Palace Theatre

What's on at the Palace Theatre

The Commitments is the award-winning musical based on Roddy Doyle's rags to rags story of a group of ne'er-do-wells mission to return soul music to the streets of Dublin. Containing a liberal sprinkling of Irish mischief this musical is now showing at the Palace Theatre in the heart of London's West End.

The Commitments concerns on the erstwhile machinations of ambitious band manager Jimmy Rabbitte who wants to emulate soul hero Wilson Pickett and show Dubliners how they too can be black and proud.

However his errant protégés will have to undergo a drastic transformation before they can come close to understanding the tenets of soul music. It's a long way from Dublin to the Delta and the history of soul is littered with the good intentions of failed musicians.

Yet The Commitments have 3 important ingredients that matter: Raw talent, natural born arrogance and a reservoir of experience from which to draw. Their journey will take them from the pits of despair and elevate them to cult stardom, calling in at disenchantment and disintegration along the way.

Will the course of true blues ever run smooth for The Commitments? Book your tickets to see this celebration of the human spirit and rock to the low down, big fat sounds of Mustang Sally, Night Train and Try A Little Tenderness. Get your Commitments tickets with Theatre Bookings and enjoy the show!.

History of the Palace Theatre

The history of the Palace Theatre, the iconic theatrical venue that straddles Cambridge Circus is entwined with the story of theatrical impresario, talent agent and hotelier Richard D'Oyly Carte.

In terms of design the theatre raised a few eyebrows when it embraced the latest cantilever construction technology to enable the dress circle to float above the stalls without impeding the view of patrons below.

The architect Thomas Edward Collcutt was commissioned to design D'Oyly Carte a venue worthy of forthcoming ventures with Gilbert and Sullivan. He fully intended the site to become the home of English Opera. Thus the venue was called The Royal English Opera House when it opened its doors in 1891.

A gallant idea, but it was not one that was to come to fruition. Although the opening production of Ivanhoe was to run for over 160 performances, D'Oyly Carte had not planned a long term operatic program, subsequently leasing and then selling the theatre less than two years after its glorious opening.

Nevertheless the die was cast and D'Oyly Carte set the tone for the historic venue. What this musical genius would have thought of the current musical The Commitments is anyone's guess.

It was only until the Palace Theatre was taken over by Charles Morton in 1893 that success trickled through to the box office with many notables such as Little Tich and Marie Lloyd appearing on stage in the early part of the twentieth century. Nijinsky and Anna Pavlova graced the stage as did a youthful Buster Keaton.

The theatre was also periodically converted to show moving pictures, notably The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse (1921) which ran for 22 weeks and starred Rudolph Valentino.

One thing is for sure - the theatre and long running musicals were made for each other. The Sound of Music ran for well over two thousand performances, the hilarious Spamalot ran for three years and Andrew Lloyd Webber's masterpiece Jesus Christ Superstar resided in the historic theatre for a total of eight years. Yet none of these productions could come close to the global hit sensation that was Les Misérables which ran for a grand total of 19 years.

Travel Details

The Palace Theatre can be found in the district of Soho and is accessible by bus, tube and mainline stations. It can be found on the Cambridge Circus junction of Charing Cross Rd and Shaftsbury Avenue.

The theatre is on main bus routes that run through Soho including 14, 19, 24, 29, 38, 40 and 176.

It is within the Congestion Charge Zone (7am until 6pm). The nearest car parks are Denman St and Brewer St Car Park, and Masterpark - Chinatown, Newport Place.

If you use the Q-Park scheme in conjunction with London theatres you may get a reduction of up to 50% on parking in the West End.

Nearest Tube and Rail Link:

Tottenham Court Rd tube is three minutes walk
Leicester Square tube is approximately 2 minutes walk from the theatre.
Charing Cross tube and mainline station is 6 minutes walk.

The Palace Theatre
113 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 5AY

Palace Theatre Seating Plan

The Palace Theatre is situated in the heart of London's West End. The theatre has a capacity of 1,400 seats all offering different viewing experiences for varying budgets.

Access Information

The box office is accessible through the main doors on Shaftsbury Avenue and there is a lowered countered for wheelchair access.

There is an adapted toilet at the entrance to the theatre.

There is no access to the bars for disabled theatre goers but staff will take orders and bring drinks to customers in the auditorium.

The management can offer a dog-sitting service for up to 4 guide dogs during the performance. Guide dogs are also allowed in the auditorium.

Infra-red systems with headsets and induction loops are available at the box office.

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