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

NEW LONDON THEATRE



SCHOOL OF ROCK (musical)

Take one snooty private prep school, add a failed rocker posing as their music teacher... the result is kids that rock.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Glenn Slater and Julian Fellowes adapt the iconic movie for the stage.

 

From Press Night, 14th November 2016:
Before and after-show coverage, plus an interview with Andrew Lloyd Webber.

 

      

 

Theatremonkey Opinion:

(seen at the preview performance on 2nd November 2016)

Finally, a West End “family” musical that will satisfy all ages from 9 upwards, particularly younger teenage boys who until now were not really addressed by the likes of “Wicked,” and who would consider themselves too old for anything Disney or Dahl.

This lightly constructed show takes a single premise – a washed-up layabout musician impersonating his “settled down” teacher friend to take a bunch of kids from staid classroom to “Battle of the Bands” and stretches it to almost inordinate length.

Character backgrounds are sketched in, most adult roles are not even on stage most of the time (there must be one heck of a card-school going on in the dressing rooms), and it is down to the children and imposter teacher, one David Fynn (Dewey Finn) to carry the show...

... luckily, they pretty much bring it off. At the start of the show, “The Lord’s Voice” (Andrew Lloyd Webber himself) booms over the auditorium, informing us that “the first question he is always asked is, ‘do the children actually play their instruments’ – they do.” What he doesn’t say, and that we discover to our delight, is that there is something hugely amusing about tiny (and these kids really are small – the monkey doesn’t hang around kids often, so forgets just how small) bodies holding adult-sized bass guitars.
The team the monkey saw were fun. Jobe Hart (Billy), Bailey Cassell (Freddy), Sonny Kirby (James), Lois Jenkins (Katie), Giles Carden (Lawrence), Natasha Raphael (Marcy), Ben Dawson (Mason), Jacob Swann (Matthew), Amelia Poggenpoel (Shonelle), Lola Moxom (Sophie), Isabelle Methven (Summer), Amma Ris (Tomika) and Toby Lee (Zack) do all the above, with Ms Methven taking credit for an amusingly bossy, and Master Hart for a truthful “outsider,” performances. Perhaps a slight reservation about how a boy is being branded effeminate for loving fashion, but it served the plot and the actor handled it with aplomb.

Moving on to the adults, seldom off-stage Finn rocks as he should, and is given some decent Lloyd Webber tunes to do it with. Even if some musical phases sound “Whistle Down The Wind,” “The Beautiful Game” and even “Variations,” the songs themselves – notably “You’re In The Band,” important and moving “If Only You Would Listen” and anarchic anthem “Stick It to the Man” are delivered with gusto and reach every generation in the audience, an impressive feat.

Of the other adults, when they get a look in, Rosalie Mullins (Florence Andrews) turns in a decent “Where Did the Rock Go?” and a nod to the other teachers for their “Faculty Quadrille” too.

It’s as shallow as a rock star’s promise to a groupie, it has several decent laughs (one for those who know their theatres, in particular, and some topical stuff that raises a cheer), and the classroom scenes work brilliantly.

Mick Potter’s sound design is perfect – loud enough to generate atmosphere, but comfortable enough to sit through an entire show, and likewise Natasha Katz and Anna Louizos come up with lighting and sets to keep the thing moving – often literally, using a revolve not seen in the original New York production.

Probably not for the classic musical theatre lover, but certainly one that should be high on the list to introduce reluctant kids to theatre, and even the history of popular music in general. For this “lesson 101” should keep the New London rocking for many years to come.


 

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

(5 reviews)

I saw 'School Of Rock' last night (25th October 2016) and loved it.

Not the most demanding night at the theatre but a wonderful feel good show. Given my day job, I thought I might be a bit cynical about the child performers, but they totally won me over - such a talented group of children and their obvious enjoyment was infectious.

There is a lack of depth, and plots points just seem to happen (as is often the case with musicals) and a bit of a slow start, but to be honest by the time the kids picked up the instruments I was having too much fun to be bothered. David Fynn deserves recognition if only for his energy on stage. I intend to be back with my wife at some lobby, she'd be bowled over by this one.

Sat in the stalls row N55 - an absolute steal for preview price, but given 2 seats further along is a higher price bracket I would highly recommend this at normal price. The seat is much closer to the stage than row N would suggest - it is a bit of a side view but what you miss is minimal and non-essential, and only then if certain pieces of set are in place. Legroom excellent, and with a wall behind if felt more private than other seats around. Would definitely sit here again if the pricing structure stays as it is.
__________________________________________________________

U25 Stalls was a great seat! Good value for money at £39, not worth it to pay £10 more just to sit 2 rows in front.

Gary Trainor was on as Dewey and was excellent, I don't think anyone around me know he was the alternate when they were trying to work out cast with their programmes!

Only downside was the big 'wow' moment with Tomika singing amazing grace, fell a bit flat. I feel she was mis-cast.
__________________________________________________________

My partner and I attended a preview performance of this show on Thursday evening 10th November 2016, sitting in the stalls, row B, seats B19 and 20.

The team performing was the same one the “Monkey” saw on 2nd November with two changes: Lucy Simmonds played Summer and Gary Trainor took the role of Dewey Finn. The show’s programme does state that Gary plays Dewey at “certain performances”.

The stage is set quite low for this show and you can easily see the floor of the stage from the front rows. My seat was quite comfortable with adequate legroom for someone of average height like me (5’8’’) and my view was not obstructed by those sitting in the row in front. However, for a perfect view without moving your head too much, I would have liked to have sat a few rows further back, but mid stalls rows E to L are higher priced premium seats!

I really enjoyed this show and as a fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber I am so glad that he has gone back to his roots by composing a rock score.

Gary Trainor was excellent as Dewey, but it was the children who stole the show and all looked like they were thoroughly enjoying performing on stage to an enthralled audience. And what brilliant musicianship too! Whilst the sound was loud, it was not overpowering. To conclude, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

David.
__________________________________________________________

Oh my goodness such energy. I really liked 'Matilda the Musical,' but totally loved this.

My 15 year old son said that "the final 15 minutes was actually like being in the film".

The cast is extremely talented and for once with a big new musical the sets don't attempt to out do them. With great lighting and super sound this is a must for everyone who wants to have a good afternoon/night out.

We were sat in Stalls Row L 18 to 21. Very comfortable seats with bags of legroom. Slightly to the side but you miss nothing and much closer to the stage than I thought we would be!

Taljaard
__________________________________________________________

Seats A10 to A13, Dress Circle, School of Rock, at £15 must be best value seats for adults in the West End, (or children over about 5ft 6ins in height). Right next to the action, you miss nothing, even though it's a side view, and plenty of space. £60 for a family of four, job done!.





 

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

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

Monday at 7.30pm
Wednesday at 7.30pm
Thursday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Friday at 7.30pm
Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sunday at 3pm
NO TUESDAY PERFORMANCES.


Runs 2 hours 30 minutes approximately.


 

 

Ticket Prices:

Offers May be available - Click Here

View this information in diagram form

This theatre uses "dynamic pricing" with seat prices changing according to demand. See www.reallyusefultheatres.co.uk for latest prices.

Monday to Thursday "Off Peak" performances:
Stalls

All seats: £69.50 except
"Premium Seats" row E 7 to 21; F 5 to 21; G 2 to 19; H 1 to 16; I 29 to 42; J 30 to 45; K 32 to 48; L 34 to 51: £95
Row B 1, 2, 31, 32; C 0, 1, 31, 32; D 1, 2, 30, 31; I 18, 19, 52, 53; J 18 to 21, 54 to 57; K 20 to 23, 57 to 60; L 22 to 25, 60 to 63; M 24 to 26, 67 to 69; N 1, 2, 54, 55; U 1 to 39: £49.50
Row A 1, 2, 3, 29, 30, 31; I 16, 17, 54, 55; J 16, 17, 58, 59; K 18, 19, 61 to 63; L 18 to 21, 64 to 67; M 19 to 23, 70 to 74: £39.50
Row I 13 to 15, 56 to 59; J 12 to 15, 60 to 63; K 12 to 17, 64 to 68; L 12 to 17, 68 to 72; M 14 to 18, 75 to 80: £25

Dress Circle
Row A 29 to 54, B 32 to 69; C 7 to 47; D 1 to 44; E 1 to 41: £69.50
Row A 27, 28, 65, 66; B 30, 31, 70, 71; C 5, 6, 48, 49: £49.50
Row A 22 to 28, 67 to 71; B 25 to 29, 72 to 76 (plus C 1 to 4 and 50 to 53 from 10th April 2017 onwards): £39.50
Row A 16 to 21, 72 to 77; B 19 to 24, 77 to 82: £25
Row A 10 to 15, 78 to 83; B 11 to 18, 83 to 90: £15

 

 


Friday "Off Peak" performances:
Stalls

All seats: £75 except
"Premium Seats" row E 7 to 21; F 5 to 21; G 2 to 19; H 1 to 16; I 29 to 42; J 30 to 45; K 32 to 48; L 34 to 51: £99.50
"Extra premium seat pricing" at £119.50 or £129.50 may also be present during "peak periods" and Saturdays in rows F, J and K.
Row B 1, 2, 31, 32; C 0, 1, 31, 32; D 1, 2, 30, 31; I 18, 19, 52, 53; J 18 to 21, 54 to 57; K 20 to 23, 57 to 60; L 22 to 25, 60 to 63; M 24 to 26, 67 to 69; N 1, 2, 54, 55: £55
Row A 1, 2, 3, 29, 30, 31; I 16, 17, 54, 55; J 16, 17, 58, 59; K 18, 19, 61 to 63; L 18 to 21, 64 to 67; M 19 to 23, 70 to 74; U 1 to 39: £45
Row I 13 to 15, 56 to 59; J 12 to 15, 60 to 63; K 12 to 17, 64 to 68; L 12 to 17, 68 to 72; M 14 to 18, 75 to 80: £25

Dress Circle
Row A 29 to 54, B 32 to 69; C 7 to 47; D 1 to 44; E 1 to 41: £75
Row A 27, 28, 65, 66; B 30, 31, 70, 71; C 5, 6, 48, 49: £55
Row A 22 to 28, 67 to 71; B 25 to 29, 72 to 76 (plus C 1 to 4 and 50 to 53 from 10th April 2017 onwards): £45
Row A 16 to 21, 72 to 77; B 19 to 24, 77 to 82: £25
Row A 10 to 15, 78 to 83; B 11 to 18, 83 to 90: £15

 


Saturday, Sunday, plus all "Peak Date" performances:
Stalls

All seats: £75 except
"Premium Seats" row E 7 to 21; F 5 to 21; G 2 to 19; H 1 to 16; I 29 to 42; J 30 to 45; K 32 to 48; L 34 to 51: £99.50
"Extra premium seat pricing" at £119.50 or £129.50 may also be present during "peak periods" and Saturdays in rows F, J and K.
Row B 1, 2, 31, 32; C 0, 1, 31, 32; D 1, 2, 30, 31; I 18, 19, 52, 53; J 18 to 21, 54 to 57; K 20 to 23, 57 to 60; L 22 to 25, 60 to 63; M 24 to 26, 67 to 69; N 1, 2, 54, 55: £55
Row I 16, 17, 54, 55; J 16, 17, 58, 59; K 18, 19, 61 to 63; L 18 to 21, 64 to 67; M 19 to 23, 70 to 74; U 1 to 39: £45
Row I 13 to 15, 56 to 59; J 12 to 15, 60 to 63; K 12 to 17, 64 to 68; L 12 to 17, 68 to 72; M 14 to 18, 75 to 80: £25

Dress Circle
Row A 29 to 54, B 32 to 69; C 7 to 47; D 1 to 44; E 1 to 41: £75
Row A 27, 28, 65, 66; B 30, 31, 70, 71; C 5, 6, 48, 49: £55
Row A 22 to 28, 67 to 71; B 25 to 29, 72 to 76 (plus C 1 to 4 and 50 to 53 from 10th April 2017 onwards): £45
Row A 16 to 21, 72 to 77; B 19 to 24, 77 to 82: £25
Row A 10 to 15, 78 to 83; B 11 to 18, 83 to 90: £15



Day Seats: A limited number of tickets, quantity and location at Box Office Manager's discretion, are available to personal callers at the box office from 10am (including Sundays), priced £20 each. Limited to maximum of 2 per person in the queue. 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.

STUDENTS: Wednesday Evenings, can buy tickets for £10 from the box office at 6.30pm. I.D. required, cash only, and some performances will be excluded.

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

 

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

 
Buying Tickets Online:

Other Box Office Information

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

www.seetickets.com provide a further service for this theatre. It allows seat selection.

 

Booking fees per ticket for online bookings:
No fees with ReallyUsefulTheatres.co.uk or See Tickets.

 

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, 020 7420 9778 (0044 207 420 9778 if calling from outside the United Kingdom), which has booking fees of £15.50 on £69.50 seats (£21 on £95, £11 on £49.50, £8.75 on £39.50, £5.50 on £25 seats Monday to Thursday off-peak performances / £28.50 on £129.50, £22 on £99.50, £16.50 on £75, £12.25 on £55, £10 on £45, £5.50 on £25 Friday to Sunday and "peak date" seats - moderate by agency standards, though higher than box office fees, worth trying as they often have an alternative choice of seats available. Booking fees may also vary by date - so extra bargains may be had! Note that this system will confirm exact seat numbers prior to purchase. A £1.95 per booking, not per ticket, handling fee may apply on some transactions by telephone. NO handling fee applies for online purchases.

Ticketmaster.co.uk offer seats with booking fees of £10.45 on £69.50 seats (£14.25 on £95, £7.45 on £49.50, £5.95 on £39.50, £3.75 on £25 seats Monday to Thursday off-peak performances / £14.95 on £99.50, £11.25 on £75, £8.25 on £55, £6.75 on £45, £3.75 on £25 Friday to Sunday and "peak date" seats). A £3 per booking (not per ticket) handling charge 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 seats with booking fees of £19.50 on £69.50 seats (£27 on £95, £14.50 on £49.50, £11.50 on £39.50, £7 on £25 seats Monday to Thursday off-peak performances / £36.50 on £129.50, £28.50 on £99.50, £21 on £75, £16 on £55, £13 on £45, £7 on £25 Friday to Sunday and "peak date" seats, including restoration fee. A postage charge of £1.45 per booking, not per ticket may be applied to bookings made from UK addresses more than 5 days before the performance. The "Flexiticket" Exchange Service, allowing FREE transfer / cancellation (credit note up to 12 months) of your booking up to 3 days before the performance is also available for £1.99 per ticket. Discounts and "Meal and Show" packages may also be available. Quality and Value hotel / theatre ticket packages are also available.

Londontheatredirect.com offer seats with booking fees of £14 on £69.50 seats (£19 on £95, £10 on £49.50, £8 on £39.50, £5 on £25, £3 on £15 seats Monday to Thursday off-peak performances / £26 on £129.50, £24 on £119.50, £20 on £99.50, £15 on £75, £11 on £55, £9 on £45, £5 on £25 Friday to Sunday and "peak date" seats. 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 4654 or 0870 830 0200
Operated by See Tickets on behalf of the venue.

Booking fees per ticket for telephone bookings:
No fees on the 0844 number. A £2.75 per booking, not per ticket, handling fee applies on the 0870 number.


For personal callers or by post: Drury Lane, London. WC2B 5PW
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.newlondontheatre.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.

This theatre uses "dynamic pricing" with seat prices changing according to demand. See www.reallyusefultheatres.co.uk for latest prices.

 

Seating Plan Diagram

Stalls Dress Circle Notes
STALLS 

Layout:
The stalls are often, but not always, divided into front and rear sections, separated by an aisle.

This is because the front section of the theatre is flexible and design depends on production. If the front section is used, seats can be on a flat floor or, more commonly, tiered on steps – six inches between each row.

The rear section of the stalls is also divided into a central and two side sections, and is almost unchanged since "Cats" closed and the theatre reverted back to a standard format.

The Dress Circle overhangs the stalls at row P, and does not affect the view of the stage from any seat.

Stairwells are let into the front of the central rear section, at the ends of rows I to M.

New seating has narrowed the aisles slightly, and some rows have been raised a little as well, improving sightlines further.

When in step layout, all seats offers a good rake
(seats arranged on steps to help see over rows in front).

Legroom:
Good in almost all seats. Anyone under 5ft 10 will be comfortable almost anywhere in the stalls.

Row I has unlimited legroom, as do the famous row M 35, 36, 57 and 58.

Row A also has almost unlimited legroom, with the exception of A 1 and 31 which are suitable for those up to around 5ft 10 or so.

Row G 1 and 20 are tight for those over 5ft 7 tall, though there is space to put feet under the seat in front.

 

Choosing Seats in General:
Front Section:
Centre block rows D and E are prime, with a good view over those in front and central to the stage. Some readers appreciate being even further forward to become engrossed in the action.

The side blocks extend around the stage, with the outermost seats having a slightly lesser viewing angle, losing views of around an eighth of the nearside stage due to the angle of the set side wall.
 

Rear Section:
Row I to L in the centre block have stairwells at either end of these rows but the view is fine. Actually, it's excellent!

Perhaps take the first and last few seats in N and M centre block second if you are shorter and are worried by a stairwell in front, but for everyone else these rows are a must, feels the monkey.

Rows from R back may feel a fair way from the stage due to the rake. The very ends of these two rows may be disturbed by folk clomping up the aisle, but no good reason to miss them. The central view has been noted as highly desirable by several readers who have commented.

The rear section side blocks of the stalls wrap around the sides of the theatre, curving inwards to give a good intimacy with the stage. The only problem is sometimes in the first and last few seats - the monkey estimates around four or so in each row can't see into the space behind the proscenium arch. Being further back is the way to go here and the seats nearest the centre aisle are the first to aim for the monkey feels. Be aware that most centre block seats are priced the same, though, and try for them first.

Wheelchair users have a choice. Either row O seats 1 and 2 can be removed, for a chair to be parked, or else a normal office style chair with arms can be placed there for wheelchair users to transfer into. This is a pretty good viewing position as wheelchair spaces go, though it is a bit of a shame that the old position has been removed - it was that bit closer to the front. See notes for further information.

O 47 to 54 may be in front of a sound desk, so not for purists.

General Hazard Notes:
Row N seats 11 to 15 and 41 to 45 are behind stairwell walls with a bar on the top. Thanks to generous legroom, the view is unaffected - the distance cancels out any issue - except for those under five foot tall, who will find the bar in front mildly annoying.

The "Official Hazard List" has Stalls A1 to 31 "Not Recommended for people under 5’4” (162cm)," with seats I 12-15, 56-59; J12-15, 60-63; K12-16, 64-68; L12-17, 68-72; M13-16 and 77-80 noted as "Seat at the side, view may be restricted at times." The monkey agrees.
 

Changes for the current production:
The theatre layout is very similar to "War Horse," with the stage curving slightly into the auditorium, three blocks of seats in front of it, and two blocks going out to the sides from the main central ones.

The orchestra is on a platform on the "low numbers" side of the theatre, just below dress circle height. Those on the "high numbers side" have the best view of it.

The stage is high, those of 5ft 7 will find it at around eye-level in row A, those shorter may have a problem. Still a good view, though, and the extra leg room in 2 to 30 is a huge bonus.

Monday to Friday, at "off peak" performances, A 1, 2, 3, 29, 30 and 31 drop to third price. If willing to accept a view blocked by desks at times, 3 and 29 then 2 and 30 have to be a good budget choice if over 5ft 4. 1 and 31 are decent enough too, 1 better than 31 for leg space, but the others are less 'view blocked' at certain times in the show.

Moving back, the central block rows C and D, plus the 2 seats over the aisle in the side blocks are prime stuff, feels the monkey - who would actually take the pairs off the aisle over some rows in the rear section, for being closer to the action.

Do note that there are staircases onto the stage from the centre aisles. This means there are two thin handrails either side of those steps - and those rails are in view throughout the show. Purists may want to sit one seat off the aisle and avoid the aisle seat on rows A to C, though most won't notice them once the lights go down.

Also worth noting is that an SPOILER an actor stands in the aisle for a few minutes during the show. SPOILER ENDS.

Still in the side blocks here, G 1 and 20 are single seats with far less legroom (5ft 7 maximum) but a decent view. The only real problems the monkey noted were the outermost two seats either end of rows A to E. At top price, the viewing angle isn't what it hoped for, and legroom in the outermost row A seat isn't quite there for those over 5ft 10 either. At second price, the pairs in rows B to D are about fair value, it feels. Take the inner seat of the two first, though.

Premium seats run centre block rows E to L. Fair enough, feels the monkey, just skip row I 29 to 42, as the view can be of heads in front (the raise isn't brilliant to see over from I - you do get great legroom, though).

The rest of the centre block has a decent view, but the absolute bargains are in row U. No action is lost due to the circle overhang, and they are cheaper than the row in front. U 1 to 39 are the bargain "family row" for sure, feels the monkey.

Out to the side blocks, a low rail in front of side block row I should disturb absolutely nobody. At worst, it cuts into the view about an inch off the stage floor. You won't miss feet, but may miss a lower calf, maybe... Still, take the seats furthest forward, for the most enjoyable angle on the action, and every seat at second price and below is a total steal - particularly the cheapest. The only restriction is losing the back fifth to eighth of the stage side nearest to you, partly because of a false wall at the sides of the stage. Best of all, the monkey is reliably informed that little action is lost, with most taking place forward of the wall anyway.

Early feedback indicates that from L 12 and 13, only actors writing on a chalk board is lost (so you miss a laugh, apparently), while another report from K13 is that actors get in the way on the right hand side, but that's all.

For those wanting just a pair of second price seats, it notes row M 1, 2, 54 and 55 having a particularly good angle on the action, losing a minimum of back stage corner for the money.

The only disappointing seats it noted were top non-premium price N 3, 4, 52 and 53, where the fake set walls cut into view more than the seat price suggests it should.

Basically, "the stalls rock," feels the monkey.

Reader Comments:
Will appear here, as this is a new layout and previous reviews will not really apply
. Feel free to send them by email:

or tweet @theatremonkey1

So, first ones are below:

"Row A: "School of Rock" (October 2016). Out day seats were located on the left hand side of the front row. Some restricted view moments with the school desks/chairs but otherwise it’s a great view. However the seats are unsuitable for anyone under 5ft 4inch (they checked we wouldn’t be bringing kids when purchasing and this is printed on the ticket)."

"B19 and 20: "School of Rock" (October 2016). The stage is set quite low for this show and you can easily see the floor of the stage from the front rows. My seat was quite comfortable with adequate legroom for someone of average height like me (5’8’’) and my view was not obstructed by those sitting in the row in front. However, for a perfect view without moving your head too much, I would have liked to have sat a few rows further back, but mid stalls rows E to L are higher priced premium seats!"

"B29 and 30: "School of Rock" (October 2016). Purchased at £25 day seat rate. At full price I'd of been frustrated because the desks do block the view at some key moments. I'd avoid this front side block on future visits. I actually think further back from row I would be better as you'd be able to see over the top of them."

"C22: "Schol of Rock" (October 2016). Access rate of £32.50, this was a great seat, the stage isn't too high for this show and you can see everything clearly, including the band who came to look on in the final numbers (they are on the lower number side of the stage). Leg room was very good and the kids were incredible. The stage seems more front on and more of a traditional theatre than it was for 'War Horse' or 'Show Boat,' so front and centre is best for this show."

"J 24 and 25: "School of Rock" (October 2016). The first thing I will say is that both my partner and I thought we would have liked to have been sitting in a more central position. Our view from J 24 and 25 was good, with the people in front of us not obstructing our vision (the seats are aligned so that no seat is directly behind the one in front), but the show seemed to be playing to those sitting more or less to the central portion of the auditorium rather than the extreme sides. I would also not have liked to have been sitting much further back. Leg room in our seats was very good. The other thing I will say is that despite the show featuring rock music, it was not too loud, unlike Sunny Afternoon! We definitely plan to see 'School of Rock' again and will try for perhaps stalls mid row D or perhaps the aisle seats in row I (not the premiums, though!)."

"L 18 to 21: "School of Rock" (October 2016), (Taljaard). Very comfortable seats with bags of legroom. Slightly to the side but you miss nothing and much closer to the stage than I thought we would be!"

"N55: "School of Rock" (October 2016).  An absolute steal for preview price, but given 2 seats further along is a higher price bracket I would highly recommend this at normal price. The seat is much closer to the stage than row N would suggest - it is a bit of a side view but what you miss is minimal and non-essential, and only then if certain pieces of set are in place. Legroom excellent, and with a wall behind if felt more private than other seats around. Would definitely sit here again if the pricing structure stays as it is."

U25: "School of Rock" (October 2016). A great seat! Good value for money at £39, not worth it to pay £10 more just to sit 2 rows in front."


DRESS CIRCLE 

Layout:
Nothing overhangs this circle. It is still a narrow shelf, unchanged since "Cats" left, except that the side additions, which extend down the sides of the auditorium towards the stage, have been modified.

The circle is split into a large central, and two side blocks, by aisles.

A thick metal rail and mesh runs across the front of the circle, and beyond it is a short lip of concrete with lighting attached to it, before the plunge to the stalls.

Bars and mesh are in front of side block seats too, but fewer lights.

The central block is a narrow ledge of five well-raked rows.

Side blocks are also well raked, with between 2 and 3 rows.

Legroom:
Just adequate legroom in all seats.

Row A 27 to 66 have most, fine to around 6ft. Rows B and E are also good to around 5ft 8 and 5ft 10 respectively.

Rows C 5 to 49 and D 1 to 44 have less, just acceptable to those up to 5ft 7 except 5, 6, 48 and 49 which 5ft 5 will just be happy with.

Side block B 29 and 72 have a rail forcing slim legs to one side and cramping larger ones uncomfortably.

C 1, 2, 52 and 53 have a lot less space too, though oddly the pairs beside them are acceptable to 5ft 8ish, feels the monkey.

At the far ends, A 10 to 13 and 80 to 83 have enough space for a 5ft 7 person, B 11 to 14 and 87 to 90 maybe to 5ft 8 or 9 to be fairly comfortable.

 

Choosing Seats in General:
The monkey compared the feel of this circle with that of the Olivier auditorium at the National Theatre. If you are happy seated in rows D or E of that theatre, then D and E here are comparable, it feels.

Centre Block:
Choose row A 29 to 64 (if over 5ft 6, so that the bars are not a problem for you), B 31 to 70, E 3 to 39 then D 3 to 42 first, though also consider central block rear stalls at the same price too.

Row E does not feel too remote from the action if the bars are a problem.

Side Blocks:
Watch again for rails blocking views - and consider central block seats for the same top price where possible. You may as well put up with the bars / other restrictions on view and pay quite a lot less to sit further along the row.

Even further to the extreme sides of the theatre, not quite peering through lighting as they were for a previous production, row A 10 to 13 / 80 - 83 and row B 11 to 14 and 87 to 90 are separate small blocks with an adequate view for the price. Again, well discounted, they would be fair value.

General Hazard Notes:
The view in row A is affected by safety bars and wire mesh, but the extra concrete ahead may re-assure the vertigo sufferer seated here a little.

Those in row B may not be too keen on the bars in view either, but it is far less and the stage is clear beyond them.

Bars at the front of the circle increases to double height at the ends of the circle aisles, with dire problems for those seated closest to them.

Metal posts at the ends of rows B to D also cut into the view significantly.

The monkey rates D 1 and 44 as the two worst seats in the place - enough metal in view to keep an orthodontist happy for years... and cramped too.

Officially, the "hazard list" puts "Safety Rails in sightline" for A 10 to 13, 16 to 26, 66 to 77, 80 to 87; B 11 to 14, 19 to 28, 30, 31, 70, 71, 73 to 82, 87 to 94; C 3, 4, 50 and 51. It puts "Double Safety Rails in sightline" for A 14, 15, 78 and 79; B 15 to 18 and 83 to 86. Seats A27 to 66 are "Not Recommended for people under 5’4” (162cm)", while seats B 29 and 72, C 1, 2, 5, 6, 48, 49, 52 and 53 have " Limited Legroom. Safety Rail in View." The monkey agrees with it all!
 

Changes for the current production:
The layout has changed little from "War Horse," with a few nice modifications. The orchestra is on a platform on the "low numbers" side of the theatre, just below dress circle height. Those on the "high numbers side" have the best view of it.

Centre block row A has been moved forward a little, giving a far better view over the rails in front. Combined with a stage set further back, the view is excellent. Behind it, row B has more legroom as a result too, and another fine view. Sure, there are lights attached to the rim of the circle, but they stop way before the stage begins.

Row E is also decently close to the stage - well worth taking for view, as it feels even closer than rear stalls at the same money.

End pairs of seats in the centre block are second price. The outermost seats do have rails in view, but the seat next to them is a real bargain at second price, particularly on rows A and B, feels the monkey.

In the side blocks, pricing throws up some further bargains. The first 5 (6 in B) seats closest to the centre in rows A and B are fair value. The mesh in front takes up half the stage, but the row B seats have nice high backs.

From 10th April 2017, seats C 1 to 4 and 50 to 53 are back on sale at third price. Skip them. Aside from 3, 4 and 50 and 51, they are cramped, really not worth it for the view when stacked up against the rest, feels the monkey. C 3 and 51 are the singles to go for here, if you must, with the best combination of space and view.

Seat heights return to normal, and prices drop from 6 / 7 seats in. The view, oddly, improves a bit, the monkey feels. Yes, it is side on and you will lose action to the mesh and viewing angle at the edges of the stage, but for the cash, it's a better than average deal to see a big West End show, and you are very nicely intimate to the stage. Practically sitting in the expensive seats but saving a lot by taking the high angle and safety stuff in your view.

The monkey was particularly keen on the very cheapest row A 10 to 12 and 81 to 83 and B 11 and 90. In row A, you are close to the stage, without the "double height rail" issue of 13 and 14 / 84 and 85 and the row B equivalents behind. Row B 11 and 90 it may take before even row A, as you can see down beside the seat in front directly to the stage. Anyone leaning in front of you won't affect sightlines. It doesn't work for the other seats on row B, but for the end two, it really does. Interesting at such a low price, feels the monkey.

Note that while the seats that used to comprise row C may be present at the edges of the circle, they are not normally sold and may be removed as the run continues.

 

Reader Comments:
Will appear here, as this is a new layout and previous reviews will not really apply
. Feel free to send them by email:

or tweet @theatremonkey1

"A10 to 13: "School of Rock" (November 2016). At £15 must be best value seats for adults in the West End, (or children over about 5ft 6ins in height). Right next to the action, you miss nothing, even though it's a side view, and plenty of space. £60 for a family of four, job done!." 

"B11: "School of Rock" (November 2016). There is mesh in the way, but you missed nothing at all, not even the blackboard - and the space around it was brilliant; I would have paid up to £25 for that seat."

 




Notes

1099 seats, plus wheelchair places.

Air-conditioned auditorium.

Infrared headsets available. Occasional signed performances. Guide dog sitter available. Adapted unisex toilet - sadly they could not find space to fit two, gender segregated ones. The existing one is well equipped, though. 

Access to auditorium for chair users is difficult. Users enter via the stage door, where a portable ramp is placed over two large shallow stairs to bring your chair down to floor level. 

At this point, any chair wider than around 50cm must be surrendered; and the occupant transferred into a small chair provided by the theatre. This is to allow users to get into the tiny elevator up to the fourth floor. A 90 degree turn must also be negotiated in the one - metre square elevator in order to exit at the correct level.

On arrival at the fourth floor, access to the theatre is gained by a 50 metre walk  / push along a narrow corridor (superb view from the windows!). This corridor also houses the adapted toilet. Entering via door 4 into the theatre is flat and wheelchair users have a choice. Either row S seats 1 and 2 can be removed, for a chair to be parked, or else a normal office style chair with arms can be placed there for wheelchair users to transfer into. Wheelchair users who can make the move are also welcome to transfer into normal theatre seats in that area of the stalls too. The view from all available seats in that area is pretty good, making the choice a broad one.

Specific information from www.seetickets.com or 0844 412 4648 or e-mail access (put the @ symbol here) seetickets.com. 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.

In 2015, a reader sent the following experience,
"We rang the ticket office as my dad has limited mobility. We were given seats I20-22, on the aisle in the stalls. For my parents, at £25 each for a disabled person and a carer, then full price for me at £50.

Once we had picked up our tickets, a member of staff led us out of the building so we could get into the theatre without the escalators. Led through the Stage Door to a goods lift, we arrived into the foyer through an emergency exit door. To get to our seats, we had a further 9 steps into the auditorium with a further 5 or 6 to our seats. All but the auditorium had hand rails and the staff stowed my dad’s rollator under the stairs in the foyer. There is a separate accessible unisex toilet on the foyer level.

These seats have a very good view; off centre but with a full view of everything well. We had loads of legroom and it was well raked, giving a clear view of the stage without peering through heads but not too steep to feel like you’re teetering on edge!"

No food except confectionery and Ice cream.

Two bars at stalls level.

8 toilets in all; Stalls level foyer 1 gents 2 cubicles, 1 ladies 6 cubicles; Stalls 1 gents 1 cubicle, 1 ladies 4 cubicles, 1 unisex disabled. Dress Circle 2 gents 1 cubicle each, 2 ladies 3 cubicles each.

One reader comments of the 'Ladies' facilities in December 2007,
"The facilities on our level were along a narrow corridor with the Gents at the far end; this meant that all the men had to push past and through the queuing ladies - and Boy! was there a queue. Packed theatre, only 3 cubicles, one of which was out of order. By the time we emerged the queue stretched down the stairs and they had to extend the interval to accommodate everyone.

At another performance things were a little better, mainly because the theatre wasn't full but this time we were on the opposite side and one of the cubicles had a broken lock so a lot of whistling and shouting was going on in there. Lavatories none too clean, either, the ones on Kings Cross station on our way home were much better."

In March 2009, a reader adds,
"We agree with the comment on this site about the toilets. Completely inadequate (ladies) and hard to get at (gents squeezing past queuing ladies) in a new build theatre. And it made for a long interval whilst the front of house manager ensured that everyone had got back to their seats, although ladies in our party report 'panic' amongst other queuing ladies that they'd miss the start. So might be an idea if management informed the queue that they wouldn't start without them!"

The monkey thanks all at Really Useful Theatres for their help in providing this information. Much appreciated.

 

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:
Holborn - Piccadilly Line (dark blue) and Central Line (red).

A photograph illustrated version of this walking 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.

UNTIL LATE 2017. There are only 2 escalators working. Expect a claustrophobic queue from platform to surface at all times. Allow at least an extra 15 minutes for your journey. It's a hell-hole, notes the monkey.

There are two exits from this station. 

If you see, on leaving the station, a branch of McDonalds ahead of you on the opposite side of the road then do not cross this road, just turn left and walk to the four way crossroads. If you come to a three way cross roads, wrong way.

If you leave the station and see ahead of you on the other side of the road a glass building with a "Sainsbury" sign ahead of you.... turn right and walk to the four way crossroads a few paces away. Then...

At the crossroads, Cross straight over the road and walk straight on passing the glass "Sainsbury" building. You are now on a street called "High Holborn". If you pass a church or the Shaw Theatre, wrong way.

The next street you come to is Newton Street. Turn left into it and walk along it, changing to the other side of the road when possible. Cross Macklin Street when you come to it and continue to the next corner with Parker Street. Turn right at this corner into Parker Street and walk straight on to the New London Theatre, which is on the right hand side of the road.

 

Buses:
1, 68, 91, 168, 171, 188, 501, 505, 521, X68 all stop on Kingsway. Walk up Parker Street to the theatre.

Taxi:
A rank for Black taxis is on Drury Lane, 20 yards from the theatre, if you cannot hail one in the street.

 

Car Park:
In Parker Street, under the theatre.
 
Top Performance Times Ticket Prices Where to Buy Tickets  Seating Plan Seat Opinions Getting Here

 

 

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