210 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8DP 020 7379 5399

Dramatic Transformation

Update#15: Thames Water

Thames Water have asked the Theatre to pass on some information about their work on Shaftesbury Avenue. This update is dated the 7th July 2021.

Thames Water are currently working to repair the sewer pipes.

The second phase of work on Shaftesbury Avenue started at the end of June and is due to be complete by early October 2021. Thames Water are currently working in the SRM site on Shaftesbury Avenue.

Working hours: Monday to Wednesday 7:30am to 5:30pm, Thursday 7:30am to 1pm, Friday 7:30am to 5.30pm and Saturday 7:30am to 1pm.

While the work is happening you will likely see a little more activity on the construction site. You may also notice an increase in noise and vehicle movements.

The welfare cabins and site offices will be located on Dyott Street as agreed with London Borough of Camden. Thames Water will do their best to keep disruption to an absolute minimum. Your water supply won’t be affected.

If you have queries or concerns, you can get in touch with Thames Water on 0800 316 8800. Please select option one and quote the reference number BB975507.


Update #14: Chief Executive’s Presentation about Shaftesbury Theatre

In December 2020, James Williams gave a presentation to members of the DLT entertainment group about the work currently taking place at the Shaftesbury Theatre. This presentation has been edited and is provided below for the interest of our audiences, neighbours and local businesses.


Update #13: Out of Hours Delivery

We’d like to thank all of our neighbours around the Shaftesbury Theatre for your patience and understanding as we carry out these building works.

On Tuesday 16th February there will be an out of hours delivery at the Theatre. This will take place at 7pm. The reason for this scheduled delivery time is that the load of the delivery is subject to a movement order by the Metropolitan Police.

If you have any questions about this, please contact us at info@shaftesburytheatre.com

Update #12: Considerate Constructors Scheme


We are proud to have recently received confirmation that the work taking place at the Shaftesbury Theatre has been registered with the Considerate Constructors Scheme. This means that our contractors have made a commitment to operate in a considerate manner at all times showing care towards those affected by the works and the wider community, those who work on the site, and the natural environment.


The five goals of the CCS are as follows:

Care about Appearance

The site should appear professional and well managed and portray a professional image, not only of the construction industry but of the client’s company and brand.

Respect the Community

Those affected by the work should be informed and shown courtesy and respect at all times. The sire should consider the impact of their activities and endeavour to minimise this impact.

Protect the Environment

The site should work hard to identify, manage and promote environmental issues. They should seek sustainable solutions and minimise their use of resources, the waste from their activities and their carbon footprint.

Secure everyone’s Safety

Those working on site should attain the highest levels of safety performance, having systems that care the safety of those working on site and the general public.

Value their Workforce

The site should provide a supportive and caring work environment where everyone is respected, treated fairly, encouraged and supported. They should care for the physical and mental health and wellbeing of all those who work on the site.


If you’d like any more information on the CCS, you can visit their website: https://www.ccscheme.org.uk/

Update #11: Start of Piling

We’d like to thank all of our neighbours around the Shaftesbury Theatre for your patience and understanding while we work on the Princes Circus site. As you will be able to see, the building site in this area is now fully set up, with hoarding around the edges of the site covered in bright pink & JULIET cladding.

On  Thursday the 12th November, there will be a delivery of large piling machinery to the site. This delivery will take place at 7pm. The reason for the out of hours delivery is that it is classified as an abnormal load.

The piling will commence the next day on the 13th November. This will be pressure driven rather than hammered piling, and is intended to finish by mid December. When the piling has finished, archaeological excavations will take place on the site. The full excavation is planned to start in the New Year.

Update #10: Works Update

Our contractors, Sir Robert McAlpine, have been working inside the Theatre since early June, undertaking significant structural alterations to allow connection to the new basement areas. Apart from deliveries and the removal of spoil there has been little outside activity other than the utility works and now Camden resuming work on the West End Project.

In July we anticipate starting to prepare for the basement excavation. As hoardings are erected around the site some exploratory excavations will be undertaken along with preparations for the piling to create the perimeter of the new basement. The actual piling will commence in August. This will be carried out using a TOSA silent piling rig to minimise noise disruption. It will last for approximately 6 weeks, commencing on Bloomsbury Street before moving to High Holborn.

As the piling is completed bridges will be installed to allow access to the Theatre’s entrances and the Box Office. These will allow performances to happen during the construction whilst work happens underneath them. Also, at this time, we will be undertaking archaeological investigations to make sure that we safeguard any historical items buried under the road.

From October onward excavation and construction will commence. The basement design is based on a raft slab, that results in less soil material having to be removed. Excavated material will be taken from site by licenced persons and disposed of appropriately. Measures will be taken to ensure that mud from site does not get onto the highway. The basement construction will be in reinforced concrete with pavement lights along both sides of the Theatre.

At all times, a pedestrian footpath will be maintained around the outside of the hoarding.

The construction in Bloomsbury Street is expected to be complete by May 2021. At this point the site will be handed back to Camden, who will undertaking the hard landscaping marrying it to the northern triangle of Princes Circus. High Holborn will hopefully be complete by the end of June, allowing Camden to extend their landscaping improvements to this area of the Princes Circus development.

If you would like to get in touch with the Project Manager about these works, please email 008568.shaftesburytheatrephase2@srm.com.


Update #9: New Stalls Bar

With the first phase of the Theatre’s Dramatic Transformation completed we are now commencing the next phase that will see a new Stalls Bar being built in a basement area in front of the Theatre, on the Bloomsbury Street side, and offices and storage facilities on the High Holborn side. Preparatory work is now underway with the full excavation scheduled to commence towards the end of March. This is a complex piece of construction and so the area will be surrounded by hoardings to protect the public. However, the Theatre will remain fully open with performances continuing throughout.

We held a public meeting for local residents and business owners in January to discuss the scale of work and how we will endeavour to manage it so as to create the least inconvenience to those living and working locally and visitors to both the Theatre and others businesses in the area.

Our main contractor, Sir Robert McAlpine, will work to a very tight schedule with completion of the Stalls bar structure in Autumn 2020 that will be followed by Camden Council repaving and landscaping as part of their West End Project creating a new public space, Princes Circus.

The work on the High Holborn side will continue until the end of the year, after which Camden will complete the landscaping for this part of the road and pavement. It is expected that by Easter 2021 the new bar will be fully functioning, there will be additional toilets in the Theatre and a new Hospitality Suite.
Below you can see images of our new Stalls Bar and the current plans for the hoardings around the Theatre. During the works there will be a variety of configurations to give access to the Theatre which will be clearly signposted. However, we suggest that you allow a little extra time to ensure that you can get to your seat and enjoy the show in comfort.

If you have any questions about this work, or if you would like to be added to our email circulation about the project, please get in touch via info@shaftesburytheatre.com Should you encounter any issues with the site please contact Jamie Whiteaker the Site Manager on 07970 205652







Update #8: & JULIET Opens at the Shaftesbury Theatre


On the 20th November, & JULIET had its official Opening Night at the Shaftesbury Theatre. The glorious and hugely popular show is complimented by the many changes that have been made to the building in the past year that give the company and the audience greater comfort and enjoyment. The new air conditioning ensures that you are kept cool and the brand new toilets mean queues are shorter than ever before. The smart new staircase makes navigation around the Front of House areas much easier whilst the & JULIET team are enjoying our state-of-the-art new Wardrobe and Wigs rooms.

There is so much more to come in 2020 as our building transforms – stay tuned!

Update #7: First Phase Complete

We are proud to announce that the first phase of our Dramatic Transformation project is complete!

Our limited run of THE ILLUSIONISTS opens previews this Saturday – and our audience will be welcomed into a new and improved Theatre, with the following features to be enjoyed:
• Improved air conditioning in the auditorium.
• A new open and easily understood staircase to all levels to ease congestion in the Foyer.
• The intimacy of our new seating reconfiguration in the Stalls, resulting in two less rows of seats, and a new rear corridor with proper lobbies to reduce the distraction of movement during the performance.
• A brand new Accessible Toilet, better situated near our accessible seats.
• A new gents Toilet in the Royal Circle.

Sadly, our work on new toilets elsewhere is taking a little longer, so we ask for your patience. Soon, we will have more toilets on all levels than ever before but, for now, you may find yourself queuing a little longer than usual.

There is still lots of work to be done on this project. One day soon, we will be adding a brand new bar at the rear of the Stalls. This will be treble the size of the Stalls bar and will be available for hire as well as interval drinks!


Update #6: Additional Crane Lifts

Dates have been agreed with Camden for the final two crane lifts that are needed for our Front of House refurbishment project.

Lift 1: Monday 6th May 2019. 11:59pm – 5:00am on Tuesday 7th May.

Due to matters outside of our control we have no option but to work within the permitted period.  We will be lifting two 20metre roof trusses into place which requires a large space with exceptional road closure.  Aside from the crane, the delivery and positioning of the trusses on the roof will be demanding work.  We are confident that our contractors will do everything to minimise disruption, limiting noisy work as best as possible.

Lift 2: Sunday 12th May 2019. 8:00am – 6:00pm

Smaller items will be lifted to the Theatre’s roof which means less space will be required on the road. They will still be complicated in their nature and again carried out to minimise disruption, limiting noisy work as best as possible.

As always, contact us if you have concerns, but please understand that the Theatre has to work within schedules defined by others and is unable to alter the allocated dates/times. We will continue to do all that is possible to keep disturbance to a minimum.

Update #5: Scaffolding and Roof Work

From Wednesday 3rd April there will be intermittent noise from the stairwell adjacent to Sovereign House.  This is work being carried out on internal walls to install new steel supports, not our party wall.  It will mean cutting and knocking out of sections followed by careful installation of the steel.  Acoustic shields will be used as before.  Work of this nature will be taking place over the next few weeks

From next week scaffolding will start to appear on the High Holborn side of the Theatre.  This will allow us access to the roof to commence the process of replacing the roof covering.  This should stop leaks, which we have to spend time managing in order to preserve our fine plaster ceilings.

To facilitate the roof work all the current air-conditioning system will be removed and two long beams placed across the roof to support platforms for the new system and walkways for staff.  Two more crane lifts are anticipated, the first in late April for the long beams and second in late May to install the new air conditioning units.  They will be similar in nature to the lift on Sunday 31st March in respect of road closures and timings.

As always, do contact us should our work create undue difficulty.

Update #4: Changes to Building Schedule

We would like to thank all of our neighbours for their patience and understanding while we work on improving the Shaftesbury Theatre.

The following changes have been made to the schedule found below:

The scaffolding due to be erected on March 18th will now go up on April 1st.

The trial pits scheduled for the 25th March have been deferred due to Camden’s pavement works. This will likely now take place in late April.

The crane operation on 31st March is still scheduled to go ahead. The crane will be on site between the hours of 8am and 4pm. It will take approximately one hour to set the crane up so lifting will not commence until at least 9am.


Update #3: Spring and Summer 2019

Work at the Shaftesbury will continue throughout the next few months. An approximate schedule of these works can be found below. This will be updated according to any major plan changes to keep our neighbours as informed as possible.

18th March: Scaffolding and gantry erected on High Holborn side of theatre.

Approx. 25th March (specific date TBC): Start of roof repairs. Trial pits for locating the gas main in Bloomsbury Street. The latter operation will take approximately 16 days and may involve lane closures.

31st March: Removal of chiller on theatre roof by crane from High Holborn side. This will take place provisionally between 10am and 10pm and will involve lane closures during that time.

23rd April: Demolition of Staircase 3, on High Holborn side of theatre.

Approx. 29th April: Roof trusses will be delivered and lifted by crane to the roof of the theatre.

12th June: Start of construction of walkways along the roof of the theatre.

24th June: The process of loading in THE ILLUSIONISTS will take place for approximately two weeks. This will involve several large-scale deliveries to the theatre.

1st September: THE ILLUSIONISTS closes. There will be several removal vehicles around the theatre for the following week.

7th October: The process of loading in for &JULIET will take place for approximately three weeks. This will involve several large-scale deliveries to the theatre.


Update #2: The next steps 

As the work on the Theatre gets underway hoardings have been erected to keep the works contained and ensure safety.  These are now in place and the next phase of work will commence.

In the coming months we will be concentrating our efforts demolishing and rebuilding one of our main staircases on the Shaftesbury Avenue side of the Theatre, alongside our fire exits.  This will all be carried out within the building but may result in some noise.  Our contractors, Sir Robert McAlpine, will be doing all that is possible to regulate the noise so that disturbance is kept to a minimum.  However, should you have any issues, please contact us.  The working hours will be Monday – Wednesday and Friday 8.00am – 6.00pm; Thursday and Saturday 8.00am – 1.00pm.



Update #1: Works have now begun…

Now that our building works are underway, we will be starting to install hoarding on both Bloomsbury Street and High Holborn. This is to ensure that we can make our building works as unobtrusive as possible.

1 lane will be closed on High Holborn and 1 lane on Bloomsbury Street will be closed from the 19th of November 2019 as we do investigative works prior to the excavation of our basement box.

Overview: Over the coming years the Shaftesbury Theatre will be transforming itself making the beautiful Edwardian building fit for the 21st Century.

Whilst encapsulating the beauty and elegance of the Edwardian era we will be creating a new feature staircase, doubling toilet facilities, upgrading air conditioning, creating better access for people with disabilities and enhancing our foyer and bar areas, all to give our audiences a better experience.

A new entrance will be created opening the Theatre on to Princes Circus, a piazza that will be created alongside Shaftesbury Avenue by Camden Council’s West End Project, and the Theatre’s façade and signage will be upgraded.  The final phase of work will see the interior of the Theatre totally redecorated with new carpets and seats throughout, still in an Edwardian style, but providing more space and greater comfort.

This work is the final phase of a £15 million investment, paid for in part by our Restoration Levy, making the Shaftesbury Theatre welcoming and enjoyable to visit and work at; we hope the best in London’s West End!


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