How to find the Novello Theatre
Aldwych, London, WC2B 4LD
Call the Box Office on 0844 482 5151†
Phone lines are open Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm.
†Calls to Delfont Mackintosh Theatres 0844 numbers cost 7p per minute plus your phone company's access charge.
Our theatres sell products which may contain allergens. Allergen information is available upon request from all bars or other staff selling refreshments around the venue.
Getting to the Novello Theatre
By Train or Tube
The nearest train station is Charing Cross.
The nearest tube stations are Covent Garden, Charing Cross and Holborn.
The nearest bus stops are serviced by numbers 6, 15, 11 and 26.
If you are driving, you can take advantage of the Q-Park Theatreland parking scheme with 50% off car parking after midday for up to 4 hours.
There is also NCP parking available in Drury Lane.
Accessibility at the Novello Theatre
The theatre itself has no parking facilities but there are disabled bays nearby on Tavistock Street and Wellington Street.
For more information on parking facilities in the area, please visit the City of Westminster website.
The theatre has an infrared system with headsets available at the Cloakroom. The duty manager in the Foyer will be able to assist with headsets. A deposit of a credit card/driving licence is required which will be returned at the end of the performance.
Assistance dogs are allowed in to the auditorium. Alternatively, our staff are happy to dog sit during your performance.
Wheelchair access is available via a wheelchair lift at an entrance on Catherine Street.
Patrons who need to remain in their wheelchair can be accommodated in Dress Circle AA11 (seat AA10 is removed) and any companions can be booked into AA12 onwards. For patrons who can transfer, there is step-free access to Dress Circle A24 with companions sat in A23 onwards.
The wheelchair lift can hold a maximum weight of 225kg (whilst seated) and chair dimensions must fall within a surface area of 82x96cm (this may affect some electric wheelchairs). An in-house manual wheelchair can be provided to transfer where possible.
There is an accessible toilet available on the Dress Circle level which is step free from Row A. There are toilets on all levels.
Our access host will happily advise and guide should you require help.
We know that communication is key for patrons who have Autism.
We want all our patrons to have a good experience while in our theatres, so we now have a visual tool for parents and carers to use with those on the autistic spectrum and/or with learning difficulties.
There are two versions. A printable version and a video version, both of which can be viewed via the links below.
We have been researching the benefits of using social stories and would like to offer a social story for a visit to Novello Theatre. We know that people with autism find social situations difficult and understand that we are all unique.
Shows & Events at the Novello Theatre
Hospitality at the Novello Theatre
There are four VIP rooms available for hire at the Novello Theatre. The Shubert Room, The Whitney Room, which holds up to 10 people, Box B ante-room and Royal Box ante-room which hold up to 10 people each.
If you would like to discuss venue hire then please enquire using the button below:
Facilities at the Novello Theatre
If you have any enquiries regarding lost property at Novello Theatre please email customer services.
Lost property will be kept at the theatre for one month.
There are four licensed bars, Sam's Bar is situated behind the foyer, The Shubert Bar, Ivor's Bar and The Waldorf Bar which services the Grand Circle and Balcony.
For a look at what great value drinks and snacks we offer and an example price list please available to download/view below:
For the safety and security of our patrons and employees, our cloakrooms are currently closed.
However, we work with Stasher who offer bag storage in many hotels and shops across London (all within close walking distance to our theatres).
HOW TO BOOK LUGGAGE STORAGE WITH STASHER
Bookings must be made online and it costs £5.40 for the day using the code "SHOWTIME".
For location options and to book:
Additional Security Using Canines
Delfont Mackintosh Theatres uncompromisingly prioritises the safety of its staff and visitors to all of its venues.
We have engaged the expertise of Global Support Services (GSS), a specialist canine services provider, to deploy explosive detection dog teams at our theatre. Their teams will be responsible for searching our venue and our audiences as they enter the venue prior to each show, daily.
Their teams have vast experience working with venues similar to ours and will seek at all times to be both reassuring and unintrusive. They have provided us with some guidance on our behaviours around their dogs whilst they are working.
Novello Theatre History
It's a Boy (1930)
1905 The Novello Theatre, known as the Waldorf Theatre opened on 22 May 1905 with an eight-week season of opera and drama starring the actress Eleanora Duse and the well-known opera singers Emma Calve and Edouard de Reszke.
1913 Now renamed the Strand had its first long run with an Anglo-Chinese play called Mr Wu, starring the matinee idol Matheson Lang as Wu Li Chang. It was to become his most famous role on both stage and screen.
1915 The First World War saw the theatre under the management of the husband and wife team of Julia Neilson and Fred Terry (youngest brother of the famous actress Ellen Terry). On 13 October the entrance to the theatre pit was bombed during a heavy Zeppelin raid when 19 bombs fell on the Strand. The performance that night was of The Scarlet Pimpernel, with Fred Terry as Sir Percy Blakeney, the Pimpernel. In spite of the destruction going on all around he managed to calm the audience and in true theatrical tradition 'the show went on'.
1917 The actor and actress Arthur Bourchier and Kyrle Bellew acquired the lease to the Strand.
1923 The new owners put on Anna Christie, the first Eugene O'Neill play to be seen in the West End; it caused a sensation. They literally lived over the shop in one of the flats above the theatre, another flat being occupied by the composer, actor and darling of the times Ivor Novello, after whom the theatre is now named.
Read more about the theatre and its history...
1930 The comedian Leslie Henson and his business partner Firth Shephard co-leased the theatre and presented the first in a series of farces. It's a Boy! was swiftly followed by It's a Girl! and in 1936 Aren't Men Beasts! starred a young John Mills who was learning a few tricks of the trade from Strand stalwart Robertson Hare.
1940 The theatre was bombed during the Blitz however, under the auspices of Donald Wolfit, the show went on once again; lunchtime performances of Shakespeare were given with the artists picking their way to the stage over the rubble.
1942 Triumph when Arsenic and Old Lace, a new comedy by Joseph Kesselring, broke all records for the longest run with 1,337 performances until March 1946.
1951 And So to Bed about the life of Samuel Pepys transferred to the Strand. Vivien Ellis composed it as a period piece with sarabandes and madrigals. The musical director was Mantovani and when it the cast included Leslie Henson, Keith Michell and Denis Quilley.
RSC Hamlet (2008)
1955 Sailor Beware!, a comedy by Philip King and Falkland Cary, made a star of Peggy Mount as Emma Hornett, 'the mother-in-law to outrival all mothers-in-law'. It was an immediate success and the film rights were bought four days after the first night.
1958 The novelist William Golding adapted his first and only play for the theatre in Brass Butterfly; a comedy set in Roman times that starred Alastair Sim and George Cole.
1960 Comedy and farce were what the Strand was principally known for but there were exeptions. One such was Ionesco's Rhinoceros. This famous production was staged and designed by Orson Welles and transferred from the Royal Court and starred Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, Michael Gough and Peter Sallis.
No Sex, Please We're British (1971)
1963 Stephen Sondheim's third Broadway show, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, received its UK premiere at the Strand with Frankie Howerd as the saucy slave Pseudolus.
1971 No Sex Please – We're British became the theatre's most successful show to date. It finally closed in 1982 after a record 6,671 performances. Stars who had appeared in it included Michael Crawford, David Jason and Andrew Sachs.
1982 The Real Thing, Tom Stoppard's touching play about affaires de coeur, premiered at the theatre and enjoyed a two-year run with Felicity Kendal and Roger Rees in the leading roles.
Nice Goings On (1933)
1987 Barry Humphries, alias the gladdie-throwing Edna Everage, set new box office records with over 200 sold-out performances of Back with a Vengeance!
1995 Buddy, Alan Janes's musical about the life of Buddy Holly, had audiences dancing in the aisles for seven years.
2002 The Rat Pack proved the enduring popularity of those three famous crooners Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin.
2005 On 8 December, after a major refurbishment, the theatre reopened on 8 December 2005 as the Novello Theatre with the first of three notable seasons by the RSC.
2009 Debbie Allen’s searing production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof transferred from Broadway.
2011 The musical comedy Betty Blue Eyes, set in impoverished 1947 Britain and adapted from Alan Bennett’s screenplay for the film A Private Function, lifted spirits in austerity Britain.
2012 MAMMA MIA! transferred from the Prince of Wales Theatre in September where it has been playing ever since. There have now been more than 8,000 performances in London and it has been seen by over 9 million people.