Lyric Theatre, London

Lyric Theatre London Events

The Lyric Theatre London, located on Shaftesbury Avenue, is a famous West End theatre with a seating capacity of 915 on four levels. It was built by C. J. Phipps for producer Henry Leslie. Click here to book Hadestown tickets online today.

The theatre’s construction was financed by the profit Henry Leslie made from his hit light opera “Dorothy”, which he transferred to open the new theatre on 17th December 1888.

The Lyric Theatre is the oldest theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, specializing in musical theatre throughout its history. Over the past 40 years, productions have included The Mountebanks (1982), His Excellency (1984), The Chocolate Solider (1910), and Lilac Time (1922). The theatre has also staged several non-musicals, ranging from the works of Shakespeare to Noël Coward. Notable performers include Marie Tempest, Ellen Terry, Tallulah Bankhead, Laurence Olivier, and Vivien Leigh, as well as more recent actors such as Ian McKellen, Woody Harrelson, John Malkovich, Glenda Jackson, and Alec Guinness.

The Lyric’s bars and foyer underwent renovations in 1932 and 33, and the majestic façade was restored in 1994. The theatre still uses an outdated electric pump to operate the venue’s remarkable iron curtain, which has been in use since its inception. The Lyric Theatre was originally built around an existing structure that was once Sir William Hunter’s home and museum dating back to 1766.

Unlike several other theatres in the West End, which have faced difficult times throughout their existence, the Lyric Theatre has stood strong with the best shows by famous playwrights such as J. B. Priestley, Eugene O’Neill, and George Bernard Shaw. It became Grade II listed in 1960 and is owned by Nimax Theatres today. 

Fun fact: During WWI, a bomb hit the Lyric Theatre, and some say an Usherette killed in the blast haunts the venue.

Before Nimax Theatres bought the venue in 2005, Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group purchased it in 2000. Productions before then included Fanny Burney’s “A Busy Day” (2000) starring Sara Crowe and Stephanie Beacham, followed by “Brief Encounter” stage adaptation starring Christopher Cazenove and Jenny Seagrove in the same year. Shows at the theatre in the 2000s came one after another, including:

– The schoolgirl comedy “Daisy Pulls It Off” had a 3-month-long performance run in 2002.

– A revival of Strindberg’s “The Dance Of Death” starred Ian McKellen and Frances de la Tour in 2003.

– Bill Kenwright presented “Night Of The Iguana” starring Jenny Seagrove, Clare Higgins, and Woody Harrelson in 2005.

– Phil McIntyre staged “Smaller” by Carmel Morgan, starring Alison Moyet and Dawn French in 2006.

Lyric Theatre London FAQs

 frequently asked questions about the Lyric Theatre in London:

Where is the Lyric Theatre London located?

The Lyric Theatre London is located on Shaftesbury Avenue in the West End, near Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square tube stations.

How many seats are in the Lyric Theatre London?

The Lyric Theatre London has a capacity of 967 seats over 3 levels: Stalls, Dress, and Upper Circle. 

Is accessibility available for wheelchairs and disabilities?

Yes, the Lyric has wheelchair access, an infrared hearing system, and disabled restroom facilities. 

Are food and drinks allowed inside the Lyric Theatre?

No outside food and drink is permitted inside. There are bars located within the theatre that serve refreshments.

Is there an age limit for shows at the Lyric Theatre London?

Age limits vary depending on the production. Thriller Live is suitable for all ages. Children under 5 are typically not permitted.

What are the best ways to purchase tickets?

You can purchase tickets directly through the Lyric’s website or box office. Tickets can also be purchased through ticket agent sites.

Is there a dress code? 

There is no formal dress code but most guests wear semi-formal attire. Costumes and fancy dress are not permitted.

How can I get to the Lyric Theatre London using public transport?

The nearest tube stations are Piccadilly Circus (Bakerloo & Piccadilly lines) and Leicester Square (Northern & Piccadilly lines). Several buses also stop nearby.


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