The Prince of Wales Theatre is a West End theatre in Coventry Street, near Leicester Square in London. It was established in 1884 and rebuilt in 1937, and extensively refurbished in 2004 by Sir Cameron Mackintosh, its current owner. The theatre should not be confused with the former Scala Theatre in London that was known as the Prince of Wales Royal Theatre or Prince of Wales's Theatre from 1865 until its demolition in 1903.
The first theatre on the site opened in January 1884 when C.J. Phipps built the Prince's Theatre for actor-manager Edgar Bruce. It was a traditional three-tier theatre, seating just over 1,000 people. The theatre was renamed the "Prince of Wales Theatre" in 1886 after the future Edward VII. Located between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, the theatre was favourably situated to attract theatregoers.
The first production in the theatre was an 1884 revival of W. S. Gilbert's The Palace of Truth starring Herbert Beerbohm Tree, preceded by a one-act comedy, In Honour Bound. This was soon followed by a free adaptation of Ibsen's A Doll's House, called Breaking a Butterfly. In 1885, Lillie Langtry, reputedly the first "society" lady to become an actress, played in Princess George and The School for Scandal. The first hit production at the theatre was the record-breaking comic opera, Dorothy, starring Marie Tempest, which was so successful that its authors used the profits to build the Lyric Theatre, where it moved in 1888. The wordless mime play L'Enfant Prodigue premiered in 1891 which, together with A Pierrot's Life in 1897, brought respectability to mime troupes in Britain.
George Edwardes' musical play, In Town, often considered the first English musical comedy, was presented at the theatre in 1892 and was followed by Edwardes' even more successful A Gaiety Girl in 1893. In 1895, Basil Hood's Gentleman Joe, the Hansom Cabby began a long run starring the low comedian, Arthur Roberts, in the title role. The theatre then began to present straight plays with Maeterlinck's Pelléas et Mélisande (1898, with incidental music by Fauré) and Wills's adaptation of Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities as The Only Way (1899, also starring Harvey). Charles Hawtrey starred in the successful A Message from Mars (1901). In 1900–01, Marie Tempest played the title roles in the play English Nell (based on Simon Dale's novel about Nell Gwynn), Peg Woffington, a dramatisation of Charles Reade's novel, as well as Becky Sharp in a dramatisation of Thackeray's Vanity Fair.
The theatre played more musical comedies beginning in 1903, including the Frank Curzon and Isabel Jay hits Miss Hook of Holland (1907, its matinee version, Little Miss Hook of Holland was performed by children for children), King of Cadonia (1908), and The Balkan Princess (1910), and later the World War I hits, Broadway Jones (1914), Carminetta (1917), and Yes, Uncle! (1917).
The theatre then hosted plays such as Avery Hopwood's farce Fair and Warmer (1918) and Ivor Novello's The Rat (1924, Novello's first play, in which he also starred), and revues including A to Z (1921), Co-Optimists (1923), and Charlot's Revue (1924). They starred Gertrude Lawrence, Jack Buchanan, Beatrice Lillie, Stanley Holloway, and Jessie Matthews. Ms Matthews also starred, along with Richard Hearne, in "Wild Rose", featuring the memorable Jerome Kern song "Look for the Silver Lining". These were followed by The Blue Train (1927), Alibi (1928, directed by Gerald du Maurier with Charles Laughton as Hercule Poirot), By Candlelight (1928), and Journey's End (1929). In 1930, Edith Evans became the manager at the theatre, presenting and starring in Delilah, which was not a success. Beginning in 1932, the theatre presented a series of risqué "Folies"-style revues, including Voila! Les Dames (1935) and its last production, Encore les Dames (1937). These shows were so successful that they funded the rapid rebuilding of the theatre in 1937.
After 50 years, the theatre's 800 seats were deemed insufficient for productions of the day, and it was demolished. On 17 June 1937, Gracie Fields sang to the workmen as she laid the foundation stone of the new Art Deco-decorated theatre, designed by Robert Cromie, and the theatre opened on 27 October that year. The new theatre's seating capacity was about 1,100, and it had a larger stage and improved facilities for both the artists and the public, including a large, stylish stalls bar (the bar itself was 14 metres long), complete with dance floor. The first productions at the new theatre were Les Folies de Paris et Londres, starring George Robey, followed by Folies De Can-Can in 1938, a continuation of the old theatre's series of successful risqué revues, which ran continuously until 2 am every night. The musical comedy, Present Arms, was offered in 1940, and in 1941 the theatre screened the UK premiere of Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator. The film had been banned in many parts of Europe, and the theatre's owner, Alfred Esdaile, was fined for showing it.
In 1943, Strike a New Note was notable for Sid Field's London debut, and he returned to the theatre in Strike it Again (1944), and yet again in Piccadilly Hayride (1946, a revue that ran for 778 performances). In 1949, Harvey, Mary Coyle Chase's comedy about an imaginary rabbit, was a success, as was Diamond Lil in 1948 starring Mae West. In the 1950s, the theatre hosted variety and revues, starring such famous performers as Norman Wisdom, Peter Sellers, Bob Hope, Gracie Fields, Benny Hill, Hughie Green, Frankie Howerd, and Morecambe and Wise. In 1959, Paul Osborn's The World of Susie Wong became the theatre's longest-running play to date with 832 performances. On 4 November 1963, The Beatles performed From Me to You, She Loves You, Till There Was You, and Twist and Shout at the Prince of Wales Theatre, during the Royal Variety Show in the presence of The Queen Mother.
Neil Simon's play, Come Blow Your Horn, starring Michael Crawford, played in 1962, followed by a season of Martha Graham's dance company, including the world première of her ballet Circe. Next was a string of Broadway musicals, including Funny Girl in 1966 with Barbra Streisand, Sweet Charity (1967), and Promises, Promises (1969). The Threepenny Opera was revived in 1972. In 1976, Bernard Slade's Same Time, Next Year was a hit, as was I Love My Wife (1977), and Bedroom Farce (1978). In 1982, Underneath the Arches was a long-running hit. Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love (1989) smashed all previous box-office records at the theatre, running for 1,325 performances.
Refurbishment was carried out in 2004 to increase the seating capacity slightly to 1,160 seats and to modernise the theatre's facilities. New bars were added, the auditorium completely rebuilt, the backstage areas refurbished and the theatre's famous tower and exterior completely gutted and refurbished with new LED lighting and a crisp modern finish.
The theatre re-opened with ABBA's musical Mamma Mia! on 16 April 2004. On 18 August 2007, Mamma Mia! became the longest-running show ever at the Prince of Wales, overtaking the previous record held by Aspects of Love with 1,326 performances at the venue and counting. The production marked another landmark on Thursday 23 August 2007, celebrating its 3,500th performance since its 1999 world premiere at the Prince Edward Theatre in Old Compton Street, London. The production left the theatre on 1 September 2012 and transferred to the Novello Theatre on 6 September 2012. The theatre was grade II listed by English Heritage in April 1999.
The Prince of Wales Theatre which stands on the corner of Coventry Street and Oxendon Street in London's Leicester Square today is actually the second Theatre to be built on the site since the late 19th century. There is more on the current Theatre below but first a chronological history of the site since the 1880s.
The first Theatre on the site opened as the Prince's Theatre on Friday the 18th of January 1884 with a production of the Comedy 'The Palace of Truth' by W. S. Gilbert, of Gilbert & Sulivan fame, and a production of the Comedy 'In Honour Bound,' by Sydney Grundy. The Prince's Theatre, with a capacity of 960, was designed by the prolific Theatre Architect C. J. Phipps as part of a development which also included an Hotel and Restaurant.
Edgar Bruce, who had previously been actor manager at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Tottenham Street since 1880 and had made a large profit from his production there of 'The Colonel,' by F. C. Bernand, was forced to leave that Theatre when it was condemned by the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1882. Flush with his success at the Tottenham Street Theatre he purchased land in Coventry Street and set about having a new Theatre built for him there.
The Pall Mall Gazette printed a review of the opening and a sketch of the auditorium the next day in their 19th of January 1884 edition saying: 'Last night a most brilliant audience witnessed the opening of the Prince's Theatre in Coventry-street, which for its size, the beauty of its decorations, its admirable arrangement, and its sumptuous equipment entitle it to take the highest place among London theatres. The theatre has been built for Mr. Bruce by Mr. Phipps, the well-known architect of many playhouses, and both he and the spirited manager, Mr. Edgar Bruce, well deserved all the praise which was showered upon them last night for the complete success that has attended their united efforts.
The theatre stands upon a plot of land bounded by Coventry-street, Oxendon-street, Whitcomb-street, and Whitcomb-court, and has, entrances from each of these four streets, the principal one being at the corner of Coventry and Oxendon streets. There are three fine doorways opening into a circular vestibule, affording entrance to the stalls, balcony, and private boxes. Three other entrances to the first-circle, the pit, and the gallery, and a separate entrance to the Royal box, are in the Oxendon-street facade. There are besides these other exits, thus making two exits from every floor, which will always be open and available. The entrances, staircases, foyer, are entirely external to the main block of the theatre, and are treated in unison with the architecture of the hotel, which occupies a position of the frontage, in the French Renaissance style.
The floor of the vestibule and the staircase are constructed of marble. A sketch of the Grotto at the Prince's Theatre - Courtesy Delfont Mackintosh Theatres.The foyer for the balcony has an arcade of circular-headed windows on the street side, and this design is repeated on the opposite and flank wails, the openings being divided by Corinthian pilasters, resting on a panelled dado. The ceiling is richly ornamented, and, together with the walls, decorated in ivory white and gold. The doors and dado are painted a deeper colour. The floor is made beautiful with marble mosaic.
The visitors to the stalls have a foyer of similar size on the lower level, and this, together with the smoking-room under the vestibule, are decorated and fitted up in the Moorish style. Here the walls and ceiling are white, the floor blue mosaic, and the doors and recesses in the walls green. A small fountain is at the end of the foyer. The smoking-room is circular, following the shape of the vestibule over, and in the centre is a kiosk for refreshments. Opening out of the vestibule and situate under the pavement of the street is a grotto and fernery.
After passing through the stalls foyer a corridor runs entirely round the theatre, giving access to both sides of the stalls. The scheme of the auditory comprises: stalls of eight rows and a spacious pit on the street level; balcony of six rows on the first floor; first circle of six rows on the second floor, and gallery on the third floor.
There are eight private boxes on either side of the proscenium, special care having been taken in arranging the lines of the house that these should have a good view of the stage. The Royal box is on the lower or stalls level on the prompt side of the stage, having a boudoir attached to it, and a special entrance from Oxendon-street without a step. It may be mentioned here that from every seat in the house an admirable view of the stage is obtained.
The general tone of the decoration is ivory white, cream colour and gold, the gilding being in large masses. Rich colour is derived from the hangings to the private boxes, and the coverings of the seats, which are of red orange plush. The walls of the various tiers are covered with embossed paper of a Venetian red tone, the private boxes being lined with a Japanese paper of a dull gold colour.
The stage is divided from the auditory by a solid brick wall carried up to a considerable height, separating both roofs. There are only two openings in this wall other than the proscenium opening, and these are closed with iron doors, while the large opening is fitted with a patent hydraulic iron curtain, similar to that at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh (designed also by Mr. Phipps).
The curtain measures 32 ft. 6 in. wide by 26 ft. 6 in. high, and is constructed of two screens of wrought iron plates 1/8th in. thick, forming a double division with an air space between of 6 in. It is raised bodily by hydraulic rams fitted on either side of the stage opening, and worked by the man at the prompter's box by a lever (like those used on railways). The curtain is raised or lowered in 30 sec. The stage is spacious, and has a more than usual width. The height enables all scenery to be taken up without rolling or doubling, and the cellar below is 20 ft. deep. The theatre is most brilliantly lighted by the Swan incandescent electric lamps.'
The above text (edited) in quotes was first published in the Pall Mall Gazette, 19th of January 1884.
The Renaming of the Prince's Theatre to the Prince of Wales Theatre
The Prince's Theatre opened on the 18th of January 1884 with a production of the Comedy 'The Palace of Truth' by W. S. Gilbert, of Gilbert & Sulivan fame, and a production of the Comedy 'In Honour Bound,' by Sydney Grundy. The next year saw the much loved and still well known Lillie Langtry perform in 'Princess George' and 'The School forScandal' which was to set the stage for a whole host of famous celebrities of the day performing at the Theatre including Martin Harvey, Mrs Patrick Campbell, Charles Hawtrey, and Marie Tempest.
Although the Theatre originally opened as the Prince's Theatre it would soon be renamed, only two years later, to thePrince of Wales Theatre on October the 4th 1886 for the opening of the Comic Opera 'La Bearnaise.' This was made possible when the other Theatre of the same name in Tottenham Street had been taken over by the Salvation Army to be used as a Hostel. By the 1900s the Prince of Wales had become well known for its comic operas and musicals. And by 1919 the Prince of Wales Theatre had become the home for many of Noel Coward and Ivor Novello's revues with famous names such as Gertrude Lawrence, Jack Buchanan, Beatrice Lillie and Jessie Matthews performing in them.
In 1932 a new period began at the Prince of Wales when Charles Clore took control of the Theatre and began putting on lavish revues which eventually became London's own version of the 'Folies Bergere'. A string of 'Folies' shows followed, all rather risqué for the time and featuring lavish costumes, beautiful dancers, singers, magicians, acrobats, and elaborate sets. In 1935 Alfred Esdaile took over the Theatre but continued with the same policy. These 'Folies' shows, which ran continuously from 2pm to midnight, 4 times a day, were an enormous success and would eventually provide the funds necessary to build a new Theatre to replace the aging 1884 one.
The Second and Current Prince of Wales Theatre.
The first Prince of Wales Theatre was always a successful Theatre and put on a great many productions but the size of the stage and capacity of its auditorium proved to be a major issue for the elaborate 'Folies Bergere' style revue shows which had been running at the Theatre since 1932. Flush with their success, and the considerable profits they brought in, by the mid 1930s the owners decided that the present Theatre should be replaced by a new one. Consequently in 1936 the well known Cinema and Theatre Architect, Robert Cromie, was brought in to design a new Theatre to be built on the same site.
On the 19th of December 1936 the Times Newspaper reported on the proposed new Theatre saying: 'The Prince of Wales's Theatre is to be demolished and rebuilt immediately after Christmas. There will be no change in the present policy or management. A sum of £350,000 is involved. The theatre will close on Saturday evening, January 16, when a farewell gala performance will be given. It is hoped that it will be broadcast and that several famous actors and actresses who started their careers at this theatre will take part. The architect of the new building is Mr. Robert Cromie.
The new theatre will be nearly twice as large as the present one. There will be 1,500 roomy seats — roughly twice as many as there are at present. There will be only one tier, 27ft. from the stage. There will be bars convenient to all parts of the theatre, including an especially large one with small shops and side shows attached to the stalls, entered through a cocktail bar. In it will be a snack counter, a band, anda dance floor with experts giving lessons in the latest dances, and cabaret turns during the intervals of the ordinary stage show. A conjurer, palmist, and lightning artist will also be engaged for the entertainment of patrons using the bars. Dressing rooms will be provided with a barber's shop and manicurists.
The theatre will have a television projection installation, and talking film apparatus and wiring for broadcasting will also be fitted. An electric organ in the orchestra will be used in conjunction with the theatre band. The orchestra pit will be designed not only to rise, but also to part and swing back on to the sides of the stage on reaching stage level. The proscenium will be 45ft. wide — twice the present width. There will be a movable revolving stage which can be transferred to any part of the ordinary stage as required. It will also be possible for it to be brought forward over the footlights and band. There will be a "running-track" - similar to an escalator, but on the flat - running from one side of the stage to the other. Air-conditioning-will ensure an even temperature and pure air throughout the theatre.'
The above text in quotes was first published in The Times, 19th, December 1936. This article from The Times above seems rather ahead of its time, especially the reference to Television Projection at a time when Television itself was in its infancy. As far as we are aware the Theatre was not installed with this feature or the elaborate orchestra pit mentioned. It was however, fitted with a revolve which had a large outer ring with a smaller central disc which could turn and lift, but not lower, as at the London Palladium, and was used on occasions for Sunday Night on TV when the Palladium was not available. The Theatre was also fitted with a Birkitt counterweight system but this and the revolve were removed at the time of the recent refurbishment in 2003/5.
On the 16th of January 1937 the last production at the original Prince of Wales Theatre, a revue called 'Encore Les Dames,' came to an end and the Theatre closed its doors for the final time. The old Theatre was then quickly demolished so that a new Theatre of the same name could be built on the site. The foundation stone for the new Prince Of Wales Theatre was laid by Gracie Fields on the 17th of June 1937.
The new Prince of Wales Theatre opened on the 27th of October 1937 with a production of the Review 'Les Folies de Paris et Londres,' which was a continuation of the non stop reviews which had been staged successfully at the earlier Theatre since 1932, first by Charles Clore, and then later by Alfred Esdaile. In the 'Revue Folies De Can-Can' Programme Alfred Esdaile wrote a piece about the new and old Prince of Wales Theatres which is reproduced below. These reviews were an attempt at an English version of the well known French 'Folies Bergeres' and continued at the Theatre until the Musical Comedy 'Present Arms' opened in May 1940.
'Dear Patrons, The opening revue of the new theatre was an undoubted success as you are probably aware. In spite of the fact that the theatre was closed for close on a year for rebuilding, when we re-opened it last October with identically the same policy it was soon obvious that our old friends and patrons had not forgotten us, for they simply flocked to see the biggest non-stop revue which has ever been staged in London.
Without a doubt "Les Folies de Paris et Londres" was far and away the most elaborate and ambitious non-stop entertainment ever devised. The new theatre, large and luxurious, with every modern stage contraption and convenience only added to the splendour of this magnificent entertainment, which, after a run of over 400 performances, and playing to many thousands of people, came to an end on Saturday, February 19th.
We have always prided ourselves on being able to prophesy the length of our runs on the first night of a new show. With a theatre twice as large as the old one we frankly thought that if we gave our first show a four months' run - equal to 8 months in the old theatre, which was half the size - we would not only be asking a lot of it but would also be giving it as long a run as we dared. Happily, or unhappily as the case may be, for once we were wrong. "Les Folies de Paris et Londres" could vastly have run several more weeks with business as it was, and the West End very full just now of visitors to London for the British Industries Fair and other things which always send theatre receipts up with a bang.
However, this new production "Revue Folies de Can-Can" was scheduled for production on February 23rd and contracts, apart from many other considerations, made it impossible for us to delay this production, so here it is, in for a run which, we are convinced, will at least equal its predecessor, but in our humble though carefully considered opinion, easily exceed it. Good and successful though our first show was, it has only needed a look at the rehearsals, the costumes and the scenery to realise that this new show must easily be more successful than the last.
We thought we had done our best with the last show but somehow with the worries connected with the opening of the new theatre off our minds, we have been able to concentrate entirely on this new show to an extent I did not realise possible when we opened the new theatre last October. The larger stage and its mechanical contrivances had not been tried out then. Now, with the experimental stage past, I have been able to do all sorts of things I did not realise were possible when I was opening the last show with only an ink and paper knowledge of what the stage and its mechanics were going to be like. More than this, we have been able to secure costumes and effects for this show which easily outclass anything we have ever had before, elaborate as some of our shows have been.
We do not think you will be slow to realise that there is something about this production which, even with our good record, not merely goes one better but is a very good deal better than anything we have ever accomplished. Each time I devise and produce a new show I think to myself "Well, it's just impossible to do better than this." I have said this so often because it seems that when one has exhausted one's ideas in one production, new and better ones will be so hard to find, but somehow or other new ones have come along and we have always been able to achieve what I thought was impossible, that is a better production than the last on each occasion.
We feel sure you will be pleased to see Ronald Frankau with Renee Roberts and Monte Crick back again. They were associated with some of our most successful productions including the most successful we ever did in the old theatre. With them we have an entirely new cast with the exception of Bernard Clifton, one of the most attractive juvenile leads we have had, and we are very glad to have him with us again in a second show. We are sure you will notice the youth and beauty the female side of our new company, which, after a census, we find has an average age of only 18. This must be a record for a West End show.
One thing more, and the most important of all. While we are naturally proud of our efforts and our successes, we are conscious, only too conscious in fact, that none of this would have been possible, but for the continued and regular support of so many people we are pleased to call friends as well as patrons. People who have been coming to see our shows off and on for the last 5 or 6 years.
The most amazing thing about the opening of the new theatre, even on the first night was the extraordinary homeliness about the place. With so many of the old staff and many musicians in the orchestra, and artistes on the stage there was really very little strange about our opening night. Apart from the glamour attached to any ordinary first night, the electrifying excitement which usually accompanies the opening of a new theatre was missing to a most peculiar extent. It seemed as if we were just carrying on exactly the same as before, but in different surroundings. You, our patrons cannot fail to notice this I feel sure. I only hope we can rely upon your continued support throughout what I hope will he a very long career for this lovely new theatre.
With my thanks for all you have helped me to do. Yours very truly ALFRED ESDAILE.' Above text from a Programme for 'Revue Folies de Can-Can' at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1938.
After the above mentioned review period ended at the Prince of Wales Charlie Chaplin's film 'The Great Dictator' was shown at the Theatre in December 1940. Non stop reviews then returned for a short while but only until George Black took over the reigns and presented 'Happidrome' at the Theatre, which would later be produced very successfully by the BBC at the New Cross Empire.
Eventually the Prince of Wales passed into the hands of Moss Empires and a string of successful plays and musicals followed at the Theatre including 'No Orchids for Miss Blandish' in 1942, 'Strike a New Note' in 1943 with the comedy entertainer and impressionist Sid Field, who also appeared in 'Strike It Again' at the Theatre in 1944. Mae West appeared at the Theatre in 'Diamond Lil' in 1948, and Katherine Dunham appeared there in 1948.
In 1949 Sid Field returned to great acclaim at the Prince of Wales Theatre playing the part of Elwood P. Dowd in 'Harvey' which would later be played by James Stewart in the film of the same name. The play ran for 610 performances but sadly this was to be Field's last part as he died from a heart attack at his home in Richmond during the run of the play at the age of only 45 on the 3rd of February 1950. Shortly after this the Theatre became home to Reviews and Variety again with many of the shows produced in the style of the earlier 1930s 'Folies Bergere' productions. This continued until the play 'The World of Susic Wong' opened in November of 1959 and ran for two years until August 1961.
In 1963 the Theatre was completely redecorated and two years later the Proscenium, stage, and Orchestra Pit were remodeled. A great many productions were subsequently staged at the Theatre, the most notable of which were 'Funny Girl,' starring Barbara Streisand in 1966, 'Sweet Charity' in 1967, 'Promises Promises' in 1969, which ran for two years, 'The Threepenny Opera' in 1972 with Vanessa Redgrave Diana Quick, and Barbara Windsor, 'The Plumber's Progress' in 1976 with Harry Secombe and Simon Callow, 'Underneath the Arches' in 1982, which became the longest run at the Theatre for 13 years and was about the famous comedy duo Flanagan and Allen, who had themselves appeared at the Theatre in 1945. And then came 'Aspects of Love' in 1989 which broke all previous records at the Theatre, running for 1,325 performances. Later successes were 'West Side Story', 'Fosse', 'The Witches of Eastwick', 'Rent', and 'The Full Monty.'
In July of 2003 the Prince of Wales closed its doors for a while when it underwent major restoration by the Delfont Mackintosh Group who spent some £7.5 million refurbishing the Theatre and bringing it into the 21st Century with a much improved auditorium and far better front of house facilities.
The Theatre was reopened by Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, on the 10th of June 2004 who then attended a Gala performance of 'Mamma Mia!' in aid of the Prince's Trust. This phenomenally successful show had previously run at the Prince Edward Theatre for five years before transferring to the newly renovated Prince of Wales Theatre, and by the 1st of November 2008 had clocked up 4,000 performances.
The show transferred to the Novello Theatre in September 2012 and continued to do exceptionally good business. The Prince of Wales Theatre went on to stage the Beatles Musical 'Let it Be' in 2012, and then in 2013 it became home to the acclaimed Broadway Musical 'The Book of Mormon' which opened on the 21st of March 2013.
Venue Access Information.
Tickets - How to book. Discounts are offered, subject to availability, for disabled theatregoers and one companion, including wheelchair users and Patrons who have specific access requirements. To discuss your visit and availability please: Call Now On 0344 482 5137 or email enquiry firstname.lastname@example.org
Hearing. THere is a Hearing-Impaired infra-red system in the auditorium and induction loop at the Box Office. They also provide occasional sign language interpreted performances. Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs & registered Assistance Dogs. Guide dogs are allowed in to the auditorium. Alternatively, staff are happy to dog sit.
Wheelchairs. Wheelchair access is available at the rear of the stalls, accessible via the ground level foyer. If you cannot transfer out of your chair companions can sit beside you. They also have a number of transferable seats available. Wheelchair seats/transfers must be booked in advance. They have a low-level counter box office and the merchandise kiosk, Delfont Bar and adapted toilets can be accessed via the lift in the foyer. An Access Host is available from their front of house team to help you in any way they can, should you require any assistance.
Toilets. Toilets for the Stalls are located in the basement area with access by lift. Toilets for the Dress Circle are located in the American bar which is located one level up from the foyer and has no access by lift. Disabled Toilets. The Wheelchair access adapted toilet is located in the basement area with access by lift.
Bars. The Delfont bar, which serves the Stalls, can be accessed by lift. The American bar, which serves the Dress Circle has 21 steps from the foyer with 4 steps up and 6 down from the Dress Circle foyer. Drinks can be brought to disabled customers in the auditorium. Hospitality areas are in the Dress Circle foyer and are 9 steps up from the back of the Dress Circle. Please note: The Dress Circle is steeply stepped and may not be suitable for vertigo sufferers.
Autism. Delfont Mackintosh Theatres knows that communication is KEY. They want all their patrons to have a good experience while in their theatres, so they now have a visual tool for parents and carers to use with children and adults on the autistic spectrum and/or with learning difficulties.
They have been researching the benefits of using social stories and would like to offer a social story for a visit to the Prince Of Wales Theatre. They know that people with autism find social situations difficult and understand that we are all unique. You can view the social story for Prince of Wales theatre by viewing or downloading the social story in PDF format here.
Parking: If you're driving into the West End to see the show, take advantage of the Q-Park Theatreland Parking Scheme saving you 50% off car parking for up to 24 hours. To qualify, present your Q-Park car park ticket for validation at the box office. Please note the discount does not apply to the pre-booking service, for full terms and conditions, participating car parks and locations visit: www.q-park.co.uk/theatreland. There is also a MasterPark car park at Whitcomb Street (closest to the theatre).
There are various VIP areas available for hospitality and hire. The largest is The Delfont Room, which holds up to 350 people and the smallest is The Piano Room, which holds up to 50 people. In addition there are The Princes Room and The Folies Room at 70 and 100 people respectively. The theatre and foyer spaces are available for Sunday and daytime hire for concerts, receptions, meetings, training seminars and other functions. For details please call or email: Call now on 020 7766 2100 or email enquiry mailto:email@example.com
Location : Prince of Wales Theatre, Coventry Street, London W1D 6AS
Access Line : 0344 482 5137
Tel: 0844 482 5115