The Sondheim Theatre (formally Queen's Theatre) is a west-end theatre situated on Shaftesbury Avenue. The theatre opened in October 1907 as a twin to the neighbouring 'Gielgud Theatre', both designed by W.G.R. Sprague. The building was Grade II listed in 1972 by English Heritage and an extensive refurbishment was undertaken in 2009 which increased capacity with new seating and boxes reinstated in the dress circle and improved the public areas
It was originally planned was to name the theatre the 'Central Theatre', however, following a lengthy debate, it was named The Queen's Theatre, and a portrait of Queen Alexandra was hung in the foyer in her honour.
The first production at the Queen's Theatre was 'The Suger Bowl', a comedy by Madeline Lucette Ryley. It was not very well received however and ran for just 36 performances. The theatre itself, however, received glowing reviews.
The theatre has seen many notable talents through the years, such as Fred Astaire, Maggie Smith, Marlene Dietrich, and
Alec Guiness to name but a few and recent notable shows include the Tony Award-winning musical 'Contact', 'Cyberjam', 'Taming Of The Shrew' and of course 'Les Miserables' which transferred to the venue in April 2004 after 18 years at the nearby Palace Theatre.
In 1940, the theatre was hit by a German bomb, destroying both the facade and lobby areas and had to remain closed for almost 20 years until a £250,000 restoration was completed. When the venue reopened, the auditorium retained its Edwardian decor while the lobbies and exterior were fitted out in a more modern style. The reconstructed theatre was opened to the public on 8th July 1959 with John Gielgud performing 'Shakespeare Speeches And Sonnets'.
The theatre was forced to close once again to undertake yet another refurbishment program and reopened in December 2019 under the new name, 'The Sondheim Theatre' and continues to host the award-winning musical 'Les Miserables'.
Is It Easy To Buy Cheap Tickets To The Sondheim Theatre?
As with all west-end shows this is very much a case of supply and demand so it is advisable to avoid weekends and school holidays if you are looking for bargains. There is still value to be found if you look at midweek performances Monday to Thursday and in off peak months such as November, January and February..
Is It Ever Possible To Book Discount Tickets To The Sondheim Theatre?
It is possible, but you will have to be vigilant as it doesn't happen very often due to public demand for tickets pretty much all year round. There are quiet weeks though, and the dead months of November and February (especially straight after the half term holidays) is a great time to hunt for discounts.
Should I Always Avoid Tickets That Come With A Restricted View?
It is strongly advisable to check the seating plan before booking any seats that feature a restriction for any show however some of the restricted view tickets in the rear stalls (from row R onwards) are great value as the only restriction comes from the overhang from the Dress Circle which affects just a few seconds of the production and can save up to 30% on the price of the ticket!
Are Upper Circle Tickets At The Sondheim Theatre Worth Buying?
The Sondheim Theatre is nowhere near as large as some of the other venues in the West End and you won't get a nose bleed or require a telescope sitting up there! The seats in the centre of the Upper Circle are generally clear view with slight restrictions featuring on the seats on the sides. This does reflect in the price though and if you do your homework and check out the seating plan before buying there are definitely some Upper Circle tickets that are worth the money and can be considered very good value.
Is It Cheaper To Buy Tickets To The Sondheim Theatre From The Box Office Or Online?
As the theatre is very often sold out, all ticket agents and online operators will generally sell at face value plus a booking fee so it can sometimes be beneficial to book direct from the theatre. This is not always the case though as like any business there are peaks and troughs, and during the quieter periods it is often the official online operators and the shops in and around Leicester Square that have the best price for tickets as they have the ability and financial clout to negotiate preferential rates which they can in turn pass onto the consumer. It is advisable if you are going to book online or through a retail outlet that you make sure that they are affiliated with or members of the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and/or the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) as this
Seating PlanSondheim Theatre Seating Plan
Address51 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6BA
Directions from nearest tube
(3mins) Take Shaftesbury Avenue along where the famous illuminated signs are. The theatre will be on your left about 100 metres along, just after the Gielgud Theatre.
(Shaftesbury Avenue) 12, 14, 19, 38; (Regent Street) 6, 13, 15, 23, 88, 94, 139, 159, 453
Night Bus Numbers
(Shaftesbury Avenue) 14, N19, N38; (Regent Street) 6, 12, 23, 88, 94, 139, 159, 453, N3, N13, N15, N109, N18, N136
Within Congestion Zone