The Fortune Theatre is one of the smallest and newest theatres in London’s West End, located on Russell Street near Covent Garden. It only has 432 seats and is spread over 3 levels; the Stalls on the same level as the stage; the Dress Circle on the first balcony; and the Upper Circle on the highest balcony. There are good quality seats available throughout the theatre for varying prices, but each seat feels close to the stage because of the auditorium’s small size. The Fortune Theatre is the current home of The Woman in Black which claims to be ‘the most terrifying live experience in the world’.
The Stalls are 11 rows deep (A – L) divided into two unequal sections by an aisle. The smaller block (on the right as you look at the stage) can feel a little out of the action. There are two pillars at the ends of rows D and K, but you can pick up restricted seats for a good price. The floor slopes upwards for audience members at the back. The action of The Woman in Black spills out into the auditorium so the Stalls is the best place to sit if you want a terrifying thrill; chose a seat next to the aisle if you’re feeling really brave. However, asthma sufferers should avoid the first few rows because the show uses a smoke machine.
Top tip - Take a seat further back for the best view of the whole stage. There are no seats in front of row B 8 – 12, so sit here if you need more leg room.
The Dress Circle
As with the Stalls, the Dress Circle is split into two blocks with the aisle separating seat 1-5 from the rest of the rows. Legroom throughout the Dress Circle isn’t generous, the worst culprit being row A. There is marginally more legroom as you move towards the back of the seating. The metal bar at the front restricts the view from rows A and B; the larger block of seating offers a good view from C to F. F17 can be taken by wheelchair users who are able to transfer to the seat.
Top tip - There are two boxes either side of the auditorium with movable seats which offer more room, but they have a side on view of the stage.
The Upper Circle
Again, the Upper Circle is split into two uneven blocks in a similar layout to the Dress Circle. Legroom is especially poor this high up, particularly in row A. The safety bar is quite high at the front of row A so it can be obstructive; look out for cheap ticket offers. The middle of row D has the best view in the Upper Circle.
Top tip - Rows G and F are the furthest away from the stage and can feel removed from the action.
Is The Woman in Black suitable for children?
The show has a 12 and upwards guidance rating due to the frightening content, but children under 5 will not be admitted.
How accessible is the theatre?
There are no steps into the main entrance from Russell Street. There are 21 steps down to the Stalls, 7 up to the Dress Circle and 40 to the Upper Circle. All of the stairs have handrails. If you need to discuss specific access requirements please ring the Fortune Theatre access line on 0844 871 76
Are there wheelchair facilities?
There is unfortunately no space for wheelchair users who need to stay in their chairs. The best seating for those who can transfer is F17 in the Dress Circle or in Box A, which is accessible through a side fire exit with 5 steps. Box A has a toilet which isn’t adapted for disabled visitors but is more accessible than the other toilets (see the ‘where are the toilets?’ section below).
Can I bring a guide dog?
Guide dogs are not allowed in the main auditorium because of the loud sound effects, but they are welcome to stay in the theatre foyer with a member of staff.
Are there deaf or hard of hearing facilities?
The Fortune Theatre is fitted with an infra-red sound system; to access it please visit the Box Office on arrival and speak to a member of staff. They can provide you with an Induction Loop Necklace if you have a hearing aid, or a headset which amplifies the sound in a similar fashion to normal headphones.
Where are the toilets?
There are ladies’ toilets on all 3 levels and male toilets in the Stalls and Upper Circle. Box A has a toilet which isn’t specially adapted for disabled users but is more accessible than the other toilets.