The Shaftesbury Theatre was the last theatre to be built on Shaftesbury Avenue and was originally named The Princes Theatre. Able to seat 1,400 people, it opened in 1911 and has played host to many notable productions and famous faces over the last century. It’s now the largest independent theatre in the West End.
The Shaftesbury Theatre’s opening in 1911 was with a production of The Three Musketeers and, throughout its history, it has hosted a wide variety of shows.
In 1973, part of the theatre’s ceiling collapsed. The theatre could no longer be used for performances and plans were put in place to redevelop the site. Luckily, it was saved through a campaign to keep it open that managed to attain Grade II status for the theatre, protecting the original building and preventing the ground from being rebuilt upon.
The venue is owned by the Theatre of Comedy Company, which purchased the venue in 1984. In 2006, the theatre underwent a massive refurbishment, with new seats being installed in the auditorium. Since the work on the theatre was completed, it has hosted shows including the European premiere of multi Olivier Award-winning musical Hairspray, which remains the most successful production in the Shaftesbury Theatre’s history.
5 licensed bars. Access information: Drinks may be taken into the auditorium. The Foyer bar is 4 steps up from the foyer. There are 2 bars at Royal Circle, one at Grand Circle and one at Stalls. There is limited seating.
Accepts Theatre Tokens:
Mens and Womens throughout. There is one accessible toilet which is located in the Royal Circle on the low numbers (1-18) side of the auditorium. The toilet is a large cubicle fitted with a hand rail, accessible wash basin, outward opening door and emergency alarm
Guide Dogs Policy:
Guide dogs and Hearing dogs are welcome at the Theatre. They may sit with you in the auditorium or our Front of House team will look after them whilst you enjoy the performance
There are two wheelchair positions in the Royal Circle in Boxes F and E and a wheelchair transfer position in Box B. Boxes F and E are accessible via ramp and Box B has level access followed by a two-step transfer. Please note that Box E has a restricted view. There are also two level transfer positions in the Royal Circle, Row A, seats 4-5 and 32-33. Front of House staff will look after a wheelchair for any patron wishing to transfer into a seat; it will be brought to the user during the interval and at the end of the performance. When booking, please state if you are a wheelchair user so that our Box Office staff can ensure the best seats are available.
Access from Street to Foyer:
Access From Theatre Foyer To Seat:
Level access / ramp