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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.

Plan Your Visit

The Novello Theatre opens around 60 minutes before the show starts. The Box Office opens from 10am on Monday-Saturday.
No, there is no set dress code for a show at the Novello Theatre. Dress up if you're celebrating a special night, otherwise, wear something that is comfortable and bear in mind the weather for your journey to and from the theatre as well.
Yes, the Novello Theatre has an air cooling system in its auditorium.
There are limited cloakroom facilities at the Novello 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.
Upon entry to the theatre, security staff will complete a ticket and bag check. Patrons are encouraged to arrive early to allow plenty of time.
There are four bars at the Novello Theatre: Sam's Bar in the foyer, the Schubert Bar, Ivor's Bar, and the Waldorf Bar, which serves ticketholders 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.
The Novello 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.
Make your trip to the Novello 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.
The Novello Theatre opened in 1905 and was designed by renowned theatre architect W.G.R. Sprague. Sprague is responsible for the design of many West End theatres, including the nearby Aldwych Theatre. The theatre was named after the legendary Welsh actor and composer Ivor Novello in 2005. Long-running West End musical Mamma Mia! has played at the theatre since 2012, transferring from the Prince of Wales Theatre where it played for over 8 years.

Help Booking Tickets

Tickets are held at the box office for collection on the day of your performance, 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.
The Novello Theatre box office is open from 10am until 8pm on Monday-Saturday for in-person bookings and collection.
The Novello Theatre box office can be contacted via email at
When buying online, you should check for the padlock in your browser URL bar to ensure the connection is secure. STAR (Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers) are the industry body that regulates the sale of London theatre tickets. When booking from a company you can check their ticket seller database to see if they are registered and conforming to STAR practices.
The Novello Theatre's 1,146-capacity auditorium, along with its bar spaces and VIP rooms can be hired for private and corporate events. For full details of pricing and what the theatre can offer email
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