Gielgud Theatre, London
Reminiscent of an Edwardian palace, you’ll feel like royalty in the magnificent Gielgud Theatre. With the seats encircling the stage in a horseshoe shape, a glittering chandelier hangs above, lighting the sumptuous cream, coral and gold auditorium.
Nearest Tube Station:
Directions From Tube:
(3mins) Take Shaftesbury Avenue along the side where the famous illuminated signs are. The theatre will be on your left about 100 metres along.
(Shaftesbury Avenue) 12, 14, 19, 38; (Regent Street) 6, 13, 15, 23, 88, 94, 139, 159, 453
Night Bus Numbers:
(Shaftesbury Avenue) 14, N19, N38; (Regent Street) 6, 12, 23, 88, 94, 139, 159, 453, N3, N13, N15, N109, N18, N136
Nearest Rail Station:
Nearest Car Park:
Brewer Street (3mins)
35-37 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6AR
When the Gielgud Theatre opened, its manager Seymour Hicks (who also happened to be an actor and playwright) must have wanted to promote his image and work, as he named the theatre after himself and opened the venue with one of his own plays. He clearly craved the limelight, because when his wife was taken ill during a run of another of his plays The Dashing Little Duke where she played the male lead, he couldn’t wait to step in. Probably one of the few documented cases of a man playing a woman playing a man.
The Hicks name didn’t stick though, as the Gielgud Theatre spent much of its life known as the Globe Theatre from 1909 (predating the Shakespearean reconstruction on the South Bank) under the watchful eye of Charles Frohman, American theatre producer extraordinaire. Under this name, it had a handful of long-running hits, including the 1930s’ Call It a Day (a rare success in the Depression era), the 1966 comedy There’s a Girl in My Soup that broke records at the time and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1983 Daisy Pulls It Off, which still holds the record for the Gielgud Theatre’s longest run.
In the last 20 odd years, change has driven the Gielgud Theatre, being refurbished in the ‘80s and again in the early ‘00s, restoring the foyer and dress circle boxes. And after almost 90 years known as the Globe Theatre, it honored British actor John Gielgud by changing its name in 1994 to the Gielgud Theatre to not face any confusion with the planned Shakespeare’s Globe.
It has previously been known as The Hicks Theatre and The Globe Theatre, and after Shakespeare’s Globe opened in 1994, it earned its current name to avoid confusion.
When the theatre first changed its name to the Globe Theatre, the first play it put on was written by Winston Churchill’s mother.
The Gielgud is probably the only theatre who had a pet cat that starred in every production. The tabby cat ‘Beerbohm’ lived to the ripe age of 20 and appeared on stage often, being incorporated into scenes taking place. His portrait now hangs in the corridor by the stalls.
Make the most of your trip on the town with a delicious meal before the show. Check out our top recommendations below. All these restaurants are just a stone’s throw away from your theatre. So you can relax before enjoying a slice of world class entertainment. Simply add your theatre tickets to your basket and select the restaurant of your choice.