Sadler’s Wells

Sadler’s Wells Theatre

Sadler’s Wells is a theatre that calls itself “London’s Dance House” but it has a worldwide reputation. Four of us went to see Mathew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty at Sadler’s Wells in January. It was turned into a legendary ballet by choreographer, Marius Petipa, in 1890.

This was my first visit to this theatre. it was for a Sunday matinee and had been snowing all day. The combination of the day of the week and the weather made the trip from home into Islington remarkably quick and it was very easy to park. Normally it would take an age to find a parking place with a journey time well in excess of an hour and a half.

Disabled Access Information

If you are in receipt of disability-related state benefits, you may be entitled to a reduction on the cost of your ticket. Reduced price tickets are limited to one booking per production. All Access rate tickets are subject to availability and may be excluded for certain performances.

There is a reduced booking fee of £1.75 on each transaction.

There is a small car park next to Sadler’s Wells Theatre, spaces are limited and must be booked in advance. There is no charge for disabled patrons. Full details of disabled access are available here


Restaurant is too grandiose a word for the facilities, canteen or snack bar might be slightly more appropriate. To get there, follow the outside of the theatre along to the right and turn left after 50 metres. I think this is also the entrance to the Lady Bayliss Studio.

The menu is small. The soup was excellent but the beef sandwich was a disappointment, overcooked meat with slightly stale white bread that had been cut into slices that were much too thick. Carrot cake, ummmm, I always like something slightly sweet and this was beautifully moist. The wine was £6.00 a glass, are these really London prices?

Not only it it a place where the audience can have a snack, there were quite a few dancers and other members of Sadler’s Wells staff present and it made for a very informal atmosphere. There is a disabled loo there as well.

A couple of issues

The lift was to the back of the circle so  steps have to be negotiated unless your seat is in the back row. We were at the front of the circle, so lots of steps, there was plenty of leg room and the seats were comfortable.

At the interval, by the time we got to the bar all the tables were occupied but Barby did find a chair for me. At one point I leant against a program trolley, to my surprise it moved and I so nearly ended up on the floor in an untidy heap. I’m not too sure who was the most surprised, me or the woman selling the programs.

The Sleeping Beauty

Sadler’s Wells and The Sleeping Beauty

A timeless fairy tale, about a young girl cursed to sleep for one hundred years. Matthew Bourne’s haunting new scenario is a Gothic tale for all ages. He had created a memorable performance that is a cross between traditional ballet and a West End Show. I thoroughly enjoyed The Sleeping Beauty, it held my attention through out. It took my mind away from the normal day to day problems, that’s always relaxing.

Pre recorded Music

The music had all been pre-recorded so no musicians or conductor. I think that was a shame, their absence was noted but then the tickets would have been even more expensive. As it was front circle seats were £60 each.

The show goes on the road at the end of January, if you get a chance do go and see it, I doubt if you will be disappointed but you might struggle to get tickets at this late stage.

Thoughts and comments

If you have been to see the show already or are planning to see it why not write a comment. Have you seen a Matthew Borne show before? What did you think of it? I was captivated by The Sleeping Beauty, were you? Pre recorded music or an orchestra, which do you prefer?

2 responses to “Sadler’s Wells”

  1. Andra says:

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  2. Tom says:


    having been to Sadler’s Wells before, if your seats are at the front of the 1st circle, you can take the passenger lift to the mezzanine level and enter the front of the circle that way (far fewer steps!). The signposting isn’t too obvious for this but it’s handy to note for future visits
    Also, If you call ahead, there is car parking available behind the theatre for blue badge holders but it only has a dozen spaces or so. You can book a parking space when booking the ticket if you call the box office.

    Hope this helps

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