21 Wellington Street
The Lyceum Theatre London is one of the largest theatres in the city, with an auditorium seating over 2,000 people. A striking building with a grand portico that was designed in 1834, the Lyceum has existed in the Covent Garden area since 1765, moving to its current location in 1834, making it one of the oldest theatre’s still standing in London. Originally opening as the Theatre Royal Lyceum and English Opera House, the theatre was home to English opera and did not challenge the Italian operas that were played earlier in the century. The theatre became well-known in 1844 for housing popular adaptations of the novels of Charles Dickens with Martin Chuzzlewit running for over 100 performances, a very long run at the time. Actor Henry Irving took over management of the theatre in 1878, also starring in many plays himself there such as Shakespeare productions.
In 1939, plans to demolish the building were underway by the London City Council, as they wanted to make room for road improvement. The theatre closed that year and the plans collapsed, with the theatre being turned into a ballroom after WWII. In the 1960s and 70s, the theatre was mainly used as a pop concert venue and for TV broadcasts. Bands such as Led Zeppelin, Queen, U2 and The Smiths are performed at the theatre, with Bob Marley and The Wailers recording their live album inside the auditorium. The theatre started staging musical performances in more recent years, with shows such as Jesus Christ Superstar and Oklahoma! both being performed at the venue in the 1990s.
Since 1999, the Lyceum has been home to the musical version of The Lion King, where it remains today, continuing to play to packed and eager audiences.
The Lyceum Theatre has a cloakroom where items small and large can be placed during the production, for a small fee. There are also toilets on each seating level of the auditorium – Stalls, Royal Circle and Grand Circle.
For those wishing to have a pre-show or interval drink, there are four bars inside the Lyceum Theatre – one in the Stalls, two in the Royal Circle and one in the Grand Circle.
The Lyceum Theatre is located in between the Strand and Covent Garden on Wellington Street. Due to its central location, there are numerous connections to the theatre. The closest tube station to the Lyceum is Covent Garden on the Piccadilly Line, with Charing Cross on the Bakerloo and Northern lines also being in close proximity to the venue. Charing Cross is a mainline railway station as well as part of the Underground, for those coming from other parts of the UK. The theatre is a short five minute walk from these two stations, and there are also lots of bus connections. Walking from Covent Garden will take you through the piazza for a five minute stroll, and if you decide to walk from Charing Cross, then it is also a quick walk up the Strand.