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Apollo Shaftesbury

  • Theatre
  • Shaftesbury Avenue
Rob Greig

Time Out says

This fetching Victorian theatre has come back fighting after its crumbly ceiling hit the headlines

Shaftesbury Avenue’s theatres are notorious for their vertigo-inducing balconies and the Apollo’s may be the steepest of them all. But what the theatre lacks in user-friendly design it makes up for in style, being one of the most attractive theatres on the street. The Apollo Shaftesbury opened its doors in 1901, onto the recently completed Shaftesbury Avenue, and joining Palace Theatre and Lyric Theatre. Its handsome Louis XIV style interior features three curved, gilded balconies, and a capacity of 756 seats.  

It also features a newly revamped ceiling, decorated with a decidedly modern image of a cloudy sky, the legacy of a very eventful night in 2013. During a performance of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time', part the theatre's ceiling and top balcony fell in, depositing chunks of plaster on the audience below - and seventy-six people were injured by falling debris. Police officers commandeered three London buses to take those affected to hospital, while others were treated down the road at the neighbouring Gielgud Theatre.

After three months under wraps, (and an investigation that showed that the incident was caused by the theatre's mouldering Victorian ceiling ties) the theatre reopened in 2014 with horror thriller 'Let the Right One In'. Since then, it's played host to a number of celeb-heavy 'proper plays', before playing host to musical 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie', which has built up a warm fan following thanks to its feelgood story about a teen boy who just wants to wear a dress to prom.  


Shaftesbury Avenue
Tube: Piccadilly Circus
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