John Tiffany’s nine-time Olivier Award-winning production Harry Potter and the Cursed Child plays at London’s Palace Theatre.
Located at the intersection between Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue, the Palace Theatre is a large red-brick structure that stands out amongst most other buildings. With a capacity of 1,400 seats spread across four levels, including the Stalls, Dress Circle, Grand Circle and Balcony, the Palace Theatre is one of the larger venues on the West End. Built in 1891 it is the second oldest theatre on the street, opening for business just three years after the Lyric Theatre.
The Palace Theatre building was designed by Thomas Edward Collcutt and commissioned by Richard D’Oyly Carte, who wanted the theatre to become the home of English grand opera. Following Carte’s wish, the theatre opened in January 1891 as the Royal English Opera House, with the first production being Arthur Sullivan’s Ivanhoe. Running for over half a year, the production was a great success, but when it came to an end there was no production to follow. The building soon closed down and was sold by Carte at a loss. However the venue reopened as the Palace Theatre of Varities, becoming a huge success. In 1911, the name of the theatre was eventually altered to the Palace Theatre and became home to a variety of popular musicals.
Previous successful musical theatre productions at the Palace Theatre have included Otto Hardbach’s No, No, Nanette, which features the acclaimed musical numbers “Two Many Rings Around Rosie” and “Peach on the Beach”. Making its debut at the Palace Theatre in 1925, No, No, Nanette ran for an extensive 665 performances.
During the twentieth century, two very successful musicals ran at the Palace Theatre, attracting large audiences. Jesus Christ Superstar opened in 1972, running for an impressive eight years until 1980. The ever popular Les Miserables opened at the Palace Theatre in 1985 and ran for an impressive nineteen years before transferring to Queen’s Theatre in 2004, where it remains today as the world’s longest-running musical.
From March 2009, the large, glittery shoe of Priscilla Queen of the Desert greeted those who entered the Palace Theatre, with the musical playing its final performance on New Year’s Eve 2011. Priscilla was followed by Singin’ In The Rain which impressed audiences for a year from 2012 until June 8th 2013. Derren Brown’s popular show Infamous ran at the Palace Theatre between June 24th and August 17th 2013. In 2013, Roddy Doyle’s musical The Commitments opened on 21st September 2013, closing on 1st November 2015.
Following the closure of The Commitments in November, Derren Brown returned to the Palace Theatre with his new smash-hit show, Miracle. Following Brown, comedian Eddie Izzard presented a four week show for the first time in the West End. Force Majeure Reloaded began on January 18th 2015, quickly selling out and extending for a further two weeks. For the beginning of 2016, the Palace Theatre went dark for the first time in preparation for Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and JK Rowling’s sold-out play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which received its world premiere in July 2016. In April 2017, the play picked up a record-breaking nine Olivier Awards, including Best New Play and Best Director.
- Bars: Bars are available on all seating levels of the theatre.
- Toilets: Men’s and women’s toilets are available on all levels of the auditorium. An adapted toilet is available on the Stalls level.
- Access: Access spaces are located in the Stalls. Call the access line for booking.
- Air Conditioning: No, this theatre does not have air conditioning.
- Booster Seats: Booster seats are not available at this venue.
- Cloakroom: Two cloakrooms are available at this venue.