Author & Researcher: Nigel for Hotel-Assist London
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3 - 5 Catherine Street
Closest tube: Covent Garden
Editors Comments: "This is a prime part of central London and if you stay close to the Duchess Theatre you will have no problems locating eateries and shopping areas within walking distance. Our favourite is the Kingsway Hall although if money is not an issure there is always The Savoy."
In the area: Royal Society for the Arts; Shell Mex House; The Savoy Hotel; Covent Garden; Coutts; Charing Cross Hotel; Coliseum Theatre; Vaudeville Theatre; Charing Cross; Trafalgar Square
ABOUT THE DUCHESS THEATRE
The Duchess Theatre is an intimate West End venue which opened in 1929, it is one of Londons smallest theatres to have a proscenium arch. It can seat 479 patrons over two levels, tends to put on a programme of slightly more intimate shows than the larger theatres, and is right in the heart of Londons bustling West End.
The Duchess Theatre was home to the shortest theatrical run in history. The Intimate Revue opened in 1930, and closed the same night, without even having finished its first performance. The Duchess has been home to many of the West Ends more daring comedies, as it housed Oh Calcutta! For six years during the 1970s, as well as Alfie and The Dirtiest Show In Town. Today its programme consists of exciting smaller pieces, well-considered revivals, and important new works. It has a solid and exciting programme and is home to the sort of challenging, well-produced theatre for which the West End was once rightly famed, in the era before spectacular musical adaptations of films became all the rage. At this time J.B. Priestley was a part of the management of the Duchess, and the tradition of serious, socially-engaged theatre continues to this day.
The Duchess Theatre is close to Covent Garden, and just off the Strand. There are thousands of places to eat and drink within easy walking distance, particularly in Covent Garden and in the roads surrounding the market. The nearest tube stations are Covent Garden and Temple, but it is an easy walk from Charing Cross, or over the bridge from Waterloo. The nearest mainline stations are Charing Cross and Waterloo. You can even walk up from the Embankment, making the theatre the ideal place to spend your evening if you have had an afternoon strolling along the riverbank, or enjoying one of the many boat tours up and down the Thames.
The stalls are actually located below ground level to accommodate all of the seats because of the small space in which the architect had to work. Despite that, the auditorium is comfortable and intimate, and maintains some of the best traditions of the high point of West End theatre in the middle part of the twentieth century.
In an age when Londons theatre is dominated by musicals adapted from other properties (films, bands back catalogues), the Duchess is one of the few places where one can be sure of finding quality straight theatre that engages with politics and culture. It never, however, strays into the more didactic territory of some of the fringe venues, and is never as nakedly political as, say, the verbatim plays you get at The Tricylcle or similar theatres. The Duchess is firmly within the mainstream tradition of Priestley and Rattigan, or, more recently, Mamet in making entertaining, narrative theatre that addresses our current concerns.
Located right in the heart of the West End, the Duchess Theatre is a vibrant and necessary alternative to the larger more showy productions that dominate the West End. It provides a necessary and convenient antidote to some of the West Ends excesses, and, for theatre-lovers, is one of Londons highlights.
|HOTEL / APARTMENT||POSTCODE||MILES||STAR||24 Aug||25 Aug||26 Aug||27 Aug||28 Aug||29 Aug||30 Aug||31 Aug|
|Covent Garden Station||1||Piccadilly||0.34 miles|
|Temple Station||1||District - Circle line||0.43 miles|
|Holborn Station||1||Central - Piccadilly||0.55 miles|
|Charing Cross Station||1||Bakerloo - Northern||0.57 miles|
|Embankment Station||1||District - Bakerloo - Northern - Circle line||0.59 miles|
|Charing Cross London Station||0.61 miles|
|London Waterloo International Station||1.09 miles|
|London Waterloo East Station||1.12 miles|
|London Blackfriars Station||1.14 miles|
|London Waterloo Station||1.17 miles|