Location: 51 Shaftesbury Avenue
Currently Showing: Les Misérables
Access: Piccadilly Circus – exit 4 marked Shaftesbury Avenue
Stage Door: Winnett Street – out of main entrance, turn left twice
Ownership: Delfont Mackintosh
The Sondheim Theatre, then Queen’s Theatre, was opened on 8th October 1907 as a twin theatre to the Hicks Theatre (now Gielgud Theatre). The first production to be held at this venue was Madeline Lucette Ryley’s The Sugar Bowl which was poorly received by audiences.
In September 1940 the facade and lobby of the theatre was destroyed by a bomb. It remained closed until a quarter of a million restoration by Westwood Sons and Partners almost 20 years later. The theatre reopened with John Gielgud’s solo performance of Ages of Man.
In its history, the Sondheim Theatre has been host to many stars including Fred Astaire, Nöel Coward, Stephen Fry, Michael Redgrave, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers and Maggie Smith. Its notable productions include the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) Taming of the Shrew and Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show.
Les Misérables is currently showing at the Sondheim. It transferred here in April 2004 after 18 years at the Palace Theatre. Les Misérables is a worldwide phenomenon and is the West End’s longest running musical.
The theatre closed for refurbishment in July 2019, while Les Miserables temporarily moved to the Gielgud Theatre. It reopened in December 2019 as the Sondheim Theatre with a new production of Les Miserables.
The Sondheim Theatre is centrally located on Shaftesbury Avenue. Piccadilly Circus is within two minutes’ walk of the theatre. Shopping streets Regent and Oxford Street are also close by.
The theatre bar opens around fifty minutes before the show although the auditorium doesn’t open for another fifteen minutes. In the main foyer, there is a bar, merchandise and box office.
Our favourite restaurants nearby are
- The Theatre Café, Shaftesbury Avenue, a theatre-themed cafe
- Getti, Jermyn Street, Italian, reasonably priced
- Bella Italia, Shaftesbury Avenue, chain, wide menu, vouchers available
The premium seats in the stalls are the centre seats from Row E back to K. The ends of rows are the standard seats which are a slightly reduced price because they aren’t centre view, however they are fantastic seats with an excellent view.
Rows further back in the stalls have a restricted view of the stage due to the overhang of the dress circle. A lot of action takes place high on the stage on the barricade and therefore these aren’t good seats.
Where to buy tickets
The Sondheim Theatre is owned by Delfont Mackintosh. Therefore the best place to buy tickets for Les Misérables is through the Delfont Mackintosh website where you will buy tickets at face value (plus a booking fee).
Reviews from the Sondheim
Les Misérables – ★★★★★ “…a magical show which is both inspirational and heart-breaking.” Read more >>>