West Street, London, WC2H 9ND
LocationThe Ambassadors Theatre is located in a prime position for tourists to the city, halfway between Leicester Square and Covent Garden tube stations. The West End is one of the busiest and most vibrant parts of London, and is specifically geared towards visitors to the capital with its plethora of bars, restaurants and shops. From Covent Garden you can explore the market, watch some street performers, stroll around the many shops on the site or even take a trip to the London Transport Museum, and Leicester Square is the place to go for cheap and cheerful nightlife and a selection of cinemas and restaurants. If you want something slightly more stylish from your trip, try the bar at the W Hotel on Leicester Square for classic cocktails overlooking the crowds below.
Getting thereBy Tube: The nearest station is Leicester Square on the Piccadilly and Northern lines.By bus: Numbers 14, 19, 22, 24, 29, 38, 40 and 176 all stop near the theatre.By car or taxi: Hail a cab outside Leicester Square or use the nearest car park, the MasterPark at Cambridge Circus. Alternatively there are NCP car parks on Upper St Martin’s Lane and Bedfordbury.
SeatingThe Ambassador's Theatre is an intimate venue seating 418 people over two levels. The Stalls are oddly shaped, with half rows towards the back. Most seats provide a clear view of the stage, although those closer to the middle give a better overall view of the stage. Avoid sitting in the front two rows if you want to take in most of the action. The Circle sits above the Stalls and is divided into a front and rear section by a central aisle. The front row curves around the shape of the balcony, but views from most seats are good and unrestricted.
AccessibilityThe Ambassadors Theatre is set across just 2 levels, the Stalls and the Circle. The main foyer is only accessible by one 15cm step, but staff will be happy to assist those with wheelchairs or who have difficulty walking. The Stalls are 26 steps down from the foyer, and the Circle is 5 steps up with staggered seating. There is no lift within the theatre. There are discounted tickets available to all disabled patrons.
The Ambassadors Theatre is not very well adapted to suit wheelchair users, as all levels can only be accessed by steps and there are no wheelchair spaces. However, transfer seating is available throughout the auditorium. The theatre also lacks an adapted toilet. Whilst the bar can only be reached via the stairs, drinks and snacks can be brought to visitors in their seats.
There is an induction loop and infra-red system installed for the hearing impaired, available at the Box Office and in the auditorium. Signed events are also regularly scheduled, and some productions also put on audio-described performances. Up to 2 guide dogs are permitted inside the auditorium during each performance, or alternatively staff can dog-sit for the duration of the show.Access bookings telephone line 020 7492 9930 or access booking form
HistoryThe Ambassadors Theatre is one of London’s more intimate venues, seating just 444 people across both the Upper and Dress Circles. The smaller size means that over the decades the theatre has been a particularly suitable destination for revues, plays and experimental theatre companies, and it has hosted both West End smash hits and independent plays during its existence. The Grade II-listed building first opened in 1913, having been designed by architect W. G. R. Sprague as a companion for the St Martin’s Theatre, although due to the intervention of World War One the latter was not completed until some years later. The Ambassadors, meanwhile, put on a range of the new French genre of revue throughout the war under the name Odds and Ends, with over 400 performances in its first run. Between the end of the First World War and the 1950s the theatre hosted several notable performances and debut plays from talents including Ivor Novello, Eugene O’Neill, Vivien Leigh and Margaret Rutherford.
Despite having a diverse run of past productions under its belt, the play for which the Ambassadors will always be best known is Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, which debuted at the theatre in 1952 and remained there until transferring next door to the St Martin’s Theatre in 1973. The subsequent years saw a successful production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses starring Alan Rickman, the Royal Court taking up residence at the theatre, and a mixture of plays, comedy and musicals. In more recent years the Ambassadors was the venue has hosted the musical Sweeney Todd and seen performances from stars including John Hurt, Cillian Murphy and Neve Campbell. The current production of Stomp has been running since 2007, and remains one of the most popular in the West End for its colourful and infectious combination of dance, rhythm and comedy.