About the Shaftesbury Theatre
Note: After the close of Motown, some changes were made to the layout including the removal of the gangway in front of Row M, meaning older reviews may be slightly inaccurate.
The Shaftesbury Theatre was designed by Bertie Crewe and opened as the New Prince's Theatre in 1911. It was the last theatre to be built on Shaftesbury Avenue. After hosting a number of Broadway transfers, the ceiling collapsed during a performance of Hair in 1973, forcing the long-running show to close after just under 2,000 performances. The theatre went under a major refurbishment in 2006, and upon reopening it has hosted Hairspray, Flashdance, Rock of Ages and Motown the Musical amongst many more.
With a seating capacity of 1,400, the Shaftesbury Theatre is a mid-sized venue split across three levels. The front Stalls are split into two sections, with the two aisles in the rear Stalls splitting the back into a further three. The Royal and Grand Circles suffer from some sight-line problems in certain rows which causes the back of the stage to be obscured.