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Best Theatre in London

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Phantom of London
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Best Theatre in London#1
Posted: 9/29/10 at 1:12pm
What is your favourite theatre in London? I want 2 theatres, one for small house under 1200 seats and big one, greater than 1200.

For me it would be for big house - Prince Edward and small one The Wyndham.

Now I want to hear your second favourite small and big house?
wheety1621
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joined:11/19/09
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Best Theatre in London#2
Posted: 9/29/10 at 2:44pm
Out of the Westend Theatres I have actually been too - My fav Large Theatre would have to be the Apollo Victoria and my fav Small Theatre would have to be Vaudeville... infact the only theatre I have ever been too in London and thought(from the outside)'Urgh! What a mess' is the Phoenix however inside was lovely!!
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bob8rich
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Best Theatre in London#2
Posted: 9/29/10 at 2:48pm
Favourite small house - the Landor
Second favourite - Chocolate Factory (though not for the seats lol) or the Donmar.

Favourite large house - Olivier (though that may be slightly under 1200)
I don't have another fav large house - they're pretty much of a muchness and I generally prefer small intimate theatre anyway.
If I was pressed for another fav large house, it would perhaps be the Prince of Wales, though you won't get me anywhere near there while that load of twaddle that's there now is playing lol.
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
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Mark_E
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Best Theatre in London#3
Posted: 9/29/10 at 3:50pm
My favourite Under 1200 seats is probably the Gielgud, I just think it is a beautiful theatre and it seems ever seat would have a good view. My favourite BIG theatre is the Prince Edward. Lovely theatre
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jaqs
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Best Theatre in London#4
Posted: 9/29/10 at 5:15pm
Wyndhams for smaller too - though I like trafalgar 2 and the donmar too.

For bigger meh Palladium maybe.
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Phantom of London
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Best Theatre in London#5
Posted: 9/29/10 at 5:54pm
I have never been to the Trafalgar 1 or 2 theatre. I agree with Mark on The Gielgud, but I love all those great 4 seating tier theatre, the architecture can only be found in London and a great feat of engineering.

I was in the Donmar Warehouse for the first time this afternoon for Passion, I hated the seating for the Donmar really crammed for legroom in the circle, any tips for when I book for Spelling Bee?

Passion very good, by the way.
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bob8rich
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Best Theatre in London#6
Posted: 9/29/10 at 6:02pm
POL - anywhere in the stalls is great at the Donmar though the legroom is not great. But I find the legroom pretty crap in just about every theatre in London lol.
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
Jonwo
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Best Theatre in London#7
Posted: 9/29/10 at 8:56pm
Big Theatre wise, I would say the Prince Edward, my favourite small theatre is the Noel Coward Theatre.


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Weez
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Best Theatre in London#8
Posted: 9/30/10 at 4:38am
It's like the Console Wars. I may love the Playstation 2 a great deal, but at the end of the day, I'm not playing the PS2, I'm playing Gitaroo Man or Final Fantasy X or Silent Hill 2 (an analogy which really speaks volumes for how long it's been since I was properly a gamer O_O).

So um... I wouldn't want to speak for "best", but for "favourite", I guess we're talking anything south of the river. I'm unsurprisingly an enormous fan of the Globe, I spend a great deal of time at the National, I rather enjoy the output of the Old Vic, I may not go to the Chocolate Factory much anymore but I still hold a great deal of fondness for them, and I have nothing but good things to say about the Young Vic since they introduced assigned seating. If for some ungodly reason London split in two and you had to commit to one side of the river for the rest of your theatre-going life, then I would miss the Donmar Warehouse a great deal, but commit whole-heartedly to the south.

Or if I have to narrow it down, I'll choose the Globe for my large theatre (can get over 1,500 in there if the staging isn't too complicated) and the Donmar for my small. :3
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mallardo
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Best Theatre in London#9
Posted: 9/30/10 at 6:20am
I much preferred the Young Vic under the old seating system - likewise the Chocolate Factory. If you got in line early you could get the best seat in the house.
Faced with these Loreleis, what man can moralize!
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bob8rich
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Best Theatre in London#10
Posted: 9/30/10 at 6:28am
The new reserved seating at the Choc Factory is an absolute godsend for me. With my back problem and arthritis in my legs there's no way I can sit and watch a show there if I don't have either a front row seat or at least an aisle seat. It was an absolute nightmare before with a Catch-22 situation - I could not get a suitable seat unless I stood and queued for ages and it's impossible for me to stand for that long to do so. Now I just book early and get a front row seat no problem.

Similarly with the Young Vic. I was there for the last show they did with unreserved seating and by the time they opened the doors I was quite literally on my knees in serious pain and vowed I would never go there again. Now that I will be able to reserve a seat, I will be able to go there again.

The smaller fringe theatres of course do not have reserved seating but with just 40-50 seats there is never much of a queue so that's not a problem. But "medium-sized" venues definitely need to have resercved seating.
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
exedore
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Best Theatre in London#11
Posted: 9/30/10 at 6:33am
By your definition, the New London would qualify as a small theatre, but it's one of my favourite spaces in the West End.

For truly small venues, I quite like the Gatehouse, the Union, and Pleasance Islington. All three have a unique character and atmosphere that I really appreciate.
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Justin D
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Best Theatre in London#12
Posted: 9/30/10 at 11:43am
The smallest one I've been in is the Phoenix, But I think my Fav. big one is probably Drury Lane just because of the scale of it (3 Balconies)

I also love Her Majesty's, yes I am bias, but architecturally I love the colour scheme and the layout with the tiny balcony upstairs.

Prince Edward, I dont know, so much going on there it gives me a headache just to look at.

The Palace is interesting too, but is a very dark place, and it should be a crime to sell tickets in their top balcony.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27199361@N08/ Phantom at the Royal Empire Theatre
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mallardo
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Best Theatre in London#13
Posted: 9/30/10 at 12:25pm
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Haymarket - a beauty.

As for the Donmar, avoid the Circle at all costs. It's not just the legroom, you can't see without leaning forward.
Faced with these Loreleis, what man can moralize!
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MariusPontmercy
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Best Theatre in London#14
Posted: 9/30/10 at 12:46pm
I wouldn't say avoid the Donmar circle at all costs - I'd rather sit in the second row centre than not go at all, which is sometimes the choice I have to make. 15 to see Streetcar from there was absolutely worth it. Plus it was kind of funny to see all the old dears in the front row of the circle quickly and simultaneously leaning forward in order to get a proper view of the two men kissing. Best Theatre  in London

I agree it is poorly designed though, should be a little bit further back.
Updated On: 9/30/10 at 12:46 PM
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MariusPontmercy
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Best Theatre in London#15
Posted: 9/30/10 at 1:04pm
In terms of the classic West End theatres, I love the Theatre Royal Drury Lane as a massive musical house, partly because of it's history but mostly because it's just so impressive to look at. I've also got a weird soft spot for the Duke of York's, but that's almost certainly because of what I've seen there rather than anything to do with the poor sightlines, cramped seating and walls that look like they're in serious danger of crumbling if someone sneezes too hard.

Of the newer ones, I really love the Young Vic. Mixed feelings about the reserved seating - it's nice not to have to queue up for 45 minutes in order to secure a good seat, but on the other hand I booked for The Beauty Queen of Leenane only a few days before it opened and still managed to bag the best seat in the house by queuing early. Also it's not always easy to get a sense of what the staging is going to be like from the seating plan, easier to judge (and thus decide where you want to sit) once you're inside the auditorium. Unreserved seating can be hell if you turn up after the doors open, though. Another good modern one is the New London - another wonderful unconventional space - such a pity the RSC didn't buy it up to use as their London base, it would be perfect for them.

Love Trafalgar 2, HATE Trafalgar 1! For such small theatre, T1 feels ridiculously cavernous. No intimacy at all, anywhere from row D or E back feels a long way away. T2 is lovely, sit in the front row and it really does feel like they're performing in your living room.

And yes, the Globe is fantastic. You can't beat the fun of standing right at the front, but the view from the seats (middle gallery is best) is surprisingly good as well. It's massive but still feels intimate - the polar opposite of Trafalgar 1.

And it's not London but I'd just like to mention my current local theatre, the Oxford Playhouse, as a thoroughly atmosphere-free, boring waste of space that only ever seems to get third-rate tours on their 14th run around the country. And the toilets are horrid, though they are currently attempting to raise money to replace them.
Updated On: 9/30/10 at 01:04 PM
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Phantom of London
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Best Theatre in London#16
Posted: 9/30/10 at 3:51pm
I love London's 'four tier' theatre's on a architecturally basis, you don't really see these theatres outside London and must be very quintessential to the capital.

4 tier theatre's are Apollo, Comedy, Noel Coward, Drury Lane, Haymarket, Her Majesty's, Lyric, Novello, Palace and Wyndham.

*A 4 tier theatre is a house, that will have stall, dress circle, upper circle and balcony
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bob8rich
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Best Theatre in London#17
Posted: 9/30/10 at 4:08pm
I love looking back at the view of a 3 0r 4 tiered theatre for purely aesthetic reasons. But sitting anywhere other than the stalls is purgatory lol.
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
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Phantom of London
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Best Theatre in London#18
Posted: 9/30/10 at 4:19pm
100% agreed!
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Justin D
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Best Theatre in London#19
Posted: 10/1/10 at 10:03am
I guess technically speaking Her Majesty's is a 4 tier, but to me i rank it as a 3 tier since that little balcony at the back does not over hang anything and is only about 3 or so rows deep.

I remember the first time I booked tickets there it was for the front row, I was so excited to be in the front of a balcony, till I got there and realises I was still behind the entire upper circle.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27199361@N08/ Phantom at the Royal Empire Theatre
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theatrepaul
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Best Theatre in London#20
Posted: 10/3/10 at 4:09am
In terms of style, beauty and character, the Haymarket has to be up there.

I also like the Barbican theatre which is comfortable with great site lines throughout the theatre. I guess being purpose built for the RSC helped. Shame they didn't hang onto it.
Updated On: 10/3/10 at 04:09 AM