I love the Duchess, it is a delightful theatre, one of the youngest and smallest West End theatres, so you are always very intimate with the actors, you can see them, and they can see you! The theatre seats feel a lot more roomy and there is aircond (very welcomed on a hot summer's day!) The ladies toilets are the best, more cubicles for a change, very modern, clean and light, and room to move, unlike the tight squeeze of most other theatres. Bakersfield Mist, with Kathleen Turner and Ian McDiarmid, a one act play, debating the authenticity of art and people, is playing until 9 August.
Arturo Ui might not be the easiest afternoon in the theatre but we found a deal...£20 tickets with a glass of champagne .... and not just any champagne but my favourite Lanson Black Label. Delicious.
We sat on the very back row of the dress circle and could see and hear perfectly and we had more leg room than in some other theatres.
So, overall, an enjoyable afternoon.
Now I had read other peoples reviews of this theatre before I went to see The Fences starring Lenny Henry.
The theatre is old built in 1929 apparently, so if i can survive for 84 years and not actually look old and weather battered like this place I would suggest that would be a good innings in anyones book.
The theatre is on the small side and for the taller person the seating does not provide a great deal of leg room but you can cope especially if you know there is an interval coming.
When we entered the theatre there were a couple of staff members selling programs along with selling you your interval drinks, which we bought as we thought this would avoid the cue at interval.
So interval came and the drinks were exactly where they said they would be, on the side with a copy of our receipt. The only issue I have is that there was no member of staff checking your ticket it would not be difficult for someone to walk off with your drinks, I think this needs improvement!
Now the night we visited this theatre it was to use a phrase 'raining cats and dogs' outside. The problem is that the building is 84 plus years old and the 'cats and dogs' were getting in directly onto the stage so this caused a hold up to the second half of the play starting, however they did explain they had a technical problem and the show did get back underway.
I quite liked this theatre for the age it is and its location, not to far from Charing Cross so the train home is possible. It is surrounded by bars and restaurants which most of them do a pre-theatre meal, otherwise after the event the bars are still open some longer then others.
The Duchess opened on 25th November, 1929 and is one of the smallest 'proscenium arched' West End theatres. It has 479 seats on two levels.
The nearest Underground stop in Covent Garden. I consider myself really good at finding my way around various cities around the world. London at Covent Garden was one exception. With all the people and dense street configurations, it took me a longer and more confusing period of time to find the Duchess.
I came here years ago to see Copenhagen, which was a mesmerizing 3 person show about WWII, nuclear physics, and Niels Bohr. The nuclear-influenced staging was also an integral and fascinating part of the show.
And the fact that my son's grandfather and Gayle's Dad spent a great deal of their careers in the nuclear field was an interesting counterpoint to this first class production.
A little tired and battered. The seats are small, even for west end sizes. The only decent leg room row seemed to be F, but I would check with theatre monkey - that website that theatres hate and I love!
The stalls bar (marked American Airlines) is so discrete that we walked past it several times before venturing in. It's hot, small and crowded. I was expecting a diamond at the bottom of my wine as the only explanation for the price of alcohol there, but found nothing...
Krapp's Last Tape, with Michael Gambon.
I arrived late - bad, I know - and the polite staff ushered me quickly upstairs to a box (not the seat I paid for) so I could see the play but not disturb other patrons. Perfect ushering. The theatre is small, which is fine, but it shows it's age.
As for the play, I was glad it was only 50 minutes. Mr.Gambon is a talent, of course, but this version of the production dragged.
A nice if small theatre very conveniently located between Covent garden and Holborn stations.
The bar areas get a little cramped during the intervals but this is to be expected of most theatres in london.
The ladies toilets, however, are refreshingly many and although a little cramped while queuing, being more than the usual 2-3 offered by most theatres, allows time to visit the bar or buy ice-cream after the wait time!
The seats are an average size and I found there to be plenty of leg room.
Can be a little hard to find so look it up before you leave home!
A very enjoyable experience overall.
Very nice theatre, I especially loved the production of Love Story running early 2011, which I had to see twice in a week I loved it so much. Smaller theatre but not lacking in amenities. I will always give 4 stars though to these theatre's that have terrible leg room.
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