Cameron Mackintosh is planning further works at the Victoria Palace just a year after it opened following a major refurbishment, in a bid to “improve audience comfort”.
According to plans seen by The Stage, Mackintosh’s company, Delfont Mackintosh Theatres, is planning to improve conditions in the grand circle of the venue, home to musical Hamilton. It plans to do this by removing a row of seats, which will reduce capacity in the grand circle from 402 to 360.
A planning document states the works would involve the “creation of more legroom and increasing the back-to-back spacing between rows”. It describes current legroom in the grand circle as “challenging”.
There are currently 10 rows in the grand circle – this will be reduced to nine.
The remaining rows will be “eased out” to increase spacing between rows.
The planning document describes the theatre’s recent refurbishment as “glorious” but said this had not been matched by “audience comfort in the grand circle”.
The document adds that space between rows is 800mm, which it says is the “lowest row-to-row dimension in the Delfont Mackintosh group of theatres”.
Mackintosh spent more than £60 million on the refurbishment, significantly more than the £35 million he had originally planned.
At an event in October, Mackintosh described the cost as “astronomical”, and cast doubt on long-held plans to redevelop the Ambassadors Theatre in the West End. Following this, the Ambassadors was sold to Ambassador Theatre Group in a £12 million deal.
Mackintosh did not respond to a request for a comment.