Located at the intersection between Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue, the Palace Theatre is a large red-brick structure that stands out amongst most other buildings. With a capacity of 1,400 seats spread across four levels, the Palace Theatre is one of the larger venues on the West End.
The spectacular building dates back to 1891, originally constructed as The Royal English Opera House. It opened with a production of Arthur Sullivan’s ‘Ivanhoe’, which proceeded to run for over 150 performances. However, the Opera House wasn’t too successful and later transformed into the Palace Theatre of Varieties a year later. Charles Morton aka the 'Father of Music Halls' became the new managing director, and turned the Palace into an exciting and popular entertainment venue.
The venue now comprises a large amphitheatre, encompassing the Stalls, Dress Circle, Grand Circle and Balcony. The stalls bar has been renovated to its former glory, when it served as an elegant spot for sipping champagne for the elite of the Oscar Wilde days. Today’s Palace patrons can also marvel at the majestic Grand Staircase and inner lobby, exquisitely decorated and the first thing you see upon entering the building.
Its varied programme over the years lured many to its stage. Musical legend Fred Astaire performed in ‘Gay Divorce’ before leaving London for Hollywood and British actress Dame Judi Dench starred in ‘Cabaret’ in 1968. A host of well-known musicals have delighted audiences, such as Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, which ran for eight years, and the award-winning ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’, an adaptation taken from J. K. Rowling’s 8th installment of the famed children’s series.
The theatre is close to both Leicester Square and Covent Garden tube stations, which link to National Rail services.
Several routes run through Shaftesbury Avenue, including the 14, 19, 24, 29, 38, 40 and 176.
The nearest available car park is the Q-Park in Chinatown.