29 Shaftesbury Avenue
The Lyric Theatre is the oldest on Shaftesbury Avenue, having opened in 1888 and designed by architect C J Phipps who worked on several other major London theatres including the Vaudeville and the Savoy. The building still boasts a number of original features, including the 1767 house front. In the Lyric Theatre’s early days, it staged mostly comic operas before being home to musicals, comedies and dramas. From 1950-80 it was home to Irma La Douce, Plaza Suite, and How the other Half Loves, before hosting the premiere of Blood Brothers in 1983. Notable recent productions at the theatre include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 2001, Death of a Salesman in 2005, Cabaret in 2006, and Hairspray in 2008.
Currently showing at the Lyric Theatre is musical tribute to King of Pop, Michael Jackson, Thriller Live. The musical was conceived in 2006 but did not get a permanent spot on the West End stage until January 2009, where it has been at the Lyric ever since. The show celebrates the unbelievable career of Michael and the Jackson Five and features most of his greatest songs including Smooth Criminal and Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.
The Lyric Theatre is located on Shaftesbury Avenue, the heart of London’s Theatreland and close to a host of the main attractions of the city such as Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park. The theatre is a short stroll from Piccadilly Circus tube station which is on the Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines.
As well as most of London’s best attractions nearby, the Lyric Theatre is also close to some of London’s top hotels. Hotels near Lyric Theatre include the 5-star Le Meridien Piccadilly, which is located next to the Royal Academy of Arts and a mere one minute stroll from Shaftesbury Avenue. The hotel features marble bathrooms and cable televisions.
Although the original seating capacity for the theatre was 1,306, it is now 967 on four seating levels. The levels are Stalls, Dress Circle, Upper Circle and Balcony. See the seating plan on the right for deciding which seats to purchase.
Top Tips for Visiting the Lyric Theatre
Thanks to Susie for our top Lyric Theatre tip! If you have a better tip, let us know in the comments section below.
- There are a number of pillars in the back rows of the first three levels; though they’re at a reduced price, it’s worth it to pay a bit more for a better seat as the pillars severely restrict your view. – Susie, Wimbledon