The Playhouse Theatre is a large Victorian venue by the River Thames in London's West End. The theatre seats around 1000 people, and it feels accessible and intimate enough for both plays and musicals. The auditorium is split across three levels, with very good sight-lines in both the Stalls and Dress Circle. Seats vary in views throughout the Upper Circle due to the architecture and layout.
The Stalls is one large block of seats with no central aisle. The rows get wider as they fan out from the stage, but this does not impact views. Legroom is very good in the centre section of the stalls, and feels comfortable overall. The stage is quite high, so the view from the first two rows may be unsuitable for shorter audience members. The rear of the Stalls is gradually raked, and the overhang from the level above does not begin to restrict the views until the final row. Even at the back, because of the size of the section, you never feel too far away from the stage and views are on the whole very good.
The Dress Circle
The Dress Circle is divided into three sections, with a main central section and two smaller blocks of seating on the sides. There is a safety rail along the balcony which may restrict the view from row A. Seats generally have very good legroom and do not feel cramped. The section doesn't feel too large, but the central seats give the best overall views of the stage. There are a number of restricted seats towards the ends of each row in the side blocks, and the view from these seats is significantly reduced.
The Upper Circle
The Upper Circle is the highest level in the theatre and furthest from the stage. The section feels steep due to the distinct rake. The section is divided into three seating blocks, with the central block giving the best overall views of the stage. There are restricted views from aisle seats due to the safety handrails that are at the end of each stairwell, and some people will find these distracting. Seats at the very rear can feel far away from the action, but give generally clear views of the whole stage.
Where are the best seats for children at the Playhouse Theatre?
The best seats for children at the Playhouse Theatre tend to be the front, central section of the Dress Circle or the middle of the Stalls. The Stalls is the most accessible section of the venue and has the least amount of steps. This is where childen will feel most involved with the action have the best views.
Where are the Restricted View seats?
Dress Circle: Row A is effected by the safety rail. The first and last seats in row F-K are marked as restricted view, as well as E1-3, E17-19, D1-4 and D18-20.
Upper Circle: The first and last two seats of rows A-D are marked as restricted view, along with the aisle seats in the whole central section which have the handrails in view.
What if I am hard of sight or hearing?
The Playhouse Theatre currently does not have a sound amplification system in place. Guide dogs can remain in the auditorium at the ends of rows in the Stalls, and can also be looked after by the theatre management during the performance.
How many steps are there in the theatre?
The main foyer is accessed by 3 steps from street level, for which there is a ramp available for wheelchair users. The main foyer has level access to the Stalls, with 28 steps up to the Dress Circle, and 82 steps to the Upper Circle
Where are the toilets located?
There are male and female toilets located in the basement bar, but none at Stalls level. The Dress Circle has a male and female toilet at the rear of the section, along with one female and two male toilets at the rear of the Upper Circle. There is an adapted toilet in the main foyer which is fully accessible.
Where are the bars located?
The bar in the main foyer is accessible, although drinks can be brought to audience members in their seats. There is basement bar as well as a Stalls, Dress and Upper Circle bars.
Are there wheelchair facilities in the theatre?
Wheelchair spaces are in Row G and J of the Stalls, but no other sections are accessible at the venue. A further 6 transfer seats are available in the Stalls, and wheelchairs can be stored by the theatre staff during the performance.