Portugal Street, Off Kingsway, London, WC2A 2HT
LocationWhilst not situated along the main stretch of London’s Theatreland in Covent Garden, the Peacock Theatre still enjoys a central location close to Holborn tube station. The local area is mainly used by businesses but also has a number of cafés, restaurants and bars to cater for workers and tourists alike, and both the Bloomsbury and Covent Garden areas are within walking distance of the theatre.
Getting thereBy Tube: The nearest station to the Peacock Theatre is Holborn on the Central and Piccadilly lines.By bus: Numbers 8, 19, 38, 22B, 25, 188, 501 and 521 all stop along High Holborn, close to the theatre building.By taxi or car: The busy interchange outside Holborn station is an ideal spot to find a taxi. The nearest car park to the theatre is on Parker Street.
SeatingThe Peacock Theatre is a pleasant venue that has excellent sight-lines from all over the theatre. Based on two levels both the Stalls and the Circle offer clear views of the stage giving a more intimate experience than most larger West End venues. The Peacock can seat just under 1000 audience members, and its modern style means that obstructions are minimal. The Stalls are divided into three main sections by two aisles running length-ways, with further division in the very front section around the stage. Best seats tend to be further back from the stage as the stage can seem very high and restricted for seats right at the front.
The Circle is a little shallower than the stalls and is divided into a front and rear section, each with three smaller blocks of seating within. The rows are not particularly curved, meaning that even seats towards the edge of the auditorium offer good views of the stage. There is a good rake throughout the section making the view over people's heads on the whole very good.
AccessibilityThe Peacock Theatre has two main levels, the Stalls and the Circle. There are 4 steps up from the street to the main entrance, but there is also a fixed steep ramp that wheelchair users can make use of. Inside the foyer there are 44 steps down to the Stalls and 29 steps to the Circle, with 2 steps between each row. Concessions are available for disabled users and their carers, and the theatre’s Access Scheme means that visitors can be kept up to date on accessible events and performances that are taking place.
There are 2 spaces for wheelchair users in the Circle, although unfortunately the Stalls are not accessible for those with wheelchairs or scooters. There is an adapted toilet in the foyer, and the theatre bars can only be accessed via the stairs; however, drinks can be brought to patrons in their seats if required.
There is an infra-red system installed inside the auditorium. Guide dogs are welcome inside the theatre, and staff can dog-sit during the performance if required.Access bookings telephone line +44 (0) 20 7863 8222 or access booking form
HistoryThere has been a theatre building on the site of the Peacock Theatre since the 17th century, although the current venue only opened in 1960 as the Royalty Theatre. Prior to this there was a building known as the London Opera House. Due to the competition from the Royal Opera House it renamed itself the National Theatre of England in 1914, going on to host productions of Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades and Madama Butterfly. In 1916 the theatre was renamed yet again, becoming the Stoll Theatre and showcasing a range of opera, cinema, variety and drama before closing in 1957 and being demolished.
The present building was erected in 1960, with a reduced seating capacity of 999. In its opening years it focused more on cinema, becoming London’s third Cinerama venue before returning to live theatre in 1966. It had moderately successful runs of the shows Oh! Calcutta! and Bubbling Brown Sugar and was used as a recording studio for the television programme This Is Your Life, before being bought by the London School of Economics and being renamed the Peacock Theatre. Today, it is mainly used as a venue for lectures, presentations, award ceremonies and open days, although it is also used by the Sadler’s Wells ballet company for contemporary dance presentations, with The Rat Pack playing in 2002 and Doldrum Bay in 2003. During summer 2012 the Peacock Theatre will show a run of The Wah! Wah! Girls.