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The Lyric lies at the heart of London’s West End and is in fact the oldest theatre along Shaftesbury Avenue. A night out here is unforgettable and can be combined with a host of other London sightseeing and activities when you book a nearby budget friendly hotel or cheap b&b. But what’s it really like to spend an evening at the Lyric in London? Read on to find out.
Currently it’s the home of Michael & The Jackson 5 concert or musical Thriller Live. The show brings sensational dancing and the distinctive sound of Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5. Thriller Live is originally conceived and created by Adrian Grant.
History & productions
This building has played host to a wide range of some of the best shows over the past century. When it first opened in 1888 it started as a stage for operattas, but later started to produce plays and musical productions including those from big names such as Noel Coward, Alan Ayckbourn, Alan Bennet and Andrew Lloyd Weber. Currently showcasing a choice of comedy in the form of Showstoppers, a children’s production in the form of The Gruffalo and a musical in the form of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
Facilities and seating
You can book tickets in advance either online or at the TKTS booth in Leicester Square. When you arrive, you’ll find the building smack in the middle of London’s West End on Shaftesbury Avenue at the edge of Soho, where the surrounding area is buzzing, vibrant and exciting.
An evening at this unique theatre is like stepping back in time to the glorious and glamorous pre-war period. The iron curtain itself is still manually operated by water as all stage curtains once were. As you enter you walk into the theatre’s famous foyer, which was refurbished in the 1920’s but is in perfect keeping with renaissance charm found throughout the theatre’s architecture.
With 967 seats it‘s a medium sized auditorium that provides audiences with a feeling of intimacy and offers great acoustics. The seating includes a choice of stalls, circle, dress circle and balcony as well as a number of private boxes. The auditorium itself is designed in plush reds and golds.
An evening at the Lyric
Evening shows usually start at 7:30 but it’s worth getting there early to soak up the atmosphere. Various restaurants nearby offer pre-theatre meals, allowing you plenty of time to get there early and head to one of three licensed bars.
Snacks are available to buy to enjoy during the show, although glasses and hot drinks are not allowed in the auditorium. You can pre-order your interval drink before the show to save time queuing in the interval.
Where to stay?
The location makes it easy to find nearby cheap accommodation and you can often find great deals in the area, whether you want self-catering accommodation, b&b rooms or a luxury hotel. Many hotels and bed and breafast are located to the west of Shaftesbury Avenue in the Mayfair and St James areas.
An evening at the Lyric is unforgettable; from the beautiful auditorium and foyer, to the excellent production values and the theatre’s location in the heart of the buzzing West End.
Some additional information
Architect of the Lyric Theatre : Charles J. Phipps
Nearest railway and underground station ?
London Charing Cross railway station is the nearest National Rail train station.
Bus routes : 14, 19, 22B, 38, 53, 88, 94, 159.
Car Parking : MasterPark at Poland Street and China Town. NCP at Wardour Street, Newport Place, Denman Street, Lexington Street.
What to do and see nearby
Apollo Theatre (31 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7ES, England): nice old theatre opened in 1901. This venue opened with the American musical comedy The Belle of Bohemia.
Soho (West End, central London UK): neighborhood filled with cafes, great bars, theaters, nightlife, restaurants and shops. Soho is a great area to wander around.
Cineworld Cinema (63-65 Haymarket, Westminster, SW1Y 4RL, England): cinema.
Gielgud Theater (Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1V 8AR, England): theatre located at the corner of Rupert Street. It has a capacity of 986 seats on three levels. The first play here was a hit musical called The Beauty of Bath co-written by Hicks.