Charing Cross Road, London, United Kingdom, WC2H 0JP Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0JP
The Phoenix Theatre opened in 1930 with the premiere of Noel Coward’s Private Lives featuring Coward himself in the cast, along with Gertrude Lawrence, Adrienne Allen and a young Laurence Olivier. Coward formed a strong association with The Phoenix returning with Gertrude Lawrence as his co-star in 1936 with the programme of the one-act play Tonight at 8.30. He returned again in 1952 with Quadrille, which opened only a few days after the death of Gertie Lawrence, and Coward wrote how difficult it was to sit through that first night in what he and Gertie had always referred to as ‘our theatre’.
The Phoenix enjoyed a succession of very successful plays including John Gielgud’s Love for Love during the war, and a season featuring Paul Scofield and Peter Brook in the mid fifties. A new musical Canterbury Tales adapted from Chaucer’s famous book opened in 1968 and began a 2000 performance run. The eighties and nineties have seen many award-winning musicals, including The Baker’s Wife by Stephen Schwarz (directed by Trevor Nunn) and the delightful Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim starring Julia McEnzie; as well as a very successful season of Shakespeare plays. Blood Brothers, a musical by Willy Russell, which transferred from the Albery in 1991 and ran till 2013, was the longest running show ever at the Phoenix.
Respecting the tradition of the Italian theatres, the auditorium shines with golden engraves, red seats, carpet and curtains. Above the boxes we can admire panels by Vladimir Polunin after Tintoretto, Titian and Giorgione, and the entire safety curtain is a rendition of Jacopo del Sellaio’s The Triumph Of Love. Also, throughout the building, we can enjoy the sculpted wooden doors and the decorated ceilings. It surely is one of the most beautiful theatres in London’s West End.
There are bars on all levels. Plushy bar is 4 steps down from the Stalls. Dress Circle bar is 3 steps up from the Dress Circle. Upper Circle bar is 8 steps down from the Upper Circle. Patrons must negotiate stairs to access any of the bars. If prearranged with front of house drinks can be left in the Royal Room for access patrons using the Box.
Accepts Theatre Tokens:
Induction Loop & Sennheiser Infrared
Mens and Womens throughout. Adapted toilet is on Dress Circle level in the Royal Room. There are no steps to this toilet from Box C or Row A Dress Circle, but there are 2 slightly awkward turns.
Guide Dogs Policy:
Guide dogs are allowed into the theatre area
Please ask a member of staff to open the side entrance on Flitcroft Street. Space for 1 wheelchair user and companion in Box C; not suitable for oversized/large electric wheelchairs. 2 transfer seats available to Dress Circle A27 and A28. Venue is not suitable for scooters, however 1 transferee is allowed in the transfer seats.Non-transfers: there is one wheelchair space in Box C for a non-transfer patron. The corridor to Box C is 90 cm.The door to Box C is 78 cm. There are two unfixed chairs in the Box. Box is restricted view (left side stage). Transfers: into Dress Circle Row A seat 28 (fixed seat) - although, theatre staff are unable to assist disabled patrons. If transferring, the patron’s wheelchair will be taken care of by front of house staff during the performance and bought back to the patron once the show has ended. There are double doors to reach this area of the theatre so large wheelchairs can be accommodated.
Access from Street to Foyer:
Access From Theatre Foyer To Seat:
24 Steps to Stalls, 21 to Dress Circle, 42 to Upper Circle