Theatre Address & Map21 Wellington Street, London, WC2E 7RQ
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- Air conditioned
- Disabled toilets
- Infrared hearing loop
- Wheelchair accessible
The auditorium seats 2,000 people. Seating is split into stalls, royal circle and grand circle. The best seating is in the central block of the stalls, at least three rows back from the front.
In the royal and grand circle, views are limited at the extreme sides. The front row of the royal circle has a hand rail running along the front, and may obscure the view of shorter people.
Theatre HistoryThe Lyceum Theatre has a colourful, varied history of past uses. There has been a theatre on the current site since 1765. The initial building, The Old Lyceum, was used as a circus and a chapel, as well as a concert venue. It has been totally rebuilt twice, first in 1834 under designer Samuel Beazley renamed ‘Theatre Royal Lyceum and English Opera House’. During the 19th century, the Theatre Royal Lyceum was famous for its English opera, classical music, Shakespeare, and theatrical adaptations of contemporary novels including those of Dickens and Gaskell, and Dracula, by Bram Stoker.
In 1904, the Lyceum Theatre was rebuilt for a second time, in a rich roccoco style designed by Bertie Crewe. It continued to host drama until 1939, when the future of the Lyceum Theatre looked doomed, to be demolished for road improvements. However, during the war the improvement plans collapsed, and in 1951 it was rescued and reopened as the Lyceum Ballroom. It thrived later as a pop concert venue, hosting such names as The Clash, Bob Marley, The Who, U2, and Genesis.
In 1968, the Lyceum Theatre was threatened again with the Covent Garden redevelopment project, but a successful campaign to grant it Grade II listed status, which it still holds, saved the theatre. Though it went dark in 1986, 10 years later it was restored into a venue for opera and musicals, a return to the kinds of performances it championed in the mid 19th century. The Lyceum Theatre has been home to the much-loved musical The Lion King since 1999.