The Duchess Theatre is a West End theatre in the City of Westminster, London, located in Catherine Street[2] near Aldwych.

Duchess Theatre
Glorious at the Duchess Theatre in 2006
AddressCatherine Street
London, WC2
United Kingdom
Coordinates51°30′44″N 0°07′10″W / 51.51226°N 0.11957°W / 51.51226; -0.11957
Public transitLondon Underground Covent Garden; Temple
OwnerNimax Theatres
DesignationGrade II
TypeWest End theatre
Capacity494 on 2 levels[1]
ProductionThe Play That Goes Wrong
Opened25 November 1929; 94 years ago (1929-11-25)
ArchitectEwen Barr

The theatre opened on 25 November 1929 and is one of the smallest West End theatres with a proscenium arch. It has 494 seats on two levels. It is a Grade II Listed Building.[3]

The Duchess Theatre was purchased in 2005 by Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer forming part of the Nimax Theatres group.[4]



The Duchess Theatre was designed by Ewen Barr and constructed by F. G. Minter Ltd for Arthur Gibbons. The theatre is built with stalls below street level, both to overcome the scale of the site and to maintain the rights of neighbours to ancient lights. The theatre opened on 25 November 1929 with a play called Tunnel Trench by Hubert Griffith.[5] The interior decoration scheme was introduced in 1934 under the supervision of Mary Wyndham Lewis, wife of J. B. Priestley.

The original interiors were Art Deco in style, designed by Marc Henri and Gaston Laverder. These were later redesigned by Mary Wyndham-Lewis. The only remaining features of the original decorations in the auditorium are two bas-reliefs by Maurice Lambert, flanking the proscenium arch.[6]

Notable productions


Production history


See also



  1. ^ "Duchess Theatre". Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Weinreb, Ben; Hibbert, Christopher (1993). The London Encyclopaedia (Rev. ed.). London: PaperMac. p. 246. ISBN 0-333-57688-8. OCLC 28963301.
  3. ^ Historic England (7 July 2005). "Duchess Theatre (1391525)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  4. ^ "About The Duchess Theatre London". Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  5. ^ Theatre History accessed 28 July 2007
  6. ^ Monahan Blythen Hopkins Architects (2019), "Duchess Theatre: Design, Access and Heritage Statement", accessible via City of Westminster, Search licensing / planning applications and decisions, planning reference 19/07428/LBC, accessed 16 September 2023
  7. ^ "The Play That Goes Wrong celebrates its 7th birthday at the Duchess Theatre". British Theatre. 14 September 2021. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  8. ^ Chick Flicks: Theories and Memories of the Feminist Film Movement
Further reading
  • Earl, John; Sell, Michael (2000). Guide to British Theatres 1750–1950. Theatres Trust. p. 108. ISBN 0-7136-5688-3.