The Duchess Theatre, one of the smallest in the West End, seats less than 500 across two levels. Built in 1929, the theater is listed for preservation by the British Government and is known for its proscenium arch, irregular design, and intimate atmosphere. The Play That Goes Wrong
has been playing here since 2014.The Basics
The intimate venue often sells out, so it’s worth booking in advance to secure your seat. You can choose from a range of packages to suit your schedule and budget, safe in the knowledge that the cozy auditorium boasts some of the best sightlines in London. The Duchess specializes in contemporary drama and performances, and the annual program typically offers performances to appeal to a range of audiences, from families to those into dark humor.Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- The theater is wheelchair accessible via AAT Major Stair Climber.
- Headsets for hearing-impaired guests are provided on a first-come-first-served basis.
- There is a bar and cloakroom on site.
- Fans of farce will appreciate the long-running show, The Play That Goes Wrong, which also is appropriate for families.
Covent Garden, on the Piccadilly Underground line, is a 5-minute walk from the theater. Several local buses serve Aldwych and the Strand; hop-on hop-off services also stop nearby. Q-Park’s Theatreland Parking Scheme offers parking at half price for theatergoers who validate their parking tickets at the box office. The closest participating lot is in Chinatown, though it’s best to avoid driving during Congestion Charge hours.When to Get There
Evening shows play daily, Tuesday through Sunday. Matinees take place on Saturdays, Sundays, and some Thursdays. In summer, spend an afternoon soaking up the sun in picturesque Covent Garden before cooling off with an evening show at the Duchess. In winter, choose a matinee and keep the evening free to explore London’s festively lit streets after dark.Record-Holding Venues
Theater buffs may know that on the other side of London’s Theatreland, St. Martin’s Theatre is home to the world’s longest-running production, The Mousetrap
, while the Garrick Theatre is the first theater to be named after an actor. The Duchess also proudly holds a West End record: In 1930, the venue hosted the shortest run in history when The Intimate Revue
permanently closed after barely half a performance.