Compared to other West End venues the Playhouse Theatre is quite small, with 786 seats over three levels: the stalls, dress circle and upper circle. The smaller auditorium is an advantage in terms of sightlines to the stage. There are little to no obstructions and nearly every seat in the house feels close to the action. The best seats can be found in the centre of the stalls and front few rows of the dress circle, but other seats can also deliver excellent value for money and brilliant stage views.
The stalls are comprised of one large block of seats without a central aisle. The rows of seats fan out from the stage, getting longer the further back they go. The stage is set quite high up so avoid seats near the very front if possible. The leg-room in the stalls is excellent, but become restricted towards the back of the auditorium. The overhang from the dress circle above only affects the last row in the stalls. There is a gentle rake offering good views over the tops of people’s heads. The seats at the very extremes of each row offer a slightly side-on view onto the stage, but this is only minimal.
Divided into three sections, the dress circle of the Playhouse comes with very good leg-room and reasonably comfortable seats. There is a safety rail along the front of the balcony, which can restrict view for the front few rows. In the two side sections of the dress circle, the end seats of each row are considered restricted view because the theatre walls, which block your stage views.
The upper circle is the highest level in the theatre and the farthest from the stage. The section feels very steep and looks down on the action. The section is divided into three seating blocks, with the central block giving the best overall views of the stage. There are restrictions on the aisle seats, with obstructive safety handrails at the end of each stairwell. Seats at the very rear of the upper circle are very far removed from the stage but unobstructed.