Gielgud Theatre

35-37 Shaftesbury Ave

The Gielgud Theatre is one of the older theatres in London’s West End; it was designed by W.G.R. Sprague and opened in 1906. It was originally called The Hicks, named after the British actor and playwright, Sir Seymour Hicks, until management was taken over by Charles Frohman who renamed the venue as the Globe Theatre. This name was kept until 1994 in anticipation of the opening of a reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on the South Bank, which opened in 1997. The Gielgud was to become its new name, in honour of British actor and director, John Gielgud. Notable productions at the Gielgud include Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband in 1992, Some Girls featuring Friends star David Schwimmer and comedienne Catherine Tate, Equus, with Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe, and The Ladykillers.

What’s On

The Gielgud will be home to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time from June 2014.


The Gielgud Theatre is located on the street most associated with London theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue. Also home to top theatres such as Queen’s, which currently shows Les Miserables, the theatre is within a short walking distance from Piccadilly Circus tube station, which is on the Bakerloo and Piccadilly lines.

Located in the heart of London with attractions close-by such as the National Gallery, Leicester Square and the markets of Covent Garden, the Gielgud Theatre is also close to many great hotels. Hotels near Gielgud Theatre include the 4-star Best Western Premier Shaftesbury Hotel, conveniently situated on the same road as the theatre and is decorated in a boutique style with king-size beds and bathroom televisions.


The Gielgud Theatre has had varying seating capacities over the years, with boxes being taken away and then added again. The current seating capacity is 889 on three levels – the Stalls, Dress Circle and Grand Circle. See the seating plan on the right for help in deciding which seats to purchase.

Top Tips for Visiting the Gielgud Theatre

Thanks to Dom for our top Gielgud tip. Do you have a better tip? Let us know by commenting in the box below.

  1. If you’re sitting in the stage seats for The Chariots of Fire, please note that you will not be able to bring drinks into the auditorium. – Dom, London
Please add your Gielgud tips in the box below…
  • reggiekid
    #1 written by reggiekid  6 years ago

     I would NOT sit on the onstage seats. You are facing the rest of the audience and end up feeling really self conscious throughout the whole show. I had spilled coffee on my shirt before the show and felt like everyone was staring at me. Don’t sit on the stage seats unless you want to be a part of the show!!

  • carol
    #2 written by carol  6 years ago

    The front bar gets really crowded very quickly before a performance. The nicer bar is actually upstairs on the Dress Circle level. You get a lovely view of the whole venue and can look down the staircase to people entering

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