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Shaftesbury Theatre London

About the Shaftesbury Theatre

The Shaftesbury Theatre was designed by Bertie Crewe and opened as the New Prince's Theatre in 1911 with a production of The Three Musketeers. It was the last theatre to be built on Shaftesbury Avenue, the heart of London's West End. The theatre managed to remain open during both World Wars, despite heavy bombing throughout the West End. During the First World War the theatre used the slogan "The Laughter House where you can forget the War". In 1963, the Prince's Theatre was renovated at a cost of £125,000 and reopened as the Shaftesbury Theatre with a production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

In 1968, the Shaftesbury Theatre hosted the UK premiere of the controversial musical Hair until 1973 when the show was forced to close due to a ceiling collapse in the theatre. The theatre reopened a year later with West Side Story and has been refurbished several times in the following decades. The Shaftesbury Theatre has become known for hosting the UK premieres of many musicals, including RENT, Hairspray, Memphis and Motown the Musical. From November 2019 - March 2023, the theatre was the home of jukebox musical & Juliet. In May 2023, the West End premiere of Mrs. Doubtfire The Musical opens at the theatre.

Frequently Asked Questions

The box office is open from 12pm until 7:30pm on Monday to Saturday for in-person bookings and collection. Please ensure you have your confirmation and card you booked with to hand, as this can speed up the collection process.
Doors open at the venue around one hour before the show is due to begin. It is best to arrive early to purchase refreshments and take your seat with plenty of time to enjoy the décor and atmosphere before the show.
There are five bars in the theatre serving all three levels of the auditorium. These offer beers, wines, spirits, soft-drinks, as well as snacks, ice cream and sweets. The bars are closed once the show starts and reopen for the interval. It is best to order interval drinks when you arrive to avoid queues at the bar between acts.
Cloakroom facilities at the theatre are very limited and unable to store bags larger than 35(W)x17(D)x42(H) cm. No suitcases are permitted. It is highly recommended that you only bring small items that can be carried comfortably on your lap during the performance.
The theatre has an air-conditioning system that regularly renews air around the building, ensuring a comfortable temperature for theatregoers.
Located at the north end of Shaftesbury Avenue, there is a wide range of restaurants and pubs available within a short walking distance. Sample a Korean barbecue at SuperStar BBQ, or the exotic flavours of Brazil at Cabana, both of which are just a five-minute walk away from the theatre. If you're looking for pub food, try The Angel or The Plough, both less than a 10-minute walk away. For a dependable, tasty burger, Byron is just across the road from the theatre. Be aware that any restaurant near a theatre is likely to get busy before the show starts, so be sure to book ahead to secure a table.
The Travelodge Covent Garden is less than a five-minute walk away from the theatre and perfectly located for exploring London's landmarks in the West End and further afield. To make your trip extra special, the SACO Covent Garden, is just a 10-minute walk away. This apart-hotel style accommodation offers very comfortable apartments that are perfect for a long stay in Central London.
The theatre box office can be contacted directly on 020 7379 5399. For further venue information and alternative contact details, visit
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