LocationThe Apollo Victoria Theatre is not hard to find, as it is located just opposite the bustling Victoria railway station on Wilton Road. Victoria is close to some of London's top attractions such as Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park, both of which are within walking distance.
Getting thereBy Tube: The Apollo Victoria Theatre is a 2 minute stroll from Victoria station, accessible via the District, Circle and Victoria lines. Victoria is also a mainline railway station and so can be reached from all over the UK.By bus: Victoria Bus Station is a 5 minute walk away and is the main point of arrival for most coaches into London, including Megabus and National Express services. Numbers 38, 73, 8 and 24 also stop close to the theatre.By taxi or car: London Victoria Car Park is a 6 minute walk away and costs £22.00 to park for the day. If you plan to get a taxi after Wicked, then there are various taxi ranks both near the theatre and at Victoria station.
SeatingThe Apollo Victoria Theatre is one of the largest in London and has a seating capacity of 2,208 people across two levels - the Stalls and the Circle. As you can see from the seating plan on the right, the nearest section to the stage is the Stalls. Located on the ground floor of the auditorium, seats from most sections of the Stalls present excellent views of the stage, meaning that tickets here are generally more expensive than the Circle. Towards the back of the Stalls however, the price tag drops and you may be able to find yourself a bargain. The best seats are in the centre block due to the rake and absence of circle overhang, allowing a full view of the stage and action. Seats towards the end of the rows, in particular the higher numbers, start to become more restricted but as this is built into the price structure they can be excellent seats for those looking for a bargain.
The Circle is located on level 1 of the theatre, and as it is higher up, presents panoramic views of the stage and set below. The front couple of rows in this section are arguably the best in the whole auditorium, but the back few rows are the furthest away from the stage and therefore are the cheapest. The section is extremely large and divided into a front, middle and rear with those seats towards the back suffering due to safety rails around the stairwells.
AccessibilityThe Apollo Victoria Theatre is split into two main sections, the Stalls and the Circle. There are 4 steps up to the main entrance, although there are two alternative entrances that are more suitable for disabled patrons. The entrance on Wilton Road has just 1 step, and there is a platform lift at the Vauxhall Bridge Road entrance. From the foyer there are 29 steps down to the Stalls and 13 steps up to the Circle, with 3 steps between each row. Discounted tickets are available for all disabled patrons and their carers.
There is a platform lift to 4 designated wheelchair spaces in row F of the Circle, with a further 8 transfer seats also available in this section. Wheelchairs can be stored in the aisle next to transfer seats. Unfortunately the Stalls are not accessible via wheelchair. There is an adapted toilet near the platform lift in the foyer, where the bar is also located - however drinks can be carried to guests in the auditorium if required.
An induction loop and infra-red system are both available inside the auditorium. Signed performances, touch tours and gallery tours can also be organised. Up to 4 guide dogs per show are welcome inside the auditorium, or else can be dog-sat by theatre staff for the duration of the performance.Access bookings telephone line +44 (0) 800 912 6973 or access booking form
HistoryThe Apollo Victoria Theatre opened in 1929 as a state-of-the-art cinema in order to accommodate the growing popularity of talking pictures as the new technology came into prominence, heralding the decline of the silent movie. Designed by the architect Ernest Walmsley Lewis in an Art Deco style that still remains to this day, the building opened as the New Victoria Cinema and remained under this name until 1975, when it closed and was reopened as the New Victoria Theatre. A concert was scheduled to celebrate the new opening of the venue, with Shirley Bassey as the headlining act.
Many popular musicals followed including The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express. The latter show was a huge success, running for 18 years and closing in 2002, and for the duration of its run the theatre's stage was converted into a massive roller-skating rink!
In late 2006, Wicked the Musical opened to much praise and commercial success. The show is based on the Gregory Maguire book about the witches of Oz, and shows no signs of slowing down or closing anytime soon - indeed, the production has won several awards for its popularity as voted for by the public. The huge 2300-seat auditorium makes it the perfect venue to accommodate Wicked's spectacular set pieces.