|Her Majesty's Theatre stage view of 'Phantom' set from balcony. Photo by flickr/dbray46 (2008)|
In most Broadway theaters, there are only two levels but at least a couple have three. They are classified from the lowest to upper levels:
So if you purchase a balcony seat, you will find yourself on the third level. However many local theaters outside of New York classify their second level as the balcony. Because of this some ticket holders to a Broadway show, such as 'Mary Poppins' at the New Amsterdam Thetre, are disappointed to find they are seated much higher than expected.
In most London theaters, the lower to upper levels are classified as follows:
- Dress Circle or Royal Circle
- Upper Circle or Grand Circle
So if you purchase a balcony seat, you will likely find yourself in the most upper reaches of the auditorium.
Keep in the mind the higher the level, the more severe the rake of the balcony. Handrails are usually present to help patrons guide themselves along the steep aisle steps.
|Palace theatre stage view from balcony. Photo by: webshots/ptschan (2003)|
Because many London theaters were constructed when there was a distinct class system and mixing of the classes of avoided, some balcony ticket holders will find themselves using a separate entrance from ticket holders seated on the stalls or dress circle levels.
Below are two samples of London seating charts. One for London's Palace Theatre which currently houses the musical 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert' and the Noel Coward Theatre which currently houses the revival of 'Deathtrap'.
|Noel Coward Theatre Seating Plan.|