Location: 11 Catherine Street
Currently Showing: The Play That Goes Wrong
Access: Covent Garden (Piccadilly line) or Charing Cross (Bakerloo line)
Stage Door: To the left of the theatre as you look at it (right as you’re exiting)
Ownership: Nimax Theatres
The Duchess Theatre was opened on 25th November 1929 with Hubert Griffith’s Tunnel Trench. In 1930, it was host to the West End’s shortest ever run with The Intimate Revue, which failed to complete its first performance. Two years later, the theatre was home to The Rose Without A Thorn which starred Frank Vosper.
Nöel Coward’s Blithe Spirit started here before transferring to the Piccadilly Theatre in 1942. In 1960, The Caretaker opened here, which was Harold Pinter’s first West End success. Other notable productions before a change of ownership in 1986 included Agatha Christie’s Rule of Three, Boeing Boeing, and Oh Calcutta!. In 1986, the theatre was purchased by Stoll Moss Theatres Ltd. whose first production was George Cole in a Month of Sundays, before the long running No Sex Please We’re British which transferred here from the Garrick.
In 2000, the Duchess became part of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Theatre Group, before being purchased by Nimax Theatres on 26th September 2005. The current production of The Play That Goes Wrong opened at the Duchess on 14th September 2014.
The Duchess Theatre is one of the West End’s youngest theatres. It is just off Aldwych Crescent. Covent Garden is also a short distance away, where there are many bars and restaurants, most of which have outdoor seating. Embankment is nearby, which provides a lovely view of the Thames and London’s skyline. The view is particularly pretty by night.
Our favourite restaurants nearby:
- Salieri – The Strand, Italian, wide ranging menu
- Cucina Asellina – The Strand, Italian, expensive
- Pizza Express – The Strand, chain, vouchers available
- Zizzi – The Strand, chain, vouchers available
- Joe Allen – Exeter Street, American cuisine, special vegetarian menu
- Strada – Tavistock Street, chain, vouchers available
The Duchess Theatre is a small venue, only having two tiers and holding just under 500 people. The bar areas are small but adequate for the numbers of people.
Tickets at this theatre are cheaper when compared with most other West End venues. It is a very small venue and so there very few seats with obstructed views and also even the back rows are not far back.
Where to buy tickets
The Duchess Theatre is currently owned by Nimax Theatres. Therefore the best place to buy tickets is direct from the Nimax Theatres’ website where you will pay face value plus a booking fee.