The Duke of York’s Theatre is an established West End venue located on St. Martin’s Lane in the City of Westminster. The theatre initially opened as the ‘Trafalgar Square Theatre’ in 1892, with the comic opera ‘The Wedding Eve’. This name did not stick around for too long, as it was soon changed to ‘The Trafalgar Theatre’ in 1894, before finally becoming the Duke of York’s Theatre in 1895, as a tribute to King George V. The theatre was designed by renowned architect Walter Emden, and started out with a capacity of 900 seats across 3 levels - Stalls, Royal Circle and Upper Circle, with several boxes on each level.
The Duke of York’s has staged a number of famous and successful productions with the first of them being ‘The Gay Parisienne’ which ran for 369 performances in 1896. Other notable shows that have taken the stage here include - ‘The Happy Marriage’, ‘Gilt and Gingerbread’, ‘The Killing of Sister George’, ‘Half Life’, and more recently ‘Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour’, ‘King Lear’ and ‘The Moderate Soprano’.
Currently, the theatre plays host to ‘Summer and Smoke’, a highly acclaimed play by the famous Tennessee Williams. The production portrays a unique tale of love and self-discovery, brought to life by a highly talented cast, including award-winning actress Patsy Ferran.
If you’re looking to catch Summer and Smoke, here's a handy link where you can view the seat availability and real-time prices for the show that's running till January 19th 2019. The show that's set to open just a week after that (on January 26th, 2019) is Home I'm Darling.
Address: St Martin's Ln, London WC2N 4BG, UK
Seating Capacity: 640
Stalls : 359
Royal Circle: 117
Upper Circle: 150
Check out the Duke of York's Theatre Seating Plan here.
Now Playing at Duke of York’s Theatre
Summer and Smoke
‘Summer and Smoke’ is directed by Rebecca Frecknall and is based on a play written by one of the greatest playwrights ever, Tennessee Williams. The show initially opened on Broadway in 1948 and ran for 102 performances. Despite being relatively successful, it took almost 60 years for the show to debut in the UK as it opened at the Apollo Theatre in 2006. The production wasn’t received too well and it closed 10 weeks short of its planned 16 week run due to poor ticket sales.
Despite this failure, ‘Summer and Smoke’ again took the West End stage in 2017, only this time with a new director and a star-studded cast including Patsy Ferran and Matthew Needham. This production, at the Almeida Theatre, did exceptionally well and received rave reviews from fans and critics alike, thereby getting transferred to the Duke of York’s Theatre in November 2018. Telling a story of love, sexual desire, and self-destruction, there are few plays out there that can evoke such a lush degree of raw passion and tension. ‘Summer and Smoke’ is currently playing till the 19th of January 2019.
Set in Mississippi, ‘Summer and Smoke’ follows the life of Alma Winemiller, a highly temperamental and unmarried daughter of a minister. The story focuses on the sexual and spiritual relationship between Alma and her neighbour, Dr. John Buchanan, a wild and highly unruly character. The two are polar opposites with Alma being a modest and refined lady and the doctor being a sensualist and pleasure-seeker. Ironically, by the end of the play, we find that the two have reversed roles, having gone through deep spiritual and psychological changes. Patsy Ferran takes on the role of Alma with Matthew Needham playing her counterparts role, Dr. John.
Mon - Sat: 7 PM
Wed & Sat: 2:30 PM
2 hours, 40 minutes including one intermission
Stalls: The Stalls section can be reached by taking 23 steps down from the theatre foyer. Please note that since there is no central aisle in this section, it is not recommended for patrons with limited mobility.
Royal Circle: This is the most accessible section of the theatre with level access from the foyer to Row C of the auditorium. There are 2 wheelchair spaces located at either end of Row C and transfers are available at either end of Row D. Again, like the Stalls, there is no central aisle in this section.
Upper Circle: This section can be reached via 23 steps up from the theatre foyer. There is no central aisle dividing this section.
Food and Drinks: Food and drinks in plastic containers are allowed inside the theatre. Drinks that you purchase at the bar need to be transferred into plastic cups before you enter the auditorium.
Restroom: There are bars in the Stalls and Upper Circle section of the theatre. There is also a cocktail bar at the Duke of York’s theatre which is open to the public from 6-7pm before the show, so you can enjoy pre-show cocktails and drinks.
Bars: There are bars in the Stalls and Upper Circle section of the theatre. There is also a cocktail bar at the Duke of York’s theatre which is open to the public from 6-7pm before the show, so you can enjoy pre-show cocktails and drinks.
- For the best seats and prices, try booking your tickets as early as you can. Once the show dates get closer, there is likely to be a huge demand for tickets leading to a rise in prices.
- Try to be on time at all costs! Latecomers are not entertained at certain shows and the ones that do, expect you to maintain pin-drop silence as you try to find your seats. It makes sense to arrive at the theatre at least 10-15 minutes before the show.
- It is always advised to dress appropriately for the West End. If you are going for a matinee show, you may be inclined to dress casually, however, if you’re going for an evening show, you would be better off dressing in smart casuals.
The Duke of York’s Theatre is situated at St Martin's Lane and can be reached easily by availing a number of public transport options.
Tube: The nearest tube stations to the theatre are Leicester Square (Northern and Piccadilly Line) and Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern Lines)
By Rail : Charing Cross is the closest National Rail station to the theatre. From Charing Cross, the theatre is roughly a 10-minute walk.
Bus: St Martin’s Place (Stop K) is a few minutes from the Duke of York’s Theatre. Bus routes 24, 29 and 176 have halts here. Bus routes 3, 6, 9, 11, 12, 23, 53, 87, 88, 91, 139, 159 and 453 all pass through Trafalgar Square.
Restaurants near Duke of York's Theatre
If you’re looking for a quick bite or an elaborate meal before or after you West End experience, we have just the thing for you. Here are our picks of the top restaurants near the Duke of York’s Theatre:
1. La Roche: Serving up some delicious Mediterranean cuisine, La Roche is perfect for a quick pre-theatre bite! You can enjoy some great Lebanese Moussaka and couscous here. Lots of vegetarian options are available as well!
2. ProvenDough Deli + Bar: This is your typical English coffee shop, well known for serving scrumptious sandwiches and paninis.
3. Asia de Cuba: In the mood for something exotic? This restaurant serves Chino-Latino fusion food, offering dishes ranging from South American ceviches to Thai curry to Cuban style pork. Perfect for a post-theatre pig-out!
4. Abokado: Abokado is a chain of Asian fast food restaurants that can be found all across London. They are known for their quick service and healthy menu options! If you’re hungry and in a hurry, this restaurant is for you.
5. Cote Brasserie: An upscale restaurant serving mouthwatering French cuisine. A great place to relax, drink some wine and indulge in French food.
More West End Guides
For more West End information, here are some helpful quick links!