The Novello Theatre opened as the Waldorf Theatre in 1905 to the designs of W G R Sprague and went through many name changes such as the Strand Theatre and the Whitney Theatre before being renamed as the Novello in 2005. It is twinned It was named so after composer and actor Ivor Novello, who lived in an apartment above the theatre from 1913 to 1951. Past productions at the theatre include No Sex Please, We’re British for a successful run from 1971 to 1982 and The Rat Pack: Live from Las Vegas from 2003 to 2005. In recent years it has hosted a number of unsuccessful musicals, including Footloose, The Drowsy Chaperone, Desperately Seeking Susan, Spring Awakening, and Betty Blue Eyes, which closed after a disappointing six months despite good reviews.
In September 2012, the long-running hit Mamma Mia! moved into the Novello Theatre, where it is booking through 2013.
The Novello Theatre is located in London’s Aldwych, with several tube station close by, the nearest being Covent Garden which is on the Piccadilly Line. Other nearby tube stations include Charing Cross, which is also a mainline railway station and is on the Bakerloo and Northern lines, and Holborn on the Central and Piccadilly lines. Being so centrally located in the heart of London, the Novello Theatre is also close to a plethora of London hotels. Hotels near Novello Theatre include the One Aldwych, just seconds away from the theatre. This 5-star boutique hotel is modern and sophisticated with cutting-edge technology, friendly staff and two great restaurants.
The Novello Theatre has quite a large seating capacity, seating 1,105 people on four levels – Stalls, Dress Circle, Grand Circle and the Balcony. The Stalls are located on the ground of the auditorium, which each other level raised above the next, with the Balcony at the top of the theatre and furthest away from the stage. See the seating plan on the right for ideas on which seats to purchase.
Top Tips for Visiting the Novello Theatre
Thanks to Tim for our top Novello Theatre tip – if you’ve got a better tip, be sure to let us know by entering your comments in the box below.
- There are bars located on every level, with two located on the ground floor, one in the foyer and one within the stalls. Both of the ground floor-level bars can get very busy, particularly before the show, so you may want to try the Dress Circle bar. – Tim, London
Please add your Novello tips in the box below…