Location: 35 Shaftesbury Avenue
Currently Showing: Imperium I & II
Access: Covent Garden
Stage Door: Winnet Street (turn right twice out of the main entrance)
Ownership: Delfont Mackintosh
The theatre opened on 29th December 1905 as the Hicks Theatre (named after Seymour Hicks) with The Beauty of Bath which was written by Hicks and Cosmo Hamilton. The theatre was constructed as a pair with the Queen’s Theatre, which opened the following year.
In 1909, The Dashing Little Duke which starred Ellaline Terriss, Hicks’ wife. She missed several shows in the run due to illness and Hicks himself stepped into the role as cover. Later on that year, Charles Frohman became the manager of the theatre.
In 1938, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, which was directed by John Gielgud, showed at this venue and was coined as “the definitive production of the 20th century.”
In 1966, There’s a Girl in My Soup by Terence Frisby ran for 1064 performances, which was a theatre record at the time. This record was broken by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Daisy Pulls It Off, which opened in April 1983 and ran for 1180 performances.
After extensive refurbishment, Peter Shaffer’s Lettice and Lovage made its London premiere here in 1987, starring Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack. In the ’90s, Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband and One Flew Over The Cuckoo Nest showed here. The theatre was renamed the Gielgud Theatre in 1994 after John Gielgud.
In 2003, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tell Me On a Sunday played here with Denise Van Outen. Two years later, the Really Useful Theatre Group bought the Gielgud Theatre before Delfont Mackintosh took over the following year. The following year, Daniel Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths starred in Equus.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time opened at the Gielgud Theatre on 9th July 2014 after being forced to transfer from the Apollo Theatre following an accident which involved the collapse of the theatre’s ceiling during a performance of the play.
The Gielgud Theatre is located on Shaftesbury Avenue. This street is home to six theatres (Lyric, Apollo, Gielgud, Queen’s, Palace and Shaftesbury Theatres). Piccadilly Circus is very close-by and shopping streets Regent and Oxford Streets are within three minutes’ walk.
Our favourite restaurants nearby are:
- Milano – Shaftesbury Avenue, Italian cuisine, extensive menu
- Getti – Jermyn Street, Italian cuisine, reasonably priced, wide ranging menu
- The Terrace – Le Meridien Hotel Piccadilly, British cuisine, expensive, classy experience
- Assagettti – Haymarket, Italian cuisine
The premium seats in the Stalls are the central seats in rows H to M and cost £90 (face value). Most of the other seats in the Stalls are around £60 and have an excellent view.
In the Dress Circle, the premium seats are the central seats in rows A and B. There are cheaper seats called “slips” which are available from £18 but provide a side view of the stage. Seats in the Grand Circle are the same prices as the slip seats in the Dress Circle as the view is compromised.
Where to buy tickets
Buy tickets direct from the Delfont Mackintosh website as they will be sold to you at face value (with a booking fee). There are tickets deals available sometimes so do have a look around.