The Duchess Theatre is near Covent Garden and 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 prevents new buildings from blocking natural light from reaching existing buildings around it. The Duchess’ Stalls are therefore deep underground and the Dress Circle is level with the street.
Most of the theatre' seats are in the Stalls. The section stretches back for 15 rows. The section fans out in a triangle away from the stage, which means there are many seats with no other seats in front of them. If you are looking for extra legroom, have a look at the seating map before you book. Due to the small size of the theatre, the Stalls seats feel close to the action and most offer unrestricted views. The best seats can be found around row H, which is clear of the Dress Circle overhang. As with most theatres, cheaper seats can be found further towards the back.
The Dress Circle
The Duchess Theatre is small and intimate, so Dress Circle seats with a good view can be found at a reasonable price. There is a low 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 if they are under 16 years old. The show is not recommended for children under 6.
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 prefer to remain in their chairs can access the Stalls via the theatre's AAT Major Stair Climber. To use the stair climber, you must arrive at the theatre at least 45 minutes in advance and the theatre needs to be informed in advance. There are dedicated wheelchair spaces in N1 and J14 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. Please contact the Baccess team 0330 333 4815 before your visit to discuss access requirements for wheelchair users.
Are there deaf or hard of hearing facilities?
There is an infra-red system with headsets which patrons are welcome to use. Please enquire at the Box Office on your arrival.
Can I bring my guide dog?
Assistance dogs are allowed in the auditorium, though the theatre recommends purchasing an aisle set if you wish to keep your dog with you during the performance. You may also request dog sitting during the show. Please note that they can only look after 2 dogs per performance so you are advised to contact the access team on 0330 333 4815 before your visit to book a dog sitting slot.
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 at the rear of 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.