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


MOTOWN THE MUSICAL (musical - duh!)

How boxer Berry Gordy borrowed $800 and founded a record label launching such wonders as Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and The Jackson 5.

Cedric Neal (Berry Gordy) and Lucy St. Louis (Diana Ross) will lead the cast. Other casting includes Keisha Amponsa Banson (Mary Wells), Cherelle Williams (Mary Wilson), Cleopatra Rey (Gladys Knight), Cindy Belliot (Anna Gordy), Aisha Jawondo (Martha Reeves), Samuel Edwards (Jackie Wilson), Brandon Lee Sears (Tito Jackson), Joshua Liburd (Eddie Kendricks) and Simeon Montague (Jermaine Jackson). They are joined by Daniel Bailey, Edward Baruwa, Tanya Nicola Edwards, Eddie Elliot, Portia Harry and Simon Ray Harvey.

Music and lyrics for the show are taken from the legendary Motown catalogue and book by Motown founder Berry Gordy, and the show is directed by Charles Randolph-Wright.

Press Night:

Aisha Jawondo (Martha Reeves) talks about the show:


Theatremonkey Opinion:

Not available. Professional reviewers produce exactly the response the monkey expected. A few rated it for its projected set, performances (Lucy St Louis as Diana Ross, Charl Brown as Smokey Robinson; Sifiso Mazibuko as Marvin Gaye, Jordan Shaw as Stevie Wonder, plus juvenile Eshan Gopal, who is one of the children playing Michael Jackson). They also found it energetic and enlivening, even if the book and script were occasionally risible, in their learned opinions.

The rest of the press emphasise the witlessness of yet another "jukebox" musical - one where the songs don't even really serve the story particularly well. As a hit-tory lesson, perhaps it works slightly, mostly it is a few impressive set pieces with a lot of other song fragments around them.

For those in the mood for the period and music, probably going to be a great evening out, seems to be the verdict.


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

(2 reviews)

On 7th April 2016,  I saw 'Motown,' and I just now read your review (or should I say assessment?), which was interesting, and, of course, spot on, though you largely commented on the comments of others. Though I’ve seen 'Mamma Mia' several times (it either closed or is finally closing in New York), I’m more of an Abba fan than a Motown fan, so while the Motown story was interesting, the music wasn’t as appealing to me as it was to MANY others (there were a lot of fat old white people literally dancing in the aisles). It was well-worth a Friday evening.

Caution: The only think worse than a “Tribute Show” is a tribute show with a sing-a-long. The only thing worse than that is a tribute show with a sing-a-long that brings an audience member on the stage and asks him/her to sing…

With 'Motown,' you get all of the above. Manage your expectations...

The understudy Diana Ross last night (26th July 2016) was one of the best understudies I've seen. Tanya Edwards I think it was.


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
Thursday 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.

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

Monday to Thursday:
rows CC to U (except "Premium" seats): £69.50 except
"Premium Seats" rows D to H 13 to 24: £120
rows BB and V to X: £49.50

Dress Circle
rows A to M: £69.50 except
"Premium Seats" rows B to D 11 to 26: £120
row N: £39.50

Upper Circle
rows A to C: £39.50
rows D to F: £29.50
rows G to J: £19.50

A, B, E and F: £69.50 per seat.
C, D, G and H: £39.50 per seat.
Sold only by the box office to personal callers or by phone, as the restricted views need to be explained.

Friday and Saturday:
rows CC to U (except "Premium" seats): £75 except
"Premium Seats" rows D to H 13 to 24: £145
rows BB and V to X: £55

Dress Circle
rows A to M: £75 except
"Premium Seats" rows B to D 11 to 26: £145
row N: £55

Upper Circle
rows A to C: £55
rows D to F: £45
rows G to J: £35

A, B, E and F: £75 per seat.
C, D, G and H: £45 per seat.
Sold only by the box office to personal callers or by phone, as the restricted views need to be explained.

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


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

Buying Tickets Online:

Other Box Office Information

Tickets offered differ between outlets. Outlets also may offer different seats via their phone and online systems. Offers may be available click here.
Theatre Box Office:
This site allows you to select your own seats from all those available.  

Booking fees per ticket for online bookings:

£2 per ticket.

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

When the theatre does not have tickets available, it is worth trying the Theatremonkey Ticketshop agency, telephone 020 7420 9778 (0044 207 420 9778 if calling from outside the United Kingdom), which offers £69.50 seats with a £12 per ticket fee (£20.50 on £120, £8.50 on £49.50, £7 on £39.50, £5.25 on £29.50, £3.50 on £19.50 seats Monday to Thursday / £32 on £145, £16.50 on £75, £12.25 on £55, £10 on £45, £7.75 on £35, £4.50 on £19.50 Friday and Saturday seats) - moderate by agency standards, high by box office ones, but worth trying as they often have an alternative 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.

Another alternative is / telephone 0870 830 0200 which offers £69.50 seats with a £10.32 per ticket fee (£18 on £120, £5.92 on £39.50, £4.42 on £29.50 seats Monday to Thursday / £21.75 on £145, £11.25 on £75, £8.25 on £55, £6.75 on £45, £5.25 on £35, £2.92 on £19.50 Friday and Saturday seats) "off peak" / £69.50 seats with a £14.25 per ticket fee (£18 on £120, £7.42 on £49.50, £5.92 on £39.50, £4.42 on £29.50, £2.92 on £19.50 seats Monday to Thursday / £29 on £145, £18 on £75, £11 on £55, £9 on £45, £7 on £35, £3.90 on £19.50 Friday and Saturday seats) during "peak week" performances. A £2.75 per booking (not per ticket) service charge is also added. (FREE call if using Calling Plan at your chosen times).

Encore Tickets (telephone 0207 400 1253 / 0044 207 400 1253 if calling from outside the United Kingdom) offer £69.50 seats with a £19.50 per ticket fee (£34 on £120, £11.50 on £39.50, £8.50 on £29.50, £5.50 on £19.50 seats Monday to Thursday / £41 on £145, £21 on £75, £16 on £55, £13 on £45, £10 on £35, £5.50 on £19.50 Friday and Saturday 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. Meal and show packages may also be available. Quality and Value hotel / theatre ticket packages are also available. offer £69.50 seats with a £12.50 per ticket fee (£21.50 on £120, £9 on £49.50, £7 on £39.50, £5.25 on £29.50, £3.50 on £19.50 seats Monday to Thursday / £26 on £145, £13.50 on £75, £10 on £55, £8 on £45, £7.25 on £35, £3.50 on £19.50 Friday and Saturday 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.

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: 020 7379 5399
Operated by the venue or See Tickets Ticketing Agency on behalf of the venue.
The 5399 number is normally picked up by the actual theatre box office staff during quieter daytime hours. Outside box office hours, and at busier times, See Tickets pick up, and an extra transaction fee per booking, not per ticket, is charged.

Booking fees per ticket for telephone bookings:
£2 per ticket.

If See Tickets answer your call, expect to pay an extra £2.75 per booking, not per ticket, transaction fee.


For personal callers or by post: 210 Shaftesbury Avenue, London. WC2H 8DP
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.


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

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


Seating Plan Diagram

Stalls Dress Circle Upper Circle Notes
The Dress Circle overhangs the stalls at row H; The overhang progressively reduces the view in the rear stalls from row P back.

The stalls are divided into front and rear sections by an aisle in front of row M.

The front section is split into two blocks by a central aisle.

The rear section is split into a small central and two side (one large, one smaller) blocks by aisles.

The rake (sloped floor to help see over rows in front) starts to be noticeable around row F, but isn’t steep anywhere in the stalls.

Rows CC to A vary depending on which is the front row at a particular production.

As a rule the very front row could either have a lot of legroom or none at all. It just depends how close the supporting wall of the stage / orchestra pit wall is positioned to the front row.

Behind the front row, legroom is often cramped in rows back to E (often very, in most of BB if it is the second row).

Space is generally acceptable for all but the tall (over about 5ft 10) in rows F to X (excluding the very cramped U13 to 18), Excellent legroom into the aisle in row M, though the seats are quite low for the all. Reader Paul West confirms this:
"L 17 and 18 - at 6' 6", the legroom was absolutely non-existent... I would suggest going for row M behind which has much more legroom."

There is extra space with nothing in front of CC9 and 27, B7, C29 and L1 and 35 (no spectacular view from these L seats except of the boxes cutting bits off the edge of the stage, though). CC26, E6 and 30, K3 and 33, H31 and L34 have a bit more space for 1 leg too.

Row U 13 to 18 has about two inches less than rows in front.

Choosing Seats in General:
Front Section:
When row AA is in use, the monkey's main concern is legroom. It varies. If there’s plenty, the centre is a fine place to be, the ends less so, provided the stage is low and you don’t mind missing dancing feet. With an orchestra pit in use, other readers find there is a problem in row BB.

Normally, the first and last three seats in rows CC to E (first and last two in BB) should be avoided as the viewing angle offers poor value for money. Rows BB to E are also not raked and have less legroom than the rest of the stalls. On the plus side, the cramped conditions here make for an audience feeling very close and connected with the stage action.

If the front row is sold cheap as "Day Seats" the monkey is also keen, taking the end two seats last, though for the best angle on the action. The only caution is the legroom, which can be cramped depending on the production.

Row CC at top price, the monkey feels, tends towards expensive unless you are a fan wishing to be as close to the stage as possible. On the other hand, CC9 and 27 have nothing in front of them - though they don't have a particularly great view either. CC 19 has a tiny bit of extra room as well where the seat in front is off-set, though the conductor may be in view from here.

Rows F to L offer the best views in the section. Take seats 11 to 26 first in these rows, centre aisle seats 18 and 19 maximise comfort and view. Avoid the ends of these rows for the best viewing angles and the possibility of boxes / electrical equipment intruding into sightlines.

Rear Section:
Row M seats 9 to 28 should be taken before the front block by those over six feet tall. For everyone else, rows M to O seats 9 to 28 are on par for value with the front stalls. The monkey never hesitates at the Shaftesbury – it’s row M 9 to 28 or nothing.

Row P back decline in value at top price, just because these seats begin to feel far from the stage and the low Dress Circle above affects the view of the top of it. At a pinch, monkey feels them OK outside of the extreme end, but top price rows S and T may feel a tad pricy. The upper circle is cheaper, with reasonable comfort...

Rows U to X at third price are reasonable value. In these rows the trade off is distance from the stage and view. Compare these with front Upper Circle seats at lower prices, though, which are mostly as comfortable if the row is chosen carefully.

Row U seats 13 to 18 should normally be avoided due to the sound desk positioned directly behind them, creating noisy distraction for purists. There is also almost always an inch less legroom here too.

One reader also noted that standing space here is worth knowing about,
“ We got two right sided standing tickets for £15 each (when they went to a show – not always that price, editor). The only action I missed was a tiny bit of front stage right and standing wasn’t a problem, so for the money I would say they are really good value. However, this is because I was at the end of the standing balcony furthest from the stage, closest to the back of the auditorium. The further along you go the worse the view gets, until at the end you miss quite a lot of the action. The standing area is unallocated, so it pays to get there as soon as the auditorium opens to bag the best spot. Having had a quick look at the standing at the back this seems fine too, but the ceiling comes down very low making your view feel a bit squashed."

General Hazard Notes:
At some musicals the conductor of the orchestra may be in view from central aisle seats if the orchestra pit is in use (row BB 18 and 19 can be removed to allow for this), also that high stages and being at the front may mean footwork or flooring missed for choreography and carpet fans respectively. For musicals the monkey felt the front four rows at least will miss feet.

Speakers or lights hung underneath the circle overhang may cut views from the extreme end seats in row K. Even without speakers, you do have the overhang of the boxes still intruding into your view. Monkey says miss these seats at both ends of row L... oh, and they also face the wall more or less too.

Pillars at the extreme ends of rows L and S are beside the seats but don't affect views at all.

Changes for the current production:
The front row is BB. This would mean acceptable legroom, notes the monkey. Cheaper, too.

"Premium Seats:" some central stalls from rows D to H are labelled thus; considered best in the theatre and costing a little more. Your choice, feels the monkey. It does note that there are plenty of seats around them with equal view at a lower price.

Rows V to X are fairly priced for this production, but the upper circle is cheaper, closer to the stage and from row D back has nearly as much legroom for all but those over 5ft 10 or so too.

The sound desk starts behind central row V, making that row worth missing for purists.

Reader Comments:
"Front Row: (Zena). Felt squashed, without any legroom”

“Front Row: Day seats are brilliant! O.K, it is very close to the stage - however I and my parents are not particularly tall people so we were fine. My dad was worried about getting leg cramps, but I was fine... the advantages of being short!!"

"Front Row: (Frances). Certainly gets you up close and personal with everyone! Terel Nugent was the almost on our laps at one point as was Adrian (Seaweed)... It was great to do once, but next time (oh yes, there will be another show soon, I’m sure!) we’ll sit further back again. It was one friend’s first time seeing it so she lost some of the choreography etc."

"Row AA: This is where we sat, the front row, and I have to say it would have provided comfortable leg room even if we were on stilts!! There is a HUGE gap between the start of the stage and Row AA -- this is easily the row with the most leg room in the entire theatre!! The view is very good too -- you can't see feet, but that doesn't really matter, and it was wonderful being up so close, with nobody in front to block the view."

“Row AA: After having read the bad reviews about Row AA, I would say in a show like this Row AA is perfect because you have tons of legroom!! Also you are more likely to get Derren ask you to participate - so don't go for it if you are shy!"...

"Row BB: "Memphis" (November 2014). I got a day seat for £20.00. The front row is now a lot better than it used to be at the Shaftesbury as I think a row has been removed so there is now ample leg room."

"Row BB: "Memphis" (November 2014). Got two day seats in row BB. Seats were the last two in the row but had a wonderful view. No view restrictions which I would have assumed. Plenty of legroom as row AA was removed."

"Row BB: "Burn The Floor" (March 2013). The band are on stage so no orchestra pit. Also the dancers come down into the auditorium so they have to have space for them. Loads of leg room in the front row of the stalls. SPOILER However, before the show starts a sexy dancer (female) comes out and picks on a few guys. So if you don't fancy being a victim, you might want to choose a seat a bit further back. SPOILER ENDS"

"BB16 and 17: Amazing Seats. Only thing I would complain about would be that the actors sometimes looked a bit too far into the audience and so all we could see at certain points was the bottom of the face. Legroom was fine - Don't see why people say it is all that bad. I'm 6ft 1 and was comfortable enough."

“BB17: (Phongpan P, visitor from Thailand). £25 is great value: sitting in front is a "plus plus" enjoy!"

BB 18 and 19: "Memphis" (October 2015), (Alex, April 2015). Terrific seats for Memphis - only costing £20 as dayseats, lots of legroom and a brilliant view of all the action. You can’t see their feet, but it’s not a huge issue – and when *SPOILER* the band appear at the back of the stage in act 2 you can see everything they’re doing. Incredible value seats for such a good show."

"BB19: "Memphis" (October 2015). Got the second best seat in the house - seat is ever so slightly slanted forward and right; BB 18 would've been perfect). The stage wasn't too high, I had plenty of legroom."

"BB20 and 21: "Hairspray" (2007). I was surprised to see how close row BB is to the stage and absolutely no legroom at all - and I am not a large person. I don’t think I will be buying those seats too often. Think I would prefer to save and buy a full price ticket with a better view. It is far too close for this type of show."

“BB20 and 21: “Hairspray”. The first time I saw it I sat in M19 to 21 which offered a great view and enough leg room to swing a cat as it has the aisle in front. I paid £60 plus booking fee BUT the second time I paid £25 as I went for a day seat. IF YOU ARE A HAIRSPRAY FAN SIT HERE, BUT IT DOES NOT OFFER THE SAME VIEW AS THE EXPENSIVE SEATS BEHIND AS THE ACTORS FEET AND SHINS ARE CUT OFF FROM THE VIEW. As a Hairspray fan (knowing all the words, I sat there singing the whole score) these seats are amazing and a great bargain. You are less than 1 metre from the stage and for about the first 10 minutes you worry about the cast falling on you. I sat in BB 20 and 21 which offered adequate legroom (I’m 6”1 and had no problems). Choose stage left (BB20 to 27) over stage right if leg room is a problem. (The monkey notes contradictions between reports of BB20 and 21 and puts it down to leg-length and production set up).”

"CC 9 and 10: "Memphis" (October 2014), (thespyinthestalls). Varying opinions on these seats as they are pretty close to the stage. I found them ideal though you do have to look sideways to the stage a bit. This was closing night for 'Memphis,' so some of the crowd were a little excitable and there was a lot of jumping up and down (grrrrrrr....) but generally a good call - and these were purchased at a decent discount."

"CC16: Much better than BB - still don’t think they are worth £60 though - think £45 would be a fair price. I sat in CC16: good central view, although you cannot see the feet. You have to look up, but not at as bad an angle as row BB, so enjoyed the show a lot more than when I sat in that row. I would choose these seats above seats further back than row F as I personally do not like to be too far back."

“Row A: “Daddy Cool” (Chris). Legroom abysmal and something should be done about it."

"Row A: The legroom wasn't as bad as we feared it might have been and if you're fans of any particular cast member then seats this close to the stage certainly provides a good close-up view - you almost feel like you're on the stage with them."

"A15 and 16: "Derren Brown - Svengali" (June 2011). I was not disappointed. The legroom was fine for my friend who was 5'10," and I had plenty of room at 5'7" tall. Not sure why the rows E to H were priced at £75 and AA to D at just £50, as they didn't seem that steeply raked to afford a much better view (not worth the extra money to be further back in my opinion). The theatre itself was beautifully ornate, and felt very intimate considering it had a capacity of 1,499 people (or so Derren told us)."

"Rows C and D: (Carol). Stage right, the legroom is fine in these rows and you do get a wonderful close-up view of all the action."

"C11 and 12: Were in the middle of the half-row our side of the gangway, and they were excellent. I'm 6'1" and my girlfriend is 5'10" and we didn't struggle for legroom (although we had to swap seats with each other because seat 11 had too little legroom for me but ample for her). Sitting so close to the stage was a real bonus, the angle wasn't as extreme as it is for some shows, and our necks didn't hurt at all afterwards as sometimes happens. It got pretty hot in the auditorium during the second act, but all in all, very good seats (worth full price but I'm sure there are better ones) and at half price (as we paid) it's a no-brainer of a decision."

"C21 and 22: "Rock Of Ages" (September 2011), (Michael). An excellent view and could see the stage floor from here, over the heads of those in row B."

"E 19 and 20: "Flashdance" (October 2010), (Chris). Avoid at all costs unless you are about 4ft 9 with little legs. Vantage point is above stage level but you will be jumping around with the dancers with cramp."

"E 30: "From Here to Eternity" (October 2013), (John from the USA). Decent view and legroom."

"F 21 and 22: "Rock of Ages" (September 2011). Amazing view! Front stalls are definitely the place to sit for this show! Second time got student standby and was in H28 - Another fab view. Went back for a third time and got one of the £10 theatrefix (student only offer) tickets row J13 - Fab view!"

"F25 and 26: "Hairspray" (October 2007), (Avril). Excellent view and good legroom once the person in front has sat down. "

"G23 and 24: (Sherrie). We had a very good view of the stage from these seats, leg room was OK for me as I'm only 5ft 4 but my husband who is 6ft was a little lacking in leg room."

"G29 and 30: Marked as red on Theatremonkey plan but I would disagree, very good seats with a good rake. Close enough to see actors faces clearly. (The monkey wasn't keen on these as it preferred something more central, but the reader makes a good point indeed about the closeness to the stage!).”

"H15: (Mark). At student standby price amazing, great seat, but legroom is very poor, was quite uncomfortable. This has always been a problem for me at the Shaftesbury, as I find the curve of the seat in front very intrusive."

"H22 and 23: "Flashdance" (October 2010), (Michael). Green on the Monkey plan, and rightly so. Seat was a little uncomfortable (some you win, some you lose), but there was ample leg room and the view excellent. We could see all the floor of the stage, important for the time dancers were performing. I'm sure those in the first couple of rows could not see the stage floor, but were compensated by the performers frequently using the front edge of the orchestra pit to within inches of those sitting there."

“Row J: “Hairspray”. We had prime 'green' monkey seats - Row J, Stalls, off the centre aisle but I wouldn't have minded being a way back."

"J10 to 12: Had a very good view of the stage, very close to the action but far enough away to see everything without neck ache. Leg room is so so and by the end of the show I was starting to get backache."

"J17 and 18: "Hairspray", (James – regular reader). Excellent seats - fantastic view, close enough to see facial expressions and the sound was great too. Plus there was no-one directly in front which always helps a shorter person!"

"J27 to 32: "Rock Of Ages" (September 2011), (Clive). A good view at a nice distance from the stage while rather more to one side than ideal. Legroom is poor in this row."

“L1: (Brian McKinney). Paying top price for this with its restricted view of the stage is a crime. Huge speaker obscured vision from that seat for the show I saw in 2004. You're so far to the right, you don't have to stand to let others pass by on their way into the row."

"L10 and 11: Good view but nothing in the way of leg room. I’m a big lass and it is a good job there was no one in the seat beside me. My knees were firmly pressed against the seat in front, not one I would recommend."

"L12, 13 and 14: Excellent seats. Great view of the stage. The rake here is fine and you really feel part of it without being so close you are looking up. I would highly recommend these seats."

"L15 and L16: "Rock Of Ages" (September 2011). Saw everything!"

"L17 and 18: (Paul West). Great view, the rake of the theatre is quite steep for stalls, and an aisle seat which is good for me. However, at 6' 6", the legroom was absolutely non-existent. It's a good job that one side of me was an aisle and the other side was my wife because we had to get very close!!!! I would recommend these seats wholeheartedly if you are average size, but if not I would suggest going for row M behind which has much more legroom. The main advantage for me in L is there is no one sat behind, and I didn't notice too much because the show was such fun." SECOND VISIT "Memphis" (October 2014). The exact same seats that we have had on our last 3 visits to the Shaftesbury! The first times were by pure chance but this time I booked them specially. You get a fantastic view from here, go for the row behind if you want legroom, but in row L, what you lose in legroom you gain by not having people walking in front of you (a lot of latecomers on that Saturday!)."

"L17 and 18: (Beth). Very comfortable seats, but nowhere near enough leg room. However excellent views of the stage and you feel very close to the action."

"L 23 and 24: (Mila). Very much recommended as you get a great view of the whole stage without being on top of everything."

"M 8, 9 and 10: "Memphis" (October 2014). Good view. Aisle in front so loads of leg room. Seats a little squeaky though."

"M9: "From Here To Eternity" (October 2013). Yes, Row M is the place to be here. Perfect distance from the stage and the added legroom and space to the seats in front is excellent. If you were paying full price you would perhaps go a couple of seats further to the centre to be picky and get the perfect seats, but yes I agree with the monkey, M9 to 22 are the best seats in the house."

"M9 and 10: (James Coniam). We had a great view and loved the fact that row M is a walkway so our legs were outstretched throughout the show. Lovely."

"M9 and 10: Really great seats, lots of leg room as this is the aisle between the front and back of stalls and a good clear view of the whole stage."

"M19 to 21: Offered a great view and enough leg room to swing a cat as it has the aisle in front."

"M 21 to 26 – great seats as there is an aisle in front of the entire row so plenty of leg room and a great view too – get these if you can..."

"N11 and 12: "Rock of Ages". We had a great view of the stage."

"N 13 and 14: "The Pajama Game" (May 2014). Great seats! They were considerably cheaper than the row in front (only difference being row M has an aisle in front of it so there's more legroom). The whole stage was visible, seats were comfy and next to aisle and we still felt close enough to be involved in the action without being so close we were deafened."

“N15 to 18: (Cullum). Brilliant seats.”

"N21: Great view, although I found the curve of the seat in front very intrusive and I felt extremely cramped (I'm 6ft 2). Not much legroom at all."

"N26 and 27: No complaints at all. We had perfect sightlines, though we were just on the edge of the proscenium."

"O19 and 20" "Memphis" (October 2014). Probably the last row of the stalls before you start to lose top of the stage (not really an issue for this show) - fairly well raked auditorium so good view - from O19 you can lean into the aisle slightly to get a near perfect view (unless the person in front has the same idea) - decent sound still here as well."

"O21 and 22: (quite rightly the Monkey has them marked as green!). Great seats."

"T3 to 12: “Hairspray”. Great rake means visibility was good. One of the lights hanging from the Dress Circle obscured a tiny bit of the stage but not a problem!"

"V30 to 33: (Teresa). These were great. Second price stalls tickets, but a full view of the stage with the rake of the stalls meaning we could see past the occupants of the rows in front - even the small girl perched on top of a pile of coats so that she could see. Plenty of leg room even for both husband's who are 6', right by the bar and the toilets too - first in the queues for everything."

"X22 and 21: (January 2009). NOT worth £50, honestly. Either wait and pay the extra £12 to sit in the front part of the stalls or try and get in the Grand Circle. The overhang really bugged me and affected the atmosphere. When we all stood up at the end we couldn't see that cast on the stage. The actual performance was not too badly affected by the overhang, because Hairspray doesn't require a lot of scenery, but I think £50 is far too much money for the seats you are sat in - they should be at a restricted view price."

“Standing space: We got two right sided standing tickets for £15 each. The only action I missed was a tiny bit of front stage right and standing wasn’t a problem, so for the money I would say they are really good value. However, this is because I was at the end of the standing balcony furthest from the stage, closest to the back of the auditorium. The further along you go the worse the view gets, until at the end you miss quite a lot of the action. The standing area is unallocated, so it pays to get there as soon as the auditorium opens to bag the best spot. Having had a quick look at the standing at the back this seems fine too, but the ceiling comes down very low making your view feel a bit squashed."


Called the ROYAL CIRCLE in this theatre.

The Upper Circle overhangs the Dress Circle at row C. It restricts the view of the top of the stage from row H back for some productions, L for others when the full height of the stage is not used.

The circle is split into two blocks by a central aisle.

Behind the main blocks are two alcoves set into the back wall, each containing a short row of seats.

This circle is stepped, with a shallow rake that makes it feel deep.

Poor in row A (one reader felt it less of a problem, another a considerable one). The outermost 4 or 5 seats have about an inch more space, with A 4 and 33 at least having a bit of space to stretch one leg into, albeit at a bit of an angle.

All other rows are cramped for those over 5ft 8 or so.

Row M has a bit more, except seats 33 and 34, where the row curves inwards, but greatest comfort is in rows B to M seats 18 and 19 either side of the centre aisle, allowing one leg some stretching.

Row J1, 2 and 35 have nothing in front, but boxes intrude into your view. H34 has space in front too, a bit of extra legroom over 80% of the seat.

Row N legroom is about adequate for all but the tallest (5ft 10 plus or so) in seats 6 and 27 - space to the side gives an extra inch (6 has more). 7 to 11 are adequate to 5ft 7 if prepared to sit straight in the seat, 12 is a bit claustrophobic for 5ft 6. 24 to 26 are cramped for those over 5ft 5. It's also a paradox that only the taller will comfortably see over the wall.

Choosing Seats in General:
A bar running across the front of the circle affects the view in row A - especially for the shorter monkey, who has to sit "bolt upright" to see over it. One reader didn't report a problem, though.

The ends of this row are affected by further rails and lighting hanging from the circle. A 4 and 5, and B seats 4, 5, 32 and 33 look almost directly at boxes.

Row A 4 can be transferred into from a wheelchair. The monkey vote is to use a box instead if your chair can get into it.

Other seats in rows B to E offer fair value and good views of the stage.

Row F back should be avoided unless the same priced stalls are unavailable. Complaints have been made in the past about missing parts of the set from here, due partly to the shallow stepped rake.

Seats in row F back feel a long way from the stage. You'll get away with it as far back as G perhaps, but by H looks become deceptive... it's fine, until somebody of average height sits in front of you. Not seats to pay top price for, feels the monkey. The monkey has sat in K at a discount and been happy... at £65 or more, it wouldn’t have been...

The alcove bound row N should be shunned in favour of, for fewer bananas, central Upper Circle seats. They are standard seats surrounded by a wall. Those who are shorter may have difficulty seeing over this. The view is similar to a movie shown on TV - irritating bands running across the top and bottom of it.

General Hazard Notes:
Lighting equipment in view if strapped to the front of the circle (equipment, not theatregoer).

The bar across the front of the circle affecting the view for shorter folk in row A

Row A 4 and 5 and B seats 4, 5, 32 and 33 facing boxes. The extreme ends of row J also have boxes in view.

The rake makes seats from row F back feel further from the stage than average.

Rows J back seem to be in a gloomy twilight even when the auditorium lights are on. Bring a torch if you want to read the programme.

Row N legroom for the very tall, not being able to see over the wall in front for the shorter.

Changes for the current production:
Seats in rows B to D 11 to 26 are premium. Plenty of seats around them are not, so no reason to pay it, really, feels the monkey. Go for the pairs beside B to D, then central E behind them. Also consider A if short enough for legroom not to be an issue.

Rows back to M are top price. The monkey would skip anything at top price from row H back, taking stalls at the same price, then rear stalls row V or any cheaper upper circle seats, instead, as they are closer to the stage and views in the front upper circle depend less on how tall the folk in front are.

Row N is third price. So is the front upper circle. No contest, upper circle wins on view and (in rows B and C) on legroom too, feels the monkey.


Reader Comments:
"A13 and 14: "From Here to Eternity" (December 2013), (Brian and Diana). I would have been out of my seat in a flash (to leave the show at the interval) if my old body hadn’t seized up with cramp, for this theatre must have the smallest seats of all. I’m not particularly tall - 5’11” - and we’d got a superb view, but the leg room was non-existent and the width is worthy of a well-known budget airline, only their seats are a lot cheaper."

"A17 and 18: "Rock of Ages" (September 2011), (Chris B). Outstanding, completely clear view. There is a great atmosphere for this show and the front of the circle does feel very involved. The legroom is sufficient at best; however there is a padded section at the top of the safety barrier you can rest your knees against."

"A19 and 20: "The Pajama Game" (May 2014). Immediately in front of the seats, there is padding about 1" thick at knee-height, My partner's legs were short enough for her knees to come just below this, so she had comfortable leg-room. My lankier legs failed to make the cut, so I had a very uncomfortable time."

“A21, 22 and 23: "Hairspray" (October 2007). The seats were fine. With two children it was better to have the small bar in front rather than a large tall adult. Legroom was a bit tight but again worth it for an uninterrupted view. Didn't feel a million miles from the stage, very intimate."

"Row C: "Memphis The Musical" (October 2014). I’d certainly recommend the front few rows of this for a really good view, although not row A because leg room here is quite restricted. I was in row C where leg room is better, and because the circle comes a long way forward it offers an excellent close-up view of the stage. Sitting here is probably better than, say, the rear stalls where the circle overhang restricts the view of anything happening higher up — and this is certainly the case with 'Memphis' where there are a few things happening on a gantry."

"C4 and 5: "Rock Of Ages" (September 2011), (Clive). An excellent view of the whole stage but it would have been nice to have been slightly nearer the action. You also miss out in the circle on some of the audience interaction. A good rake and adequate legroom."

"C10: "Burn the Floor" (March 2013). There's a pretty good view from here as you're far enough back to avoid the rail, but still close enough to have a good view. Decent leg room. As the seat number would suggest, it's a bit to the side, but not a problem. Although I wouldn't want to be at the end of the row. It was a particularly good seat with this show being all dance as the elevated position allows a perfect view of the formations. As I recall, the rake of the stalls is nothing exceptional at this theatre so the higher position was perfect."

"D6: Have now seen this show from front row Stalls, 4th row upper circle and this time I managed to get a £22.50 student ticket. I think this provides the best view. You can see all facial expressions but still get the good overview of the stage, although normally they would be double the price of the other seats. Depends what you want to get out of the show if you don't have the luxury of student standbys."

"D12 and 13: (Clive). About as good a view of the whole stage as it is possible to get with a good rake and adequate legroom. The atmosphere for this show is better in the stalls, however."

“Row E: (David). E is a great view (£62.50 seats). Did take my own small binoculars to get head and shoulders views."

“E19 to 22: (Frances). We had good seats, not much leg room but that was to be expected really - great view of the whole stage."

"F 23 and 24: "Memphis" (October 2014) (Mark Lane). It's a real nightmare to negotiate you way into the auditorium if your in the higher numbered seats.
Dress circle views from row F are great. Not far enough away to feel out of it and you can see the whole stage including the front of it and no problem with heads in front. But the seats, are uncomfortable and the legroom virtually non existent and this monkey only has short legs. (27 inch inside leg)."

"G21 and 22: "From Here to Eternity" (December 2013). These are excellent seats. Good view (OK it helped there was no-one in front of us that evening, but the rake is steep enough to clear the heads of all but the tallest theatre-goers and completely clears the front guardrail), giving a view of the entire stage. They are also far enough forward to avoid problems with the top of the stage being cut off by the overhang of the Upper Circle. The seats are comfortable with a decent amount of legroom – neither of us felt the need to fidget until right toward the end of the show (and ‘From Here to Eternity’ is a long show)."

“H7 and 8: (Ali P). Our seats provided a good view of the whole stage and the overhang from the next tier of seating did not obstruct any of our view for the show we saw. The rake is not particularly steep so vertically challenged souls of whatever age, might struggle (we are both over 5'10"). Leg room was adequate, better than some West End Theatres."

“J29: "Rock Of Ages" (September 2011). A sharp point in the armrest of this seat. (Kept him awake for the show, anyway... notes the monkey).”

“Row M: “Hairspray”. Got offered these (usually £60) for £25 each at a preview in October 2007. Great seats, perfect view, OK. leg room. If I`d have paid £60 I would have felt short changed, these are more £50 in my opinion - in fact the last 2 or 3 rows of Circle should be £50 - but nevertheless you see everything."

“M3 and 4: "Hairspray”. These were OK seats, as you could see the stage and there was a clear view of the whole thing. Unfortunately we had two giants sitting in front of us - and these guys were like 6’4 and about 22 stone - so it was hard to see around them. Luckily we had a free seat next to us so managed to stagger our seating for the second half and then had a much better view. We were lucky as we had discounts on these seats so we didn’t pay the £60 face value... the disgruntled couple sitting next to us really felt cheated sitting so far back for £60 and it seems unfair when really you can sit down in the front rows for the same price. These seats really should be £50 max."

Dress Circle Boxes

A, B, E and F are between the stage and Dress Circle at Dress Circle level.

Boxes A and B have 3 seats each, E and F have two.

A and E can take a wheelchair each.

Acceptable, as movable chairs are used.

Choosing Seats in General:
All boxes offer a sideways on view of the stage with the nearest edges not visible.

All offer just fair value at second price, though are expensive at top price.

General Hazard Notes:
Side view, missing the nearside stage.

Boxes may be blasted by the noise if speakers are nearby.

Changes for the current production:
Top price, very average, feels the monkey.

Reader Comments:
Box B: "The Pajama Game." (May 2014). Very comfortable and has a good view, but for this production the sound for the songs was not good at all. We could hear the music very well, but struggled to hear the words they were singing."


Called the GRAND CIRCLE in this theatre.

This is moderately high above the stage.

The circle is divided into central and side blocks by aisles.

It has a fairly shallow stepped rake.

Poor in row A, for everybody.

Rows B and C have a little more than row A.

Rows D to H are adequate for all but the taller over 5ft 11 or so.

Row J (for some reason, J25 in particular) has very generous legroom for all, except seats 14 to 24 where the row is fixed a bit too far from the back wall and curves slightly inwards too.

Choosing Seats in General:
End of aisle rails affect the view from rows A, B and C seats 13, 14, 24 and 25. Seats B and C 4 and 34 may notice things a bit too - purists beware. C 13, 14, 24 and 25 were least affected, the monkey felt, yet are often discounted in the same way as those in front... making them a fair bargain indeed.

Other aisle end rails won't be noticed by most, and the centre rail is just "there" and not particularly intrusive for them too.
Officially, row A has "restricted views" - the monkey didn't notice a particular problem, though. A reader felt annoyed about the rails, but agreed they didn't affect her enjoyment at all. This row is also cheaper, so worth a punt except where the rails are double height on the aisle, perhaps.

In all rows seats 10 to 28 provide acceptable views of the stage and are preferable to other seats at the ends of the row - except where bars are mentioned above.

At third price row B is fairest value.

Row D back does feel a way from the stage, and the shallow rake enhances this feeling. Usually, both it and row E's price policy compensates well for this. If they are the same price as seats further forward... either go further forward, feels the monkey or save cash and sit two rows behind, still getting a similar view.

If taking that second option, take row G first – the centre seats if lighting isn’t placed there, the sides if it is.

Note that rows H and J seats 14 to 24 are often replaced by lighting positions, monkey advice is to skip row G 14 to 24 if that kind of issue bothers you as G 14 to 24 are affected. The monkey would skip seats directly nearby, but feels most won't notice much.

Back row J may be a long way back, but is a comfortable budget option even for the tall – and you can sit as upright as you like without having anybody behind you to moan, either.

General Hazard Notes:
Metal safety bars at the ends of the central aisle affect the views in rows A, B and C seats 13, 14, 24 and 25, plus B and C 4 and 34. C 13, 14, 24 and 25 were least affected, the monkey felt.

Other aisle end rails won't be noticed by most, as they are fairly low.

Rows H and J seats 14 to 24 are often replaced by lighting positions.

Seats are quite low, so the tall my find their knees at ear level when seated.

Changes for the current production:
End aisle seats are not discounted for having rails in view. Skip aisle seats in rows A and B to avoid this.

Rows A to C are third price. The view is better than more expensive rear stalls, comfort about the same - though stalls let you get feet under the seat in front, which tall folk find more comfortable.

Prices drop further at row D, and legroom increases a bit. The monkey likes D 15 to 23 in particular. Prices do also drop again at row G, though - making G 10 to 13 and 25 to 28 very attractive. Almost as good a view as D, and far cheaper than row C... Just note that spotlight places behind J are used, so purists may wish to avoid central G.

Don't be afraid to take row J for legroom comfort at the same price. Do note that there is less legroom in seats J 14 and 24 if used, as the seats have been fixed a bit further forward than usual in front of the back wall.



Reader Comments:
"A21 to 24: (Steph Nicholls). As expected the view was sometimes obscured by the safety bar, however this was easily solved by the recently invented technique known as ‘leaning forward’ and it didn’t bother me at all. Ideally I would have preferred to be in the Dress Circle as I sometimes felt a bit detached from the action, but overall a good view."

"B26 to 31: “Hairspray”. We got an offer on these including dinner for £28.50, a really great deal. The seats were really good, a really clear view of the stage, and felt pretty close even though we were in the upper circle, and I think for Hairspray which has lots of dancing and big numbers it’s quite good to be high up."

"D18: (James). As the monkey says, this is a great seat for the money, great view of the stage."

“D22 and 23: "Hairspray" (November 2007). Would definitely rate green for value. Fantastic seats for £30 considering the row in front of us paid £40! Felt a lot closer to the stage in this theatre than upper circles in other theatres. Am going again next year and we are going to try and get the same seats!"

"D30 and 31: I'm 5ft 8 and found them great seats, but wondering is £22.50 ones would be the same kind of view for cheaper."

"D31 and 32: No problem with the view at all. Saw everything from facial expressions to the tiniest foot movement. And also very comfortable, lots of leg room available. As the seats in front are £10 more expensive, why go for them? Stick to row D it's closer to the action and doesn't bankrupt your wallets. Also the person in front of me was about 6ft (and I am 5ft 7), and I could still see over the top of his head! Was amazed, because that never happens!"

"G3: I think the upper circle at this theatre is one of the better ones. You don't feel disengaged from the performance and the view is very good!"

“J6: (David). Comfortable seats, lots of leg-room and perfect vision. I can't think of a more comfortable top tier. Not having previously visited the Shaftsbury. My seat was fourth from the end but with a perfect view. Because of the theatre's moderate size I did not feel at all detached from the action."


Upper Circle Boxes
Boxes C, D, H and G are above boxes A, B, E and F, between the stage and Upper Circle at Upper Circle level.

Boxes C and D have 3 seats each, G and H have two.

Acceptable, as movable chairs are used.

Choosing Seats in General:
C, D, H and G all offer a sideways on view of the stage with the nearest edges not visible.

All offer just fair value at second price if sold, expensive at top price.

General Hazard Notes:
Side view, losing the nearest edge.

Boxes may be noisy if huge speakers are sited directly underneath (and the monkey doesn't mean a fat politician...)

Changes for the current production:
On sale at second price. About average, with the advantage of privacy and comfort, feels the monkey.

Reader Comments:



Total 1404 seats plus 28 standing in the rear stalls.

Air-cooled auditorium. One reader found it very hot, even on a cool September evening, though. Another adds,
"The only downside I found to the theatre, is because it seems to have been built in a big underground pit, was it got very hot in the auditorium, and the exits were very narrow and channelled everyone through the same walkways so it took a long time to get out."

Infrared headsets available, signed and audio described performances occasionally. Guide dogs welcome in auditorium or dog sat. Braille and taped information available. Wheelchair points in Boxes A and B if chairs can get down three steps. Transfer to seat in Dress Circle row A also possible. Adapted toilet available - but the door opens inwards! Fuller details, or Artsline 020 7388 2227, email 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.

A translation unit, providing live caption translations in 8 languages is available for hire at the venue, priced £6.

No food except Ice cream and confectionery.

Five bars; Foyer, Stalls, 2 in the Dress Circle and one in the Upper Circle.

8 Toilets; Foyer 1 ladies 3 cubicles; Stalls 1 gents 2 cubicles, 1 ladies 5 cubicles; Dress Circle 2 gents 2 cubicles each, 1 ladies 3 cubicles; Upper Circle 1 gents 2 cubicles, 1 ladies 3 cubicles.

A reader adds,
"Stage Dooring – The young people crowed the stage door while the older generation stand on the other side of the road waiting for “THE BALL”. All the cast are really friendly and willing to sign autographs and pose for pictures. Most of them also like a bit of a chat as well."


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) or Tottenham Court Road - Central Line (red) and Northern Line (black).

A photographic illustrated walking route from Tottenham Court Road Station is available by clicking here.

The route below is from HOLBORN Station. A photographic illustrated version of these directions is also available by clicking here.

There are two exits from Holborn 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 entering "High Holborn". If you pass a church or the Shaw Theatre, wrong way.

Cross Newton Street. 

Beyond this, the road splits in two around a building, so be careful. You need the LEFT fork. You are already on the correct side of the street to take this fork, so follow the road as it curves. BUT...remember that once you have taken this fork, you need to change to the other side of the road.

Once changed to the other side of the road, keep walking straight on as the street changes name to St Giles High Street without any signs! Cross New Oxford Street, Museum Street and Grape Street. The theatre is ahead of you on the right.

In 2010, reader Michael says,
"This was my first visit to this theatre and used the Monkey directions from Holborn Underground Station, and spot on they were. It took only 4 minutes even with my wife walking in boots with 'heels' !!"


8, 10, 14, 19, 22A, 22B, 24, 25, 29, 38, 40, 55, 73, 134, 176 all stop nearby.


Best chance of hailing one is in the street outside, where there is also a rank space for them, or walk up High Holborn towards the underground station.


Car Park:
Museum Street. On leaving the car park, turn to your right, walk to the end of the street and turn right. Walk on, crossing Grape Street. The theatre is ahead of you on the right.

The theatre sometimes have deals with this car park for cheap parking. Check with the box office in advance or on arrival at the merchandise stall.

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










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