Monday, 16 December 2013

Duchess Theatre London

Theatre Address & Map

3-5 Catherine Street, London, WC2B 5LA
Nearest tube station: Covent Garden

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  • Bar
  • Disabled toilets
  • Infrared hearing loop
  • Toilets
  • Wheelchair accessible

Seating Description

The theatre seats 495, and seating is split into stalls and dress circle.  The rear stalls are separated right and left by an aisle down the middle, but at the font the rows become continuous. The stalls are particularly narrow, meaning wide angle viewing at ends of rows is less of a problem than in other theatres. The dress circle seats are arranged in one block, with aisles at either side.

Theatre History

The Duchess Theatre is a young theatre in the West End, situated near Aldwych. It was designed by Ewan Barr, and built for Arthur Gibbons in 1929. The interior decoration was introduced 5 years later, under the supervision of Mary Wyndham Lewis, wife of playwright J. B. Priestley. In the early years, Priestly had many connections with the theatre: a number of his plays including Laburnum Grove, The Linden Tree, Eden End, were staged there, and in 1934 he joined the management team. The theatre is best known for its drama.

Harold Pinter’s first West End success, The Caretaker, took place at the Duchess Theatre in 1960, with Donald Pleasance and Alan Bates. Perhaps most excitingly, the forerunner to the famous Michael Cain movie, Alfie, was a play of the same name by Bill Naughton staged at the Duchess Theatre in 1962. In 2005, Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer purchased the Duchess Theatre, along with the Apollo, the Lyric and the Garrick, forming Nimax Theatres.

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