Navigating the Royal Festival Hall Seating Plan
The Royal Festival Hall is a massive performance venue with almost 2800 seats. These seats are spread across three primary seating sections, namely front stalls, rear stalls, and balcony. There are box seats on either side of the theatre as well. Let's look at each section in detail to give you a better idea of how exactly the seats are placed and the view they offer.
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Royal Festival Hall - Recommended Seats
• Value for money seats
Front Stalls: Rear row seats
Rear stalls - Middle row seats
Balcony - Middle row seats
• Best views of the stage
Depends on the show (play/musical). If the show is a play, front row seats would be recommended.
Front Stalls - Central seats in the middle rows
Balcony - Front row
• Sufficient legroom
Stalls - Aisle seats in all sections
Royal Festival Hall Front Stalls
The front stalls, like the name suggests, make the first seating section in the theatre. Two parallel aisles separate the seats into blocks of three, each with a different seat count. There's a decent rake in this section, allowing patrons in the last rows to get a pretty decent view of the stage. There are two rows on either side of the section, labelled side stalls. These seats, while close to the theatre, aren't really the best since patrons have to turn sideways to view the show. The seats across all rows also curve slightly towards the end of the rows, though that doesn't affect the view all that much. With 17 rows in total, the stalls are labelled in the range of A to T. There's an additional row in the end titled AA which has wheelchair accessible seats. Seats in this section are numbered in the range of 1 to 43 with the first row being the shortest.
Royal Festival Hall Rear Stalls
Next up is the second level on the ground level, the rear stalls. Unlike most theatres and performance venues which feature at least two elevated seating sections, the Royal Festival Hall divides the stalls into two major sections and has only one elevated level. Unlike the front stalls, where seats curve towards the end, the rear stall seats are placed in a perfect rectangle. Again, two parallel aisles separate the section into three subsections. The rear stalls feature 19 rows in total from BB to XX and these seats are numbered in the range of 1 to 51, moving right to left. In terms of the view offered, the front and middle rows of this section are serviceable but you must avoid opting for a seat in the rear rows since they are too far off from the main stage and offer mediocre views of the show.
Royal Festival Hall Balcony
The final and only elevated section of the Royal Festival Hall, the balcony section is divided into three main subsections with two mini subsections on either side. There are two additional rows of seating in front of the section which offer the best view of the stage. The rows are labelled in the range of A to N, bringing the total to 17. Seats in this section are numbered from 1 to 52 moving right to left. There are five aisle separating the seats, making for a free-to-move section that is not cramped. As far as the view is considered, the balcony offers a mixed bag. The front few rows are quite decent while the rear rows end up being too far from the main stage.
Which Seats Offer The Best View?
Watching a show on West End is a special experience and what makes or breaks the whole thing is the seat you pick to watch the show from. The Royal Festival Hall isn't structured like a regular West End theatre making the selection of the best seats here slightly different. Also, the best seats depend on the show you're watching. For instance, for a quiet, sombre play you would want to get front row seats to fully appreciate the actors. On the other hand, a big splashy musical calls for the central seats in the middle row of the front stalls to be your pick. The front row of the balcony also offers a pretty stellar view of the stage, especially for big productions.
Which Seats Offer the Best Value for Money?
Don't want to overspend on West End tickets? We have got you covered. The Royal Festival Hall is a huge theatre and there are many seats to choose from. If you're looking for something more value-for-money, opt for the rear row seats in the front stalls or the middle row seats in the rear stalls. The central seats in both these groups of rows offer a distinctively clear view of the stage and don't cost quite as much as the front row seats. If you don't mind an aerial view of the stage, the middle row seats in the balcony section aren't that bad.
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Wondering how to score cheap and discounted West End tickets? Get great last minute deals on Headout, your one stop, on-demand mobile concierge.All you need to do is choose your show, select your seats, and show up at the theatre on your selected day.
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More West End Guides
For more West End information, here are some helpful quick links!