Prince Edward Theatre
28 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4HS
LocationThe Prince Edward Theatre is located in the bustling area of Soho, on Old Compton Street. Nearby are Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden, and a host of shops, bars and restaurants surround the theatre.
Getting thereBy Tube: The nearest tube station to the theatre is Leicester Square, a short walk away and reached on either the Piccadilly or Northern lines.By bus: Numbers 14, 19 and 38 all stop on Charing Cross Road, a very short distance from the theatre.By taxi or car: The nearest car park is in Chinatown on Newport Place, just 3 minutes away from the theatre. The cost is £20.00 for 4 hours. Hailing a taxi after a performance should be easy as the surrounding roads are bustling with black cabs.
SeatingThe Prince Edward Theatre has a large seating capacity of 1,618 people on three levels – Stalls, Dress Circle and Upper Circle. As you can see from the seating plan on the right, the Stalls are extremely large and accommodate most of the people inside the theatre, and they are also close to the stage. As this seating area is vast, the prices range considerably, depending on where you sit. Central seats in the middle of the Stalls are the best in the house, and the front couple of rows are priced lower than others due to the very high stage. The further back and to the side you go, the price will also decrease. Generally, Stall seats present the best views in the house as you will feel more like a part of the show. The Stalls are divided into a front and rear section by a wide central aisle, with the rear section divided into three smaller sections. The auditorium is deep and seats towards the rear can feel disconnected. The larger front block can feel very close to the stage, and so it is worth considering seats towards the middle of the section.
The level hanging above the Stalls is the Dress Circle. As with the Stalls, the front row is cheaper as there is a high wall in the front, obstructing the view for smaller people. The Dress Circle is divided into a number of smaller seating sections, with lodges and slips running along the side wall of the theatre. Some obstructions around stairwells can create minimal problems, but for the clearest view choose seats in the middle block.
The final and highest seating area at the Prince Edward Theatre is the Upper Circle. Seats here are priced considerably lower than seats in the Stalls and Dress Circle as it is furthest away from the stage and views aren’t as good. It also requires a lot of climbing stairs to get to this level. The first six or so rows present excellent views and are good value for money, with the very cheapest seats being at the back of the Upper Circle. Again the section is divided into smaller blocks, with the best seats in the front three feeling more connected to the stage.
AccessibilityThe Prince Edward Theatre is made up of 3 levels: the Stalls, Dress Circle and Upper Circle. Entrance to the auditorium for disabled patrons is via the double fire exit door on Greek Street, which has level access followed by a short ramp. The Stalls are 24 steps down from the foyer and the Dress Circle is 27 steps up, with the Upper Circle even higher up. Discounted tickets are available both for disable visitors and their carers.
There are 2 spaces for wheelchair users plus 2 companions in Box 1, with transfer seating also available into Row A of the auditorium. The theatre can store a maximum of two wheelchairs and one scooter per performance next to the exit. There is an adapted toilet on the right hand side of the foyer that requires users to go back out of the exit on Green Street and re-enter using the main entrance, with staff assistance provided. The Mozart Bar is at street level in the foyer, but drinks can be brought to patrons in their seats if required.
An infra-red system is installed in the auditorium, with headsets available from the Access Attendant for a £5 deposit. A maximum of 2 guide dogs are allowed within the auditorium at any one time, although these can be looked after by a member of theatre staff during the performance if required.Access bookings telephone line 020 7492 9930 or access booking form
HistoryThe Prince Edward Theatre opened in 1930 and was designed by architect Edward Stone, who also designed the nearby Piccadilly Theatre. Today the building is Grade II-listed and can hold up to 1618 patrons during each performance. The first production at the theatre was a musical comedy called Rio Rita which failed to ignite success, and the theatre was turned into a casino in 1936 following a number of failed productions. It became a top venue for variety acts and cabaret, by which route it eventually became hugely popular.
During WWII, the purpose of the theatre changed once again and it became known as the Queensberry All Services Club, entertaining the armed forces with stars such as Glenn Miller and Vera Lynn. After the war, the theatre once again became a casino and was again transformed into a cinema in 1954. In 1978 the Prince Edward finally began showing productions it was originally intended for with shows such as Evita, Crazy For You, Some Like It Hot and West Side Story.
The Prince Edward became the home to the original production of Mamma Mia! in 1999 which ran for 5 years, before moving theatres. The theatre was taken over by Mary Poppins from 2004 until 2008. From 2008 the theatre was home to Jersey Boys, the rags to riches tale of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. In 2014 Jersey Boys moved to make way for Cameron Macintosh's new production of Miss Saigon.