Originally this is the site of a theatre built in it's first incarnation in 1663, making it the oldest theatre in London, though it's 4th actual building as others have burnt down. This one has stood safe since 1812. I hear Andrew Lloyd Webber owns it now.
It's a grand venue, a lovely decorative portico at the front and inset busts of historic figures in the walls and internal recesses.
The entry is lovely and in this instance the front of house staff are well dressed.
There's a second area just by the stairs, a circular hallway, which in this case held a concession stand for the Lord Of The Rings show.
Then, down stairs to a bar, then bizarrely back up stairs to the stalls.
The theatre is a very stereotypical layout, with stall, dress circle, circle and balcony/gods in terms of seating. There are side boxes, but, as ever, with restricted views.
For this show the set leached into the auditorium, blending the space between Middle Earth and reality and it was a fantastic use of the space.
This show made use of every part of the stage with an enormous and complex revolving set, a good sign for the future in terms of it's capacity to create new innovation and design in theatre.
A great show in a lovely theatre.
The staff can be somewhat abrupt, one in particular today was rude to me when I accidentally took a picture with my partners camera phone. (Using his phone and no clue how to actually get to the part I wanted to use, never mind what to do when I got there!) It was of the back of someone elses head but the staff member was awfully shirty, even when I showed him the accidental picture. I wasn't happy and it slightly spoiled my enjoyment of the show.
Later, when selling ice cream they ran out before even half of the enormous queue were served, rather silly given the advance bookings!
When purchasing at the concession stand they had no bags to take away your merchandise. For what otherwise appears to be a very professional looking and grandiose place the customer service and manners are distinctly lacking.
The seats are very uncomfortable after the first hour, it's certainly time someone decided that if the audience pays £60 a head, you expect more than the 1900's style seats.