Lyceum Theatre

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The Lyceum Theatre is a 2,100-seat West End theatre located in the City of Westminster, on Wellington Street, just off the Strand. There has been a theatre with this name in the locality since 1765, and the present site opened on 14 July 1834 to a design by Samuel Beazley. The building was unique in that it had a balcony overhanging the dress circle. It was built by the partnership of Peto & Grissell.

In 1904 the theatre was almost completely rebuilt and richly ornamented in rococo style by Bertie Crewe, but it retained Beazley's façade and grand portico. The building closed in 1939 and was set to be demolished, but it was saved and converted into a Mecca Ballroom in 1951 and then restored to theatrical use in 1996 by Holohan Architects.

The Old Lyceum Theatre was first built in 1765 on an adjacent site, and in the late 18th century, musical entertainments were given by Charles Dibdin. Famed actor David Garrick also performed at the Lyceum. Between 1794 and 1809, the building was used as a circus, brought by Philip Astley when his amphitheatre was burned down at Westminster, and then a chapel, a concert room, and for the first London exhibition of waxworks displayed by Madame Tussaud in 1802.

The theatre became a "licensed" house in 1809, and until 1812 it was used for dramatic performances by the Drury Lane Company after the burning of their own theatre, until the erection of the new edifice. In 1816, Samuel Arnold rebuilt the house to a design by Beazley and opened it as The English Opera House, but it was destroyed by fire in 1830. The house was famous as the first theatre in London to be lit by gas and for hosting the London première of Mozart's opera Così fan tutte. During this period, the "Sublime Society of Beef Steaks," which had been founded in 1735 by theatre manager Henry Rich, had its home at the theatre for over 50 years until 1867. The members, who never exceeded twenty-four in number, met every Saturday night to eat beefsteaks and drink port wine.



The nearest stations are:
• Charing Cross – Network South East
• Waterloo and Waterloo East – Bakerloo, Northern and Jubilee Lines
• Covent Garden – Piccadilly Line (exit only until mid-November 2014. Also on Saturdays and Sundays westbound trains will not stop at this station)
• Temple – Circle & District Lines (closed on Sunday)
• Leicester Square – Piccadilly and Northern Lines
• Charing Cross – Bakerloo, Northern and Jubilee Lines
• Holborn – Piccadilly and Central Lines
• Embankment – Bakerloo, Northern, and District & Circles Lines (Bakerloo and Northern Line trains not stopping at this station due to refurbishment)


To reach the theatre by bus, use numbers 1, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 68, 77A, 91, 176 or 341 with Leicester Square as the destination. The closest bus interchange for all London routes and night buses is Trafalgar Square.


You can save 50% with Q-Park’s Theatreland Parking Scheme.

The nearest NCP car parks are on Parker Street, Museum Street, Holborn and the St. Martin’s Lane Hotel.


There are two Barclays Cycle Hire docking spaces located close to the theatre.