LocationThe Lyceum Theatre can be found in the area of London known as Covent Garden, which is a vibrant and exciting part of the city in the heart of London’s Theatreland. There is a huge variety of restaurants near the Lyceum to cater for every taste, as well as lots of high street shops and other tourist attractions such as the London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Market and the Royal Opera House. Soho, Leicester Square and Chinatown are also within a manageable walking distance of the theatre.
Getting thereBy Tube: The nearest Tube stations are Covent Garden on the Piccadilly line or Charing Cross on the Northern and Bakerloo lines.By bus: Numbers 6, 11, 13, and 15 all head in the direction of the Strand.By taxi or car: The nearest car park is the Savoy Adelphi Garage 5 minutes away from the Lyceum, costing £9.50 for 2 hours parking. To travel by taxi you can pick up a cab from the rank outside Charing Cross Road, or else hail a taxi from along the Strand itself.
SeatingThe Lyceum Theatre is one of London’s largest, with a whopping 2100 seats available across the three levels that make up the main auditorium. The section nearest to the stage is the Stalls, as can be seen in more detail in the seating plan to the right. The Stalls are generally the section in any auditorium that offer the best views of the stage, but for The Lion King they are particularly desirable given that the actors and puppets parade through the aisles on this level, making you feel a real part of the action if you are sitting there. They are more expensive than most other seats in the theatre but given the proximity to the stage they are arguably worth the extra money. The seats towards the middle of the section are especially recommended, as in the very front rows of the section you may find it difficult to see the parts of the show when the creatures crouch down. The section is divided into three by aisles running the length of the auditorium. The section is wide and deep, with further division in the House Right and House Left blocks. Children will want to feel as close to the action as possible, so aim to sit as centrally as you can.
The Royal Circle makes up the second tier of the theatre and there are still some brilliant views of the stage to be had from these seats. You may feel slightly removed from the action when the show becomes more interactive, but the tickets are generally cheaper and reflect the higher location of the seats. The section is divided into three and is heavily raked, meaning that views are on the whole excellent. Each row fans out from the front of the circle, curving around the impressive auditorium.
The Dress Circle is the highest level in the Lyceum, and places you significantly further away from the main action of the show. However seats in the Dress Circle are correspondingly priced and you can get some great bargains on tickets in this section, especially when special offers are running. The section is again divided into three blocks, but these are straighter and more even, providing more consistent views.
AccessibilityThe Lyceum Theatre is split across 3 levels, with a Stalls section, Royal Circle and Grand Circle. There are 3 steps from the street to the main entrance, although there is an alternative entrance with a ramp through the fire exit on the left hand side of the theatre. This entrance leads to the back of the Stalls and is step-free. From the foyer there are 7 steps to the Stalls, 32 steps to the Royal Circle and 85 steps to the Grand Circle. There are no lifts within the theatre. Concessions are available for all disabled guests and their carers.
Wheelchair users should enter via the alternative entrance to the back of the Stalls, which has a long sloped corridor and no stairs. There are 8 designated wheelchair spaces in the Stalls section, with transfer seating also available and spaces for companions. Two adapted toilets are located halfway down the corridor leading to the back of the Stalls, and there is an accessible bar in the Stalls section; however, drinks can be brought to patrons in their seats if required.
There is an induction loop at the Box Office and an infra-red system at the refreshments kiosk. Signed events, audio-described tours and touch tours are also organised on occasion, and there is a member of staff trained in signing. Guide dogs are permitted inside the auditorium, and can be dog-sat by the management if required.Access bookings telephone line +44 (0) 800 912 6972 or access booking form
HistoryThe Lyceum Theatre is based in Westminster on Wellington Street, just off the famous Strand with its cornucopia of theatres and restaurants. The theatre has a tumultuous history dating all the way back to 1772 when the theatre was just a room for exhibitions and concerts near the current site; however since its opening decades, the Lyceum has undergone numerous transformations to evolve into the building you see today.
The present theatre owes much of its appearance to its rebuilding in 1834 under the design of Samuel Beazley, when it was opened with the groundbreaking addition of a balcony overhanging the main section of the auditorium. Since 1834 the Lyceum has been used for a dizzying variety of purposes, including as a circus, a chapel, a concert room, a waxworks exhibition, an opera house and a ballroom, as well as being utilised as a traditional theatre. The building was out of use for 10 years until 1996 when it was restored by Holohan Architects.
Mirroring the architectural metamorphosis of the theatre, the kinds of entertainment that have run at the Lyceum over the years have been extremely diverse. In addition to showing opera, music hall, slapstick and a number of dramatic productions including a great deal of Shakespeare, the theatre was used as a concert venue for a number of legendary bands during the 60s and 70s, with Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Grateful Dead, The Who, U2, The Smiths and Culture Club all performing in these decades. Following the extensive refurbishments in 1996 the theatre has focused on a more musical output with productions of Oklahoma! and Jesus Christ Superstar enjoying successful runs. Today the Lyceum is the home of the Disney musical The Lion King, which has enthralled over 8 million theatregoers since opening in 1999 and is one of the most commercially and critically successful shows to ever premiere in the West End.