Location: 166 Drury Lane
Currently Showing: School Of Rock
Stage Door: Parker Mews (turn left twice out of the main entrance)
Ownership: LW Theatres
Social Media: Facebook
The theatre was built on the site of old taverns and music hall theatres. It was opened in 1911 as the New Middlesex Theatre of Varieties. It was bought in 1919 by George Grossmith Jr and Edward Laurillard and reopened, after refurbishment, as the Winter Garden Theatre. They produced Kissing Time and A Night Out, both of which starred Stanley Holloway.
Grossmith and Laurillard became managers of the Apollo Theatre in 1920. This forced them to spilt their partnership, with Grossmith retaining the Winter Garden. Grossmith soon formed a partnership with Pat Malone and produced Sally, The Cabaret Girl and Primrose. However, after a series of unsuccessful productions, they ended their partnership.
In 1929, Fred and Adele Astaire starred in Funny Face. George Bernard Shaw’s On The Rocks showed here in 1933 and then Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution twenty years later.
The theatre was closed in 1959 and was sold to the Rank Organisation. It remained vacant until 1965 when it was replaced with the current building, the New London Theatre, which opened on 2nd January 1973 with The Unknown Soldier and His Wife. This was followed by Grease, starring Richard Gere as Danny Zuko.
After several years of use as a TV studio, it was home to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats. This production opened on 11th May 1981 and ran for 21 years. Ten years into this run, the New London Theatre was purchased by the Really Useful Theatre Group.
War Horse opened here on 28th March 2009 and closed seven years later to make way for Show Boat. Show Boat closed in August 2016 and School of Rock opened in October of the same year.
The New London Theatre was renamed the Gillian Lynne Theatre after the renowned choreographer, and it makes it the first West End theatre to be named after a woman.
The Gillian Lynne Theatre is located on the corner of Drury Lane and Parker Street. The theatre is a short distance from Aldwych Crescent. Covent Garden, Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus are within fifteen minutes’ walk and have plenty of bars, restaurants and shops.
Our favourite nearby restaurants are:
- The White Hart – Drury Lane, London’s oldest licensed premises, reasonably priced
- Zizzi – Bow Street, chain, wide ranging menu, vouchers available
- La Ballerina – Bow Street, Italian cuisine, wide ranging menu
- Pizza Express – Bow Street, chain, vouchers available
- Wildwood – Bow Street, Italian cuisine
In the Stalls, there are two centre aisles. The premium seats are under £100 face value. There are some cheap seats on this level in row AA which have a restricted, view and the seats in the left and right blocks are cheaper than the central seats.
Seats in the Circle are cheaper than most seats in the Stalls, with top price tickets costing around £60. There are cheap seats which provide a side view and are available for around £20.
Where to buy tickets
The Gillian Lynne Theatre is owned by LW Theatres (formerly the Really Useful Theatre Group). The best place to buy tickets for School of Rock is through their website.
Reviews from the Gillian Lynne
School of Rock – ★★★★★ “…a high-energy, head-banging, electric show” Read more >>>