The Gielgud Theatre is situated on Shaftsbury Avenue at the corner of Rupert Street. The house has 986 seats over three levels.
This grade two listed building was built in 1906 and is admired for the gold leaf in the auditorium, the beautiful circular staircase, oval gallery and tower.
As in many West End theatres, on arrival the foyer can resemble a rugby scrum as people fumble to find their tickets and the area of the theatre they need to be in.
Staff are friendly and polite and act quickly and professionally to direct people to their seats.
The stalls bar has limited seating and gets very full. We always order our drinks for the interval before the show begins; this worked well for us and our drinks were ready and waiting for us on our return to the bar. The only snag was that the drinks were not in plastic glasses which meant we were on a hunt to find some suitable drinking vessels before the end of interval bell!
As in most theatres glass is not allowed into the auditorium, hence the hunt for a plastic one.
Ladies toilets are always at a premium in any theatre and the Gielgud is no exception. Be prepared for some long queue ladies. On a positive note the washroom facilities are clean with soap and hand towels a plenty.
We had excellent view from our seats at the end of row C in the stalls. The seats are small with limited leg room, as a little legged person all was well for me, but I can see this being a problem for taller people. It’s worth noting that there is no aisle in this theatre so be prepared for people having to climb over you as they scramble to their seats.
The Gielgud is a lovely old theatre and its history and atmosphere combines with an excellent performance to ensure a thoroughly enjoyable evening.