The Apollo Theatre holds a firm place in this history of London theatre. It first opened in February1901 at 31 Shaftesbury Avenue – one of the most important areas for theatre in London, with five other major West End theatres scattered along its length. It’s now a Grade II heritage listed building with a capacity for 775 people. Originally it showed musical comedies, followed by a period of showing award-winning plays and adaptations from novels, with plenty of big names gracing the stage including Vanessa Redgraves and Peter O’Toole. Today, the Apollo is the place to go for slightly oddball theatre, including horror adaptation Let the Right One In and the slightly impolite Urinetown, which closed in January 2015. It’s currently showing Showstopper! The Improvised Musical and Peter Pan Goes Wrong for the Christmas season of 2015.
Explore Piccadilly Circus & China Town
How to reach the Apollo Theatre:
The closest London Underground station to the Apollo Theatre is Piccadilly Circus, which is on the Bakerloo and Piccadilly lines. From here, it’s just a three-minute walk to the Apollo. You can also reach it from Leicester Square station via the Piccadilly and Northern lines, five minutes’ walk away. Main line trains stop at Charing Cross station, which is a twelve-minute walk from the Apollo Theatre – or you can catch a bus heading towards Shaftesbury Avenue. Central London roads are often very busy and traffic jams are common, so if you’re travelling during peak hours, walking is often faster than the bus! You can book your stay at park grand london, very close to Apollo Theatre.
Leicester Square in London
Shopping near the Apollo Theatre:
Located in the West End, the Apollo is well-placed for you to get in some shopping before your show starts. Hit the shops on Regent Street for designer fashion and jewellery, or take a five-minute walk to Covent Garden to find a wide range of international and home-grown British brands. Wander through Covent Garden Market to pick up unique gifts, homewares, beauty products and more; on the ground floor, there’s a street food market where you can grab a snack to fuel you through a few more hours of shopping heaven. Oxford Street is also nearby, lined with huge flagship stores and souvenir shops, and ending at Hyde Park.
Dining options near the Apollo Theatre:
The West End is also one of London’s hottest areas for restaurants and bars so you’ll have your pick of different cuisines, price ranges and atmospheres. Just up the road from Leicester Square, Chinatown is full of authentic Asian cuisine from Japan, Vietnam and Thailand as well as China. There are plenty of international chains in the area including Five Guys, TGI Friday’s and the Hard Rock Café if you’re craving something familiar, as well as good old English pubs for a pint and some fish and chips. However, some of the city’s best independent restaurants are in this area too, many offering special pre-theatre menus so you can get through two or even three courses in time to catch your show. If you’re feeling efficient, Hyde Park Hotel Paddington is an excellent choice for lovers of food and theatre, with top-quality in-house restaurants.