Theatre Address & Map
29 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7ES
- Air conditioned
- Disabled toilets
- Infrared hearing loop
- Wheelchair accessible
Seating DescriptionThe theatre seats 924, and seating is split into stalls, dress circle, upper circle and balcony. Pillars can obscure the view of some seats in all tiers. The sides of the balcony and parts of the upper circle are classed as restricted view.
Theatre HistoryThe Lyric Theatre is the oldest theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, having been built in 1888. It was designed by C. J. Phipps, as a home for operetta for Henry J Leslie. The design retained an original 1767 house front at the rear of the theatre, which is still in place today. Comic operas the theatre hosted include Mountebanks (1892) and Dorothy (1888), alongside the more serious La Dame Aux Camelias (1893). At the beginning of the 20th century, the Lyric Theatre turned to hosting plays, including Robin Hood (1906), The Chocolate Soldier (1910), by George Bernard Shaw, and A Reunion in Vienna (1934), starring Laurence Olivier and directed by Noel Coward.
In 1933, Thomas Bostock took over as manager, and the Lyric Theatre was entirely redecorated, including a total refurbishment of the foyer and bars. The facade has been restored more recently, in 1994. Musicals have run at the Lyric Theatre throughout the 20th century. They include early an example, Girl in a Taxi (1911), and more recently the original Blood Brothers (1983), by Willie Russell, and a revival of the musical Ain’t Misbehavin’ (1995). In 2005, Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer purchased the Lyric Theatre, along with the Apollo, the Duchess and the Garrick, forming Nimax Theatres.