The Fortune Theatre is responsible for more screaming than your average rollercoaster, as it has played host to one of the scariest plays ever to grace the London stage. The Woman in Black is still enjoying an incredible run that started decades ago in 1989.
Plenty of stars including Dame Judi Dench, Dirk Bogarde and Maureen Lipman have trodden the boards at the Fortune Theatre, which is located on Russell Street, Covent Garden and was opened in 1924.
Past and present productions at The Fortune Theatre
The Woman in Black is among the longest running West End shows, and it’s not surprising why, given how effective this simple ghost story is. With only a handful of props and a cast limited to just a few actors, this chilling tale does an incredible job of drawing the audience in and scaring the life out of them.
Other key productions include:
-Re-Joyce – Maureen Lipman famously portrayed the late Joyce Grenfell in her well-received and critically acclaimed one-woman show.
-Beyond The Fringe – Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Jonathan Miller all performed together
-Dangerous Obsession – this nerve-jangling production thrilled audiences for six months in 1988
What’s the best way to reach the theatre?
The Fortune Theatre is tucked away behind Drury Lane, meaning it’s not as easy to find as some of the other theatres in this location, but getting there should still be fairly easy for most visitors.
The nearest tube station is Covent Garden (Piccadilly Line), which is approx. 300 meters away, or there’s Holborn (Piccadilly and Central lines), which is approx. 500 meters away.
Charing Cross Railway Station is approx. 800 meters away.
A range of buses stop close to the Fortune Theatre. Choose from the RV1 X68, 1, 6, 11, 13, 15, 23, 24, 26, 29, 34, 59, 68, 76, 87, 91,139, 168, 171, 172, 176, 188 or 243.
Where are the best places to eat in Covent Garden?
Covent Garden Grill, 16 Henrietta St, London WC2E 8QH
The Covent Garden Grill is the perfect place for no-frills modern dining. The atmosphere is casual and laid back, and diners are treated to good food and excellent service.
Navajo Joe, 34 King St, London WC2E 8JD
If you’re looking for something a little more lively then check out Navajo Joe, where you’ll find Southern American and Creole cuisine, a huge range of cocktails and a fun bar with DJ’s and a dance floor that gets busier as the night goes on.
Augustus Harris, 33 Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JT
This intimate Italian takes its name from the well-known theatre impresario and bon vivant Augstus Harris and does a nice line in cicchetti and cocktails. The ideal spot for a pre-theatre bite.
I want to make a weekend of it, where can I stay?
The Savoy Hotel, Strand, London WC2R 0EU
The Savoy’s reputation for luxury and quality is well known, and everything from the rooms to the food is of the highest standard. With views over parkland and the River Thames, the location of this landmark hotel is ideal for theatregoers who are looking for class and convenience.
The Fielding Hotel, 4 Broad Ct, London WC2B 5QZ
Located on a quaint street where you’ll find gas lamps for street lights, this unique hotel is popular with guests. The rooms aren’t huge, but they are certainly cosy and feature Victorian-style décor.
Kingsway Hall Hotel, Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5BX
The ideal Theatreland hotel, Kingsway Hall offers comfortable, well-appointed accommodation complete with Jacuzzi and steam rooms - perfect for unwinding after a hard days sightseeing.
What nearby sights and attractions should I also visit?
The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN
It may be one of the lesser known of London’s museums, but the Wallace Collection is still well worth a visit. Featuring a huge amount of fine and decorative arts from the 15th to the 19th centuries and some incredible 18th-century French paintings.
Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL
Named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, this is one of London’s most spectacular museums, featuring unmissable collections and exhibitions and permanently housing over 4.5 million objects. If you’ve never been, make a visit to the V&A a priority.
London Film Museum, 45 Wellington Street, London, WC2E 7BN
Founded by Jonathan Sands in 2008, the London Film Museum moved to its current location in Covent Garden as recently as 2012 and features a fascinating haul of original props, costumes and sets from the British film industry. The current Bond In Motion exhibition has been such a success it looks set to run indefinitely.