WYNDHAM'S THEATRE
Charing Cross Road,
London, WC2H 0DA

Wyndham's Theatre

The Wyndham's Theatre was built for Sir Charles Wyndham by the theatre architect W G R Sprague and opened in November 1899. The auditorium was built on three levels, Stalls, Upper Circle, and Balcony with twelve private boxes, 157 stalls, 160 dress circle and 180 family circle seats. It was decorated in the Louis XVI style in gold, turquoise and cream. The exterior of the Wyndham’s was built in Sprague’s favourite free classical style using Portland stone.

The ceiling of the auditorium contains paintings after Boucher, which are illuminated by a ring of concealed electric lights and a central sunlight covered by a crystal pendant and surrounded by eight smaller lights. Round the dress and family circle there are clusters of electric lights, tempered by cream silk shades. In the 1970s this fine ceiling was restored to its former glory.

Wyndham's and the Noel Coward Theatre were the first pair built by William Sprague. Subsequently he designed the Waldorf (now Novello) and Aldwych Theatres on the Aldwych and the Queen's and Gielgud Theatres on Shaftesbury Avenue:  all of which are now part of the Delfont Mackintosh Theatres group.

The crime writer, Edgar Wallace took the lease on Wyndham’s in 1930.  Two of his detective dramas, The Ringer and The Calendar had already been produced at the theatre with a further six to come before his premature death in 1932.   Such was his love for this theatre that he took a flat above Wyndham’s where he sat working at great speed with a regular supply of cigarettes and tea. 

After the compulsory closure of the theatres in September 1939 Wyndham’s was one of the first to reopen. 

The most extensive modernisation was in 1968 when the Wyndham's Theatre had a refit under the management of Ian Albery. Flying systems were electrified, including the house tabs and safety curtain, and the dressing rooms were modernised. Front of house the gallery was re-seated and direct access provided from the main foyer to the gallery rather than from a separate side entrance, bars and cloakrooms were also upgraded.

Many of the best known names in British theatre have appeared at Wyndham’s including Vanessa Redgrave in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Alec Guinness and Eileen Atkins in a production of The Cocktail Party, Paul Scofield as Prospero in The Tempest and John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson in Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land, directed by Peter Hall.  

Godspell opened here in January 1972 with a cast including Julie Covington, Marti Webb, David Essex and Jeremy Irons.  

In 1976 Cameron Mackintosh transferred Side by Side by Sondheim to Wyndham’s.   More recent shows The Play what I Wrote, Vincent in Brixton, directed by Richard Eyre, Up for Grabs in which Madonna made her West End debut, the National Theatre production of Democracy, Heroes by Tom Stoppard, Ivanov starring Kenneth Branagh, Twelfth Night starring Derek Jacobi, Madame de Sade starring Judi Dench and Hamlet starring Jude Law.

Delfont Mackintosh Theatres took over the theatre in 2005 and immediately redecorated the main foyer, stalls and dress circle bars and restored a French style tapestry and put it back as a centrepiece of the dress circle bar.

HOW TO GET TO THE WYNDHAM'S THEATRE

Click on map to enlarge image

underground
Tube :Leicester Square (next to theatre), Charing Cross (600m), Holborn (600m)
Train: Charing Cross (200M)
buses to Her Majesty's Theatre
24, 29, 176
nearest car park

MasterPark at Cambridge Circus (150m). NCP at Bedfordbury and Upper St Martin's Lane.


DISABLED ACCESS TO THE WYNDHAM'S

Infra-red system with 20 headsets. Collect headsets from stalls cloakroom.
Guide dogs allowed in auditorium or staff will dog-sit in the foyer.
Entrance is through a side entrance to the right of the main entrance on Charing Cross Road with 3 steps down into a box with a central pillar and a 90cm parapet. Space for 2 wheelchair users and one companion. Transfer seating available to aisle seats in the Stalls (2 max). Stalls entrance is through a second side entrance on Charing Cross Road and down 8 steps.
No disabled toilet. One toilet in the box but not be possible to access this in a wheelchair. The ladies toilet off the Stalls has been slightly adapted. From the foyer bar, the men's and women's are up 8 steps with a further 2 steps down inside the entrance to each. 1 step down to non-adapted toilet accessed via St Martin's Court (level access).