The Apollo Theatre is located down the famous Shaftesbury Avenue, flanked by other major West End theatres including the Lyric Theatre and Sondheim Theatre. A relatively intimate playhouse that seats 775 audience members, the building is split across three levels; the Stalls, Dress Circle and Grand Circle. Each level feels close to the stage, with decent rakes allowing for excellent overall views of the stage throughout the auditorium. Originally opening in 1901, the theatre has retained its traditional interior.
The Stalls is one large block of seating that extends from rows A-R, depending on the current show booking. A further four rows are located just behind, with a horizontal aisle running between Row R and Row T. Rows in this section are relatively short, allowing for no side views, even from seats at the very ends of rows. A good rake ensures you can see past those in front, with the best seats for viewing located in the centre of rows D-K. The Dress Circle overhang begins at around Row H, but only slightly affects the view in rows T-X, cutting off the very top of the stage. Row T has excellent extra legroom, but it is worth noting that legroom in the seats behind is a lot more limited.
The Dress Circle is located above the Stalls and is a much shallower section of seating, split into three separate seating blocks by vertical aisles. There are steps to reach each row in this section, and a decent rake ensures that you can see well past those in front, even at the rear of the seating. The central block gives the best overall view of the stage, as rows curve with the shape of the balcony, causing seats toward the ends of rows to have a side view of the stage. Depending on the production, this is not necessarily a problem and can often lead to some cheaper tickets. The Grand Circle overhangs the entire section, but does not impede the view. This is arguably the best section to choose for a guaranteed clear view of the stage.
The Grand Circle is the highest section in the theatre, split into two blocks of seating by a vertical aisle. A steep rake ensures that you can see well above those in front, allowing for completely clear sight-lines of the stage. A small safety rail is in place at the end of each aisle, which only obstructs the views in rows B and C. Occasionally, lighting equipment can restrict the view in Row A, which also has limited legroom. Views from the rear of the section are entirely unobstructed, although you may start to lose some detail in rows E-F. It is recommended to sit as centrally as possible to avoid any side views at the ends of rows. Legroom is very limited throughout this section
Where are the best seats for children at the Apollo Theatre?
Due to the intimacy of the Apollo Theatre, you will be able to get a good view of the stage no matter your size! It’s best to be seated in either the Stalls or Dress Circle, avoiding the front rows of both due to restrictions. Sit as central as possible in the middle rows of each section and you are ensured a good view of the stage.
Where are the Restricted View seats?
Restricted view seats can be found in seats 7-10 and 23-28 of Row F of the Dress Circle, as well as the two seats at the very ends of rows A-B. These are restricted view due to the curve of the balcony, which causes side views. Boxes in the Grand Circle are also restricted as you have to lean to see the stage. Four seats at either ends of rows A-E are also restricted view in the Grand Circle, as the curve around the stage may cause the safety barrier in Row A to impede the view.
What if I am hard of sight or hearing?
The Apollo Theatre is fitted with a Williams Sound hearing assistance system. Headsets can be borrowed on a first-come first-served basis from the theatre foyer. Binoculars are available for hire, but due to the intimacy of the theatre these may not be necessary. Signed, captioned and audio-described performances are also available.
How many steps are there in the theatre?
It is 1 step up from street level to access the main Apollo Theatre foyer, with an alternative level access entrance to the Stalls on Shaftesbury Avenue for access patrons. From the main foyer, the Stalls are 22 steps down, the Dress Circle is 12 steps up and it is approximately 40 steps up to the Grand Circle from another alternative entrance on Shaftesbury Avenue.
Where are the toilets located?
Toilets are available on all levels of the theatre, with a unisex adapted toilet located in the Stalls.
Where are the bars located?
The Stalls Bar is located 11 steps down from the Stalls seating. The Grand Circle bar is 40 steps up from street level and leads to the rear of the Grand Circle seating. Both bars have seating and standing options, and access patrons have an at-seat service available to them.
Are there wheelchair facilities in the theatre?
An alternative entrance allows access patrons to enter the venue step-free, via a platform lift that goes to the Stalls. Seats Q1 and Q22 in the Stalls can be removed to allow for wheelchair users, with the option for a companion to be seated next to them. Transfers are also available to any aisle seats. An at-seat service is available for patrons who are unable to access the bars.