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5 Aldwych
London, WC2B 4LD

Novello theatre

The Novello Theatre opened in May 1905 and was originally called the Waldorf Theatre, but it has also been known as the Whitney Theatre, the Strand Theatre (twice) and in 2005 was renamed the Novello Theatre.

It was designed by the famous theatre architect W G R Sprague who was also responsible for its “twin” the Aldwych Theatre.  The construction of the Waldorf Theatre, Waldorf Hotel and Aldwych Theatre  was part of the major redevelopment taking place in this area of London.

Sprague designed the theatre with a classic facade made of Portland stone, a Louis XIV style interior was richly decorated with marble and gilt and  fleur de péche marble pilasters in the dress and upper circles. The Novello was the last three-tier theatre to be built in London and the second to be constructed without a raked stage.

The first lessees of the then Waldorf Theatre were the Shubert brothers who already owned or managed 20 theatres in America. The theatre had a grand opening with an eight week season of opera and drama which was not a success. It was only in November 1913 that the theatre (which was now called the Strand) had a success with its first long run of an Anglo-Chinese play called Mr Wu. The change of name was only temporary as in 1911 it was renamed the Whitney Theatre, but reverted back to the Strand Theatre again in 1913 and would remain so until 2005.

The summer of 2005 was the theatre's 100th anniversary, and the Delfont Mackintosh group began a major refurbishment.  This  was completed in December of the same year  and it was renamed as the Novello Theatre, in recognition of Ivor Novello who lived in a flat over the Theatre for 38 years (between 1913 and 1951) and wrote many of his most famous musicals there.




Tube :Covent Garden (approx 300 metres) Charing Cross & Holborn (both approx 600 metres)
Train: Charing Cross (approx 600 metres)

buses to Her Majesty's Theatre
6, 19, 13 and 77a stop outside the theatre with more buses serving the Strand
nearest car park

NCP Drury Lane.



Infrared system in the auditorium, and reinstating loop system in the Box Office.
Guide dogs are not allowed into auditorium, but staff are happy to dog-sit.
Separate access for wheelchair users off Catherine Street. Venue not suitable for scooters. Theatre provides transfer seats for one wheelchair in total per performance. Transfer seats are available at A23 and A24 in the Dress Circle. Wheelchair user must bring a non-disabled companion. Customers who can't transfer from their wheelchair can use Dress Circle AA 10-11.
Disabled access lavatory at Dress Circle level with street access from Catherine Street.