Hi Everyone. This post will be on the first theatre I have reviewed so far on this blog and also a bit about the play I saw there.
The Gielgud theatre is located on Shaftesbury Avenue in London, a really central location and a road that has many theatres on it, including The Queens Theatre right next door to The Gielgud. The Gielgud theatre is one of the many London theatres that has its stalls at basement level, therefore the dress circle is the tier that is on street level.
If you are in a wheelchair or use a mobility scooter (or have any trouble using stairs) then the dress circle is where you will need to book tickets for. Contact the theatre booking line on 0844 482 5137 for more information on tickets and seating. For those with mobility problems, there is an entrance on Rupert Street, to the left of the theatre, that has a ramped access, instead of stairs (again, please notify the theatre beforehand so that a member of staff can open this entrance for you).
The theatre foyer is relatively small but has a bar and cloakroom and disabled toilets nearby. There is also another bar upstairs. The theatre looks to have been fairly recently decorated as it is clean and fresh and dripping with period features. All of the staff were extremely helpful - from the booking office staff to the ushers - one of which was the most helpful usher I have ever met. He was waiting for us to arrive, opened the side entrance door for us, took us to our seats, checked on us during the interval and came back to collect us at the end - an absolute star!
Inside the theatre, the decor is luxurious with a grand chandelier commanding full attention from above. The chairs are very comfy and appeared somewhat larger than other theatres I have visited. There is pretty generous leg room in most aisles too.
The performance I saw was Yes Prime Minister, staring David Haig and Henry Goodman. It was a brilliantly written piece, very funny and was performed with great timing by all the cast. Unfortunately this show has now come to the end of its run as we saw it on its final night. However, if you get the chance to see it on tour, I would definitely recommend it for an excellent night out for all. The writers (from the original TV show) have brought it right up to date - with a coalition Government, global warming, expenses scalndals and a financial crisis.
The video shows some of the theatre and the set from Yes Prime Minister.
I would definitely recommend a night out to The Gielgud - its next production, opening in March, is Umbrellas of Cherbourg.
Up next: Our recommended hotel for 2011 - The Cavendish
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