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Queen’s Theatre

Sondheim Theatre

Shaftesbury Avenue, London, United Kingdom, W1D 6BA

Contact the venue:
0844 482 5160 (Calls cost 7p per min plus your telephone company's network access charge)

Security note: For your comfort and security, you may be subject to additional checks on your visit to London theatres. Please contact the venue for more information.

Shows At This Venue

About The Sondheim Theatre

The Sondheim Theatre (formerly the Queen’s Theatre) is one of the most prominent West End theatres on Shaftesbury Avenue.

The theatre was opened in 1907 – originally as a twin to the neighbouring Hicks Theatre (now renamed the Gielgud Theatre). The Sondheim and Gielgud are both designed by W. G. R. Sprague. Originally, it was going to be called the Central Theatre, but it was eventually named the Queen’s Theatre – and it is a portrait of Queen Alexandra that hangs the foyer of the theatre. It was announced in July 2019 that it is to become the Sondheim Theatre, in honour of the legendary composer and lyricist’s 90th birthday year. Sondheim will become the only living artist to have a theatre named in his honour both in the West End and on Broadway.

In September 1940, the theatre was subject to a direct hit by a bomb and the façade and lobby were destroyed. The theatre remained closed for almost 20 years until it was refurbished and the exterior modernised. The Edwardian décor remained yet the lobbies and the exterior were built in a more modern style. The reconstructed theatre opened in July 1959 with John Gielgud’s solo performance in Shakespeare speeches and sonnets, Ages Of Man.

Since the reconstruction, the theatre has been noted for its unique architecture and design, for example, the ceiling detail of the auditorium, which has statues positioned above the audience. The theatre went through further renovations in 2009 to boost the capacity of the theatre and restore some of the boxes so that they could be used again.

After 18 years at the Palace Theatre, Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Les Misérables transferred to the Sondheim Theatre in 2004. The musical celebrated its 20th anniversary at the venue on 8 October 2005 – and in October 2006 overtook Cats to become the longest-running musical of all time. In 2012, Les Misérables celebrated its 11,000th performance in London. The Sondheim Theatre has a capacity of 1074 and is owned by Delfont Mackintosh Theatres.

The Sondheim Theatre has now closed to undergo a series of works, including a major backstage and auditorium renovation, and the restoration of some of the theatre’s original boxes and loges. It will reopen on 18 December 2019 with the acclaimed New production of Les Misérables.

Tagged:
Les Mis les miserables Queen's Theatre sondheim theatre stephen sondheim

More Information

Bar:

18 steps from the foyer to the Dress Circle bar (at the back of the Dress Circle). Fixed seating. Stalls bar down 21 steps; Upper Circle bar up 39 steps. Drinks may be brought to disabled customers in the auditorium.

Accepts Theatre Tokens:

Yes

Sound Amplification:

Infra-red system with 12 headsets - collect from foyer kiosk. You will be asked to sign a receipt. Avoid front row of Stalls. Induction loop in auditorium and at the Box Office.

Toilets:

Adapted toilet in foyer (Ushers hold keys).

Guide Dogs Policy:

Guide dogs are permitted to stay with owners if required. Staff can also look after them. Maximum of 3 guide dogs per performance.

Wheelchairs:

Entrance to the auditorium is through the fourth side EXIT door on Wardour Street - please ask a member of staff to open this for you. One 5cm step up to 2 spaces at C1 and C25 in the Dress Circle. Companions can sit in the same row. Venue suitable for scooters. 4 scooter and 6 wheelchair transfer seating available in rows C, D or E. Scooter transferees please call.

Access from Street to Foyer:

Level Access

Access From Theatre Foyer To Seat:

18 steps to Stalls, 19 to Dress Circle, 38 to Upper Circle

Level Access:

Box off and Dress Circle