Covent Garden Theatres

Theatre London - Covent Garden TheatresMany of the West End's leading theatres are found close to historic Covent Garden. The former fruit and vegetable market is a popular area for shopping and tourists. Located on the eastern edge of the West End, the area includes the Theatreland hotspot of Drury Lane.

Novello Theatre

The Novello Theatre on Aldwych is a six minute walk south-east of the Covent Garden tube station. Built in 1905, the theatre has previously been known as the Waldorf Theatre, the Strand Theatre and the Whitney Theatre. The current name came to be used in 2005 in honour of Ivor Novello, a Welsh composer and actor who lived above the 1,105-seat theatre between 1913 and 1951. Successful runs staged at the Novello Theatre have included No Sex Please, We're British, The Real Thing, Cabaret, Buddy, and The Rat Pack: Live From Las Vegas. Recent productions have also included Mamma Mia!, Shadowlands and Into the Hoods.

Adelphi Theatre

The Adelphia Theatre hosts leading comedy and musical theatre productions. Founded in 1806, the theatre originally staged musical entertainment, pantomime and burletta. During early years, the theatre also became known for its melodrama performances including adaptations of stories by Charles Dickens. More recently, the Adelphia has staged popular musicals such as Chicago, Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat , Love Never Dies, and The Bodyguard. The 1,500-seat theatre adopted its current name in 1819. Located on The Strand, the theatre is a six minute walk south of Covent Garden.

Lyceum Theatre

The Lyceum Theatre first opened on a site adjacent to the current theatre in 1765. The modern Lyceum Theatre was rebuilt in 1834 after a fire. Rebuilt and refurbished several times during its history, the latest re-envisioning of the Lyceum Theatre was completed in 1996. A distinctive feature of the theatre is its balcony that overhangs the dress circle. The 2,100-seat theatre has been the home of the successful musical The Lion King since 1999. Other recent productions have included Jesus Christ Superstar from 1996 to 1998 and Oklahoma! in 1999. Located on Wellington Street close to the Strand, the Lyceum is a five minute walk south-east of Covent Garden station.

Vaudeville Theatre

The Vaudeville Theatre on The Strand is a five minute walk south from the Covent Garden Underground station. The current theatre opened in 1926, although previous incarnations of the theatre date back to 1870. The 681-seat West End theatre includes early stage mechanisms, including a thunder drum and lightning sheets. Designed in a Romanesque style, recent productions at the theatre have included Madame Melville, Stomp, Swimming with Sharks, The Importance of Being Earnest, Piaf, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, Great Expectations, The Ladykillers, The Duck House, and Handbagged. The theatre's programme often showcases new plays, comedy, musicals and revivals.

Duchess Theatre

The Duchess Theatre opened in 1929. One of the smallest West End theatres, the 479-seat venue features a proscenium arch and is built with stalls below street level. Acclaimed productions at the Duchess Theatre have included Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, Bill Naughton's Alfie, Tom Eyen's The Dirtiest Show in Town, the Royal Shakespeare Company's The Herbal Bed, and Oh! Calcutta!. The Duchess Theatre is a five minute walk south-east of Covent Garden.

Fortune Theatre

The Fortune Theatre sits next to Crown Court Church and across the road from the imposing Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Built in an Italianate style, the Fortune was completed in 1924 and was the first theatre built in London following the First World War. The small theatre is also the oldest public building designed with a textured and exposed concrete fašade after the demolition of former Wembley Stadium. Above the entrance is Terpsichore, a figurine designed by M.H. Crichton of the Worcestershire-based Bromsgrove Guild. The 432-seat theatre is located on Russell Street, about a five minute walk east of Covent Garden tube station. Since 1989, the Fortune has staged the long-running production of The Woman in Black.

Ambassadors Theatre

The sister theatre of St. Martin's Theatre, the Ambassadors Theatre opened in 1913. One of the smallest West End theatres, the Ambassadors seats just 444 people. In 1935, Vivien Leigh made her West End debut at the theatre in The Mask of Virtue. From 1952 to 1974, the Ambassadors Theatre hosted The Mousetrap before the production moved to St. Martin's. Recent productions have included the award winning production of Sweeney Tood, Telstar, Journey's End, Waiting for Godot, Whipping it Up, and Stomp. Located on Russell Street, the Ambassadors Theatre is a four minute walk east of Covent Garden tube station.

St. Martin's Theatre

The 550-seat St. Martin's Theatre has hosted the world's longest continuous run of any show. First staged at the theatre in 1974, The Mousetrap continues to be produced at the West Street theatre after more than 25,000 performances. The Agatha Christie inspired production first premiered at the Ambassadors Theatre before transferring to St. Martin's. Opened in 1916 after the First World War delayed the theatre's construction, the first production at St. Martin's Theatre was Houp La!. Other productions have included R.U.R., Meet the Wife, The Grass is Greener, and Sleuth. Located close to Shaftesbury Avenue, the theatre is a four minute walk west of Covent Garden tube station.

Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

One of the oldest theatre sites in London, the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane traces its roots to 1663. The current theatre is the fourth venue to be built between Catherine Street and Drury Lane. Originally one of only a few theatres in London legally permitted to stage drama, the first theatre was known as the Theatre Royal in Bridges Street. The current name was adopted when the theatre was rebuilt following a fire in 1672. Built in 1812, the modern theatre that stands today seats 3,060 and often stages effects-heavy productions. The Drury Lane is also reputed to be one of the world's most haunted theatres, with ghosts of actor Charles Macklin and clown Joseph Grimaldi supposedly appearing at the theatre. In recent years, the theatre has staged The Producers, Oliver!,The Lore of the Rings, Shrek the Musical, and Charlier and the Chocolate Factory the Musical. The theatre is a four minute walk south-east of Covent Garden.

The Cambridge Theatre

Completed in 1930, the Cambridge Theatre evokes a clean and sophisticated look. With a touch of colour, the stunning interior features bronze figures, concealed lighting and polished steelwork influenced by expressionist style of the 1920s. The Cambridge Theatre accommodates 1,231 theatregoers on three levels and is owned by the Really Useful Theatres Group. Successful runs at the theatre have included the Olivier Award-winning musical Miss Saigon and Return to the Forbidden Planet, a lively musical based on The Tempest. Other recent productions have included Grease, Fame, Jerry Springer - The Opera, Chicago, and Matilda the Musical. The elegant theatre is a three minute walk north of Covent Garden.

Donmar Warehouse

The 251-seat Donwar Warehouse was opened in 1977 by the Royal Shakespeare Company. During its history, the non-profit theatre has been led by Sam Mendes, Michael Grandage and Josie Rourke. The venue stages largely short runs of a variety of works, including new writing, British and American dramas, contemporary interpretations of European classic theatre, and modest musicals. Since its founding, productions at the Donmar Warehouse have received several Olivier, Critics' Circle and Evening Standard awards, as well as Tony Awards for productions that have gone on to Broadway. The Donmar Warehouse Theatre is a two minute walk north from Covent Garden.

Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House is the home of the Royal Opera, the Royal Ballet and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Originally the Theatre Royal, the historic and ornate performing arts venue was a playhouse early in its history. The current building dates from 1858, although much of the 2,256-seat theatre was restored during the 1990s. Originally built in 1732, previous incarnations of the Royal Opera House on the site were destroyed by fires in 1808 and 1857. Situated adjacent to Covent Garden, the theatre is about a two minute walk east of the tube station.