Phoenix Theatre Box Office
Address: Phoenix Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0JP
Tube lines: Central, Northern
Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road
Directions from Tottenham Court Road:
(3mins) Take Tottenham Court Road south (towards Leicester Square) and the theatre will be on your left after 100 metres.
NB: Central Line trains will not be stopping at Tottenham Court Road Tube Station until December 2015.<
Nearest rail: Euston
Bus routes: (Charing Cross Road) 14, 24, 29, 176; (Shaftesbury Avenue) 19, 38
Night buses: (Charing Cross Road) 14, 24, 176 N29, N41, N279; (Shaftesbury Avenue) N5, N19, N20, N38
Car park: Chinatown (5mins)
In congestion zone?: Yes
Please note: The location shown on the map is an approximate location of the theatre. In the majority of cases the theatre will be marked on the map so please make sure you locate the exact location yourself. If the theatre is not shown on the map please make sure you locate the correct road name and take account of the directions.
What's On at the Phoenix Theatre
Phoenix Theatre Information
The Phoenix Theatre is built on the site of a bawdy entertainment house that housed a gambling den downstairs and 'posing models' on its upper floors. It is one of an unusually large number of theatres that opened in London in 1930 and opened with the premiere of Noel Coward's Private Lives featuring Coward himself in the cast, alongside a young Laurence Olivier.
The theatre's next play, Late Night Final, was equally successful but the failure of subsequent productions led to the Phoenix being converted to a mere variety venue. It was not until the return of Noel Coward with Gertrude Lawrence as his co-star in 1936, with his triple bill of one-act plays Tonight at 8:30, that the Phoenix began drawing in the crowds again. Coward returned again in 1952 with Quadrille which opened only a few days after the death of Gertie Lawrence.
Despite a great number of flops, more successful productions at the Phoenix have included Love For Love (1940), a new musical Canterbury Tales adapted from Chaucer's famous book opened in 1968 and began a 2000 performance run. The eighties and nineties have seen many award-winning musicals, including The Baker's Wife by Stephen Schwarz (directed by Trevor Nunn) and the delightful Into The Wood by Stephen Sondheim starring Julia McEnzie; as well as a very successful season of Shakespeare plays.
The current production Blood Brothers, a musical by Willy Russell, which transferred from the Albery in 1991, is the longest running show ever at the Phoenix.
The theatre was beautifully designed by Giles Gilbert Scott, Bertie Crewe and Cecil Masey, with Theodore Komisarjevsky as Art Director. The entrance on the corner of Charing Cross Road and Flitcroft Street is a rotunda with four columns above the canopy topped by an attic with square windows.
Respecting the tradition of the Italian theatres, the auditorium shines with golden engraves, red seats, carpet and curtains. Above the boxes there are panels by Vladimir Polunin after Tintoretto, Titian and Giorgione, and the entire safety curtain is a rendition of Jacopo del Sellaio's The Triumph Of Love. Also, throughout the building, there are delightful sculpted wooden doors and decorated ceilings.
A change of ownership in 1966 led to a refurbishment programme, including the construction of the Noel Coward bar in the Phoenix Street foyer, which was open by the Coward himself in 1969.
It is possibly one of the most beautiful theatres in London's West-End.