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Novello Theatre London

Novello Theatre, London - The Home of Mamma Mia!

About the Novello Theatre

The Novello Theatre dates back to 1905, when it originally opened as the Waldorf Theatre. It was designed in a traditional Victorian style as a twin to the Aldwych Theatre. Together they bookend the famous Aldwych Hotel. The theatre has a classic façade and was Grade II listed by English Heritage in 1971.

Throughout the 20th century, the venue was known as the Strand Theatre until it was renamed in 2005 to honour musician Ivor Novello who lived in a flat above the theatre. That same year the theatre underwent a large refurbishment before re-opening with a season of Shakespeare comedies from the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Other notable productions include a 10-year run of comedy No Sex Please, We're British, which opened in 1971 and later transferred to the Garrick Theatre for a further 6 years; Footloose starring Cheryl Baker in 2006; and flop musical Desperately Seeking Susan, which was composed by Blondie and Debbie Harry but closed after a month following overwhelmingly negative critical reviews. Since September 2012, the Novello Theatre has been home to the phenomenally successful ABBA musical Mamma Mia!, which is still delighting packed crowds to this day.

Frequently Asked Questions

What time does the Novello Theatre box office open and how can I collect tickets?

The theatre box office is open from 10am until 8pm on Monday-Saturday for in-person bookings and collection. Don't forget to bring along a copy of your confirmation email and a form of ID. Occasionally there can be long queues for box office collection, so try to arrive early to avoid any delays.

What time does the Novello Theatre open for a show?

The theatre opens around 60 minutes before the show starts.

What food and drink are available at the Novello Theatre?

There are four bars at the theatre: Sam's Bar in the foyer, the Schubert Bar, Ivor's Bar, and the Waldorf Bar, which serves ticket holders in the grand circle and balcony levels. The bars serve a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as snacks, confectionery and ice creams. No hot food is permitted inside the theatre.

Does the Novello Theatre have a cloakroom?

There are limited cloakroom facilities at the theatre and patrons should try to avoid bringing large items of luggage. The cloakroom operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Items left in the cloakroom will be subject to security checks.

Is the Novello Theatre air-conditioned?

Yes, the theatre has an air cooling system in its auditorium.

Where should I eat near the Novello Theatre?

The theatre is a five-minute walk from Covent Garden, where there is ample choice for a pre-theatre bite to eat. The pre-theatre menu at Fishworks, which is just a couple of minutes away from the theatre, has a wide range of fish dishes. Alternatively, for something meatier, try out Christopher's Steakhouse, which is a few minutes walk away.

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

Make your trip to the theatre unforgettable with a stay at ME London, just across the road from the theatre. This five-star hotel boasts a spectacular rooftop terrace with views across London and is perfectly located for exploring all of the must-see landmarks. For a more budget stay, check out the nearby Z Hotels in Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square, both of which are no more than a 15-minute walk.

How do I contact the box office?

The box office can be contacted via email at
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