The Duchess Theatre is near to Covent Garden and is close neighbours with the Lyceum Theatre and the Aldwych. It’s one of the smallest venues in the West End with only 479 seats spread over two levels; the Stalls and the Dress Circle. The theatre had to be dug into the ground to bypass an old ‘Ancient Lights’ law, which prevented new buildings from blocking out natural light. The Duchess’ Stalls are therefore deep underground and the Dress Circle is level with the street.
The Stalls has most of the seats in the venue. The section stretches back for 15 rows across the width of the stage. The section fans out in a triangle away from the stage, which means there are many seats with no other seats in front. You can pick up a seat with excellent leg room if you look at the seating map before you book. Due to the small size of the theatre every Stalls seat feels close to the action and most viewpoints are unrestricted. The best seats can be found around row H, which is clear of the Dress Circle balcony overhang. As with most theatres, cheaper seats can be found further towards the back.
The Dress Circle
The Duchess Theatre is extremely intimate, so Dress Circle seats with a good view can be found at a reasonable price. This section is built in a bit of an odd shape, though. There is a small wall which divides the Dress Circle in half across the front, separating the first three rows from the rest of the section. The cheapest seats in the house can be found at the back of the Dress Circle.
Is The Play That Goes Wrong suitable for children?
Children may find The Play That Goes Wrong extremely entertaining, but must be accompanied by an adult.
How accessible is the theatre?
The Duchess Theatre is accessible from Catherine Street via a very shallow step and a slight slope, which is slightly lower on the right. There are 21 steps down to the Stalls and 12 up to the Dress Circle; staircases have handrails on both sides.
Are there wheelchair facilities?
Wheelchair users who have to remain in their chairs need to be accompanied by 2 people, because wheelchairs need to be carried down the 21 steps to the Stalls. There are dedicated wheelchair spaces in N1 and N29 of the Stalls. If you can transfer from your chair then you can take any seat in the Dress Circle, which is up 12 steps from the theatre foyer. F1 and F22 of the Stalls have the most legroom but are not dedicated disabled seats. However, theatre staff are more than happy to find you an appropriate seat on the night. Please contact the Box Office on 0844 482 9672 before your visit if you need to discuss access requirements for wheelchair users.
Are there deaf or hard of hearing facilities?
There is an infra-red system with 10 headsets which patrons are welcome to use. Please enquire at the Box Office on your arrival.
Can I bring my guide dog?
Guide dogs are only allowed in the auditorium with you if you’re seated in an aisle seat or a box. Staff are more than happy to look after your dog if you are sat elsewhere in the theatre. Please note that they can only look after 2 dogs per performance so you are advised to contact the Box Office on 0844 482 9672 before your visit to make arrangements.
Where are the toilets?
There are male and female toilets by the Stalls. There are also men’s toilets 8 steps up from the Dress Circle and women’s 17 steps up from the Dress Circle.
Are there any accessible toilets?
There is a specially adapted toilet by the Stalls.
Does the theatre have a bar?
There are 2 licensed bars in the Duchess Theatre; the Foyer Bar and a second bar 3 steps down from the Stalls. The access attendant is happy to bring drinks to disabled customers.