Shows & Events at the Novello Theatre

MAMMA MIA! production shot


Booking Until 29th March 2025

How to find the Novello Theatre

Novello Theatre

Aldwych, London, WC2B 4LD

Call Customer Service on 0344 482 5151
Phone lines are open Monday - Saturday 10am - 7.30pm.
Calls to Delfont Mackintosh Theatres 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number.

Box office opening times:
From 2 hours and 30 minutes before the start of the show, until 15 minutes after curtain up. On matinee days the box office remains open in between performances.

Central Box Office at the Sondheim Theatre
Buy tickets for productions across all 8 of our theatres!

Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6BA.
Open Monday - Friday: Midday - 6:00pm.

Please note: You may not bring any food or drink purchased elsewhere to our theatres. All our theatre bars serve drinks and snacks, but not hot food.

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.

Book your accommodation when visiting the Novello Theatre via the map below:

Getting to the Novello Theatre

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By Train or Tube

The nearest train station is Charing Cross.

The nearest tube stations are Covent Garden, Charing Cross and Holborn.

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By Bus

The nearest bus stops are serviced by numbers 6, 15, 11 and 26.

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By Car

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

For information on Hearing Enhancement Aids, Assistance Dogs, Autism and Social Stories and details of our currently available Access Performances, please refer to our main Accessibility page using the button below:

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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.

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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.

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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 300kg (whilst seated) and chair dimensions must fall within a surface area of 79x120cm (this may affect some electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters). An in-house manual wheelchair can be provided to transfer where possible.

Hospitality at the Novello Theatre

A couple fo champagne glasses

Champagne Package

Champagne Packages can include a Premium Seat, half a bottle of Champagne, a show programme, a souvenir brochure (where applicable) and a staff meet and greet service.
Interior of one of our VIP rooms

VIP Package

Opt for the full VIP treatment, which can include a Premium Seat, half a bottle of Champagne, a show programme, a souvenir brochure (where applicable) specially designated hospitality area, savoury canapes, your choice of drinks and a theatre host.

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

Lost Property

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.


The cloakroom is able to accept coats and small bags for a small charge. We are unable to accept larger bags or suitcases.

However, we also work with Stasher who offer bag storage in many hotels and shops across London (all within close walking distance to our theatres).


Bookings must be made online. Use the code "SHOWTIME" for a discount.

Additional Security Checks

Working with Global Support Services, we use highly trained detection dogs to provide additional security spot checks at our theatres.

Novello Theatre History

Production Highlights

Novello Theatre poster

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.

Novello Theatre poster

Buddy (1995)

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.

Novello Theatre poster

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.

Novello Theatre poster

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.

Novello Theatre poster

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.