The Shaftesbury Theatre opened on 26 December 1911, under the name the New Prince’s Theatre. It changed its name to the Prince’s Theatre in 1914. Throughout the early years of the venue, there were large gaps between performances (most likely due to competition, as the theatre was the last to be built in Shaftesbury Avenue), but it did enjoy successful productions of The Three Musketeers, Diplomacy, and an 18-week season of Gilbert and Sullivan in 1919.
After its sale to EMI in 1962, the theatre played host to several successful Broadway productions, including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1962), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1963) and Hair (which ran for 1,998 performances, finally closing in 1973 due to a ceiling collapse).
The building was saved from a proposed redevelopment by an Equity campaign, and reopened in 1975, where it continued to host successful musical productions. Examples include West Side Story (1975), They’re Playing Our Song (1980), Follies (1987), and Rent (1998).
During this time, the Theatre of Comedy Company bought the theatre and briefly closed the theatre for refurbishment in 2006. Since its reopening, the theatre has continued to host popular musical productions, such as a European premiere of Hairspray, Rock of Ages (a transfer from the Garrick Theatre), and the world premiere of From Here to Eternity.
Wheelchair spaces and transfers available.
Are there adapted toilets?
Adapted toilets are available in the Royal Circle.
Are there facilities for the hard-of-hearing?
There is an infrared system working throughout the auditorium. Audio described performances available.
Are guide dogs and/or hearing dogs permitted?
Access dogs are allowed inside the auditorium. Staff dog-sitting available.
Please contact the theatre directly for further information.
The Pajama Game (2014)
From Here to Eternity (2014 )
Burn the Floor (11 March 2013 – 30 June 2013)
Rock of Ages (27 September 2011 – 6 January 2013)
Derren Brown – Svengali (June 8, 2011 – July 16, 2011)
Flashdance (26 September 2010 – 15 January 2011)
Burn The Floor (21 July 2010 – 4 September 2010)
Hairspray: The Musical (11 October 2007 – 28 March 2010)