Theatre Address & MapVictoria Street, London SW1E 5EA
Nearest Tube Station: Victoria
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- Air conditioned
- Disabled toilets
- Infrared hearing loop
- Wheelchair accessible
Seating DescriptionThe theatre seats 1550, and seating is split into stalls, dress circle and grand circle. The front few rows are restricted viewing, and be aware that the Underground runs right below the stalls, so you can feel it beneath your feet. In the dress circle leg room is limited, but there is excellent view from the front, central seats.
The grand circle overhangs the dress circle, limiting the view of the top of the stage, and this production uses its full height frequently. There is a steep rake to the grand circle, and a bar obscures the views from the front rows.
Theatre HistoryThere has been a theatre on the site of the current Victoria Palace Theatre since 1832, which was originally called Moy’s Music Hall. In 1886, the theatre, now named the Royal Standard Music Hall, was demolished with the construction of Victoria Street and Victoria Station. It was considered ‘the most comfortable hall of entertainment in London’. In 1911, it was rebuilt again, incorporating electricity, and a sliding roof for air conditioning (today, it is automatically air conditioned), at a cost of £12,000. It was named the Victoria Palace Theatre.
In the 20th century, the theatre moved on from variety performances to plays. Perhaps due to its musical hall reputation, plays were not often taken seriously. Much of the 1911 design by Frank Matcham remains, including the marble floor and pillars in the foyer. The facade, canopy and cupola have recently been restored to match this early 20th century design. The golden ballerina, a figure of Anna Pavlova, was removed from the cupola of the theatre before the Blitz for safety reasons. It has since disappeared, but in 2006 was replaced with a replica of the original figure. Early in the 21st century, the Victoria Palace Theatre has undergone a building programme, enlarging the foyer, facilities and dressing rooms.