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Duchess Theatre London

Duchess Theatre, London - The Home of The Play That Goes Wrong

What’s On at Duchess Theatre

The Duchess Theatre has been the home of the long-running, Olivier Award-winning comedy The Play That Goes Wrong since 2014. Mischief Theatre’s original and most enduring show, about an amateur dramatics group that tries and fails to stage a chaotic murder mystery, is a fantastic choice for theatregoers who prefer light-hearted fare over drama or musicals. It has rightfully earned the title of the funniest show in the West End, and its slapstick fun is also a great choice for families with older children who are looking for an accessible and enjoyable trip to the theatre.

About the Duchess Theatre

The Grade II listed Duchess Theatre, designed by architect Ewen Barr, opened in 1929 and is built on the site of a World War One Zeppelin-raid bomb explosion. Barr experienced several challenges designing the theatre as he was restricted by an 'Ancient Lights' law that forbade any new construction blocking the light of nearby buildings. This was overcome by designing the theatre low to the ground and placing much of the auditorium below ground level.

The Duchess Theatre is an intimate venue with a capacity of 499 and is the smallest in the West End to feature a proscenium arch. The theatre's first production was a play by Hubert Griffith entitled Tunnel Trench and since then has housed many productions, usually limited run plays and musicals, alongside transfers of smaller touring shows. It also held the record for the shortest West End run when a production of The Intimate Revue opened and closed on the same day in 1930.

In 2000, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group acquired the theatre, before selling it to Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer's Nimax Theatres in 2005, who still own it today.

Map and Address

Catherine Street, London, WC2B 5LA

The Duchess Theatre is located centrally just off Aldwych, a short walk from Covent Garden, The Strand, Somerset House and the River Thames. On The Strand, you can find the legendary Savoy Hotel and several other West End theatres. There are many great food and drink outlets near the Duchess Theatre, particularly in Covent Garden. Make sure to visit to plan your journey and always check for disruptions before you embark on your journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

What time does the Duchess Theatre box office open and how do I collect tickets?

On performance days, the box office is open from 12pm until 8pm. Tickets can be purchased in-person and pre-booked tickets for that day's performance can be collected.

What time does the Duchess Theatre open for a show?

The venue opens 45 minutes before the show starts. As it is one of the smaller theatres in the West End, the foyer and bars can become crowded, so it is recommended that you arrive early so you can buy a drink and get settled in your seat before the queues get too large.

What food and drink are available at the Duchess Theatre?

There are two bars in the theatre – the Foyer Bar and Stalls Bar. Both serve a range of wines, beers, spirits and soft drinks as well as snacks such as crisps, nuts and chocolate. When you purchase your drinks before the show, it is worth pre-ordering your drink for the interval so you don't have to queue.

Does the Duchess Theatre have a cloakroom?

A small cloakroom located on Stalls level is available for ticket holders to store larger items during the show. There is a small charge per item stored and space is limited so it is recommended that you avoid taking large items such as suitcases into the theatre.

Is the Duchess Theatre air-conditioned?

The venue has air conditioning to ensure theatregoers are comfortable, especially during the summer months when the small auditorium can get warm quickly.

Where should I eat near the Duchess Theatre?

The venue is located just a short walk away from Covent Garden, where there are many cafes, restaurants and pubs to grab something to eat before or after the show. Why not enjoy a pre-theatre dinner at The Ivy Market Grill, which serves a wide range of European favourites and is a five-minute walk from the theatre. Alternatively, you can enjoy a premium quality steak and other American fine dining options at Christopher's, which is just around the corner from the theatre.

What is the best hotel to stay at near the Duchess Theatre?

A stay at the nearby The Waldorf Hilton will add a touch of luxury to your trip to London. This hotel, which is just a three-minute walk from the theatre, boasts premium amenities and sumptuous dining options. For a budget option, take a look at the nearby Z Hotel Covent Garden, which has comfortable rooms and is just a 10-minute walk away.

How do I contact the box office?

The direct phone number for the box office is 0330 333 4810. Further contact options and venue information can be found at
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