came in handy.

The row behind looked like it was slightly lower than Row A and had a worse view - considering the prices on the row behind were up to £65 as well it shows how great value this seat was.

My wife sat in seat A1 - much more legroom than A0 and just inside the arch so she missed less than I did - even better value than my seat ! great being so close to the actors - also apparently one of the male dancers winked at my wife - cheeky :-)

These seats are hard to get hold of for obvious reasons, so if you see them snap them up!
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Wow! Fantastic, superlatives escape me. Second show in as many nights, £35 ticket for the Upper Circle (H29). Seat had an excellent view and as the rows are slightly staggered and this was an aisle seat I had an uninterrupted view down the aisle. In fact I would rate H29 over the seat the other side H28 as this did not have the benefit of the stagger. View very good but seat incredibly uncomfortable. Spent the whole interval standing up to try to relieve the back ache the seat caused. I was luckier than most as the aisle seat did allow me to stretch out a little. I would, however, most definitely recommend not sitting in the stalls for this show, you need to be higher to get the birds-eye view of the fantastic dancing.

The story is incredibly weak, weaker than most musicals, but this can be ignored because of the quality of the production, the performers and the dancing. Clare Halse was fantastic as the main character, for me the real star of the show rather than Sheena Easton who sang very well but was more pantomime dame than diva.


I would thoroughly recommend this show. It is a proper West End musical.
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This was a great show and such skill and dedication from the whole cast - flawless coordination. Loved it!

However, was in a rush when bought tickets and didn't check seats with monkey first like I usually do...big mistake!

I had stalls seat ZZ14. This is the worst seat I have ever had and is in the 3rd ticket band...I don't know why it is not the lowest price. There is the overhang that all the back half of stalls have...which wasn't such an issue....missed a little in two scenes in the first act and one scene in the second act, also the this is the back row

A bigger issue is that the back three rows are flat and not sloped, definitely not good if you are 5'2"... although at least it did mean I could get my legs in to the leg space...not sure how anyone over 5'6" would manage.

But the worst thing is that a quarter of the stage is blocked off by the sound box which you are right next to. This is not made clear on any of the booking websites.

Another issue toward the back in this theatre is the 2 toilets at the side towards middle and three quarters from the stage...these were used throughout the show and very well lit when the door was opened so very distracting during the show. Would be much better if during performance these were locked and people had to go through the curtains to get to toilets outside stalls or at the very least a much dimmer setting on their lights.
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Thought it may be useful to review the seats we had at '42nd Street' yesterday (27th June 2017).

Grand/Upper Circle Row D seats 27/28. Overall very good seats with an excellent view of the whole stage. The bar at the end of the aisle was not obtrusive at all. Given the height of the Grand Circle you still feel relatively close to the stage and sound quality was good. As other reviewers have commented the legroom in many rows is terrible. I am 6ft and my wife 5'6" and we both really struggled with comfort.

One interesting thing to note - I was impressed by the ushers who kept a very close eye on phones/screens being used during the show - some people are just inconsiderate. Something they couldn't help with as it wasn't visible (but we could smell it) was the young lady and her mother immediately behind in row E who as the show opened proceeded to consume a very smelly steak bake and samosa! I've seen/smelt it all now!
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I have to write and say I followed Theatre Monkey's advice and went straight to the Theatre Royal's box office yesterday (22nd July 2017) to see if they had any tickets for the matinee performance of '42nd Street.'

It was one o'clock - no queue and plenty of tickets available and a very helpful box office member of staff. What a treat - we had excellent seats in row G of the Royal Circle - the best view ever with plenty of leg room and all for £15 I still can't believe it!!

Now telling all my friends to do the same and will be trying my luck at another theatre soon!

Thank you Theatre Monkey!

Pat Sirkett
Hertford




 

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 to Saturday at 7.30pm
Wednesday and Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm


Runs 2 hours 40 minutes approximately.


 

Ticket Prices:

Offers May be available - Click Here

View this information in diagram form

Stalls:
Rows AA to W: £75 except
"Premium Seats" rows F and G 6 to 30; H and J 7 to 31; K and L 10 to 26 : £125
Rows X and Y, plus "restricted view" seats B 0, 1, 25, 26; C 1, 2, 28, 29; D 1, 2, 32, 33; E and F 1, 2, 34 and 35: £65
Row A seats 0, 1, 23 and 24: £15
Rows YY and Z: £55
Row ZZ: £35


Dress Circle:

Rows A to L: £75 except
"Premium Seats" row A 11 to 25; B and C 12 to 26: £125


Upper Circle:
Centre Block

Rows A to G: £65
Rows H to L (except K and L 12, 13, 28 and 29): £55
Restricted View Rows K and L 12, 13, 28 and 29: £35

Side Blocks

Rows A to G (except Restricted View seats): £65
Rows H to L: £55
Restricted view seats A 6, 7, 42, 43; B and C 1, 2, 39, 40: £55
Restricted view seats A 15, 16, 33, 34; B and C 11, 12, 29 and 30: £35
Slip seats A 1 to 5 and 44 to 48: £35


Balcony:
Centre Block

Rows C to J: £35
Rows K and L: £25
Restricted View rows A and B: £25

Side Blocks

Rows C to J (except C 2, 3, 11, 12, 28, 29, 37, 38; D and E 1, 2, 11, 12, 28, 29, 38, 39): £25
Rows K and L: £25
Restricted view rows A and B, plus C 2, 3, 11, 12, 28, 29, 37, 38; D and E 1, 2, 11, 12, 28, 29, 38, 39: £25


Boxes:

B (seat 6), BB (seat 6), C (seat 4), CC (seat 4): £75 per seat.
E and EE (seat 4 each): £55 per seat.
Box seats are not normally sold individually.


DAY SEATS: A limited number may be available to personal callers at the box office from 10am, priced £25 each, located in the front stalls or circle. Limited to maximum 2 per person. The monkey always advises taking both cards and cash in case one is preferred over the other. Check with the box office before travelling if this policy is still in operation - though they cannot comment on availability each day, that is determined at the time of arrival."

 

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.reallyusefultheatres.co.uk the theatre group's own website provide the service for this theatre.
This site allows seat selection and provides a view of the auditorium too.

Booking fees per ticket for online bookings:
No booking fees.

 

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

When the theatre does not have the tickets you desire available, it is well worth trying the Theatremonkey Ticketshop agency, telephone 020 7420 9778 (0044 207 420 9778 if calling from outside the United Kingdom), which offers £75 seats with an £16.50 fee per ticket (£27.50 on £125, £14.50 on £65, £12.25 on £55, £7.75 on £35, £5.50 on £25 seats) - moderate by agency standards, though higher than box office fees, worth trying as they often have a choice of seats available! Note that this system will confirm exact seat numbers prior to purchase. A £1.95 per booking, not per ticket, handling fee may apply on some transactions by telephone. NO handling fee applies for online purchases.

www.seetickets.com / telephone 0870 830 0200 (FREE call if using BT.com Calling Plan at your chosen times) which offers seats with no handling fee.

Another alternative is Ticketmaster.co.uk who offer £75 seats with an £11.25 fee per ticket (£18.75 on £125, £9.75 on £65, £5.25 on £35, £3.75 on £25 seats). A £3 per booking, not per ticket, handling fee is also added. This system allows you to choose your own seats from the selection the company has available.

Encore Tickets (telephone 0207 400 1253 / 0044 207 400 1253 if calling from outside the United Kingdom) offer £75 seats with a £21 fee per ticket (£35 on £125, £19 on £65, £16 on £55, £10 on £35, £7 on £25 seats). 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 £75 seats with a £15 fee per ticket (£25 on £125, £13 on £65, £11 on £55, £7 on £35, £5 on £25 seats) booking fee per ticket. 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: 0844 412 4660 or 0870 830 0200
Operated by See Tickets on behalf of the venue.

Booking fees per ticket for telephone bookings:
No booking fees.

For personal callers or by post: Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JF
No booking fee for personal callers.

Special Access Needs Customers:
Wheelchair users and other registered disabled theatregoers can book their seats and enquire about concessionary prices that may be available to them on a dedicated phone line. See Notes.

www.theatreroyaldrurylane.co.uk is the official venue 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 Balcony Notes
STALLS 

Layout:
The Dress Circle overhangs the Stalls at row M (and curves around to row J at the sides). The Dress Circle overhang affects the view of the top of the stage from row S back.

Aisles split the stalls into a centre and two side blocks. A further aisle in front of row K splits seats into front and rear sections.

The side blocks extend beyond the proscenium, so do not look directly at the stage opening.

A noticeable rake (sloped floor to help see over rows in front) ensures a good view from all seats to row S. 

Row K is a few millimetres higher than row J.

Legroom:
Good throughout the front stalls for all but the very tallest (over 6ft or so - a reader feels 5' 8" though), particularly good in row K, D 1 and 33 with nothing in front; and (for one leg) E35 and H37 - the only places for the longest legged to choose. Row B has a little less.

Most readers found A 0 and 24, rows B and E, and rows from L back noticeably tighter, though - a reason the monkey removed row L's previous "green" rating.

Row ZZ seats 11, 12, 26 and 27 have the least room in any part of the stalls.

Outer row ZZ 1 to 7 and 31 to 37 will have knees of those 5ft 7 and above touching seats in front.

Choosing Seats in General:
Front Section:
An extra row, AA can be inserted in front of row A in the centre block. Even when row A is the front row, it's rare to experience neck strain here as you look over the wide orchestra pit.

As there is no rake, though, younger children and those under 5ft 8 or so will struggle to see past any taller adult in front of them in rows A to C at least. Take the dress circle for them.

For everybody else these front three or four rows are a wonderfully immersive experience  - monkey only leaves the 'green' rating off because of the lack of rake. Row B in particular is below the level of the row in front.

Among the best seats in the house and this section are rows E to G 10 to 26 and rows H and J 11 to 27, then centre row D.

Rows A to J usually have reduced prices at the extreme ends. Large speakers are often positioned at the edges of the stage, which may blast those at the ends of rows B and C in particular and block views. The discounts reflect this and the monkey feels them not seats to take first or all that great, but close to the front and a bit cheaper for those willing to take a chance. If at second price it rates E to G 1 and 2 and 34 and 35 about "fair" if willing to accept extreme side views - not a generous discount, but a cheaper way of being near the front, perhaps.

Rear Section:
The monkey first choice in the entire theatre is row K seats 6 to 30. Unlimited legroom and a decent view.

Behind, row L loses points for legroom. Row M has a little more.

At top price, next try all but the outermost two seats of side blocks of K or M, then look forward to central row C and the side block of rows C to J (except the first and last 4 seats - which should be avoided), and finally row N back - centre then side blocks.

Wheelchair spaces are at K 1 and 35 and L 1 and 35. Take K first. The view is fair, a little sideways on but better than the rows in front. Transfer able can use any seat - take aisle if possible.

At the back of the theatre, top price runs back a good way. The monkey would skip anything behind T, as U to W are too far away, not brilliantly raked and cramped. Much better stuff available further forward, really.

Row X at second price or less compares badly with the upper circle seats at the same price. Comfort is slightly greater in that you can slip your feet under the seats in front, but the upper circle doesn't contend with the overhang or being so far from the stage with so many folk in front. Skip it, feels the monkey.

Moving back, Monkey likes central row YY and side block Y 4 to 10 and 28 to 34 as they are cheaper than the seats in front but with a similar view. You could do worse than YY 11 to 13 and 21 to 23. Why? There is a small step to them, giving them an extra 2 inch raise above the row in front. Not perfect for children - who'll see far more from one of the circles above, but a possible choice for many less choosy others seeking cheaper stalls. Behind, rows Z and ZZ in that centre block are NOT tiered or on a slope, so the short should avoid...

Do note, too, there is another reason that rows Y to ZZ at often at second to lowest price at the sides. They are low (feeling lower than rows in front), far back and miss the top of the stage. As an alternative to vertigo in the top balcony, fine. As perfect seats for a special night out... try elsewhere or pay up for seats further forward, feels the monkey. For those on a tight budget and not wanting vertigo or the extra cramp of the highest balcony though, they might just do the trick, so don't ignore them.

General Hazard Notes:
Speakers hung under the circle overhang clip about 5cm off the view from some centrally located seats from row S back - not a problem though, the monkey just records it from interest!

All the very end seats in rows A to J in particular, are well outside the proscenium arch, leading to strange viewing angles around / excessive noise from, the soundman's hardware - it particularly affects the front 4 rows.

Row A only rises a millimetre or two over the row in front.

Row B is below the height of row A, and has less legroom.

Avoid seats around the sound desk if you will be disturbed by the noise and light, though sensibly they have added a gap between the desk and the seating. Worst affected seats are Y14 to 24, YY14 and 20, Z14 and 24 and ZZ 14 and 24.

Rear rows have pillars to the side of seats in the centre of the centre block from row YY back.

Changes for the current production:
The front row is AA. Seats AA 4 to 20 and A 2 to 22 are top non-premium price, and only row A 0, 1, 23 and 24 are £15. The low stage means you won't miss feet. Centre block row AA has an excellent view, take it if up to 5ft 8 and legroom is no worry, or just for the view. Row A, behind, isn't raised up more than a few millimetres, but it is "offset" and would allow the taller to get feet under seats.

Avoid A 0 and 24 unless very short - these have no legroom on one side of the seat, and barely enough for anyone over 5ft 2 tall on the other, due to the curve of the pit wall in front. A 1 and 23 have legroom for those up to around 5ft 5 to be almost comfortable. For some reason, 0 and 1 have a tiny bit more legroom than 23 and 24, the monkey felt. The view from all four seats is clear without speakers (fixed to the proscenium wall in front of 0 and 24) intruding into sightlines, but 1 and 23 have superior views as they are "inside" the proscenium opening, rather than looking onto the stage from an angle just beside the wall. In order, the monkey would take 1, 23, 0 and 24. A reader feels that despite the legroom, A 23 has less time with a cast member stood blocking views, though.

The extreme ends of other rows in the front section are discounted: that's the outer pairs back to F only. May be worth missing those behind and two beside them, the monkey feels. The discounted seats have a pretty fair view, with D 33 clear in front, D 32 pretty well clear, C 1, C23, D1 having space for one leg clear in front, too.

"Premium" seats have been designated in rows F to L of the central stalls, spilling over into the side blocks for four seats from F to J. Up to you if you wish to pay more, feels the monkey. Do note that row L has less legroom compared to other premium seats...

If not paying those prices, central E to C in that order are attractive, feels the monkey.

Prices drop to second at row X, and again at YY and ZZ.

The overhang of the circle above may reduce the views of scenery tops, but nothing vital, and at second price, row X is not bad for anybody willing to trade a cramped restricted rear stalls seat for a cramped upper circle one. The monkey might well, for comfort only - the upper circle does have a far better view.

The monkey is keen on third price centre block YY. Elevated centre block seats for the money, and a way of getting a stalls seat for those who don't like heights. Do consider the same price upper circle over these for view, though - but not if legroom is an issue: the stalls do have slightly more.

Row ZZ is again a means of getting a balcony priced seat in the stalls, and no more. Views are distant, the balcony would probably have a better angle, but the stalls has the prestige...

Around the sound desk, YY14 and 20 won't notice it in view, and Z14 and 24 have a gap between them and the desk, again it won't cause a problem. ZZ14 and 24 are frankly restricted view with the corner of the desk cutting an eighth off, though.
 

 

Reader Comments:
"AA10: "42nd Street" (March 2017). Front row centre. The conductor is to your left. Don't be freaked out when he slowly rises upwards out of the orchestra pit at the start and completely blocks a lot of your view - he sinks back down to just below stage level at the end of the orchestral introduction in time for the curtain going up. There's nothing to criticise about this seat. There's more than enough leg room for a tall person and no sense whatsoever of being cramped, with room for a smallish bag under the seat without interfering with your feet. You're within almost arms' distance of the action (the orchestra pit is very narrow), you can see and hear every detail and you feel fully part of the action. The stage is set quite low so it's all fully in view unless you're very short, and of course it's the front row so no risk of the dreaded big head in front. An extremely short person might be better off in the front of the dress circle, but then you sacrifice the sense of involvement in the action. There's a little tweeter speaker on the bulkhead directly in front but it isn't at all overpowering unless you almost put your ear to it. These front row seats are not classed as "premium" and are a lot cheaper than seats further back, but I've sat all over a lot of theatres and the front row is the absolute best place to sit. Highly recommended and value for money."

"AA11: "42nd Street" (March 2017). Got it for £15. Wonderful seat. The stage is low enough, even in front row you have a perfect view of dancing feet."

"AA19 and AA20: "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory" (December 2014). Of course there's no problem seeing (unlike - due to lack of rake - in rows B and C) from this front-row position. and the 'light from the conductor' is really not a problem at this end of the row (although will be distracting directly in the middle of the row). There is a distance of some ten feet across the orchestra pit so you are not within touching distance of the actors; you are agreeably set back a bit. These front row seats allow you to see the actors' faces up-close and there is absolutely no obstruction. The only problem, perhaps, is that the top of some sets is less impactful than if you had a bit of height, say, in the circle. Also, you can't appreciate the choreography and sets quite as well without the view into upstage that a bit of height and more distance would give you. However, my young daughter was very cosy as she could just lie back and rest her feet against the front of the orchestra pit wall and there were no other audience members in front of her. A possible problem with front-row at this particular production is that you can work out much more easily how the illusions work. My daughter apparently enjoyed 'seeing how the tricks work', though it may detract for others. That said, it's a fantasy genre, and if you don't' 'suspend disbelief' you'll struggle to enjoy it anyway! Only at one point, SPOILER ALERT when Violet Beauregarde meets her end, SPOILER ENDS did we actually miss a surprise moment because it happened behind us - but not terribly important. I couldn't comment on seats higher up, but I would definitely avoid seats from around row T in the stalls and further back because of the overhand of the Royal Circle, which must cut off the top of the sets and be a drawback. You might feel a bit 'enclosed'. However, if these are the only ones available, or the only affordable ones, the production is still easily engaging enough to make it a good experience."

"A0 and 1: "42nd Street" (March 2017). I sat in the dreaded A0 - I was a bit worried about this seat with it being so close to the stage - however the stage is very low so you didn't miss any of the feet dancing - you are outside the proscenium arch so do miss a sliver of what is going on stage right as you look at it, but I don't think it was a great deal - certainly not as bad as the outer row seats at the Dominion (which I thought were awful for view). You do get a blocked view at times from when the actors are standing in front of you during a scene, but it's not for very long - there are speakers in front of you which knock another few centimetres off your view but nothing major - I was expecting to be shaken violently by booming sound and not being able to hear much, but surprisingly voices were crystal clear and weren't drowned out by the music.
Biggest issue with this seat is legroom - i am 5 foot 10 and I found my right knee was constantly pushing against the pit wall - you have to twist slightly to make it not so tightly pushed against the wall. Near the end of the first act it was getting a bit irritating and slightly painful - however at the end of the first act I got up out the seat and had a stretch during the interval and found that during the second act it didn't seem to annoy me as much.
What made the pain less was knowing that the seat only cost £15 - this is amazing value for money and if your legs are shorter than mine then it's even better as you may find you aren't pushed up against the wall so much - should also mention there is space beside this seat for bags which came in handy.
The row behind looked like it was slightly lower than Row A and had a worse view - considering the prices on the row behind were up to £65 as well it shows how great value this seat was.
My wife sat in seat A1 - much more legroom than A0 and just inside the arch so she missed less than I did - even better value than my seat ! great being so close to the actors - also apparently one of the male dancers winked at my wife - cheeky :-)
These seats are hard to get hold of for obvious reasons, so if you see them snap them up! "

"A1: "42nd Street" (March 2017), (Tonyloco). Despite having the best leg-room of the four £15 seats, for '42nd Street' you actually get a marginally better view of the show from A23. In A1, as in E3, there are occasions mainly in Act I when characters standing downstage block the view of other characters further upstage, which never seemed to happen from A23. This is not a major problem but is worth noting for this particular production. On a second visit, I was in A1 and I put my Canadian cousin in A23 because you get a better view of the show overall from A23 than from A1."

"A3: At a big discount for £20 at 'Oliver' in 2009! The view from this seat was immense... and the leg room, well, I had enough room to put my bags in front of my seat and outstretch my legs fully and still let people get past!"

"A9: Oliver. you get a truly magnificent view from here. You are, of course, probably a bit too close, as due to the size of the sets you are constantly moving your head and eyes around as there is so much happening on stage. You don't have to look up too much as the stage is set quite low and there is fantastic legroom. Also, the conductor doesn't get in the way."

"A12: A wonderful seat - you'll love it! So close that you feel you're totally in the show.
The setting is a monument and sometimes you will be blasted by the huge and beautiful stage design. The only one thing which can harm you is the spittle from the actors, because when the get in front of the orchestra pit they are so close that you're able to smell them :-) It is a very good choice to spend your money on that seat because the experience is fantastic."

"A15: The view from here is of course, excellent. I had no difficulty seeing anything on stage...and the legroom was excellent."

"A16: (Ali). one of the best seats I have ever had – good legroom, very little neckache, and is fantastic for getting a really good look at the action"

"A23: "42nd Street" (March 2017), (tonyloco). The best £15 I have ever spent in my entire theatre-going life! I didn’t remember until about half-way through the first act when I slightly altered my sitting position that this very low price is because of the limited leg-room and the fact is that I barely noticed the restriction, being relatively short. From A23 one gets a perfect view of the floor of the stage and for this particular production there was nothing missing from what I could see happening stage left. I was expecting to miss something in the scenes in Dorothy Brock’s dressing room and also in the upstairs hotel room but I missed nothing at all. This is all very different from those terrible seats at the ends of the rows in the front stalls at the Palladium which are so far to the side they feel as if they are out in the street!
Sitting so close was a totally immersive experience both aurally and visually, as I guess it would be for any other seats in the front row but at a much higher price – £75, no less. I see that other people have commented that to fully appreciate the dance routines it is better to be further back but I got so much fun out of being so close to the dancers and the actors that I would not want to see the show from anywhere else.
On a second visit, I was in A1 and I put my Canadian cousin in A23 because you get a better view of the show overall from A23 than from A1."

"A23 and 24: "42nd Street" (March 2017), (Mark). (£15). Described as limited legroom. I'm 6ft1 and sat in A24 and I must say, I would have coped. Numb legs I'm sure but at least there was room to put them. A22 turned out to be empty so I moved here. Excellent view, being at the side does not restrict for this show."

"B9 to B15: which were superb seats. Had to look up slightly but we didn't lose any of the view from where we were. You really get to "feel" the atmosphere from these seats and the orchestra is well "hidden" below the stage so again no problems. 3 children aged 8 to 10 years did find the booster cushions provided useful."

"C9: "42nd Street" (March 2017), (Paul). Legroom not too bad, width room a little cosy, but a fantastic view. To be honest, being a little further back or higher might be good for the spectacle, but being so close meant no peripheral distractions, the whole thing felt like a glorious Technicolor film."

"C19: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (May 2016). Great seat, pretty central with nothing blocking the view and close to the stage."

"C20 and 21: "Shrek" (May 2011), (Michael). I would like to say they were excellent viewing as we could see the stage floor from here with offset seats and close to the action on stage, but on this occasion, my view was constantly blocked by the gent to my right who was swaying left and right. No doubt I was causing the same problem for the person behind me as a swayed in unison in order to see as best I could. When someone's head is blocking a character as large as Shrek, then I believe it's a problem."

"D 5 and 6: "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory" (December 2014), (Jessica). 'My 7 year old daughter and I sat in the stalls, seats D5 and D6 in one of the side blocks. Theatremonkey did not have specific reviews for row D side block, although recommended against row D centre block for children and shorter adults (I’m 5' 3”), so I was unsure of the view we would have. I am pleased to say that the view was not obstructed for me, despite having a taller adult in front of me, due to the viewing angle being to the side of the stage. The rake is small, as suggested, but the height of the stage was at about my eyeline from row D, and I had a good view. My daughter had a booster, and was lucky enough to be sitting behind an older child, and also had no trouble with view obstruction. While our seats in D5 and D6 were good, we did notice that the woman next to us, in D4, seemed to be leaning across to see on occasion, and needed to put her child, sitting in D3, on her lap, so Theatremonkey is probably right in having seats D3 and 4 highlighted in red.'

"D15 and 16: They were expensive seats but well worth the money. Excellent view, loads of legroom and no heads in the way! We had a great close up view of the actors' faces and we really felt part of the action."

"D17: (James - regular contributor). Good seat, but for a huge musical, would recommend Upper Circle or Balcony as if  the show is "big" it's better to appreciate it from afar."

"D 30 and 31: "Shrek" (May 2011). Apparently these seats are classed as 'restricted view' seats but I found no problem with them at all. I think from seat 31 you missed a tiny bit of action but as 99.9% of the action is centre stage you really don't miss much at all. We paid £45 per ticket for £65 tickets through a discount website and we got a real bargain as far as I'm concerned. Legroom was quite generous for someone of 5'6", but I can imagine it might be slightly uncomfortable for someone who is 6ft or taller. All in all I can't fault these seats. (When discounted a bargain indeed, feels the monkey)."

"E3: "42nd Street" (March 2017), (Tonyloco). Pretty much as I was expecting. I had a clear view of the floor of the stage so I could see ‘those dancing feet’ but the on-stage piano (stage right) in the first scene was a bit obstructed when people went over to it, and several times actors placed downstage centre in early scenes were in the way of the action. But being so close I was very much swept up in the energy and excitement of the dancing."

"E5: 'Oliver' (December 2008), (Kirsty). It's an OK seat and I was really able to feel part of the show from there. The sound quality was good and you could see the casts' faces clearly. They did have their backs to you sometimes though, which is to be expected if you sit at the very right hand side of the stage."

"E16: "Oliver," (Martin). had an excellent view and just enough legroom (I'm 6' 01") although I wouldn't recommend sitting any closer."

"E16 and 17: "42nd Street" (March 2017).  Continuing a series of reviews for claustrophobic theatre-goers (who don’t like heights much either), I wouldn’t describe it as the best experience I’ve had, although the show was spectacular, because I have rarely felt so squashed. Centre of the centre block and as we arrived shortly before curtain up (oh, the queues in the ladies – the poor ushers were going from one to the other trying to direct the queues as we all squeezed in and out of the tiny spaces), those already seated had to virtually climb onto their seats to let us past – the ones in the aisle seats just came out into the aisle. We all had to do a lot of breathing in. I sank into my seat (there is a lot of sinking with these seats, too) and felt very hemmed in on all sides. Maybe partly also because it’s such a big theatre. I did feel very enclosed there – would not choose those seats again, but go for aisle ones. Luckily there wasn’t long before the show started, to distract me. I felt the leg room was only just enough even for 5’7 me and for 5’11 daughter, well, it’s a good thing she’s flexible. And the seats themselves seemed fairly narrow. Good view of the stage, and even of the dancing feet, although the rake didn’t seem terrific. I was blessed with another empty seat in front of me, though. My daughter enjoyed being so close to the stage, but I did come away feeling that possibly seeing it from the circle might have been better for this particular show. The ‘star’ of the show is those big chorus numbers and from where we were sitting, you were turning your head from side to side like a tennis match, to take it all in. From further back and higher up, it might have been easier to see the spectacle all in one?"

E22 and 23: "42nd Street" (March 2017). The view was great. Only problem is there is no leg room but was fine for me. I was worried it would be too close but it was fine."

"Row F: centre excellent, though with average legroom."

"F1 and 2: "42nd Street" (March 2017). Sister and I got F 1/2 for £15 at around 11:30am for 21st April 2107. Great seats with very little restriction. My dad got G35 the day after us at around 11am for same price."

"F12: "Oliver" (January 2009). I sat in F12 in the stalls, which was (as indicated by the Monkey) a great seat, with clear views of the actors’ expressions. However, I paid full price (£65 in total) for my ticket, and would have felt cheated had I sat any further back or off-centre (although that said, the production makes full use of the massive stage depth and height, so the dress circle would probably be great for catching a better all-round view of the show) Legroom in row F of the stalls was snug but just about ok - I'm 5'9, but I think anyone taller would struggle."

"F27: (Jon). aisle seat right hand side of left block. Excellent view (though Dress Circle I guess will be better for some of a raised set), seats a little low (i.e. your backside is slightly below your knees if you are over 5'8" so "cheek shuffling" may be required - apologies to those sat behind me!) though plenty of leg room as I could full extend under seat in front and I could shift to stretch to my right into the aisle."

"Row G: "Oliver" (January 2009), (Dave). Seats in row G centre stalls were excellent. I am please we bought top price."

"G22 and G23: We sat in "Premium Seat" G22 and G23 in the Stalls, Excellent view of the stage and all of the fantastic movements of the scenery. Actors were up close and you could see every facial expression. £85.00 is too much however for this seat and a free programme and I still believe these are still just £60 Stalls seats for some performances."

"Row H: "Shrek". Tight on the knees for me being 6' 1", but did give a good view; but even being so close to the stage it was only just apparent that Princess Fiona became a green ogre at night. She was definitely not green enough and not apparently ugly either  - so sitting further back this would have escaped people even more the further back you are seated. SPOILER ALERT I also wonder if the rear seats could see the dragon flying over the stalls. That was spectacular. SPOILER ENDS.

"H 9 and 10: "Lord of the Rings" - May 2007. were just perfect. 10 is on the aisle and is angled to give a wonderful view of the stage. I had an enormous man of about 20 stone sitting in front of me but he didn't spoil my view one bit."

"H13 and H14: (Diego). got for the student rate of £25 for "Oliver" in June 2010. To my shock, these are the so called 'premium seats' and although they aren't often sold at their £85 listing price, I knew that I was getting a bargain! The seats were really, really good and you have a clear view of everything. I was very pleased."

H13 to H16: (Sally Scott). Great seats." w

"H17: (daryl). the view was fab"

"J11 and J12: (Rob). excellent seats. Bit of trade off with the seats – we were on the aisle of the centre set of seats; very handy for making a quick getaway but there were two moments - during the show we saw - where the actors standing at the front of the stage blocked our view of actors in the middle; this would not be the case if you were sat in middle of this centre row. My guess is that the very best seats in the house would be K16 to 20 – these are bang in the middle and you have an aisle in front of you allowing extra leg room."

"Row K: (Rich). in the stalls is an excellent position to see the show from, loads of legroom and a great view."

"Row K: There is superb legroom in row K, but even this row could be considered to be a little too far back."

"K 18 and 19: "42nd Street" (March 2017). These are aisle seats, giving good leg-room. It was annoying having people walking backwards and forwards right up to the moment the show started. The seats are very low: being partially disabled, I had a lot of difficulty standing up again. The view was not fantastic: with a tap-dance show the one part of the performers' anatomy that it is vital to see is their feet, but we could not. I would not choose these seats again."

"K20: (Ian). It was the most amazing place to sit. Yes - it's a Green seat without doubt. I am 6 feet 4 inches tall and there is tons of leg room and the seat affords a magnificent view of the spectacle on stage... I will always choose this row in the centre block of the stalls for all future visits to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. They should be 24 carat Gold - not green !! WOW."

K25 and 26: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (May 2013), (Laurence T). Central block, aisle seats. We moved into row K for the second half of the show, thanks to a helpful steward and with unlimited legroom, actors walking right in front of you and a closer view of the stage this might be one of the best places to see this show from. There is a lot going on high up, such as the elevator and the television announcements, so sitting closer than here would probably induce a lot of neck ache."

"K26: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (May 2013). Having failed the Book of Mormon lottery on Friday evening and nothing interesting at TKTS, so decided to go to the box office expecting to buy a full price ticket. The guy offered me centre stall seat for £49.50 so I guess if you pop to the theatre a few hours before the show they might release some first price seats and sell you at second price. It was a bargain for me. I'm right at the aisle both on my side and in front so leg room was excellent and the view was excellent too. Probably best seat to sit in the theatre, far enough that you can appreciate the whole set which was huge and close enough that you still feel a part of the show."

"K27 and 28: "Shrek" (June 2011). This is the fifth time I've been to this theatre and third time in the stalls. Without doubt K27 and K28 are the best seats I have ever had here (even better than the premium priced seats which I have sat in before). The main reason for this is the huge amount of leg room between this row and the one in front so you can fully stretch out plus the view is totally unobstructed in any way by the people in front (whereas with the premium seats they might if you get someone tall). We paid £35 each through the Get Into London Theatre ticket promotion but would've happily have paid full price."

L12 and 13: (James). were great – you are far enough back to see the whole stage without turning your head from side to side, but still close enough to really engage with the show. Stalls C22 and C23 were far too close to the stage and I would not sit there again."

"L 12 and 13: Personally I am not a fan of the stalls, however I mistakenly brought these seats. AWFUL!! I was so disappointed with the view. Such a poor rake between the rows and constantly had to keep dodging the heads in front of me. I went home feeling terribly ripped off!"

M8 and 9: (Steph Nicholls). The seats were great with a clear view. I would like to see it again from the dress circle to get the full spectacle as sometimes we were too close to take in everything."

"M16: Perfect view of the stage."

"M25 and 26: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (May 2013), (Laurence T). Central block, aisle seats. From row M of the stalls I was given a clear uninterrupted view of the stage. This might have been different if someone had been sitting in front of me as there did seem to be a lack of a sufficient rake. I wouldn't have wanted to be much further back then here though as you the stage would start to feel distant. In terms of legroom these seats provided the bare minimum, I am tall but I think most people would also find themselves quite cramped in this row."

"O1 to 5: "Oliver" (January 2009), (Penny). Very good seats, although could have been a little cramped for very tall people. Great view."

"O3: "Oliver" (January 2009), (Jackie). The seat was well placed and gave an uninterrupted view of the stage. The legroom was dreadful though. I am 5ft 9 and at first couldn’t seem to fit my legs in to the gap! Eventually managed to wedge them in the triangular gap where the two seats in front joined – not the most comfortable evening and my back / hips are still aching from the hours in this unfortunate position."

"O 28 and 29: While the view to centre stage is great, the legroom isn't what you might expect in the stalls."

"P2: "42nd Street" (March 2017). Had a good view, and was just about tolerable on 6' 2" knees, but the seat was so tight that it was a bit of a problem trying to stand up."

"P26, 27 and 28: "Oliver" (January 2009), (Mila). White in the TM seating plan, but very good seats I thought, especially with the booster cushions for the kids, we had a perfect view of the whole stage, and a nice aisle seat so we were first to the ice creams and able to stand and give Jodie a cheer at the end!"

"R7 and 8: Pretty good view, leg room OK. 1 and 2 are OK as well."

"S29 to 33: (Sharon). We had seats in the Stalls in Row S numbers 29 to 33 and had a wonderful view of the stage. One of our party is a 6-footer and he had just enough leg-room, whilst the somewhat shorter family members borrowed the theatre's booster cushions which made our line of sight uninterrupted."

"Row U: "Oliver," (Lorna). and I too felt a bit far away. As Fagin jokes, I'm the poor at the back."

"Row U: "Shrek The Musical" (June 2011). I believe we overpaid at £40 each for rear stalls (row U with dress circle overhang above) preview tickets - which were reduced to £15 by the time we actually went."

"U19 to 24: After all the hype, I left 'Oliver' on Friday 30th January 2009 feeling rather disappointed. It just wasn't the 'wow' I had expected. I suspect that a lot of this was because of our seats (Stalls U19 to 24) - I had wanted to book top price, but with a group of 6 this was all that was available. From here you do miss the grandeur of the colossal sets and the whole show feels enclosed by the Dress Circle - a bit like a TV. I like to be immersed in theatre. When I saw 'Lord of the Rings' at this theatre, I sat in the centre of row G and it was a fantastic experience. Also, from back here you miss a lot of Rowan Atkinson's performance - closer up you would get a lot more from his facial expressions. My biggest complaint is the sound at the back. It all seemed quite quiet! It definitely proves it is worth paying full price - for me at least!"

"Row W: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (May 2013). I could only get tickets in row W of the Stalls; but after reading your reviews, decided that it would be OK for the special preview price of £40.00. Unfortunately I am only 5 2" and did have some rather tall people in front of me, but was still able to get a pretty good view of the stage. The overhang from the Circle did not spoil the view at all as nothing happened that high up! There is very limited leg room so probably would be quite uncomfortable for people with longer legs but not a problem for me."

"W31 and 32: Interestingly, you have widely differing opinions from theatre goers on the Theatre Royal's stalls seats. Myself and a friend were in stalls W31 and 32, the second row back in the second price ticket band. Originally we thought the seats would be pretty awful as we were quite a way back, but we were pleasantly surprised as the view wasn't bad at all. Yes, it was slightly restricted by the overhang of the Grand Circle resulting in the top of the scenery, particularly the bridges, being hidden from view, but as the setting is so big, you get a wider perspective of the action. Also we didn't have any tall people sitting in front of us to spoil the view! The seats were quite low, though, but we both thought the sound from this part of the theatre was very good. There certainly seems to be a mixture of opinion on sitting in this part of the theatre!

I have seen "Oliver!" several times now and my favourite seats have been in stalls rows D, E and F in the centre block. I know they may be classed as being too close to the stage but you do feel part of the action and personally I love to see the expressions on the actors' faces and all their little mannerisms! One of the main reasons I would generally go for the stalls in any theatre is that legroom is usually so much better than in the upper tiers. I'm only 5'8" but I do like to be sitting comfortably! In row W legroom was adequate, but still better than the Circles and Balcony."

For best results, try and avoid the first and last 4 seats in the side blocks, plus those around the sound desk to maximise the experience. There isn't much wrong with any of the mentioned tickets - except missing the top of the stage at times, just that there are better seats for the same hard earned bananas in the monkey view. The front Upper Circle is more expensive than the very back stalls - but a show sure looks spectacular from up there (though the legroom isn't as good...)."

"Row X: "Oliver!," (Rachel). Centre – awful! Such shabby legroom. Overhang of circle obscures some bridge scenes. Just felt too far away from the action to become absorbed by the show."

"X 36 and 37: "Oliver!." Warning; no legroom for anyone over 5'8" (I am 6'1")!  I might be exaggerating a bit, but my knees were definitely pressed against the seat in front and I had to sit slightly sideways to fit in (difficult when it's a sell out). It meant that I couldn't "shift about" in my seat resulting in the inevitable "numb bum"! The view was good, close enough to see the faces and far enough to see the big set-pieces to the extremes of the stage. Some of the high levels were lost although none of the main action was missed."

Yet another wasn't keen for the same production,
"Y9 and 10: "Oliver" (January 2009). I am normally fairly positive about theatre seats but these were horrendous! I felt so low to the ground, my knees were by my ears and the restriction of the circle overhang cuts of half of the stage which is a problem in this show.  We felt very claustrophobic!  I asked if we could move at the interval and despite it being a near sell-out the front of house manager was very kind and let us move to some great seats in the upper circle."

"YY7 and 8: "Oliver!," (Louise Robinson). have a good view of the majority of the stage, but you cannot see the upper bridge and so miss Nancy's death almost completely. However, the binoculars are fab; if you fancy homing in on Rowan Atkinson's many expressions, you can do so very well from these seats."

"Y12: "Shrek" (June 2011). Using Theatremonkey's advice, I sat in Y12 in the stalls, which I have to say are amazing value at £25, much closer to the action than if you were in the balcony tickets at the same price, also just one row behind seats which were £55. Definitely a bargain! Although listed as "overhang may obscure view" nothing was obscured for me, however I feel if you sat any further back then it would be a bad view."

"Y28 and 29: "Oliver" (January 2009). As others have said, it's a long way back in these seats and the overhang does mean you only see the feet of some of the dancers at times but we could see top stage scenes OK although I suspect even one or two rows back may not have been able to. I can see why Monkey marked these seats as green because the 3 rows in front are £7.50 more and the one in front of that is £22.50 more - I would be wholly unimpressed paying £60 for seat T39! If I went again, I'd pay £20 more for the best Grand Circle or Stalls seats - but like much in life, you get what you pay for and those that complain about poor visuals from the back probably moan about the price of bread compared with 20 years ago."

"YY 29 and 30: "Oliver!," (Ros). We saw 'Oliver' ( or as much of it as sitting in YY 29 and 30 will allow). The sets are the best part of the show, although if you are sitting far back in the Stalls you won't be able to see the bridge or the characters on it, as they are cut off by the overhang. We bought these seats as that was all that was available - and they were truly awful. The seats themselves are so low that you feel as if you are sitting on the floor. If you are under 5' 3'' you will have a problem in seeing the stage. Despite a cushion pad issued by the theatre, the young boy of about 10 years sitting next to my husband ended up sitting on his father's knee throughout the performance as he couldn't see the stage."

"Row Z: "Shrek" (June 2011), (Mark - regular contributor). Seats here at just £20 (at preview prices) and are great value for this show. You don't miss anything substantial as nothing takes place up a height. Definitely worth it. Would take these instead of the gallery if the overhang doesn't bother you. Obviously Y will probably be even better! Didn't even feel too far back, which was great! SPOILER ALERT I had to slouch slightly to see Farquad in his castle in Act One but that's probably to do with me being 6 ft 2! The dragon you can't see all the time, obviously, but you can see it enough when it comes a bit lower. I didn't feel like I missed out."

"Row Z:  "Shrek" (June 2011). The comment about the dragon being difficult to see from the rear stalls was correct: we were craning our necks forward to try and see what the rest of the theatre were ooohing at. I imagine it'd be very impressive if you were under it, or at the same height in the dress circle, or above in the front row/s of the balcony, but people in the rear stalls and rear balcony would wonder what was going on. SPOILERS END."

"ZZ 9 and 10: "42nd Street" (March 2017), (Tom Murray). We were in the last row of the stalls, ZZ10 and ZZ9, views-wise, well, we knew it was the last row when we booked so we were prepared to lose some of the top of the set, it didn't impact on the enjoyment at all. What we didn't bargain for was the ladies loos on the right of the stalls at the back. These were used often throughout the show, I have to say too, by staff also (!), and the light that shone out into the audience was blinding for the last two rows from about seats 1 to 14 inc, the crowd were not best pleased ! This could be remedied so easily and it's a shame the theatre don't seem bothered by this at all. It did impact upon the enjoyment of the show sadly."

"ZZ 14: "42nd Street" (March 2017). Was in a rush when bought tickets and didn't check seats with monkey first like I usually do...big mistake! This is the worst seat I have ever had and is in the 3rd ticket band...I don't know why it is not the lowest price. There is the overhang that all the back half of stalls have...which wasn't such an issue....missed a little in two scenes in the first act and one scene in the second act, also the this is the back row. A bigger issue is that the back three rows are flat and not sloped, definitely not good if you are 5'2"... although at least it did mean I could get my legs in to the leg space...not sure how anyone over 5'6" would manage. But the worst thing is that a quarter of the stage is blocked off by the sound box which you are right next to. This is not made clear on any of the booking websites. Another issue toward the back in this theatre is the 2 toilets at the side towards middle and three quarters from ths stage...these were used throughout the show and very well lit when the door was opened so very distracting during the show. Would be much better if during performance these were locked and people had to go through the curtains to get to toilets outside stalls or at the very least a much dimmer setting on their lights."



 

DRESS CIRCLE 
Called the Royal Circle in this theatre.

Layout:
The Upper Circle overhangs the Grand Circle at row E. It affects the view of the top of the stage is from around row H back.

The Grand Circle is split into three blocks - centre and two sides - by aisles.

It has a very shallow rake making row F back seem a long way from the stage.

Legroom:
Row A is complicated. Reader Paul Nicholls says row A has, "legroom for hobbits and people who were born without knees!" Another reader though felt A 3 and 4 had space and even room to put bags down. The monkey took a look and found that the legroom varies a lot in that row. There is least in the two seats nearest every aisle. It then seems to increase as you move towards the centre of the row, the centremost seats in the side blocks having a bit more, then decreasing again. In the centre block, legroom apart from the end 2 seats is more consistent and should just about suit all but those over 5ft 8 or so; two 6ft plus reader even found the centre two seats more than acceptable. The tall should should pick row K stalls, though.

Elsewhere, it's adequate for all but the tall, L has less than the others, and there is more room in the centre block than the side ones, it feels.

Extra comfort can be had taking seats on the central aisle. A strange quirk means that the 'inner aisle' seats in the side block containing seats 1 to 12 (11 / 10 / 9 - you know the one the monkey means) has a bit more legroom - a stretch into the aisle for one leg! - for the highest numbered seat in each row from row B back. Same goes for the other side block, with seats starting 27 / 28 from row B back there too.

Choosing Seats in General:
Centre Block:
Among the best seats in the house are rows B and C 12 to 26, D and E 13 to 27, and row A 11 to 25 in that order. Row A needs careful selection if legroom comfort is a priority. Next best are rows F and G centre, then look at side block seats.

Reader Rich summed it up with, "The best position to see a big show from is the front of the Dress Circle. You get to appreciate the whole spectacle. Having sat at the front of the stalls and the Dress Circle, I would go for the Circle any time."

Side Blocks:
Once centre seats in rows A to G are gone, take rows B to G the first four seats nearest the centre aisle. Then choose whether to take row H back centre block, or seats in rows B to G further along to the side. If action mostly happens centre stage, then rows B to G (away from the extreme ends) get a reasonable (just about) view.

Side block seats are not really a bargain, and for top price special occasions are possibly best avoided, but for those willing to pay top price to just "see the show" the monkey feels many will be satisfied.

General Hazard Notes:
The shallow rake affects the view for anyone not tall enough to see over the row in fronts' heads from around row F back.

The first and last seats in the side blocks of all rows are affected slightly by the boxes projecting into the field of view a little.

Changes for the current production:
Central rows A to C are "premium" priced. Your call, feels the monkey, who notes there are great seats beside or behind them for less cash. Seats in central rows D and E, or just over the central aisle in B to E are as good as it gets at "non-premium" prices.

With other seats the same price, the monkey would take rows K back last. View and distance from the stage are factors here - in particular the back row really isn't the best for the cash, it feels.

 

Reader Comments:
"A 3 and 4: (Vicky). We sat in Row A of the Dress Circle, seats 3 and 4. These seats were absolutely fantastic and I cannot recommend them enough. Everyone should see this show from the front row of the Dress Circle if they can! Reviews of cramped legroom is absolute rubbish, there is much more room here than what you would get in a normal row. In fact we had room to put down our bags, coats and sweets in front of us! Fantastic show and view."

"A16: the view was magnificent with a completely unobstructed view of the stage. You don't even need to lean forward to see clearly!"

"A 17 and 18: "Shrek" (June 2011). Paid £45 each for preview tickets (in May 2011) and the view was unrivalled. Purposely chose Dress Circle over stalls seats as I presumed there would be large elaborate sets and dance routines, which there is! :) These seats offer an amazing view of the entire stage, and the central location is brilliant for seeing everything! The lack of a safety bar means you don't miss a thing and at 6ft 2, the leg room is more than ample (there is even a small ledge just below knee height you can rest your feet up on!)."

"A17,18 and 19: "Shrek" (June 2011). The seats were fantastic! We had a perfect, unobstructed view of the entire performance! We weren't too sure about booking them after reading reviews saying there is no leg room in this row, but decided the view was more important. We were very surprised then to find there is plenty of leg room! In fact, people weren't even standing up to let others by. My husband is 6' 2" and often struggles with leg room but he had plenty too."

"A24: (James - regular contributor). Front row of Dress Circle was perfect for view and legroom."

"A26 and 27: Outstanding view, every aspect of the stage was seen so clearly and there was no annoying safety bar."

"B 29 and 30: "Oliver" (December 2008). These seats offer a brilliant view of the stage. As the stage adjusts the Dress Circle in my opinion offers the best of both worlds at this show. A major downside of these seats was the lack of leg room (I'm 5ft 9), which made sitting through the show uncomfortable to say the least."

"B34 to 37: "42nd Street" (March 2017), (Paul). My mother in law wanted to be near an aisle, so I chose dress circle row B seats 34 to 37. Overall: a great height to see the show from, and felt a lot closer than I expected. They were extremely happy. I sat in B37 - marked red on your diagram. It needs to be kept red, because although overall the view was great, the speakers blocked the far left of the stage - meaning on occasions lines of dancers were hidden. But, given that I had sustained a literal monkey-related injury (dressed as a gorilla for a school play, did a spectacular onstage fall and badly injured my leg), the legroom for this seat was stunning. With nothing in front I could stretch out completely and avoid the pain that I thought I was going to be in. Seats that are comfortable for me are hard to come by- so even without an injury I would consider these again if there wasn't an obvious better alternative."

"C 1 to 3: Don't be fooled by the red squares on the seat diagram, Row C seats 1, 2 and 3 of the GRAND CIRCLE are amazing. The legroom is plenty, in fact I could stretch my whole legs at an angle and I still wasn't disturbing the people next to me. And the view is amazing. Because of the circular setting of the theatre, you can see everything on stage (and above) and you feel a part of the play. If the moving stage is being used in the show you are seeing, these seats (or ones similar) would be my choice because when the moving stage is high, if you're in the stalls, you have to tilt your head up where in these seats we looked down or straight ahead. For £25 (heavy discount - editor), totally worth it!"

"C10 and 11: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (December 2013).We had exceptionally clear sight lines, with nothing obscured at all. Despite the scale of the theatre you felt close to the action and not detached at all. The seats were very comfortable, with ample leg room for us both. I saw in the aisle seat and had particularly good leg room. I was very impressed with the standards of the theatre."

"C12 and 13: “Oliver!,” (James - regular contributor). They are fantastic seats. The Dress Circle feels lower down compared to other theatres or perhaps the stage is just high, but either way it’s on an excellent level to see the performance. Leg room is good and the sound is fantastic from here too."

"C17 and C18:  'Oliver!, (James). Excellent!"

"C18: This seat definitely requires a 'green' coding as it provided a great view of the stage and was well worth the £25.75 I paid for it. For Shrek I notice that this seat is going to be £95! This seems an extortionate amount to pay and I personally wouldn't pay it."

"D19 and 20: bang in the middle of the row and in TM's green area too! The seats were excellent with a great view of the huge set, although it was a little obscured at times by the head of the rather large gentleman sitting in front of me. But I suppose that's the luck of the draw, isn't it? Legroom was fine, not as good as if you were sitting in the stalls, but more than adequate. I would like to sit in the front row of the Grand Circle again, just for the spectacle! Given the choice I still prefer the front few rows of the stalls, though."

"D 22 to 24: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (May 2013), (Brian). Great; legroom acceptable – possibly best area in the house for this performance. Sets are out of this world. I suspect the first half might be better from Stalls, but second half has got to be way better from Royal Circle – sets with Ooopah Loompah's and Squirrels just brilliant. If you take kids, get in early and ask for an inflatable booster seat."

"D30 and 31: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (May 2013). Superb view, and enough leg room even for me."

"E21 and E22: “Oliver!,” (James - regular contributor). Great!"

"E 30 to 32: "Charlie and the Cocolate Factory" (August 2013). Dress Circle seats were very good and had a lovely clear view of the stage."

"F18 and 19: “Oliver!,” (Anne Hysted). I bought these from a coach operator for £37.50 each. Very central, we thought these seats were excellent. The Grand Circle does have quite a shallow rake but I don't agree with the comment that from Row F back it seems a long way from the stage, perhaps it depends on the production but we had a great view, didn't need opera glasses although they were available. Leg room not bad at all, have had a lot worse - I'm 5'8" with long legs and I was fine, I guess anyone taller might have found it a bit cramped but it's rare to have generous leg room in any theatre seat."

"Row G: "42nd Street" (March 2017), (Pat Sirkett). we had excellent seats in row G of the Royal Circle - the best view ever with plenty of leg room and all for £15 (day seat price) I still can't believe it!!"

"G36 to 39 "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (May 2016). We got tickets for £25 via the "TodayTix" app. Even in these seats at the edges of the Dress circle, the view is excellent. I was worried that we would feel ‘out to the sides’ but we really didn’t. Leg room no issue and two children aged 7 and 10 could see without booster cushions (we did have a school group in front so no tall men!). If you can get these seats at a reduced price I would not hesitate."

"Row H: Dead centre gave me a full view of the stage, literally the edges of the walls bordered the set. The leg room is OK, and it allowed me to look down slightly, so I got the impact of the on stage projection and lighting."

"Rows H, J and K: "Oliver" (December 2008), (Group Organiser). We got so called £62.50 seats for £35 so can't really complain; but it is obviously just a clever way of filling seats that they have not been able to sell for the top price by giving the impression they are at a big discount when really they should have been priced at a second rate in the first place.

We had a block of seats in rows H J & K ( we were sitting in J), and were so far from the stage that it was not possible to see faces to be able to identify who was playing Oliver or The Artful Dodger." On a second visit, the reader was far happier with his seat in row G.

"J12: "42nd Street" (March 2017), (Rhys). At 6'3", sitting between two people, in Grand Circle K23, I was in so much pain I was moved to Royal Circle J12 by the very helpful FOH staff instead. Now Royal Circle J12 was blissful - plenty of legroom, larger, more comfortable seats, and feels very close to the stage. A perfect view. Perhaps quibbling I'd want to be a little further forward but this was excellent. Sit up here for this show. The spectacle can't be as impressive from the stalls."

"K3 and K4: We got them half price at TKTS half an hour before the show started (the matinee on 24th November 2007). View was absolutely fine and for £32.50 were really good value. Could see the whole stage and set really well and didn't feel like we were all the way over at the side."

"Row L: (Peter Grant). Our particular seats (which were described as "best" and appeared to be normally full priced - now reduced, editor) were in row L of the Grand Circle, but have a very restricted view of the top of the stage. They don't actually miss any action but they do miss some of the atmosphere which would be created from seeing the entire stage."
 

Dress Circle Boxes
Called Royal Circle Boxes in this theatre.

Layout:
Boxes J to P are arranged across the back of the Grand Circle.

Boxes B, C, BB and CC are at the sides of the Dress Circle between it and the stage. B is the Royal box and is double height. BB matches the design architecturally on the other side of the theatre.

Legroom:
Good as all seats are movable chairs.

Choosing Seats in General:
Boxes J to P:
These offer average views of the stage, being affected by the overhang of the Upper Circle. When sold at third price or less, they are a good value, preferred alternative to the rear stalls as they are raised above the seats in front (and are a private space away from crisp-munchers) least.

Boxes B, C, BB and CC:
C and CC offer the best view of the stage, then B and BB. Frankly, choose central seats first as around an eighth of  the stage is not visible from any of these boxes. When sold at third price, they are a good value, preferred alternative to the rear stalls.

General Hazard Notes:
Top stage is missed from boxes J to P, side stage from B, C, BB and CC.

Side stage boxes B, C, BB and CC could have speakers placed in or near them, making them noisy and further blocking views.

Changes for the current production:
In use, average at top price at the sides, a little pricey at the back, feels the monkey.

As boxes A and AA have large speakers in them, boxes B, C, BB and CC could well be noisy - and have to peer round too.

Reader Comments:
"Box CC: (Daryl). I can 100% say if this box is let out at £20 it is well worth it! (not a usual concession - editor). I've had the box to myself twice now and the view is stunning from here. Yes, about an 1/8th of the left of the stage is cut off, but  much of the show is symmetrical so you can quite easily picture the other side. I'm an avid box user, as I've said before elsewhere on this website, and this box doesn't fail to please: a great view, great space, privacy and a fab sound quality."

"Box P:  Hmmmm. I would NOT book one of these boxes again. The chairs were uncomfortable (very basic, wooden chairs) and as soon as you were in the box, you felt isolated from the theatre and the show; and don't get me started on the overhang from the circle which obscured about a quarter of the view! This was very disappointing indeed and whilst we didn't miss very much, some of the scenes were cut off (SPOILER for example, the parts where the children appear on the huge television and sing a musical number when they find the golden tickets SPOILER ENDS). Fortunately there were quite a lot of empty seats in the rear of the circle so we secured two seats about three rows from the back and the view was very much better. In an ideal world, I would have preferred to be in the first few rows of the circle. Lesson learned - no more boxes!"
 


UPPER CIRCLE
Called the "Grand Circle" in this theatre.

Layout:
Like the Royal Circle, the Upper Circle is split into three blocks - centre and two sides - by aisles.

A short row of slip seats either side extend from the front of the circle, down the sides of the theatre, towards the boxes.

Seats are raised on steps.

The balcony overhangs the Upper Circle at row E. The view of the top of the stage is affected by circle overhang from row H back.

Legroom:
Just barely adequate in all seats except row A - which is very cramped. One reader goes further in his report:
"Upper circle row J seats 12 & 13 at The Theatre Royal: I am 5ft 8, my friend 5ft 6 so we're not that tall and we found the leg room a bit cramped, how people 6ft and over cope is beyond me!". This was echoed by other readers for rows B, D and K too. One reader noted that the aisle seats in the side blocks, next to the centre aisle, from row B back, have a bit of space to move a leg into.

Restricted view seats K 12 and 29 also have a bit more, too.

Choosing Seats in General:
Quirkily, rows A to D feel quite close to the stage.

Centre Block:
Best seats are rows B and C 13 to 28, D and E 13 to 28, and row A 17 to 32 in that order.

Row A loses marks for legroom comfort.

Moving back, the rest of the seats at least offer clear views for all but the shortest.

Row K of the centre block offers good value when cheaper than the row in front but having a very similar view. Take K over J and save a few pounds!

Rows K and L seats 12 and 29 are behind pillars. They offer fair value at a lower price. If you can bear the restricted view then choose row L over K for the slightly better view for this production in the monkey's opinion. The pillar is thick and directly in front of the seat in row K, so you lean further over to see around it. Those in row L will lean less and be a bit more comfortable in the monkey opinion. It also felt that seat 12 was slightly superior to seat 29. DO REMEMBER, though, that these are restricted view seats - you won't see the whole stage from them...but many pillar seat fans may well be happy here. 

Side Blocks:
Slips at the edge of row A offer a poor view - looking down at the stage through the thicket of projecting boxes, as well as poor legroom and are worth avoiding - except for the two nearest the main house, which may have less legroom but at the price an almost acceptable angle on the action.

In the main blocks, as in the Royal Circle below, the first and last few seats in the side blocks of all rows offer grotty views and poor value with the edges of boxes intruding into the view at the extreme edge of the stage.

The first and last 2 in rows B and C if discounted are worth a thought - as are the ones in A if legroom isn't an issue. Otherwise, the rest are possibly the most worth avoiding given that there is no discount now to make it bearable.

Otherwise, try for the most central seats you can. Oh, and do consider the single seats right next to the aisle on rows B and C in particular (plus A if nil legroom isn't an issue). Always cheaper due to views through a rail, which doesn't bother bargain-hunting monkeys a jot...

General Hazard Notes:
Each aisle has a low bar at the end.

A very shallow rake makes row F back seem a long way from the stage, and annoys shorter persons trying to see over those in front.

Row D seat 1 is haunted, but never after 6 pm and only if the theatre is full. The gentleman is an elegantly dressed, white wigged man who moves from his seat, across the gangway, and through a wall. A skeleton with a dagger in its ribs was found behind this wall in mid Victorian times. His appearance during previews is a good omen for the production.   

Changes for the current production:
Centre block rows C to E, if you can accept the legroom, have it over rear stalls for the same price - on view alone.

Some very tempting restricted view seats are also available at the front of the circle. B and C 11, 12, 29 and 30 are as cheap as the main part of the balcony above. Unusually, pairs of tickets are available (normally only the single aisle seat is reduced). Slightly cramped, but the taller person in a pair (provided they are not over 5ft 9 or so) will enjoy the aisle seat with a shorter companion getting a slightly better view beside them. Two short folk will also like the two row A seats in front of these at the same price. Readers rave about them too.

Row A may notice the lighting box in front lines up with the front of the stage.

Restricted view seats at front the extreme edge of the circle are not discounted as far, but again provide a close view at a lower price than usual - same rule about the taller person taking the aisle applies.

Prices drop to third price at row H. The monkey would take the furthest forward and most central seats available at the price. View is better here than the stalls, legroom not as good, though.

 

Reader Comments:
"A, B, C and D 12 and 29: (James) The double height safety bar at the aisle affects the view in seats A, B, C and D 12 and 29. Not particularly badly, but would avoid these and sit around them."

"A13 and 14: "Shrek" (June 2011). We were completely amazed with our view. We got these seats for £15 on an offer they had in action during the previews (now expired, editor). The view from our seats was faultless and we could see absolutely everything without fail. Plus, being so high we were able to hear everything in the theatre and the sound was good! I would definitely recommend these seats and I wouldn't hesitate paying £45 for these seats had they not been in the offer."

"Row B: "Centre. Good for the price."

"B6 and 7: Leg room was just about adequate for me (5'10'') and view was great, but the very front of the stage was blocked by the balcony, and when most of the acting which took place at the front was happening, we all had to lean forwards to see."

"B10 and 11: "Shrek The Musical" (June 2011): I am six feet tall and my knees were pressed up so hard against the seats in front it was very uncomfortable. I see 4 or 5 shows a year and this was the most uncomfortable seat I have sat in. The person with me is only 5’4” and found that if the person in front leant forward, she could not see a lot of the stage. We paid £39.50 for each ticket and the person in seat B12 (restricted view) only paid £14.95, but they could stretch their legs in the aisle and their view was only partly obscured by a small safety rail."

"B12: Before the show everything seemed fine but as soon as the performance started my view was restricted by the safety barrier. At 5ft 8 inches I do not regard myself as abnormally short but I must have been a distraction to the people behind as I was ducking and stretching to see what was happening on stage".

"B12: "Oliver" (opened January 2009), (Martin). My tickets says: "Slightly Restricted View". There was only a safety barrier next to me, that's all. That is a restricted view? Very nice. At home in Austria (where I live), this would be a 'First Price' category seat! The legroom was frugal but OK for me. Normally I´m looking for tickets in the stalls, but I was interested in seeing the show and the beautiful set from higher ground! The view was fantastic, the sound was good, crystal clear but sometimes a little bit to gentle for my taste! Mr. Safety Barrier and me become close friends because he promised not to bother me during the show, and I promised him not to encroach on him as a hat stand! When you're looking for an attractive offer and there's nothing available in the stalls, ask for 'the slightly restricted view,' and I promise you won't regret it!"

"B12 and 29: can be great if reduced due to some complaints over a safety rail. A bargain, particularly when you consider the surrounding seats are often £40+ and the only other seats at that price are either far to the side in the slips/extreme edges of the circle or behind a pillar!"

"B24: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (June 2013), (Laurence T.) These seats were good, but for 50 pounds it might be worth paying the extra money to sit in the Stalls or Dress Circle (Royal Circle). Being elevated for this show does have its positives though as a lot of the action happens quite high up and you can appreciate the spectacle of the show from here. There were no visual impairments from these seats and you do not feel too far away from the stage. However, I will be visiting again and sitting in the stalls so I can see the expressions on the actors faces and have a more immersive experience."

"B29: (Mike from Shropshire). Sat in B29 in the upper circle for £5. What a bargain!!! Yes, the handrail is in your view but because of the nature of the production, much of the action takes place in the raised revolving set so you don't need to look around it very often. If you are a perfectionist and expect a clear view, then avoid it but for far LESS than all the seats next to me, it is definitely worthwhile! Even at £15 it is still well worth the money but I wouldn't be surprised if the producers don't decide to increase the value of this seat to 'one less than surrounding tickets."

“C26 and 27: “Shrek,” (Chris B). These seats are obviously much cheaper than the dress circle and stalls and it is easy to see why. To begin, you don’t even go through the theatre but a special side entrance that seems more like a fire escape than stairs up to a theatre. Once up there, the steps to your seat are very steep downwards. These seats are in the central section of seats, on the aisle on the left hand side. There is sufficient legroom (for me at 5’8”) but any taller and you might struggle, or sit in the aisle seat. As for the view, I guess it’s a bit of pot luck. If the people on the two rows in front play ball you’re ok, but we had a family with young children in front and they insisted on climbing on their parents knee and holding their hair up etc so the view did get restricted quite a few times. With it being a kids musical, it’s hard to begrudge this, but I’m glad we only paid the reduced price for these seats.”

"C26, C27 and C28: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (December 2013). Paid £49.50 via See Tickets. We don't normally go for Upper Circles anywhere but we chose these after reading some positive comments on theatremonkey and were very happy with them. The seats do feel quite close to the stage and you get a very clear view of the cast and the action, much better than I'd have expected from an upper circle. The extreme front of the stage is only just in view from these seats but nothing happens there apart from a very brief piece of action right at the start of the second act. If the audience in row A of the Grand Circle lean forward, their heads can get in the way of the view of the stage in part though. Sound was fine and legroom for 5'6" was adequate. I thought they were good value at the price and would probably book these again over stalls seats at Drury Lane at a higher price."

"C27 and C28: View was excellent and legroom perfectly adequate for two people of 5’6” and 5’8” respectively. A word of warning - the Upper Circle steps are quite steep and there are no handrails or anything else within grabbing distance if you slip, so if you’re not good on steps, give yourself plenty of time to find your seat before the last minute crowds."

"C29 and C30: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (June 2013). Are apparently obstructed by the rail at the front of the circle so badly that they have been reduced down to the lowest price bracket available. I have to say, my partner's seat in 30 was hardly restricted at all, and the rail, though in the way, didn't affect me at all throughout the show. I am 6ft and so could see over it, but frankly, I felt chuffed that these seats are selling for £25 when both behind and directly behind are going for over £50. Whenever I'm next heading to Drury Lane for a cheap visit, I'll definitely return to these! Bargain for being surprisingly close to the stage!"

"D23 and 24 had a decent view (slight obstruction due to person sat in front) but slightly cramped for legroom."

"D 27 and 28: "42nd Street" (March 2017). Overall very good seats with an excellent view of the whole stage. The bar at the end of the aisle was not obtrusive at all. Given the height of the Grand Circle you still feel relatively close to the stage and sound quality was good. As other reviewers have commented the legroom in many rows is terrible. I am 6ft and my wife 5'6" and we both really struggled with comfort."

"D29: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (June 2013), (Paul). Great view, BUT at a couple of key moments the double height safety bar at the bottom of the aisle got in the way of any action at the front of the stage. Most notably, when Charlie won his ticket... That had to be viewed through the bars... Not good, I don't think, to pay £50 to be distracted, though not overly so admittedly, by safety bars. However, safety bar aside it is a great seat - clear view (except the very front of the stage), set slightly into the aisle so no heads in the way and extra leg room. For me, as a long legged creature, the extra leg room was very welcome."

"E11 and 12:"Oliver" (December 2008).  I thought these were really good seats for the view but not for legroom. I was very uncomfortable and most others also appeared to have their knees crushed up against the seat in front. The sound from here was also very poor and at times could hardly make out what was being said."

"E21 and 22: Excellent views from E21/22. Only one gripe, the seats are rock hard and at a strange angle."

"G29 and 30:  "Shrek" (June 2011). Nothing wrong with these seats at all, a very good view of the stage. Not masses of leg room but I didn't hear any complaints from my partner who is 6'4" so it can't have been that bad!"

"H29: "42nd Street" (March 2017). £35 ticket. Seat had an excellent view and as the rows are slightly staggered and this was an aisle seat I had an uninterrupted view down the aisle. In fact I would rate H29 over the seat the other side H28 as this did not have the benefit of the stagger. View very good but seat incredibly uncomfortable. Spent the whole interval standing up to try to relieve the back ache the seat caused. I was luckier than most as the aisle seat did allow me to stretch out a little. I would, however, most definitely recommend not sitting in the stalls for this show, you need to be higher to get the birds-eye view of the fantastic dancing."

"H 29 and 30: (N Ansari). Our budget was limited so we went for these and were not disappointed for £35. The view was great and I made use of the binoculars to get close ups of the actors faces. The scenery is really bright and you don't miss anything from this view. My only bug bear is that the higher (and cheaper) seats seem to attract families, so be prepared for some added noise and rustling of sweets."

"J21 and 22: "Oliver" (December 2008). I would avoid these seats in the future. Although these seats are classed as the second highest price bracket, I would recommend paying the extra! These seats are just too far back, the atmosphere is lacking, and the leg room is more cramped than the dress circle. The only plus side to these seats was view of the stage, and even that was limited."

"K23: "42nd Street" (March 2017), (Rhys). Like all the seats up there, an instrument of torture. At 6'3", sitting between two people, I had to sit bolt upright in the narrow seat and was wedged in so tightly with so little legroom that my kneecaps went over the rim of the seat in front. The view was totally clear and didn't feel as distant as it should have done, and it was a comparative bargain at £25 - but I was in so much pain I was moved to Royal Circle J12 by the very helpful FOH staff instead."

"K 24 to 28: Were wonderful. Felt like I was near the stage and fantastic view. Leg space was not bad for me considering I'm 5''2 but my friend who is 5''8 had more of a problem".

 

Upper Circle Boxes
Called the "Grand Circle Boxes" in this theatre.

Layout:
Boxes D, E, DD and EE are above boxes B, C, BB and CC at the sides of the theatre; high up at a level between the Upper Circle and Balcony.

Legroom:
Good as all seats are movable chairs.

Choosing Seats in General:
Boxes E and EE are the better of the bunch, but should only be a first choice for those wanting more legroom at Upper Circle prices - the actual view is restricted slightly.

Sold cheaper, they represent particularly good value if priced at near Balcony price for extra legroom and lack of ironwork spoiling the view. Then, these are a good budget option.

General Hazard Notes:
Side stage is missed from all boxes.

Spotlight operators may be billeted in some boxes, providing a distraction and perhaps blocking views.

Changes for the current production:
E and EE are on sale and about fair value, feels the monkey.

As boxes D and DD have large speakers in them, boxes E and EE could well be noisy - and have to peer round too.

E, EE, F, FF, G, GG, H and HH are not on sale.

Reader Comments:
"Box EE: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (June 2013) (Rachel).  We were lucky to be the only two in the box. I disagree with the suggestion that the side of the stage was missed - it was such a small segment of it that (maybe just for this show) we didn't appear to miss anything at all. For the same price, we were also offered some of the back rows of the stalls quite far to the side and I chose the box over these because I felt a possible lack of view was better than sitting forward to be able to see over heads; not that I'm overly short, but I want to have a clear view of the stage without heads constantly moving in front of me! With free reign in the box, we were able to angle our chairs at the front of the box so as to give us the best possible view. Having never sat in a box, I liked the fact that I had legroom and space and didn't have to worry about anyone marring my view or me marring anyone else's.

Some people may not like the fact that you an catch sight of a stage hand on occasion, or that it is slightly easier to see how some of the effects are done however for me, I enjoyed this. It did not deter or distract from the performance at all, just personal interest. It was a lovely spot to sit and watch audience reactions to some effects that, if you weren't sitting in the front/front middle of the stalls you wouldn't get the full effect anyway, for things like the confetti shower."
 



BALCONY
THESE TICKETS ARE OFTEN BOUGHT BY TOUTS / SCALPERS FOR RESALE. THEY ARE THEN PASSED OFF AS DRESS CIRCLE (first balcony) SEATS - WHICH THEY ARE MOST CERTAINLY NOT!. DO NOT PURCHASE FOR MORE THAN FACE VALUE OR FROM UNAUTHORISED SOURCES. 

Layout:
The balcony overhangs the Upper Circle at row E.

Like the other circles the balcony is split into three blocks - centre and two sides - by aisles.

It has a stepped rake and is very high above the stage, inducing vertigo in many people. Reader Jean Marshall felt that:
"the balcony was steep enough to give a good view of the stage, but I wouldn't have wanted to be at the back".

Legroom:
Just
tolerable in all seats except row A - the very tall won't be happy up here in any seat, though. Extra comfort can be had taking seats on the central aisle and row B seat 38 - except for the tallest!

One person felt that, "I could see very well as each row was raised up, but if I had been taller than 5ft 6 here, I would have been uncomfortable where I sat in row E."

B 38 has nothing in front, but has a terrible view of the stage, losing a quarter at least, and rail in view, so is rarely sold.

Row L has far more than the other rows, and the centre wasn't bad at all for a 5ft 7 monkey.

Choosing Seats in General:
Remember that this is the Balcony, and even £25 will not provide the same (or even close to the same) view as a £65 stalls seat might.

Row A and B seats are sold at bottom price to make amends for wide balcony front or rails restricting views. If you can stand the legroom, sit in the centre block of row A for a very cheap and surprisingly close view.

Centre Block:
Best seats otherwise are rows D to F 13 to 27. Row A loses marks for legroom comfort and view, rows B and C because inconsiderate folk leaning forward could be a problem - though B may still be worth a try at bottom price, feels the monkey...but only if you can intimidate folk in front to behave.

The rear two rows offer very distant views from all seats, being far from the stage. Skip them when they are the same price as rows in front - the comparison makes them a "red" warning rating to the monkey mind. A last choice or as an option if you don't fancy paying less to lean through bars or peer round pillars. Do be aware, though, that L has much more legroom than other rows, so, a possible.

Side Blocks:
If priced the same, go centre block before side blocks naturally, in true Theatremonkey style!

Then choose seats as close to the centre aisle as possible, rows D to F first.

As in the Upper Circle, the first and last few seats in the side blocks of all rows offer grotty views and poor value. Only the extreme ends of rows C to E (if discounted) are excluded - because they potentially offer little extra legroom from the aisle, combined with being sold at bottom price to compensate for a slightly restricted view of one side of the stage.

General Hazard Notes:
It is a VERY long walk up about 90 stairs to this balcony... and that's after waiting outside (under a portico, admittedly) as the entrance is from the street, not through a foyer.

The front of this circle has a thick wall, with bars at the aisle ends - triple height at the ends of the aisles in the corners.

Folk leaning forward to see over these, blocking views for those behind.

Aisles have a central hand-rail down them, which irritates purists.

Changes for the current production:
The end two "restricted view" seats in rows C to E are the same price as rows A, B, K and L - cheapest in the theatre.

If going for central A and B, accept the wall. if taking C to E, take the seat 'one in off the aisle' for view, the one directly on the aisle for legroom, and take those off the centre aisle first. NOT a particular recommendation, but a way to get an aisle seat and sit further forward in the Balcony - plus save a few extra pounds - for the least picky, feels the monkey.

As rows K and L drop a price, to be the cheapest "clear view" seats in the theatre, may as well take them over H, directly ahead of them - slightly more expensive for the same view! The monkey would take L over K for legroom, though.

If considering restricted views, the monkey would take central B (or A if legroom isn't a problem) then side C to E aisle first, if wanting to save money and be closer to the front.

 

Reader Comments:
"Balcony: (
Chris May). At twenty quid a ticket in the balcony I feel that if you are  in the centre block up there it's a fine view no obstructions. Binoculars are good for close up views. The only problem is that you may want to strip naked as its so bloomin' hot up  there. But it's worth the sweating for the cheap 20 quid. Plus if you can't walk well or like me had danced the night away for 4 hours non stop the  previous night don't expect the climb to the top to be an easy one.. The view of the actual show from row H is fine but you may miss the top of the sets". 

Row A: (Astrid - regular reader). We sat in row A for "The Producers". We thought the tickets were fine with a good view - we didn't really need the binoculars much. We did lean forward to look through the bars. My arms are still hurting from doing that, though."

"A 23 and 24: "Shrek The Musical" (June 2011), (Luke). I paid £15 quid for front row at a preview performance. The seats are 'what you pay for,' so you can't really complain. You really do have to lean forward, although with the show not been too long it doesn't cause major back pain problems."

"A23 and 24: "Shrek The Musical" (June 2011). 11th February 2012 - £20 each. These seats were awful, I will never sit here again because my back was hurting SO much after from the leaning forward. Okay, I paid £20 but I would still not expect to have such a bad back after the show after paying money. I also missed some vital parts of the show as the people behind us kept asking us to move back so they could see. Also the trek up to the balcony was mad and I simply would never do it again."

"A 24 and 25: "42nd Street" (March 2017). Fantastic seats for the price £25 each . Great view of the stage for all the big dance numbers. Much better I'm sure than the view from the stalls. I would book these seats again even if the leg room is restricted."

"B4 and 5: "Oliver" in January 2011. Now... These seats would have been perfect if it hadn't of been for the inconsiderate 'Ex cast members' sitting in front of us, All of which were children. This annoyed me immensely because none of them had any theatre etiquette. But as a result of this bad experience, I will not be sitting in the Balcony for Shrek when it opens. Sitting in the balcony also meant we had to enter the theatre through a special side entrance as the balcony isn't accessible from the main theatre entrance, This made me and my friend feel kind of a bit like peasants, Which isn't something I feel you should when you go to theatre as we had still paid £20 for a seat."

"B19: "Shrek The Musical" (June 2011). I decided to get balcony " must lean forward" tickets to save money. The Drury Lane is a huge theatre but you are not as far away from the stage as I expected. The sound is clear and enjoyable. You wont miss anything from the massive stage design and the best thing is, SPOILER ALERT you're able to be eye to eye with the dragon at the end of act 2. SPOILER ENDS.
A word on the 'lean forward' note. I am a smaller person (5ft 5") but it wasn't necessary for me to lean forward. I got the whole picture. It's a fair offer if you don't mind being seated in the balcony. The climb up to my seat was exhausting, but that was only because I got a quarter pounder before the show...(That quarter pound makes all the difference, notes the monkey, who uses Kendal Mint Cake instead)."

"C2: I specifically asked the Sales advisor if the seat had a restricted view as I would not have bought it and was told that it had not. In reality there was an hand rail running a couple of rows in front of me at the same height of my eyes. I complained and was very disappointed in receiving a very general standard letter back saying that following a review of the seating by the producer before and after the show they were advised that the seat did not warrant a restricted view classification or a seating notice advising about the safety rail at the front of row A. I did not quite completely understand what this meant, but I know that the safety rail partly obstructed my view. I recently noted that your website rightly describes this seat as restricted view. Unfortunately I discovered your very useful website only recently. I must say that since musical theatre tickets in London are not exactly cheap, I was very disappointed by what happened."

"Row D: (James). Would agree strongly that row D centre block of balcony is a good buy - such a "big" show that being far away didn't matter. However, not sure how this will be for Oliver, which will obviously depend less on big spectacle and more on characters."

"D13: "42nd Street" (March 2017), (Carrie J). High up in the balcony, but perfectly placed if you love watching the dancers' formations, which in this show are superb. For the money, I preferred it to being at stalls level."

"D15 and 16: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (May 2014). Leg room can feel cramped, good view of the majority of stage as long as people in the more forward balcony rows don't lean forward. If you're seated in the balcony a lot of action takes place at the front of the stage so you miss what's happening."

"D 29 and 30: (Adam Walker). We sat in the Balcony row D 29 and 30. Be warned, the climb to seats from ground level is a big one, especially when you're faced with the curt warning of 'Showtime in 2 minutes!' Leave yourself plenty of time to get in and settle back. Agreed, it is high up. But really the seats are excellent value for money (especially in preview price). You see the whole set from here, and you're looking down on it, so really you don't miss a trick - and it's awe inspiring to see the set at work (more on that in minute)."

"D27: I was sat on row D of the Balcony seat 27 which sounds really high up, which in some ways it is but for a show of such enormity I wouldn't have wanted much closer at all, it was a brilliant seat to be honest, although it was very hot and a long walk.  I can't really pick a fault at these seats apart from when somebody stood towards the front of the stage I missed it due to the person's head in front of me, but that was only once or twice."

"E 13 to 20: ("Oliver). as the lovely lady a the foot of the stairs told us "you'll need to take a big breath to get up there but we've got a great show waiting for you once you've made it!" Only problem with being so high up was that, on occasion, you could see the heads of people onstage who would otherwise have been obscured from the audience's view by the set."

"F 25: "Shrek" (June 2011). I checked with my West End guru (Theatremonkey website and book – if you haven’t got a copy – BUY ONE now as it’s superb!) and this seat was in the green so went for it! I paid £25 from Seetickets as there were no discounts anywhere to be found on stalls seats.

It is high up but I held like grim death to the rail and was OK! Once seated I was pleasantly surprised at the view. I could see more or less the whole stage and everything really well. 'A result,' I thought! THEN the tallest woman in Britain arrived with hair to match. Cheryl King Cole’s (or whatever her name is) recent hair do had nothing on this. The ozone layer must have been damaged with the amount of spray holding it up. So, throughout the show she ALSO kept leaning forward, a phenomenon I’ve heard of but never experienced before, thus almost blocking my view. Fortunately (not for her!) the lady to my right was getting vertigo and we held on to her as she escaped to stand at the back! I could then move my head around to the side to avoid the ‘hair’. I was conscious however, not to lean forward or move around too much due to those behind being blocked. I’m 6ft 3” myself so a smaller person wouldn’t have stood a cat in hell’s chance of seeing much with giant wig woman in front!

Then to top it all, after the interval she came back with the obligatory Shrek ears attached to the top of her head resting on the very top of the hair, that’s how stiff it must have been (I did not indulge in a pair myself!) Now, at this point I was getting ‘bad thoughts’. I consider myself to be a compassionate/kind/loving/friendly/peaceful, Baptist Church attending Christian who would do anything for anyone BUT, I was having fantasies of getting a giant pair of garden shears and firstly shredding the Shrek ears into a million pieces, then moving onto the hair!!! Following this psychotic fantasy I went onto thinking how I could stop all this EXTREMELY selfish leaning forward behaviour, what about a SEVERE electric shock if someone’s back leaves the back of the chair I thought ;) Anyway at least I loved the show."

"Row H: I booked two seats at the centre of row H of the Balcony, and was initially worried about the distance from the stage. However, pleasantly surprised, I seemed to have picked the perfect row: the whole stage could be seen and only once did we need to lean forward"

"H26: Had b*gger all leg room."

"Row J: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (June 2013), (Taljaard). Seats not too bad at all, the free booster seat for my nephew was great, missed about 30 seconds that takes place in the Stalls at the start of act 2. The sound was brilliant."

"J13 and J14: "Shrek" (June 2011). Long way up but seats (14 being an aisle seat) were well worth the money we paid. The view to the stage was not obscured by heads in front, and we could see virtually every part of the stage. Leg room minimal, I am 5'9" and was just about okay. Row J, centre block, probably one of the best places to be on the balcony."

"J24: I had plenty of leg room, but I know other people didn't as the two ladies beside me ended up moving so that they could put their feet over the seat. The view was great - I could even see some facial expressions! The only problem is if someone sits on the edge of the stage - literally the whole balcony leaned forward. Actually the other bad thing about being so high up was that it ruined some effects, if you can see behind the set.

My other complaint about the seats up there - they're all connected very firmly. Normally this is not a problem, but in this case anytime the people next to me moved, they brought my seat with them - this was particularly uncomfortable during the interval. Also, I felt it anytime the person behind me moved their leg because they moved my seat. Luckily I wasn't able to notice it too much once the show started!"

"Row K: "Lord of the Rings" (in May 2007), (Zoe). It was very high up, and very hot, but at only £10 a ticket was excellent value. I have to admit though it is probably even better when you are closer."

"K3, 4 and 5: "Oliver". are just about as far away and as high up as you can get. The legroom was OK (didn’t come away with bruises on the knees) and the heat bearable. I think for this sort of production some distance from the stage is good, you can almost the full depth (lot’s of it at the Theatre Royal) and width easily to appreciate the choreography. The walkway was partially obscured as was the top of the stage meaning we missed the very occasional bit of action on one of the bridges if it was particularly high. Sound levels were reasonable, but some vocals were lost behind the orchestra."

"K20 to 22: (Teresa Gustafsson). these seats are marked red but I disagree. I admit it’s pretty high up but you have a totally clear view of the stage and don’t miss out on anything except maybe facial expressions, but with the binoculars you can have that to. The only bad thing is if you are afraid of heights, like my friend, because it’s a lot of steps to climb!"

"K30 and 31 "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (May 2013). These seats were sold as restricted view so can't really complain. Front and left front corner of stage obscured. For "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" the first half was fine because all the action was in the centre and at the back. However, during the second half a lot happened at the front and people did lean forward. The rake is very, very steep and one lady got up and left because she couldn't deal with it. We thought row L appeared to have more leg room."

"Row L: At first I thought it would be a nightmare being so far back, but the Producers is not an intimate show and you don't miss out on the action by being there. We shared a pair of binoculars to get a few close up looks at the dancers costumes etc... I must agree it gets HOT up there, and the seats are very cramped so get an aisle (not that it's any worse than other theatres!)"

"L 22 and 23: "Shrek" (May 2011). They were in green on the seating plan so I knew they would be OK. Really good view, even when the odd person leant forward. Very cramped but didn't mind as the view and sound made up for it :-)"
 



Notes

Total 2200 seats approx. 

Air-conditioned.

Infrared headsets available, working best in the central stalls - get the technicians on the current show to improve this says the monkey; Signed and audio described performances occasionally. Printed matter available in Braille. Wheelchair access via a firedoor but no step for a change. Guide dogs can be dogsat. Unisex adapted toilet available. Kept locked - ask for key. Fuller details www.theatre-access.co.uk, Bookings via www.seetickets.com, or 0844 412 4648 or  e-mail  access (put the @ symbol here) seetickets.com.  Artsline 020 7388 2227, email artsline@dicon.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.

Food: a café plus confectionery and Ice cream. 5 bars: Stalls, "Saloon" at Grand Circle level, 1 Upper Circle, 2 balcony.

16 toilets; Stalls 2 gents, 3 ladies, 1 disabled, Grand Circle 2 gents, 2 ladies. Upper Circle 1 gents, 1 ladies. Balcony 2 ladies, 1 gents.

A further ghost, theatremonkey's hero Joe Grimaldi, haunts the stage and kicks lazy and poor actors in the rear end as appropriate. Rumour has it that the spook retired with exhaustion after dealing with a problem during the run of "My Fair Lady" in the early 2000s... but the monkey cannot confirm that...

 

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 (cut across if it is not raining!). 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. 
______________________

A photographic illustrated version of an alternative route from Temple underground station is available by clicking here.

 

Buses:
6, 11, 13, 15, all stop on the Aldwych. Walk towards the Novello Theatre and walk up the street next to it, uphill, past the Duchess Theatre. Drury Lane Theatre is on the right side of this street, at the end corner. If you see the Aldwych or Lyceum Theatres, wrong way.

 

Taxi:
A rank for Black taxis is at Charing Cross Station - a long distance from the theatre. Best chance of hailing one in the street is to walk down Catherine Street to the Strand / Aldwych.


 

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. Continue down Drury Lane. Please cross to the other side of the street and continue, crossing over Broad Court and Martlett Court until you come to a four way crossroads.

Turn to your right at these crossroads. Do not cross any street. Just walk ahead down Russell Street. Cross Crown Court and continue straight on, changing to the other side of the street. 

The end of this street has the Drury Lane Theatre as its corner. Turn to your left at this corner to the Drury Lane Theatre entrance. This is in Catherine Street. and walking downhill, the Duchess Theatre is halfway along on the other side of the road. If you come to Covent Garden pedestrian piazza, wrong way. 

 

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







 

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