About the Lyceum Theatre

The impressive scale of this theatre with its central location just off the Strand and its iconic status as the home of The Lion King, makes this a land-mark venue for larger hires wanting to host a truly memorable event. Available to hire on Mondays throughout the day and evening, and certain times midweek. Please get in touch for more details.

The Lyceum Theatre was originally built in 1765 and made history by being the first theatre to be lit by gas (in 1817) and to have a balcony overhanging the circle (in 1834). Designed by James Payne, the original building (which stood in front of the present site), was used as an exhibition room by the Society of Arts. When the Society dissolved, the Lyceum became a theatre for musical entertainment and at one point was even a circus! The theatre is also notable for being the first venue in England in which Madame Tussaud exhibited her famous wax works (in 1802), and legend has it that her ghost haunts the stalls to this day! Indeed, the theatre proved the perfect inspiration for Bram Stoker, who wrote his legendary ‘Dracula’ in the venue during his days as Business Manager there.

In 1830 a fire tragically destroyed the original building, which was consequently rebuilt in 1834, designed by Samuel Beazley, who created the iconic overhanging balcony. Henry Irving assumed management of the theatre in 1878 and created a theatre of national cultural importance, popular with London’s social elite- testament to his legend, Irving’s statue now stands in Charing Cross Road.

The theatre’s interior was then redesigned in 1907 by Bertie Crewe, to reflect the Baroque and Rococo styles, which is seen in the theatre’s proscenium arch, in the boxes and in its elaborate ornamental features. From the 1940s to 1980s, the theatre hosted a wide range of events, including the Miss World pageant, TV specials and rock concerts.

In 1994, having been empty for a decade, a £14 million investment breathed new life into the building, resulting in a completely new backstage house. Since 1999, the theatre has played host to ‘The Lion King’ now one of the West End’s most iconic shows.

More about the Lyceum Theatre

Lyceum space and layouts

Directions to the Lyceum Theatre