Panton St, London, SW1Y 4DN
The Comedy Theatre opened in October 1881 and was one of the first theatres to be built under the new by-laws regarding fire precaution in London's theatres.
Located in Panton Street behind The Haymarket, the Comedy Theatre was designed to hold a capacity of 1,180 on four levels however it now seats around 800.
A facelift in the 1950's included a new dressing room and stage door, but apart from a couple of minor differences, the theatre's frontage and auditorium basically remain the same as in the 1880's.
During the 1950´s, the Comedy Theatre is noted as being "the theatre that overturned stage censorship". Prior to 1968, plays of which the topic or language was not deemed suitable to present to the general public were banned. This act instigated the forming of 'Theatre Clubs'. A five shilling membership fee allowed you to see plays that were previously forbidden, such as Tennessee Williams' 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' and Arthur Miller's 'A View From the Bridge'.
Attitudes eventually shifted allowing West End theatres to present what they so desired.
The Comedy Theatre went on to present the controversial 'Five Finger Exercise' by Peter Shaffer, Maggie Smith made her West End debut in 'Share My Lettuce' in the late '50's, 'A Day in the Death of Joe Egg' began it's run in 1967 (returning in 2002) the award winning musical 'The Rocky Horror Show´ made its West End debut here in 1979, another award winning comedy 'Steaming' began in 1980 and in January 2005, Kim Cattral (of Sex & The City fame) starred in Peter Hall's ´Whose Life Is It Anyway?´.
The theatre is also known for hosting high quality dramas, with the recent revival of RC Sheriff's compelling WWI production ´Journey's End´. Not forgetting to mention the numerous Harold Pinter productions hosted by the Comedy Theatre such as ´The Caretaker¨. But the 8 week sell-out run of 1999's 'Little Malcolm and his Struggle against the Eunuchs' starring Ewan McGregor is one of the theatre's biggest successes and a box office smash hit.
February 2006 saw ´Steptoe and Son in - Murder at Oil Drum´ take over from the astonishing Polish act ´Caesar Twins and Friends´ as the current production. Based on the classic 1960´s / 70´s TV characters Harold and Albert from Steptoe and Son this play is a laugh a minute.
Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Charing Cross underground stations are all good options for accessing the Comedy Theatre.
When purchasing tickets for mainstream theatre productions, it is important to keep the following in mind.
The cheapest way to buy tickets is to buy directly from the theatres´ box office where the show is playing. Or, purchase your tickets from the ´Half Price Ticket Booth´ (AKA ´tkts´) located in Leicester Square, where they sell ´on the day´ tickets for all of the West End shows at a discount rate. The booth is open Monday to Saturday from 10am - 7pm and Sundays from 12pm - 3.30pm. There is a maximum of 4 tickets per person.
Avoid touts hanging about the theatres and any other ticket agencies around the West End that appear a little dodgy as tickets may not be legitimate. You can also purchase a theatre and hotel package which saves money all round. However, the best thing to do if you have your heart set on seeing a particular show is to book ahead. You will be guaranteed a good seat, a great view and a fab night out.
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|HOTEL / APARTMENT||POSTCODE||MILES||STAR||24 Jun||25 Jun||26 Jun||27 Jun||28 Jun||29 Jun||30 Jun||01 Jul|
|Piccadilly Circus Station||1||Bakerloo - Piccadilly||0.20 miles|
|Leicester Square Station||1||Piccadilly - Northern||0.28 miles|
|Charing Cross Station||1||Bakerloo - Northern||0.47 miles|
|Covent Garden Station||1||Piccadilly||0.62 miles|
|Embankment Station||1||District - Bakerloo - Northern - Circle line||0.67 miles|
|Charing Cross London Station||0.50 miles|
|London Waterloo International Station||1.36 miles|
|London Waterloo Station||1.48 miles|
|London Waterloo East Station||1.60 miles|
|London Victoria Station||1.85 miles|