The London Palladium is one of the West End's most famous theatres. Regarded as the home of family and variety entertainment, this impressive building recently celebrated its centenary. The plush seats, impressive staircases and well-dressed ushers make this feel like an exciting venue, and one of London's most welcoming performance spaces.
The auditorium seats over 2000 people across three levels. Each section feels expansive, with long rows of seats and high ceilings. Views across the theatre are good, and even in the rear of the Upper Circle, you never feel too far away from one of the West End's widest stages. The theatre is often home to large scale family musicals where there is a lot of set and spectacle to take in, and so many people prefer to sit slightly higher to take in the whole stage.
The Stalls is the closest section to the stage, and is divided into three sections by two central aisles. The rows fan out away from the stage, getting wider towards the rear of the section. Each row follows the curve of the stage, meaning that seats towards the end of each row look across at the stage rather than directly at it. The first few rows are very close, and as the stage is quite high, this can cause some sight problems for shorter audience members. The best seats are in the central section around rows M and P, which provide excellent views of the whole stage. The overhang from the level above slightly restricts the view from rows further back, but not significantly. The section is well raked, giving good views over the heads of the audience in front.
The Royal Circle is the first level above the stage and Stalls, and offers some excellent views. Again, the seats are divided into three equal blocks, with those towards the ends of each row following the curve of the balcony. The front four rows offer excellent views of the stage, and you feel at eye level with the performers. Legroom and comfort are also very good, partly due to the central aisles which make the section feel more spacious. Views from the final two rows are also very clear, making this an excellent choice of seats.
The Upper Circle is the third level in the London Palladium, and is larger than the Royal Circle. The section is also divided into three blocks of seats, with the rear section in each block feeling quite far away from the stage. There is a metal safety rail that runs along the balcony, restricting the view somewhat from the first few rows. The rows curve quite dramatically around the auditorium, meaning some seats towards the ends of the row look across at the stage rather that directly at it. Legroom is tighter in this section, so those who require extra legroom may prefer to sit next to an aisle. The section is well-raked, meaning views over the audience ahead are reasonable. Even the final rows in this section generally provide good views of the stage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are the best seats for children at the London Palladium?
Due to the height of the stage, it is not advised for children to sit in the first 6 rows of the Stalls, as some of the staging will be missed. Seats in the centre and rear of the Stalls will provide the best views of the stage. The front of the Upper Circle has a safety bar that is visible in rows A-D and can also restrict the view for children and smaller audience members, though they may enjoy a higher view of the stage. The best seats are at the front of the Royal Circle, towards the centre.
Where are the Restricted View seats?
The only restrictions in the London Palladium are in the first two rows of the Upper Circle, where the safety rail obstructs the view.
What if I am hard of sight or hearing?
The London Palladium is fitted with an infra-red induction loop, with headsets available to hire in the main foyer. There are binoculars available to hire in the back of seats on all levels.
How many steps are there in the theatre?
There are four steps up to the main doors of the London Palladium, and a further eight steps to the foyer and Royal Circle. The Box Office has its own side entrance, with five steps up to it. The Royal Circle is at ground level, and the Stalls are down 12 steps from the main foyer. The Upper Circle is about 50 steps above street level. There are handrails on either side of each staircase.
Where are the toilets located?
Male: There is one block in the Stalls, accessible from the auditorium. There is a further block in the Val Parnell Bar and outside the auditorium at Royal Circle level. In the Upper Circle there is a block of toilets as well as a single cubicle outside the auditorium.
Female: There are two blocks of toilets on the right hand side of the auditorium at Stalls level, as well as a further block in the Val Parnell Bar. At the Royal Circle level there is a block of toilets outside the auditorium, as well as a further block inside. The Upper Circle has a block of toilets and also a single cubicle inside the auditorium.
Access: There is an adapted toilet on the inside entrance by Ramillies Place, which is accessible from the Stalls bar. There is a further accessible toilet in the Val Parnell Bar.
Where are the bars located?
There is a bar at each level of the auditorium: the Stalls Bar, the Val Parnell Bar, The Cinderella Bar (at Royal Circle level) and The Long Bar (at Upper Circle level). Drinks can be delivered to disabled customers in the auditorium, but must be in plastic cups.
Are there wheelchair facilities in the theatre?
There is wheelchair access to the theatre via a Box Office ramp at the front of the theatre on Argyll Street. Once inside there is a wheelchair lift down to the Stalls bar. Wheelchair spaces are in the Stalls, at L46, O48, Q48 and S49, and companions are able to sit in the same row. Transfer seating is also available to each aisle seat. Access dogs are also invited into the auditorium, or can be looked after by the theatre staff.