@sohoplace – London’s newest theatre reviewed

★★★★★

@sohoplace is the first new West End theatre to open in the last 50 years. That would be exciting news in itself but @sohoplace is primarily a theatre-in-the-round, which can provide the most intimate, electrifying kind of theatre. And, as an unexpected bonus, the restaurant is first class.

@theatre @sohoplace exterior
Theatre @sohoplace Photo: Tim Soar & AHMM

The new theatre is part of Soho Place, a major new development close to the junction of Charing Cross Road and Tottenham Court Road. Wonderfully, the planning authority Westminster City council insisted that a theatre should be part of this development.

It looks like many modern glass office blocks from the outside but the inside is a revelation. Everywhere you look are constellations of stars twinkling against a dark blue background. Curving white marble staircases, evoking the birthplace of theatre Ancient Greece, take you up to stalls level, then to balconies one and two. Each level is identical, unlike so many theatres where people in the cheap seats are made to feel inferior. Each has a bar and loos with, hurrah, lots of women’s toilets.

And that glass I mentioned means you have many opportunities to look out onto the bright lights of London.

Interior of @sohoplace auditorium
@sohoplace auditorium Photo: Craig Sugden

Inside the auditorium, there are 602 seats in all. The configuration is flexible but it was designed with theatre-in-the-round in mind, and I hope we’ll see lots more productions using this arrangement. Certainly Marvellous and the next two productions As You Like It and Medea are in the round.

The sightlines are excellent: we’re told no member of the audience will be more than six rows away from the action, so you really will be able to see every detail. I was in the front row for Marvellous, which was a mixed blessing. I was thrilled by the proximity to the actors, but I think I might have preferred to be further back, so that I didn’t have to look quite so much to left and right. 

Stars restaurant in the theatre @sohoplace
@sohoplace restaurant

On the ground floor are the Stars restaurant and bar. You can enjoy a cocktail or, better still, have a meal. My party of four ate there and all of us loved our food and the selection of drinks. I’m not a restaurant critic, so I’m not going to go into detail, just to say the dishes were imaginative, tasty, beautifully cooked and good value. The staff, not only the restaurant staff but all the Front of house team, were efficient, helpful and welcoming. The restaurant is open even when the theatre is closed and I can tell you I intend to go there whenever I’m in the area looking for somewhere to eat.

So, congratulations to Nica Burns, the owner of @SohoPlace, and her team for a terrific achievement and a welcome addition to London’s West End.

Click here to watch this review on YouTube