Location: 49 Aldwych
Currently Showing: Beautiful
Access: Covent Garden (Piccadilly line)
Stage Door: Tavistock Street, out of main entrance turn left twice
Ownership: Nederlander Organisation
The Aldwych Theatre was built as a pair with the Novello Theatre, and they are located on either side of the Waldorf Hotel. The Aldwych opened on 23rd December 1905 with Blue Bell, an adaptation of the pantomime Bluebell in Fairyland. This was followed by The Gay Gordons.
From 1923 to 1933, the Aldwych Theatre was home to a series of 12 farces – It Pays to Advertise, A Cuckoo in the Nest, Rookery Nook, Thark, Plunder, A Cup of Kindness, A Night Like This, Marry the Girl, Turkey Time, Dirty Work, Fifty-Fifty and A Bit of a Test. This series became known as the Aldwych farces. In 1933, a new version of Das Dreimäderlhaies (House of Three Girls), a light Viennese opera, was shown under the title of Lilac Time.
From the mid-1930s to around 1960, the theatre was owned by the Abrahamas family. In 1949, the theatre was host to London’s first production of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire. This production was directed by Laurence Olivier and starred Olivier’s wife, Vivien Leigh.
On 15th December 1960, the Royal Shakespeare Company announced that their base in London for the next three years was to be the Aldwych. They actually stayed for over 20 years, before moving to the Barbican Arts Centre. The theatre was sold to the Nederlander Organisation immediately after the RSC’s departure.
The Aldwych Theatre has since been home to many successful productions including Private Lives (which starred Joan Collins), An Inspector Calls, Whistle Down The Wind (an Andrew Lloyd Webber production), Fame, Dirty Dancing and Top Hat.
The Aldwych Theatre is located on Aldwych Crescent. The Thames is a short distance away. This means there are excellent views of London’s skyline less than a minute’s walk away from the theatre. This view is particularly pretty by night.
Our favourite nearby restaurants:
- Cucina Asellina – The Strand, Italian, expensive
- Pizza Express – The Strand, chain, vouchers available
- Joe Allen – Exeter Street, American cuisine, special vegetarian menu
- Strada – Tavistock Street, chain, vouchers available
The Aldwych Theatre is a very nice venue. It is clean and well kept. The dress circle bar opens around an hour before the show. All other bars and the auditorium open approximately 30 minutes before the show starts.
The premium seats at this theatre are the centre six seats in rows F-H. The ends of rows are cheaper and provide good views, although watch out as there are quite a lot of seats with restricted views which are clearly marked on the seating plan.
Where to buy tickets
The best place to book tickets to see Beautiful is through the Aldwych Theatre’s website where you will buy tickets at face value with a booking fee. There are some tickets deals available but always check the Aldwych’s website for a base price.
Reviews from the Aldwych
Beautiful – ★★★★ “…gentle, uplifting and inspiring musical” Read more >>>