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Duchess Theatre London: Home of The Play that Goes Wrong

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Best Safety Standards

This venue is COVID SECURE and follows all safety measures recommended by the government to ensure that you enjoy a safe and socially-distanced theatre-going experience. Know More

See it Safely

Safe Experiences

Wondering about all that’s being done to keep you safe? Find out more about the safety measures and COVID-safe protocols theatres have implemented to ensure your safety.

Social Distancing Measures

  • The venue has been redesigned to minimize contact among all viewers
  • Different groups will be seated separately
  • Pre-ordering of interval snacks will be facilitated wherever possible
  • Cashless and paperless transactions are recommended.
  • All viewers are requested to keep their belongings to a minimum since cloakroom facilities may be closed
  • Activities such as taking photographs with the artists or autograph signing may be restricted

Preventive Safety Measures

  • Protective gear such as masks are mandatory to enter the venue
  • All viewers will be subjected to temperature checks before entering the venue

Sanitization Measures

  • Theatres will be cleaned after every show
  • Hand sanitizers will be provided at each entry and exit

Contactless E-Tickets

  • Only print-at-home tickets and e-tickets will be accepted

Know More

Located in Catherine Street in the City of Westminster, Duchess Theatre London is one of the smallest West End theatres. The theatre, with a proscenium arch, was designed by Ewen Barr and constructed by F. G. Minter Ltd. Built with the stalls below street level, the theatre has a unique design. The interior decoration scheme was introduced in 1934 under the supervision of Mary Wyndham Lewis. The theatre opened on 25 November 1929 with a play called Tunnel Trench by Hubert Griffith. Some notable productions at The Duchess Theatre include Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, Tom Eyen's The Dirtiest Show in Town, and Oh! Calcutta!, which transferred to the Duchess Theatre from the Royalty Theatre in December 1974, and remained there until 1980.

The Duchess Theatre is very intimate and often hosts smaller plays and musicals. The Play That Goes Wrong has been playing at the Duchess Theatre since 2014. Planning on catching this Olivier Award winning comedy? Our in-depth Duchess Theatre seating plan guide is here to help.

Venue Details

Address: 3-5 Catherine St, London WC2B 5LA, UK

Opened: 1929

Seating Capacity: 479

Seating Chart: Check out the Duchess Theatre London Seating Plan here.

Now Playing at the Duchess Theatre

The Play that Goes Wrong

duchess theatre london

Written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields of Mischief Theatre Company, The Play That Goes Wrong first premiered in London in 2012 at the Old Red Lion Theatre, before moving to Trafalgar Studios in 2013. After a successful opening in January 2014, the official UK tour, which lasted 7 months, was launched at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury.

The play returned to West End on September 2014 at the Duchess Theatre where it has been playing ever since, with bookings open till September 2018. In 2017, the Olivier-winning comedy also made its Broadway debut at the Lyceum Theatre.

The Story

The play revolves around the the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, who are tackling the stage production of The Murder at Haversham Manor. This 1920s murder mystery has just the right number of parts for the actors, and things seem to be going alright, until they don’t. Floors collapse, props don’t stay at their places, a disaster of misplaced drinks leads to some not-so-sober actors, cast members break characters and forget lines, and a bucketful of other disasters befall the production. It’s a classic murder mystery but not the kind you think it is.

Practical Information

Accessible Seating

The Duchess Theatre is accessible from Catherine Street via a shallow step and a slight slope. There are 21 steps down to the Stalls and 12 up to the Dress Circle; staircases have handrails on both sides.

There are dedicated wheelchair spaces in N1 and J14 of the Stalls. If you can transfer from your chair, then you can take any seat in the Dress Circle, which is up 12 steps from the theatre foyer. F1 and F22 of the Stalls have the most legroom but are not dedicated disabled seats.

Wheelchair users who prefer to remain in their chairs can access the Stalls via the theatre's AAT Major Stair Climber. To use the stair climber, you must arrive at the theatre at least 45 minutes in advance and the theatre needs to be informed in advance.

Available Facilities

Assistive Listening System: There is an infrared system with headsets which patrons are welcome to use. Please enquire at the Box Office on your arrival.

Bar: There are 2 licensed bars in the Duchess Theatre; the Foyer Bar and a second bar 3 steps down the Stalls. The staff can bring drinks to disabled customers.

Booster cushions: A small number of booster cushions are available to borrow.

Cloakroom: The cloakroom is at the Stalls level.

Toilets: There are male and female toilets by the Stalls and the Dress Circle. There’s also a specially adapted toilet at the rear of the Stalls.

Handy Tips

  • Assistance dogs are allowed in the auditorium, though the theatre recommends purchasing an aisle set if you wish to keep your dog with you during the performance. You may also request dog sitting during the show.
  • The Play That Goes Wrong is extremely entertaining, but kids must be accompanied by an adult if they are under 16 years old. The show is not recommended for children under 8.
  • The theatre has a tea and coffee bar serving hot and cold drinks and ice creams before and during the interval for performances.
  • The theatre is only open to the public from 10 AM to 12 PM on Saturday mornings.

Getting There

Tube: The nearest tube stations are Covent Garden (Piccadilly Line), Holborn (Central/ Piccadilly Lines) Charing Cross (Northern/Bakerloo Lines) and Temple (Circle and District Lines).

Bus: The theatre is well serviced by multiple bus stops and lines including the 1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 26, 59, 68 76, 87, 91, 139, 168, 171, 172, 176, and 188 from Lancaster Place (Stop T) and Aldwych Somerset House (Stop R).

Restaurants near Duchess Theatre London

1. Loch Fyne Seafood & Grill Restaurant: Visit this upscale chain restaurant for its sustainably sourced British fish & seafood, plus some meat dishes.

2. Côte Bistro: This modern, all-day French brasserie chain serves regional specialities and traditional classics.

3. Indigo at One Aldwych: Indigo is just a stone's throw away from West End. With gluten-free and dairy-free options available, this Covent Garden restaurant is suitable for everyone.

4. The Delaunay: All-day brasserie in elegant grand cafe surrounds, serving modern and classic European menu.

5. Joe Allen Restaurant: Try delectable, New York style brasserie fare served from breakfast until famously late in a wood-panelled basement.


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