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Apollo Shaftesbury

Theatre, Musicals Shaftesbury Avenue
4 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)
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.  



Address: 31
Shaftesbury Avenue
Transport: Tube: Piccadilly Circus
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  • Drama Until Saturday January 25 2020

Users say (5)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

A sweet little theatre, where the staff are welcoming and the seats are spacious. Even from the back of the stalks, there is a good view of the stage. However, the decor could maybe do with a slight you touch up- it's not as decadent as some West End theatres. Also, like all theatres, the cost of drinks and snacks are pretty extortionate.


Such a stunning theatre inside and out! A great view from any seat. More spacious seating than some other theatres with an intimate vibe.


I had never been to the Apollo theatre before till yesterday which is surprising as I go to the theatre's all the time... I' somehow managed to avoid this one! Not purposely!!

The theatre itself was very lovely!! Think emporer of China!! Haha.

It was clean and beautiful.. the chairs could have a little more space between as if you're unlucky and someone with a big head sits infront of you,you literally won't be able to see much as the chairs don't get that much higher as they go.


It’s such a stunning theatre, one of the most visually striking by its interior from the old West End theatres. The stairs and candelabras are absolutely stunning.

This theatre is also notorious by its falling ceiling back a few years ago. This was such a disaster as it happened during a performance. Nevertheless, they reopened the theatre very quickly and there were lots of publicity surrounding how Grade II listed buildings are maintained in general.

Theatre has a very modern downstairs bar which is not very typical for West End Theatres where the space is limited. They managed to maximise the space and the bar is actually quite comfortable but it lacks character so you have a feeling that it doesn’t belong to this building. Seats are surprisingly ok, with enough leg room (I was sitting in stalls).  

The theatre is easily reached by tube, a few minutes walk either from Leicester Square or from Piccadilly Circus, next to the Gielgud and Queen's theatres.


Apolo is a great venue, well kept, easy to orientate around it and just the right size, spacious but atmosphere intimate enough to enjoy the play. 5 min walk from Soho, surrounded by lots of places to grab pre-theatre bite.

Apolo has magnificent range of entertaining plays. Staff is kind and helpful, my fav amongst all of them, are the ones serving ice-cream during intervals of course ;) !

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