Most theatres will have three seating sections; Stalls, Dress/Royal Circle and Grand/Upper Circle. Smaller venues, such as the Apollo Victoria Theatre and the Dominion Theatre will have just two sections; Stalls and Circle. Some larger venues, such as the Lyric Theatre (Shaftesbury Avenue) and the London Coliseum will have four sections; Stalls, Dress/Royal Circle, Grand/Upper Circle and an additional section called the Balcony/Gallery.
Often referred to as the Orchestra, the Stalls are the closest to the stage and are at the bottom of the venue auditorium, providing a very close viewing experience. For most venues, the Stalls area is also the largest seated section and will contain top price and lower price tickets.
Although at the bottom of venue auditorium, the Stalls area in some venues often has a gentle incline so that this area is not always on the flat.
Often referred to as the Mezzanine, or the First Circle - this area is often the middle level of a theatre auditorium. When at a theatre venue that has only two seated sections, the Royal/Dress Circle can also be the very top level.
The Royal/Dress Circle is right above the Stalls and allows you to sit at a height. This area is perfect for productions with a large dance or musical element as being one level up allows you as the spectator to look down at the stage and set.
This area is always raked and is perfect for someone who may be smaller in stature, or children who may struggle to see in the Stalls.
The Grand or Upper Circle is the next and third tier of seating. Some of the cheapest tickets can be found in this area however we would not advise this area for patrons with vertigo or those uncomfortable in high areas. Depending on the theatre venue, this area can offer a decent viewing experience and good value for money.
This is the fourth and top area of the theatre. The Balcony is right above the Upper/Grand Circle and is often quite far from the Stage. We would not recommend this area if you are a patron that suffers with vertigo or has a visual impairment.
Given the distance from the stage, the Balcony will often have the cheapest tickets and will often be restricted in view and/or legroom, but can be good value for your money.
Seating types/Seating categories
These seats are the most expensive seats in the house and are considered by the venue and/or producers as the very best seats in the auditorium.
These tickets are typically found in the middle of the Stalls or Royal/Dress Circle.
As an overview, the quality of seats will be deemed alphabetically as follows,
And so forth.
Band A tickets are the highest level of the standard seats/non-premium. Band B tickets are the second category of standard tickets. Band C tickets are the third category of standard tickets etc.
Restricted View Seats
Restricted view seats - listed as RV upon purchase; refers to a seat where you do not have a completely clear view of the stage and the view is partially restricted. These restrictions do vary and can be a result of the architecture within the theatre venue, a pillar or an overhang for example. It’s worth exploring how severe your restriction is so if you would like to know more about a particular restriction, please get in contact with us.
Typically found on the same level as the Dress/Royal Circle, sitting in a Box has similar benefits. Boxes are often desirable due to the privacy, however as these boxes are located on the side of the auditorium, these will have a side view of the production.
There are some venues that allow patrons to stand and watch the show. These tickets are typically general admission tickets and allow entry to any part of the standing area.
Please note that at the Globe Theatre, standing tickets may not be sheltered.