Location: 5 Aldwych
Currently Showing: Mamma Mia
Access: Covent Garden
Stage Door: Tavistock Street, out of the main entrance of turn right twice
Ownership: Delfont Mackintosh
The Novello Theatre was built as a pair with the Aldwych Theatre and are located on either side of the Waldorf Hotel. The Novello opened on 22nd May 1905 as the Waldorf Theatre. It was renamed the Strand Theatre in 1909, and then again in 1911 the Whitney Theatre.
In the ’40s, black comedy, Arsenic and Old Lace, was shown here and was a success. This was followed by another massive success, Stephen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which opened on 22nd November 1963 and ran for almost two years. In 1971, No Sex Please We’re British opened here and remained for over a decade of its 16 year run before it transferred to the Garrick Theatre.
After the Rat Pack: Live from Vegas in 2005, the Theatre, now called the Novello Theatre and owned by Delfont Mackintosh, was refurbished to mark its 100th anniversary. It reopened with a season of RSC productions, comprising the Shakespeare plays Twelfth Night, Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like It. Footloose opened a month later, in April 2006, making its London début. After it closed, and a RSC season, The Drowsy Chaperone opened for its European premiere on 6th June 2007, starring Elaine Page, Summer Strallen and John Partridge, but it failed to attract audiences and closed after two months. This was followed by another failure, Desperately Seeking Susan which featured music written by Blondie.
On 6th September 2012, Mamma Mia transferred here from the Prince of Wales Theatre.
The Novello Theatre is located on Aldwych Crescent. The Thames is a short distance away, which means there are excellent views of London’s skyline less than a minute’s walk 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 Novello Theatre is a very nice venue. The main foyer is very large and quite grand where there is a box office, merchandise stall and you can purchase soft drinks and water. The stalls bar (which is downstairs from the main foyer) is too small for the number of people using it. The auditorium is clean and well kept.
The premium seats are from rows G to L, around seats 7 to 20 in all the rows, which start from around £60 (getting more expensive as they get more central). The five seats on either ends of most of the rows are cheaper but the view is excellent.
Also, as the website says, at the start of Act 2, a lot of dry ice is used, therefore the view in the first three rows (approximately) is obscured for this part of the show.
Mamma Mia run an early bird offer, which means when you book 16 weeks in advance, you get up to £20 off per ticket.
Where to buy tickets
The Novello Theatre is owned by Delfont Mackintosh. Therefore the best place to buy tickets for Mamma Mia is through the Delfont Mackintosh website where you will buy tickets at face value (plus a booking fee).
If you are using the early bird booking, you have to book through the musical’s website. Follow the link to book now – www.mamma-mia.com/london-tickets-early-bird.php
Reviews from the Novello
Mamma Mia – ★★★★★ “…an all-time, feel-good classic and one of the biggest parties in the West End” Read more >>>