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85-88 St Martins Lane
Closest tube: Leicester Square (110m)
Parking: NCP at Upper St Martin’s Lane
Buses: 24, 29, 176
The Noel Coward Theatre originally opened as the New Theatre in 1903, and is another of W.G.R. Spragues designs, as are so many West End theatres of the period. In 1973 it was renamed the Albery Theatre, and in 2006 it became the Noel Coward Theatre, when it opened with the London premiere of Avenue Q, which ran there for almost three years. It has a varied and diverse programme, incorporating musicals, revivals, classics and new works, in the best traditions of the West End.
The Noel Coward is a Grade II listed building, and one of Spragues finest. He was well into the swing of designing theatres, having already designed 30 before designing the New Theatre. It was built by Sir Charles Wyndham, and the interior was designed in the Louis XIV style so popular at the time. He built the theatre on the back of the plot on which he had built the Wyndhams Theatre, so they remain back to back to this day. Wyndham was very aware of the needs of the audience and ensured that none of the seats in the house had an impeded view. He personally chose the upholstery to create a comfortable and homey feel for his audiences.
The theatre seats 872 guests on four levels. There are 20 infrared headsets available for the heard of hearing, although it requires a deposit to use one. There is no T Loop for the hard of hearing in the auditorium, although there is one at the box office. Guide dogs are not allowed into the auditorium, although they can be looked after by theatre staff. There is a ramp and box seating available for wheelchair users and their companions. There are three bars, with the ones in the Royal Circle and Balcony not having any steps into or out of them.
In its early years the theatre was known for its comedies, and a young Noel Coward made his West End debut on the stage at the New Theatre in 1920. he was playing Bobbie Dermott in his own play: Ill Leave It To You. It closed after five weeks. During the 1930s, John Gielgud made a number of appearances at the theatre, including in his most successful play, Richard Of Bordeaux. He also took the leads in Hamlet, Noah, Romeo And Juliet, and The Seagull.
In recent years the theatre has been home to Avenue Q, as well as popular and challenging material like Calendar Girls and Enron. It puts on a varied programme of new works and classics, musicals and straight plays, and is always surprising in the productions it offers.
On St Martins Lane, just around the corner from Leicester Square, the Noel Coward Theatre could not be more central in the West End. It is easily reached from a number of tube stations, including Leicester Square, Covent Garden, Charing Cross, and Piccadilly Circus. It is easily walked to from the mainline station at Charing Cross, and you are right between the two hubs of eating and drinking that are Leicester Square and Covent Garden, so you will not want for a meal before a show, or a drink afterwards.
|HOTEL / APARTMENT||POSTCODE||MILES||STAR||20 Oct||21 Oct||22 Oct||23 Oct||24 Oct||25 Oct||26 Oct||27 Oct|
|Leicester Square Station||1||Piccadilly - Northern||0.15 miles|
|Charing Cross Station||1||Bakerloo - Northern||0.29 miles|
|Covent Garden Station||1||Piccadilly||0.34 miles|
|Embankment Station||1||District - Bakerloo - Northern - Circle line||0.48 miles|
|Piccadilly Circus Station||1||Bakerloo - Piccadilly||0.50 miles|
|Charing Cross London Station||0.34 miles|
|London Waterloo International Station||1.19 miles|
|London Waterloo Station||1.31 miles|
|London Waterloo East Station||1.38 miles|
|London Blackfriars Station||1.65 miles|