Lyric Theatre

History of the Lyric

The Lyric Theatre is the oldest surviving theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue in the City of Westminster. It was built in 1888 by producer Henry Leslie with profits from Dorothy the opera at the Prince of Wales theatre, to the designs of distinguished architect C. J. Phipps. It was initially constructed as an opera venue but soon included musicals and plays in its productions.

The Lyric Theatre was the second theatre to be built on this particular section of Shaftesbury Avenue, and the building retains many of its original features. The foyer and bars got refurbished in 1933 and its facade was restored in 1994. It currently seats 967 attendees on four levels and still uses a pump to operate its iron curtain. The theatre became Grade II-listed by English Heritage in 1960.

The theatre opened with Dorothy and hosted many operas including The Mountebanks by William Schwenck Gilbert and Floradora by Leslie Stuart.

The theatre’s stage door is located on Great Windmill Street, where the facade of the Georgian house that occupied the site before the theatre was constructed. The walls of the house were retained by the architect but the internal structure was removed to make room for backstage areas.

Travel Details

The Lyric Theatre is one of the most iconic theatrical venues in the West End, steeped in stage history and is situated between the bright lights of Soho, the food haven that is Chinatown and the shops and boutiques of nearby Carnaby and Oxford Street.

Lyric Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7ES

Bus routes: 14, 19, 22B, 38, 53, 88, 94, 159


Charing Cross - tube and mainline station (10 minutes’ walk) Piccadilly (1 minute walk)
Leicester Square (5 minutes’ walk)
Oxford Street (8 minutes’ walk)

It is within the Congestion Charge Zone (7am until 6pm). The nearest car park is the Q Park Chinatown Car Park (20 Newport Place, WC2H 7PR).

Lyric Theatre London
Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7ES

Lyric Theatre London Seating Plan

The Lyric Theatre has a seating capacity of 967 spread across four levels: the stalls, dress circle, upper circle and the balcony.

Disabled access

Please ensure you make enquiries well in advance of your visit to ensure that staff can prepare to meet your specific requirements.

There is an accessible toilet inside the Royal entrance, within the Royal Retiring Room.

Guide dogs are allowed into the boxes either side of the stage area; there is room for one wheelchair user and their guest in these boxes. Transfer seating is available in the dress circle.

There are no steps to the dress circle bar. Drinks may be brought to patrons in the auditorium upon request.

There is an infra-red system and five headsets available upon request from the box office.

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