The Shaftesbury Theatre is a west-end theatre situated on Shaftesbury Avenue close to Covent Garden.
The theatre was designed by Bertie Crewe for Walter and Frederick Melville and opened in December 1911 with a production of 'The Three Musketeers' as 'The New Prince's Theatre' which was then changed to 'The Prince's Theatre' in 1914.
The Prince's Theatre was the last theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue to be built, and is located slightly out of the main theatre district near New Oxford Street, which perhaps explains the many gaps between performances during its early years. It did enjoy considerable success in 1919 with an 18 week season of by Gilbert and Sullivan operas presented by the 'D'Oyly Carte Opera Company' which became a regular attraction at the venue in the 1920s, along with runs of productions transferred from other venues in the west-end. Basil Rathbone performed at the Prince's Theatre in May 1933 in a revival of 'Diplomacy' and 'The Rose Of Persia' was revived at the venue in 1935.
EMI bought the theatre in 1962, and it became the 'Shaftesbury Theatre' the year after. Broadway productions were transferred to the theatre that brought commercial success in the 1960's including 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes', and 'How To Succeed Without Trying'.
A section of the ceiling collapsed in July 1973, forcing the closure of the musical 'Hair', after 1,998 performances, and the theatre almost fell victim to redevelopment, but was saved by a campaign by Equity and placed on the 'Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest'. The theatre received a Grade II listing by English Heritage in 1974.
The theatre reopened with a production of 'West Side Story' the following year, and long runs in the 1980s included 'They're Playing Our Song', and 'Follies'. While the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden was being redeveloped in the late 1990s, the Shaftesbury Theatre was regularly booked as an alternative venue for performances.
The venue has been owned by 'The Theatre of Comedy Company' since 1984. In 2006, the 1,400 seat theatre underwent an extensive internal refurbishment, with the auditorium being both reseated and recarpeted, and the front of house areas redecorated. Since its reopening, the theatre has hosted several successful musicals, including 'Hairspray', 'Flashdance The Musical' and ' Rock Of Ages'. The current show performing at the venue is '& Juliet'
Tickets to all productions at the Shaftesbury Theatre can be booked securely through this website.
Where Is The Best Section Of The Theatre To Book Tickets To The Shaftesbury Theatre?
This will depend heavily on your personal budget. There are three tiers in the Shaftesbury Theatre and many different pricing bands with the most expensive unsurprisingly being the front and centre seats in both the stalls and dress circle. The stalls section on the ground floor features four separate price bands for tickets but very few seats with a restricted view so there is definitely value to be had for midweek and off peak performances in the cheaper seats. There are also different price bands in both the dress circle and the upper circle offering good choices with clear views of the stage that should suit most budgets.
Can I Book Discount Tickets To The Shaftesbury Theatre?
During quiet and off peak weeks such as November, January and February and the weeks that follow on from half term and school holidays there is usually a downward movement in West End prices and discount tickets can sometimes be found both online and through the official retail outlets in and around Leicester Square if you look. It is advisable to always check the seating plan for full transparency before booking but with very few restricted view seats in the Shaftesbury Theatre, there is often value to be found.
Why Is There A Booking Fee Added To My Tickets To The Shaftesbury Theatre?
If you are looking to book tickets online through a third party website during busy periods such as school holidays and at weekends then there is a good chance that there will be a booking fee attached as the producers of the show will be looking to secure as much revenue as possible and will therefore be charging the agents themselves the full face value of the tickets. This means that online ticket agents are forced to charge a booking fee to make a profit. During quieter periods however producers will sometimes sell tickets to agents at a discounted rate which enables them to retail these tickets to those performances at a discount to the consumer.
Should I Avoid Upper Circle Tickets To The Shaftesbury Theatre?
The tickets in the upper circle do come in several different price ranges and there is very little restricted view seating but they are situated on the second floor and certainly during quiet periods and for midweek performances there seems to be better value at the rear of the stalls rather than the front and sides of the upper circle? If you are booking during peak periods and at weekends though then studying the seating plan and looking for value can bring big savings in the upper circle so they should not be dismissed without inspection.
Seating PlanShaftesbury Theatre Seating Plan
Address210 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8DP
Tottenham Court Road
Directions from nearest tube
(5mins) Turn right onto New Oxford Street (past the Dominion) for 200 metres, and then turn right onto Shaftesbury Avenue, where the theatre will be on your left 100 metres down.
King's Cross St Pancras
(Tottenham Court Road Station) 8, 29, 55, 134, 176, 242, 390; (Museum St) 1, 19, 25, 38, 98
Night Bus Numbers
(Tottenham Court Road Station) 134, 176, 242, 390, N8, N29, N35, N41, N55, N68, N98, N121, N253; (Museum St) 25, N1, N19, N38, N207
Holborn, Selkirk House Museum Street (5mins)
Within Congestion Zone