One of the smallest 'proscenium arched' West End theatres. The circle, which is narrower than the stalls, is unusual for the time, being supported by steel girders from the roof - this also gives the theatre some very good sight lines. Notable productions include Emlyn William's Night Must Fall in 1935, Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit in 1942 (which transferred from the Piccadilly Theatre to the St James Theatre before moving to the Duchess Theatre where it completed a run of 1,997 performances), Terence Rattigan's Deep Blue Sea in 1952 and Harold Pinter's The Caretaker in 1960.
The 1970's brough somewhat 'raunchy' entertainment in the form The Dirtiest Show in Town which run for just under 800 performances while in December 1974 the controversial production of Oh, Calcutta! transferred here from the Royalty Theatre and remained here until 1980. Between 1987 and 1990 The Players Theatre company presented their Late Joys Victorian Music Hall programme here while their new theatre under the arches in Villiers Street (under Charing Cross railyway station) was being built. The mid-90's were taken up with a successful run of Marc Camoletti's Don't Dress For Dinner which transferred here from the Apollo Theatre in October 1992 and stayed until 1 March 1997. Another successful production here was the Royal Shakespeare Company's The Herbal Bed by Peter Whelan which run for six months from April to October 1997.