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West End Guide | Gielgud Theatre London

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The Gielgud Theatre opened its doors on 27 December 1906 and was designed by W.G.R. Sprague in Louis XVI style. It was initially called the Hicks Theatre after Seymour Hicks, the famous British actor and playwright. The theatre is known for its beautiful Regency staircase, and oval gallery and tower, with its distinctive gold leaf work. The first production at the Gielgud Theatre was The Beauty of Bath by Hicks. Another Hicks production, My Darling, quickly followed. An astonishing event occurred midway through the run of the Gielgud's (and Hicks’) next major work, The Dashing Little Duke. Hicks' wife, Ellaline Terriss, played the title role (a woman playing a man). When she missed several performances due to illness, Hicks stepped into the role — possibly the only case in the history of musical theatre where a husband succeeded to his wife's role.

The theatre was renamed in honor of British Actor John Gielgud in 1994, and taken over by Delfont Mackintosh Theatres in 2006. It has seen performances and musicals like All’s Well That Ends Well, Equus, and Strangers on a Train. Following a balcony collapse at the Apollo Theatre, the National Theatre's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time transferred to the Gielgud Theatre in 2014, where it continued to play until June 2017. Following this, Jez Butterworth's The Ferryman landed at the venue, and thereafter, Patti Lupone's Company.

Venue Details

Address: Shaftesbury Ave, Soho, London W1D 6AR, UK

Opened: 1906

Seating Capacity: 940
Stalls : 491
Dress Circle: 202
Circle : 247

Seating Chart
Check out the Gielgud Theatre London Seating Plan here.

Now Playing at Gielgud Theatre

Practical Information

Access Information

Entrance to the auditorium is through the third side EXIT door on Rupert Street.

This venue is suitable for scooters. Seat B30 is removed to accommodate the Wheelchair with seats A30-33 also able to accommodate a Wheelchair.

Available Facilities

Assistive Listening System: Gielgud Theatre has 12 headsets with infra-red system, which can be hired for free if you have a valid photo ID. These can be collected from the kiosk in the foyer. If you would like to avail this, contact the theatre prior to the booking.

Bar: There are 3 licensed bars, and staff are also happy to bring drinks to disabled customers.

Cloakroom: Gielgud Theatre London has a limited cloakroom, charged at £1 per item.

Guide Dogs: Guide dogs are allowed in to the auditorium. Alternatively, staff are happy to dog sit.

Toilets: There are Men’s and Women’s toilets on all levels, and Adapted toilets in the foyer.

Handy Tips

  • The theatre has a strict no latecomers policy, so be sure to reach ahead of the gates opening.
  • Gielgud Theatre London is air-conditioned and it can get pretty chilly so please dress accordingly.
  • This production carries a trigger warning.

Getting There

Tube: The nearest tube station is the Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines).

Bus: Shaftesbury Avenue: 12, 14, 19, and 38
Regent Street: 6, 13, 15, 23, 88, 94, 139, 159, and 453

Rail: The nearest train station is Charing Cross, 550 m away

Restaurants near Gielgud Theatre London

1. Blanchette: Enjoy eclectic French bistro cuisine to the tunes of an innovative automatic music selection system, invented by one of the three brothers that own the restaurant.

2. Bocca Di Lupo: Italian cooking in an open kitchen – the best place to watch chefs do their cooking! Try their pasta with raw duck and parmesan.

3. Brasserie Zédel: Set in a trendy art deco styled basement, try their affordable French staples and choose from the coq au vin, or the slightly more expensive option offers beef bourguignon or salmon pavé.

4. Cinnamon Soho: Known for its traditional Indian fare, this restaurant is known for its fusion cuisine, like the Rogan Josh Shepherd’s pie..

5. Hawksmoor Air Street: A great place to enjoy steaks and seafood. Vegetarian options are also available!


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