London Theatres

Updated January 8, 2017

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The one-half price ticket booth is located in the clocktower building by the
gardens in Leicester Square (Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus subway/tube
stations). There is one window for matinees and one for evening performances.
The hours of operation are: Monday to Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and
Sundays 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The theatre listing, as in the others,
includes not only current theatres, but theatres which have been demolished, or
abandoned over time – bracketed headings at the first indicate the subway or
tube stop nearest the theatre.

London’s Lost

Roofed theatres erected for performances came
late in theatrical history. Open-air theatres date back to the 5th Century,
B.C., but it was not until the Renaissance that plays were produced indoors.

Before 1576 there were no proper theatres in
London. The inner courtyards of Inns were used to present plays. In 1800 only
nine playhouses in London were being used regularly – Drury Lane, Covent Garden,
Haymarket Opera House, Haymarket Theatre, Sans Souci, Sadler’s Wells, Astley’s
Amphitheatre, Royal Circus and the Royalty. Numbers tripled between 1800 and
1844, and by 1851 there were twenty-two theatres in use. George Frederick Handel
between the years 1685 and 1738 played at Covent Garden Theatre, Drury Lane
Theatre and King’s Theatre, Haymarket.

Like New York, with the Shuberts, Nederlanders,
Disney etc., the same situation applies to English Theatre. The city has more than 240 professional theatre spaces. The three largest
West End theatre owning/managing groups are: The Really Useful Group and
Partners (Andrew Lloyd Webber) – 13 Theatres – 15713 seats; Clear Channel Entertainment- 4 Theatres –
9769 seats • Ambassadors Theatre Group – as of February 2010 – with acquisition
of Live Nation Theatres, now has total of 52 venues – comprising between them
more than 11,000 seats in the West End (more than any other theatre operator),
and nearly 38,000 seats outside London; Nimax Theatres now own many of Really Useful Group’s houses i.e. Lyric,Apollo,Garrick,Duchess,Vaudeville and Palace;
In 2009 ATG bought all 16 of Live Nation’s U.K. theatres for £90 million –
ATG’s West End theatres include historic buildings such as the Apollo Victoria, Comedy, Donmar Warehouse, Duke of York’s, Fortune Theatre, Harold Pinter, Lyceum, Phoenix, Piccadilly, Playhouse, Savoy, Trafalgar Studio 1 and Trafalgar Studio 2.
ATG’s regional theatres include The Ambassadors Woking encompassing the New Victoria and Rhoda McGaw Theatres and the award-winning six-screen cinema complex, Ambassador Cinemas; Aylesbury Waterside Theatre; New Alexandra Theatre Birmingham; Theatre Royal Brighton; Bristol Hippodrome; Churchill Theatre Bromley; Edinburgh Playhouse; Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone; King’s Theatre and Theatre Royal, Glasgow; Grimsby Auditorium; Liverpool Empire; Palace Theatre and Opera House, Manchester; Milton Keynes Theatre; New Theatre, Oxford; Richmond Theatre; Southport Theatre; Regent Theatre and Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent; Sunderland Empire; Princess Theatre, Torquay; New Wimbledon Theatre and New Wimbledon Studio; Grand Opera House, York, and have in 2013 just purchased the Foxwoods Theatre on 42nd Street in New York City, which currently houses Spiderman.
Currently there are 54 West End Theatres of
which 40 of them are commercial enterprises.

NOTE: The term ‘commercial West End’ is
generally taken to exclude the following 13 theatres: Barbican, Cottesloe,
London Coliseum, Lyttelton, Olivier, Open Air, Peacock, Pit, Royal Court
Downstairs, Royal Court Upstairs, Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells and
Shakespeare’s Globe. (The Westminster Theatre (585 seats) has now been removed
from the above listing)

Sir Cameron Mackintosh’s theatre portfolio of
9 theatres includes Queen’s, Gielgud, Prince of Wales, Albery,
Wyndham’s, Strand and Prince Edward, and soon to have Victoria Palace and Ambassadors (name being changed to Sondheim Theatre). Since the 1990’s only two of these
these theatres have been operated by Delfont Mackintosh Theatres.

Prince of Wales Theatre’s work will start this
summer and the theatre will reopen in spring 2004. In March 2003 Delfont
Macintosh Theatres will take back control of a third theatre, the Strand. Plans
are near completion for the first stage of an extensive renovation to include
the front-of-house areas. In each of these cases, the first priority is to
expand and upgrade all public areas and facilities. Control of the other four
theatres, two of which (the Albery and Wyndham’s) are currently leased by the
Ambassadors Group and a further two (the Queen’s and the Gielgud) by Really
Useful Theatres, will return to Cameron Mackintosh in 2005 and 2006
respectively; The sale leaves Lloyd Webber with
seven West End theatres – the Adelphi, the Cambridge, the Gielgud, Her
Majesty’s, the London Palladium, the New London, and Theatre
Royal Drury Lane; Adelphi is jointly owned by Really Useful Theatres and
Nederlander International, whilst the Gielgud, along with the RUT offices which
are in the same block (along with the Queen’s), will soon revert back to its
owner, Cameron Mackintosh, who is intending to build a new theatre, the
Sondheim, which will be able to accept transfers from venues such as the Donmar
Warehouse and the Cottesloe; Ambassador Theatre Group has completed the purchase
(Nov 2/09) of 17 Live Nation’s UK venues, making it by far Britain’s biggest
theatre operator – In the West End, this includes the Lyceum and Apollo Victoria
Theatres, but not the Dominion, with Live Nation’s stake in that theatre being
bought by the Nederlander Group – Other venues included in the deal are the
Oxford Apollo, Oxford Old Fire Station, Edinburgh Playhouse, Manchester Opera
House, Manchester Palace, Bristol Hippodrome, Alexandra Birmingham, York Grand
Opera House, Liverpool Empire, Sunderland Empire, Southport, Grimsby Auditorium,
Spa Pavilion Felixstowe and the Leas Cliff Hall
As of October, 2010 ATG’s existing West End portfolio comprises: the Comedy, Donmar Warehouse, Duke of York’s, Fortune, Phoenix, Piccadilly, Playhouse, Savoy (both co-ownership and management of) and Trafalgar Studios. Its other regional theatres include the Ambassadors Woking; Theatre Royal Brighton; the Regent Theatre and the Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent; Milton Keynes Theatre; Churchill Theatre Bromley; Richmond Theatre, Surrey; the King’s Theatre and the Theatre Royal, Glasgow; and New Wimbledon Theatre.

2010/11 Andrew Lloyd Webber is close to inking a deal with a group headed by Michael Grade, the former BBC and ITV chairman for a consortium led by Grade and theatrical agent Michael Linnit to purchase the New London, Palace, Cambridge and Her Majesty’s theatres in London….Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group will retain ownership of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London Palladium and its 50% stake in the Adelphi Theatre, which is co-owned with US company Nederlander” – planned sell-off of four London theaters (Palace, Her Majesty’s, Cambridge and New London) all classified as midsize music houses owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group has fallen through, with a potential sale to GradeLinnit no longer moving forward as of Dec/10;





New York ranked highest for number of theatres, with 420, compared to 353 in Paris, 230 in Tokyo and 214 in London. London’s theatre admissions total is the second highest at 14.2 million – but New York is reported at drawing 28.1 million attendances.
On the museums front, London leads the way with 173, against 158 in Berlin, 137 in Paris and 131 in New York; while Paris has the most art galleries (1,046), with 857 in London, 721 in New York and 688 in Tokyo.
London also leads for comedy performances, with 11,388 against 11,076 in New York and 10,348 in Paris.
Paris leads for live music venues, with 423, against 385 in Tokyo, 349 in London, 294 in Sao Paulo and 277 in New York.
ABC Cinema (Piccadilly) – being turned
into cabaret venue – 400 seats (near Jermyn Street Theatre, which is also used
for cabaret venues)

Actors’ Studio
– opening September/08 on Wren Street near King’s
Cross – previously was at Pinewood Studios

Above the Stag Theatre – new 50 seat
venue – 15 Bressenden Place – American Briefs (2008)

– (Charing Cross) Strand – (1476 seats) – 4th theatre on the
site – opened as Sans Pareil in 1806 with Miss Scott’s Entertainment 1806 –
built above a dairy – 1818 reopened as Adelphi – names include Theatre Royal
Adelphi (1830-1848); 1858 became Theatre Royal – Theatre Royal New Adelphi
(1863-1867) – 1901 rebuilt as Century Theatre incorporating parts of 1887
theatre – 1902 back to Adelphi – New Adelphi opened 1930 – Dancing Mistress
1912; Girl From Utah 1913; Mr. Cinders 1929; Ever Green 1930; Nymph Errant 1933;
Trojan Women 1937; Bless the Bride 1947; Auntie Mame (Beatrice Lillie) 1958;
Blitz 1962; Maggie May 1964; Charlie Girl (Anna Neagle) 1965 (2200 perf); Little
Night Music 1975; Sunset Boulevard 1993 (nearly 4 years); Chicago (revival) 1998

Admiral’s Men – 1585 – Theatre –
company moved to Fortune Theatre – 1621 theatre burnt – 1631 company disbanded

Age Exchange – touring company aimed
specifically at older people – performed in community centres, senior’s homes

Albany Theatre – 1982


Albert Saloon, Hoxton – 1843-1851

– Albery will become the Noel Coward towards the end of 2006
when its work is completed – – (Leicester Square) St. Martin’s Lane – built 1903
as The New Theatre – (883 seats) – Rosemary 1903; The Scarlet Pimpernel 1905;
Henry of Navarre 1909; I’ll Leave it to You (Noel Coward) 1920; Saint Joan
(Sybil Thorndike) 1924; The Constant Nymph (Noel Coward) 1926; Richard of
Bordeaux (John Gielgud) 1933 (472 performances); 1941 became home to Old Vic and
Sadler Wells; The School for Scandal (Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh) 1949; The
Cocktail Party (Rex Harrison, Margaret Leighton) 1950; The Millionairess
(Katharine Hepburn) 1952; Oliver 1960 (2,618 performances)- name changed in 1973
to Albery – Anne of Green Gables 1965; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour
Dreamcoat 1973; Oliver (revival – ran 3 years) 1977; Candide 1977; Pal Joey
1981; Children of a Lesser God 1981; Torch Song Trilogy; Company (revival);
Blood Brothers 1988; A Month in the Country (John Hurt, Helen Mirren) 1994; Five
Guys Named Moe 1995; Private Lives (Alan Rickman) 2001; Blackbird 2006

Albion (Whitechapel)

Alcazar Music Hall – see Phoenix

-(Holborn/Covent Garden) Aldwych – opened 1905 with Bluebell in
Fairyland (revival) – (1176 seats) – damaged during World War I – restored 1923
– home to farce – Gay Gordons 1907; Royal Shakespeare Company used as home
(1960-1982) – September Tide (Gertrude Lawrence,Bryan Forbes) 1948; Streetcar
Named Desire (Vivien Leigh) 1949; Under the Sycamore Tree (Alec Guiness)1952;
The Homecoming; Pieces of Eight 1960 (300+); 1960 became home of Royal
Shakespeare Company – Taming of the Shrew (Vanessa Redgrave) 1961; War of the
Roses 1964; Homecoming 1965; London Assurance (Donald Sinden, Judi Dench) 1970
(transferred to New Theatre)(390); Travesties 1974; Zykovs (Paul Rogers,Mia
Farrow) 1976; Privates on Parade 1977; Coriolanus 1979; Piaf (Jane Lapotaire)
1979; Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickelby (1980); Swan Down Gloves 1981;
Andy Capp 1982; Whistle Down the Wind 1998; Secret Garden; Fame (10 years);

Aldwych Tube Station – situated in the
Underground Station build 1898 and opened to public in 1907, then called Strand
Station – Piccadilly Line was closed to passengers since 1994 – now used for
small theatrical events with limited seating i.e. 50 in ticket booth area

Alexandra Palace – built 1873 – 2,500
seat theatre – Complicite is marking its 21st year by taking over one of
London’s most imposing landmarks will spend the second half of 2004 raising the
money to renovate Alexandra Palace to a degree where Complicite can perform
there safely, before 2005 sees the company mount a piece about London society;
Alexandra Palace was built in 1873 as a pleasure palace, which included a 2,500
seat theatre – restored 1920s and it was host to a number of pantomimes and
previews of West End shows – including Gracie Field’s stage debut. From 1936
onwards, the BBC used the space as part of their television work, mostly as a
props store. The 1980 Ally Pally fire left the theatre auditorium undamaged,
although the dressing rooms were destroyed.After a turbulent history, “Ally
Pally” as Londoners affectionately call it, has long been closed as a theatre.
The “Pally” may serve as a semi-permanent home for Complicite for years to come

Alexandra Theatre – 3 theatres by this
name; 1st Alexandra – hall in Highbury Barn 1861-1871; 2nd Alexandra – Park
Street – Camden Town 1873 – 1879 became Park Theatre – burned down 1881 and
never rebuilt; 3rd Alexandra in Stoke – Newington Road – built in 1897 – closed
1940 – demolished

Alhambra Palace Music
– Leicester Square – famous music hall – opened 1854 as exhibition
centre – seating 3500 – changed to Palace; Music Hall; Theatre – as Alhambra in
1860 – 1882 burnt down – rebuilt – 1936 theatre demolished and Odeon Cinema
erected on the site – Carmen 1903; Psyche 1909; Bing Boys are Here 1916

All Saints Arts Centre

– Almeida St., Islington (Angel Islington)

at the Albery Theatre
– (Leicester Square) St. Martin’s Lane – Medea

Almeida Theatre – built as science
lecture theatre – 1837 – converted to theatre 1981-86 – 1st performance 1984 –
Islington theatre will reopen spring 2003 after a multi-million pound

Almost Free Theatre

*Ambassadors Theatre – see also New
Ambassadors – West Street near St. Martin’s Lane – 1913 – (450 seats) – Rope
(Brian Aherne) 1929; Mask of Virtue (Vivien Leigh) 1935 (117); Lace on Her
Petticoat 1950 (190); Mousetrap (Richard Attenborough) opened here in 1952
before moving to St. Martin’s in 1974; Les Liaisons Dangereuses; Shopping and
F—ing 1996; being renamed Ambassadors June 2007 – as of 2015 will become Sondheim Theatre

Apollo Hammersmith – 1932 – see London

Apollo Shaftesbury – see Apollo Theatre
– 776 seats

– (Piccadilly Circus) 29 Shaftesbury Avenue – 1901 (775 seats)-
Belle of Bohemia 1901; Girl From Kay’s 1902; Treasure Hunt 1949 (11 months);
Tiger at the Gates (Michael Redgrave) 1955; Boeing Boeing (3 years); Alpha Beta;
Forty Years On 1968; Forget Me Not Lane 1971; Norman Conquests 1975 (700
performances); Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf 2006 – Jan/05 – Composer Andrew
Lloyd Webber is reportedly in talks to sell some of his West End theatres. He
currently owns eleven, making him the predominant West End theatre owner, but is
considering selling The Apollo, The Garrick, The Duchess and The Lyric – Dec/13 more than 75 injured when ceiling partially collapsed – to reopen Spring 2014 with Let the Right One In – starts March 26/14;

– (Victoria) 17 Wilton Road – 1930 – (2208 seats) – opened as
the New Victoria Cinema (2500)- converted to a theatre – closed in the 1950s and
reopened in 1980 – Starlight Express opened 1984 (17 years when it closes
January 12/02)- 2nd longest running musical in West End history; Movin’ Out
(James Fox) 2006

Aquarium Theatre – see Imperial Theatre

Aquatic Theatre – see Sadler’s Wells

Arcola Theatre
– 27 Arcola Street – converted textile factory on the
borders of Stoke Newington/Dalston into one of London’s largest and most
adaptable fringe venues – new premises at Colourworks, 24 Ashwin Street (former home of Reeves) after 10 years at Arcola St – Painter – Jan 2011;

Argyll Rooms – see Trocadero Palace of

Artsdepot – 2004

Arts Educational School – 1930

Arts Laboratory – Drury Lane 1968 –
closed 1969

Arts Theatre – Arts Theatre – 1927 –
6-7 Great Newport Street – private club incorporated into theatre is to re-open
historic 340-seat theatre, which was the first London home to the Royal
Shakespeare Company and which marks its 75th anniversary in 2007, has been
renovated and given a new lease of life – will host an eclectic mix of theatre,
comedy, music and visual art shows – Arts Theatre faced demolition & may close
as early as July 15/05 whole block being redeveloped for commercial – First
Class Passengers Only (Edith Sitwell) 1927; first imporant production Young
Woodley 1928 – transferred to commerical theatre; Chinese White 1929; in 1950s
and 1960s important avant-garde theatre venue – Listen to the Wind 1955; Waltz
of the Toreadors 1956; Comedy of Errors 1956; Four to the Bar 1961; Dirty
Linen/New-Found-Land 1976 – played after engagement at Almost Free Theatre 1976
(1,667); Slice of Saturday Night 1989; was the first London home to the Royal
Shakespeare Company which marks its 75th anniversary in 2007 – Built in 1927,
the Arts started as theatre club to avoid the Lord Chamberlain’s stage
censorship. In the 1940s and 50s, a young Peter Hall directed the UK premieres
of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra
and Jean Anouilh’s Waltz of the Toreadors. Other notable UK or world premieres
have included Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker, Joe Orton’s Entertaining Mr Sloane,
O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh and Tennessee Williams’ Suddenly Last Summer. From
1966 to 1988, following a short-lived inaugural capital venture for the RSC, the
Unicorn Children’s Theatre set up residence at the Arts – closing August 2008
for renovation?; – to be replaced with restaurant featuring performance space and laargest bar in theatreland – theatre will be demolished, save for the original building’s façade, and be replaced by a complex that will include a 66-bedroom hotel with a rooftop swimming pool – performance space will have 400 retractable seats, providing more space before and after performances; 2nd – Arts Theatre – see Cambridge

Ashcroft Theatre – 1961

Astley’s Amphitheatre – 1844-1865 known
as Astley’s Royal Amphitheatre of Arts; Astley’s Royal Amphitheatre; Astley’s;
Europe’s National Amphitheatre – South bank of Thames in Westminster Bridge Road
– 1769 – originally open circus ring – 1784 covered amphitheatre built – fire
1794 and reopened 1795 as the Royal Grove – fire 1803 – rebuilt as Royal
Amphitheatre – Blood-Red Knight; or Fatal Bridge 1810; Battle of Waterloo 1824;
Buonaparte’s Invasion of Russia; or, the Conflagration of Moscow 1825 – fire
1830 – 1841 burnt down – rebuilt – 1862 renamed Theatre Royal, Westminster –
reconstructed 1872/3 seating 2407 as Sanger’s Grand National Amphitheatre –
closed 1893 and demolished 1895

Astoria Theatre– Atmospheric style –
1927 from converted warehouse – originally cinema – venue seated 2,000 and films
shown for nearly 50 years – 1976 live theatre productions – Elvis 1977; Hired
Man 1984 – later transformed to music venue – Madonna, G-A-Y club nights,
Rolling Stones – theatre to be demolished and new 250 seat theatre to be
included in redevelopment as early as January 2009

Atmospheric Theatres

Avenue Theatre – 1882 – see Playhouse –
in 1933 and closed in 1951

Avenue Theatre – 1932


Bacon’s College Theatre – 1991

Banqueting House
– Whitehall – 1618 to 1622 – venue for masques and plays

*Barbican Theatre – built in 1982 to house Royal Shakespeare Company, houses Theatre, Hall and Pit – badly bombed during blitz – Poppy 1982; Les Miserables opened here 1985 – transferred to Palace; Sondheim Tonight 1998;
Barnes Theatre – 20 Church Road – built 1905 – opened as theatre 1925
Barons Court Theatre – 20 Comeragh Road
Battersea Arts Centr – (BAC) – 1893 – 176 Lavender Hill – originally a town hall – main
theatre space is old council chamber – also 2 smaller studio spaces – A serious fire has destroyed a historic part of South London’s influential BAC (once known as Battersea Arts Centre) -fire broke out in venue’s Grand Hall March 14/15 – (BAC) located on Lavender Hill, near Clapham Junction railway station, was formerly a town hall building which became a community arts centre in the 1970s. In the last twenty years, it has become an important home for emerging companies to operate out of, such as 1927 (whose latest production Golem transfers to the West End’s Trafalgar Studios in April/15)

Battersea Palace – 1886-1924 – also
known as Washington Battersea

Beck Theatre – 1977

Bedford Music-Hall – Camden High Street
– built on part of tea garden of Bedford Arms – 1861 – 1168 seats – 1949 closed
– demolished 1969

Beeston’s Boys – group of boy actors
trained by William Beeston 1630s – used Salisbury Court until wrecked by
Commonwealth soldiers in 1649

Belgrade Theatre – Coventry – 1958 –
900 seats – Belgrade Venue – stages experimental works

Belgravia Theatre – see Royal Court

Bell Tavern – in Gracious (now
Gracechurch) – inn used as theatre – continued use as theatre until after 1583 –
Queen Elizabeth’s Men performed here

Bel Savage Tavern on Ludgate Hill – inn
used as theatre – Queen Elizabeth’s Men performed here – continued use as
theatre until at least 1588

Belt and Braces – fringe theatre

BFI Southbank – see National Film

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan – 1978

Bijou Theatre – were 2 small theatres
of this name – 1st Bijou in Haymarket – concert hall attached to Royal Opera
House (later Her Majesty’s Theatre) – burned down with Opera House 1876; 2nd
Bijou – a hall in Archer Street, Bayswater – renamed Bijou in 1886 – Philanderer
and You Never Can Tell 1898 and Man and Superman 1903 – renamed Century in 1925
– became a warehouse

Blackfriar’s Playhouse – opened 1576 –
in 1609 became the headquarters for the King’s Men – destroyed in 1655

Blackfriar’s Theatre – 2 theatres built
within boundaries of old monastery – 1st 1576 part of building became theatre
with plays given by choirboys – unused after 1584; in 1596 another theatre;
theatres closed in 1642 – 2nd Blackfriars fell into disrepair after 1642 and
demolished 1655 due to concern that masses could spread plague

Black Theatre – over 30 black
Afro-Caribbean companies in Britain

Black Theatre Co-operative (BTC)
founded 1979 – originally used The Factory, Riverside and Theatre Royal,
Stratford East

Black Theatre Forum

Blood Group – women’s experimental
touring group founded 1980

Bloomsbury Theatre
– 15 Gordon Street – 550 seats – UCL Bloomsbury was
officially opened in 1968 as The Collegiate Theatre, and is owned and funded by
University College London. The theatre was renamed in 1982 to reflect its
geographical location, as well as the culltural associations of the name, as the
Bloomsbury Theatre. In 2001 it was renamed again to integrate its position
within the university as The UCL Bloomsbury

Boar’s Head – in Whitechapel – inn used
as theatre as early as 1557 when lewd play “A Sack Full of News,” caused actors
to be arrested – continued to be used until after 1616; a 2nd Boar’s Head,
Middlesex, was is use between 1602 and 1608

Hope Theatre
– 1910 – Wythfield Road, Eltham

Bohemia Theatre – 1913

– 16 Manette Street – Music and book retailer HMV Group is to step into the UK’s
£1 billion live music arena in venture with the MAMA Group – move will see 11
music venues around the UK – including the Jazz Cafe in Camden, Edinburgh’s the
Picture House and the Borderline in London – taken into joint ownership. Several
venues, including the 5,100-seat Hammersmith Apollo, will be re-named with the
HMV brand during the ten-year deal

Boudoir Theatre – Orestes 1912

Bow Theatre – 1937

Bower Theatre, Lambeth – opened 1837 –
closed 1877

Boy Companies – acting troupes of
choirboys attached to the Chapels Royal in London & Windsor & St. Paul’s
Cathedral – 16th and early 17th centuries formed important part of London’s
theatrical world – as early as 1378 – but not until 1517 became regular dramatic

Brick Lane Music Hall – 1861

– (St. Bride’s Church – off Fleet Street near Blackfriars
Station) – 1893-94 former indoor Victorian swimming pool – theatre founded in 1994 – produces
small scale musicals as well as plays – i.e. works of Sondheim – Pacific
Overtures; Saturday Night 1997; Moving On 2000 – Launched January 1944 – losing
home on Bride Lane as of January 2005 – closing down operations – 2005 – theatre
itself has been given a new lease of life after two of London’s major amateur
companies, Stock Exchange Dramatic and Operatic Society (SEDOS – oldest amateur
dramatic group in London, celebrates its 100th birthday in 2005) and the Tower
Theatre Company (has been entertaining audiences in North London for over 70

Bridge Lane Theatre – 1937

British Actors’ Equity Association
founded 1929

British Asian Theatre

British Drama League – founded 1919 –
now known as British Theatre Association

British Film Institute – see National Film

British National Opera Company – formed
1922 – dissolved 1929

Brittania Music Hall – Southwark – see

Brittania Theatre – High Street, Hoxton –
originally Brittania Saloon with music hall entertainments – 1841 rebuilt in
1858 to seat 3923 – in 1923 became a cinema – demolished by bombs in 1940

Britten Opera Theatre – 1986

Brixton Academy Theatre – 1929 – Atmospheric style

Brixton Empress Theatre – 1898-1992 – also
known as Empress, Express Theatre of Varieties, Enpress Music Hall, Granada
Cinema, Carlton Grove, Brighton Terrace, Brixton

Brixton Theatre and Opera House – opened
1851 – Canterbury Theatre of Varieties 1904-1912 and 1914-1922 – destroyed 1942

Broadway – 1897; Broadway – 1932 – film theatre ;

Brockley Jack Theatre – 410 Brockley Road, London – 51 seats – Conceiving Hope 1996;

Bromley Little Theatre1938;
Brooklyn Bowl – sister site to open in London and Las Vegas – bowling and entertainment complex;;

Brown Bear Public House1836;

Brunswick Theatre – see Royalty

Bubble Theatre Company – now called London
Bubble – founded 1972 – touring company

Buckingham Palace Ballroom
-built 1853-1855 for Queen Victoria – opened 1856 with a ball to celebrate the
end of the Crimean War – state banquets, formal receptions, investitures, and

Bull (Bishops Gate) – inn used as theatre –
used for plays from about 1576 until after 1594 – Queen’s Men played here in

Bush Theatre – considered off West End – in
the Fringe and Firkin Pub, Shepherd’s Bush Green (Shepherd’s Bush) – founded
1972 above the Bush Pub (former dining room) – pub has changed hands but the theatre remains upstairs – moving to old library building in Shepherd’s Bush in 2011 – Uxbridge Road beside Shepherd’s Bush Market – to celebrate 40th Anniversary in 2012

Buskers – performers in city streets,
beaches and seaside resorts – primarly Italian

Bycullah Athenaeum1883

Byfeld Hall1906;


Cabarets – form of entertainment, perhaps
originated in the Weimar Germany of the 1930s, the music halls and night clubs
of Britain i.e. Greek Street, Soho – late night cabaret club – now have Comedy
Store and Comic Strip Club – pubs, like Jongleurs, Battersea, Hackney Empire –
many cabarets in New York city, and other major centres keep the art form alive

Cadogan Hall>/b>
– 5 Sloane Terrace
– concert venue- 900 seats – Chelsea

Cafe de Paris – Noel Coward 1951

Camberwell Palace of Varieties and Metropole Theatres –
1899-1956 – see Oriental Palace of Varieties

Cambridge Music Hall – Shoreditch –

– (Covent Garden) Earlham Street – 1930 – (1287 seats) – art deco –
Charlotte’s Masquerade (Beatrice Lillie) 1930; On the Spot (Charles Laughton);
Kong; Elizabeth of England; 1939 theatre became venue for trade shows and
occasional concerts; Heartbreak House (Deborah Kerr) 1942; Peter Pan (Glynis
Johns); A Night in Venice 1944; Sauce Piquant (Audrey Hepburn) 1950; Reluctant
Debutante (Anna Massey,Celia Johnson,Wilfrid Hyde White) 1955 (752); Crooked
Mile 1959 (164); Wrong Side of the Park (Margaret Leighton) 1960 (22 weeks);
Billy Liar 1960; Signpost to Murder (Margaret Lockwood) 1962 (419); Half a
Sixpence (Tommy Steele) 1963; Little Me 1964; The Judge 1967; Ann Veronica 1969;
National Theatre season 1970; Captain Brassbound’s Conversion (Ingrid Bergman)
1971; West of Suez 1971; Behind the Fringe (Peter Cook,Dudley Moore) 1972; Tom
Brown’s Schooldays (Roy Dotrice) 1972; The Black Mikado (Michael Denison) 1974;
The Three Sisters 1976; Anastasia 1976; Chicago 1977; Troubador 1978; The Last
of Mrs Cheney (Joan Collins) 1980; One Mo’ Time 1981; Man and Superman (Peter
O’Toole) 1983; Dear Anyone 1983; – restored in 1987 by Stoll Moss – Peter Pan
1987; D’Oyly Carte 1988; Budgie 1988; Return to the Forbidden Planet 1989;
Sherlock Holmes – the Musical Ron Moody) 1989; Return to the Forbidden Planet (3
years) 1989 ;Chicago; Fame – the Musical 1995; Grease 1996; Great Balls of Fire
1999; 2000 became Really Useful Theatre – Beautiful Game 2000; Our House 2002;
Jerry Springer – the Opera 2003; Something Wicked This Way Comes 2005; Dancing
in the Streets 2005

Camden Festival – 1954

Camden Palace – see Royal Camden

Camden Theatre – – also known as Camden
Hippodrome, Royal Camden, Music Machine, Camden Palace and currently Koko – built 1901

Canterbury Arms – 1852 opened hall for
musical programmes – adjacent to the Canterbury Music Hall

Canterbury Music Hall – Westminster Bridge
Road, Lambeth – 1852 – originally called Canterbury Hall – 1500 seats –
demolished by bombs 1942

Capitol Theatre – Haymarket

Carlton Theatre – 1927-28 – 61-65 Haymarket –
designed with cinema and stage use – unused – covered by large sign board – see

Castle Hotel Theatre and Assembly Room1889;

Catford Lewisham Hippodrome – 1911-1961

Cave of the Golden Calf – 1912 – just off Regent Street – cabaret

Central School of Speech and Drama –
established 1906+

Century Theatre – see Adelphi and Bijou

Charing Cross Theatre – King William Street
1872– Rivals – first play of consequence – originally Polygraphic Hall – 1876
renamed Folly – 1895 demolished for extension of Charing Cross Hospital; – 2nd Charing Cross Theatre – formerly the New Players Theatre – Naked Boys Singing (revival) – March, 2011;

Charles Cryer Studio Theatre;

Chats Palace;

Cheek by Jowl – British touring theatre
company – founded 1981 – have performed in some 200 towns

Chelsea Palace Theatre – 1903-1957

Chelsea Theatre – see Royal Court -1977

Chicken Shed Theatre1994;

Chiswick Empire Theatre – Chiswick – 1912 – see
Music Hall – demolished

Churchill Theatre1889;

– new venue currently occupied by the Cineworld cinema on London’s Haymarket in
Piccadilly – built in 1927, the site was formerly known as the Carlton Theatre
and was designed to be used as both a cinema and a playhouse – From Feb. 2/08,
the building will return to its dual-purpose use when Brief Encounter, begins
previews. The show will officially open on Feb. 17.The owners of the Cineworld
will still have two cinema screens available after the main auditorium has been
converted back to stage use – Cineworld, is considering accompanying the Brief
Encounter with films from the 1940s

Cinema Palace – 1909;

Cineworld – see Cinema – built 1927 as
Carlton Theatre (see also)

Cineworld Chelsea – 1910 opened as Palaseum
Rink and Picture Palace – 1911 became Kings Picture Playhouse – 1943 became Ritz
– 1972 became Classic Curzon Cinema Chelsea – closed 1973 and became King’s Road
Theatre – Rocky Horror Picture Show played here until 1979 – then converted back
to cinema – Classic 1-2-3-4 Chelsea 1980 – then Cannon, MGM, Virgin and UGC
Chelsea – became Cineworld 2005

Cineworld Hammersmith – replaced 2 earlier
cinemas on site 9Blue Hall 1 and 2-Annexe 1936 – renamed ABC in 1964 and tripled
1975 – became UGC and now Cineworld

Circus Space1989;

Cirque de Soleil – Cirque du Soleil
considers setting up a permanent home in London at the site of the one-time
Millennium Dome in Greenwich

City of London Theatre – Norton Folgate –
2500 seats – there in 1837 – Pickwick Papers 1837; Royal City of London 1843;
New City of London Theatre 1859 – 1871 destroyed by fire

City Palace of Varieties – Leeds – only
surviving full-time music hall – restored to house BBC’s Good Old Days

City Pantheon – see City Theatre

City Theatre – Grub Street (later Milton) –
converted chapel 1829/30 – name changed to City Pantheon 1830 – last used 1836 –
became warehouse

Clapham Granada1937;

Clapham Grand – 1900 – now used as
nightclub – also known as Grand, New Grand Theatre of Varieties, Essoldo Cinema,
Mecca Bingo, Grand Nightclub

Claybury Hospital Recreation Hall1893;

Clean Break – touring company formed by
women’s ex-prisoners – started 1978

Coal Hole Strand – song-and-supper club
early 1800s

Coburg Theatre – see Old Vic

Cochrane Theatre – built on side of St. Martin’s
College of Art – 1963 – originally venue for student productions – 300+ seats

Cockpit – Drury Lane, Westminster – built
for cockfights 1609 – converted to theatre 1616 – burnt down 1617 – rebuilt as
Phoenix – closed 1642; 2nd – Cockpit Theatre – Gateforth Street – children’s theatre 1970 (120-240

Cockpit-in-Court – edge of St. James Park –
converted to playhouse 1604 – reconstructed 1632 and 1660 but not used as
theatre after 1664

Cock Tavern Theatre – closed April 2011 due to safety regulations

*Coliseum – (Leicester Square) St. Martin’s
Lane – see London Coliseum – originally a Music Hall 1904 (2358 seats) – closed
1906 – reopened 1908 – White Horse Inn 1931; Vagabond King 1937 – closed again
1960 and reopened 1961 as cinema – 1968 modernized and taken over by Sadler’s
Wells Opera Company

Collegiate Theatre – Dogg’s Hamlet/Cahoot’s
Macbeth 1979

Collin’s Music Hall – 10
Islington Green – originally room in Lansdowne Arms Public House – used since
1851 – 1863 replaced by new building (600 seats) – 1897 rebuilt and enlarged for
repertory theatre – damaged by fire 1958 and demolished – currently bookshop

Coliseum – 1904

Collyer Hall Theatre1988;

Colosseum – Albany Street – Regent’s Park –
1830s – occasionally used for plays – closed 1840

Theatre – being renamed Harold Pinter Theatre Oct 2011
– (Leicester Square) Panton Street off Haymarket – 1881 – 796 seats
– opened with series of light operas 1881 – Peg O’ My Heart (Laurette Taylor)
1914 (710 perf) – (796 seats) – reconstructed 1911, 1933 and 1954 – One Summer’s
Day 1897; Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman 1906 (351); For Better For Worse
(Geraldine McEwan,Leslie Phillips) 1952 (607); Dear Love; View From the Bridge;
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1956 to 1959); Day in the Death of Joe Egg 1967; Colette
1980; Gambler 1986; Steptoe & Son 2006

Community Theatre – using local halls,
open-air etc.

Compass Theatre1968;

Corinthian Bazaar – see London Palladium –
also known as Henglers Grand Cirque, National Skating Palace, Royal Italian

Coronation Picture Palace1911;

Coronet – new home of London’s Print Room beginning October 6/14 has announced its inaugural season at its new home the Coronet, a former Victorian playhouse and subsequent cinema in Notting Hill, where performances will begin Oct. 6/14 – Nottinghill – 1898 – 103-111 High Street –
built as theatre but became cinema – Coronet has most recently served duty as two-screen cinema – building will become company’s new theatre space and administration offices – move also ensures the building’s preservation for public use – smaller cinema space, which will be converted into a 100-seat theatre – larger space will continue to operate as a cinema under the direction of The Print Room artistic team – venue will eventually include three flexible theatre spaces – the largest of which will remain fully operational as a cinema with both 35mm and digital facilities; rehearsal and workshop spaces; administration offices and a restaurant and bar – Coronet first opened as a theatre in 1898 with a capacity of 1,143 seats designed by W.G.R. Sprague, whose other work includes Wyndham’s, Aldwych Theatre and Noel Coward Theatre. It quickly gained a reputation as one of the finest theatres outside the West End, with appearances from actors including Ellen Terry and Sarah Bernhardt, and was frequented by King Edward VII. John Gielgud saw his first Shakespeare production at the theatre, As You Like It, in 1912

Cottesloe Theatre – 400 seats – see
National Theatre – opened with Illuminatos 1977

Court Theatre – see Royal Court

Covent Garden Community Theatre

Covent Garden – Theatre Royal- see Royal
Opera House – Bow Street – theatre here since 1732 (1897 seats) – Way of the
World 1732 – 1782 gutted and reconstructed and again 1792 – 1808 theatre burnt
down – rebuilt (2800 seats) – Timoor the Tarta 1811; Planche’s Cortez, or the
Conquest of Mexico 1823; – theatre closed 1842 – reopened 1847 as Royal Italian
Opera House (4000 seats) – burnt down 1856 – new theatre opened 1858 – 1970
seating increased to 2158 – renamed Royal Opera 1892

Cripplegate Theatre – 1896;

– (Piccadilly Circus) Piccadilly Circus – originally adjunct to
Spiers and Pond’s Criterion Restaurant – 1873-4 – (591 seats) – reconstructed 1883
and closed as unsafe – An American Lady 1895 and closed again in 1903 – built
entirely underground- restored in 1992 – French Without Tears; became cinema
1934 and converted to BBC studio in 1939 – reopened in 1992 refurbished – Clean
Kill (Rachel Roberts) 1959 (142); Absurd Person Singular; Butley 1971;
Tomfoolery 1980; Run for Your Wife as of 1987 over 1,800 performances; Real
Inspector Hound; Play’s The Thing 1995 (49);

Cross Keys – inn used as theatre –
Gracechurch Street , near the Bell, before 1579 until about 1596 – Strange’s Men
played here 1589 and 1594

Crouch End Hippodrome – 1896-1940 – also
known as Crouch End Opera House, Queens Hill, Hippodrome

Croydon Grand Theatre
Built 1896 – used for melodrama and light plays. In the 1920s used as a touring
venue. Closed 1940-1942 – after World War II used for seasons of repertory drama
and an annual pantomime until 1957 – demolished in 1959

Croydon Empire – 1896-1959

Croydon Hippodrome – see Croydon Empire

Crystal Palace – 1851-1936

Curtain Theatre – archeologists have discovered the remains of the early playhouse used by William Shakespeare’s company north of the River Thames in Shoreditch where Romeo and Juliet (1595) and Henry V (1599) were first performed in late
1500s – opened in 1577 close to London’s first playhouse “The Theatre” and was one of a number of theatres built outside city walls – in Curtain Close, Finsbury Fields – remains of the walls forming the gallery and the yard within the venue – predates the riverside Globe – from 1597 until the Globe was built in 1599 – Queen Anne’s Men occupied it –
but not used after 1622

Cyder Cellars – song-and-supper club early


Daly’s Theatre – 1893
-1937 – Cranbourn Street, on the site of Warner West End – Leicester Square –
600 seats – Taming of the Shrew 1893; Maid of the Mountains (1352 perf);
Artist’s Model 1895; Merry Widow 1907; Merveilleuses 1906; Sirocco(Ivor
Novello)1927(28) – closed 1937 – now Warner Cinema

Dara Theatre – 1880-1889

Davenant’s Lincoln’s Inn Fields – – tennis
court theatre 1661

Davis’s Royal Amphitheatre – see Astley’s

Deacon’s Music Hall – 1831

Deaton Theatre – 1967

Denhof Opera Company – 1910 – London
touring company

Deptford Broadway Theatre
– built 1897 – 1911 converted to cinema, renamed “Granada Cinema”- demolished in
the 1960s for shops

Derngate Theatre – Arts and Conference Centre

– (Tottenham Court Road) Tottenham Court Road – 1928-1929 – 200+ seats –
nearly 3000 in 1930s – formerly huge brewery site – designed for both theatre
and film house – 1958 Todd-AO equipment installed – saved from demolition as
part of office development in 1990 and restored instead – art deco exterior and
interior – Time 1986; Bernadette 1990; Grand Hotel; Grease (3 years); Beauty and
the Beast; Notre Dame de Paris; We Will Rock You 2005; 2nd Dominion – 1931

– (Covent Garden) 41 Earlham Street – originally a stable 1870-1879, then
brewery – became film studio in 1920 and converted to theatre in 1960 – 252
seats – 1961 on used as rehearsal space – Jerome Kern Goes to Hollywood 1985;
Noel and Gertie 1986; Load of Old Sequins 1987; renovated in 1992 – Fix 1997;
Cabaret; Blue Room 1998; The Cut (Ian McKellen) 2006; – one of London’s leading
producing theatres – since 1992 has received 29 Olivier Awards, 17 Critic’s
Circle Awards, 9 Evening Standard Awards as well as 12 Tony Awards from 8
Broadway productions

Dorset Garden Theatre – also known as
Duke’s, or Duke of York’s, fronted Thames to South of Salisbury Count – 1671 –
opened with Sir Martin Mar-All 1671 – theatre deserted 1682 – 1689 renamed
Queen’s Theatre – demolished 1709

D’Oyly Carte Opera Company – founded 1876 –
based at Savoy Theatre after 1881

Dress Circle Theatre Shop – opened 1977 – Monmouth Street – closing Aug 15/12

Drill Hall – Chenies St – 1862-1882 – 1975
section of building became theatre and 1984 theatre moved to main hall – 200

Lane, Theatre Royal
– (Covent Garden)- London’s most famous theatre 1635 – now
the 4th on this site – 1st Opened in 1663 as Theatre Royal, Brydges Street (2188
seats)- Humorous Lieutenant 1663 – 1666 theatre closed re plague and Great Fire
– damaged by fire in 1672 – new theatre designed by Sir Christopher Wren opened
in 1674 – 2nd Theatre Royal in Drury Lane (2000 seats) – 1674 – closed 1676 and
again 1709 – Loves of Mars and Venus 1717; major alterations 1775 – 1780 damaged
during Gordon Riots – 3rd – 1791 theatre rebuilt (3611 seats) – opened 1794 –
burnt down 1809 – 4th – 2283 seats – opened 1812 – 1921-2 interior reconstructed
– School for Scandal; Catherine Street – torn down in 1791 and rebuilt with
seating for 3,500 – replaced by present structure in 1812 – 2237 seats – making
it the oldest theatre in England that is still in use – The Whip 1909; Pageant
of Drury Lane 1918; Cavalcade 1931; Glamorous Night 1935; Careless Rapture 1936;
Dancing Years 1939; Pacific 1860 1946; From 1947 to 1958 Drury Lane had only 5
American musicals, which accounted for 16 years of the theatre – Oklahoma 1947
(1,548); Carousel 1950 (566); South Pacific 1951 (802); King and I 1953 (926);
My Fair Lady (over 2000 performances) 1958; Four Musketeers 1967; Mame (Ginger
Rogers) 1969; Great Waltz 1970 (2 years); Gone With the Wind 1972; Billy 1974; A
Chorus Line 1976 (over 2 ½ years); Evening with Alan Jay Lerner 1987; Miss
Saigon 1989; Witches of Eastwick 2000; Forty Second Street 1984; Chorus Line;
Miss Saigon (broke My Fair Lady’s record); The Producers 2005

– (Covent Garden) Catherine Street, off Aldwych – 1929 (476 seats) –
1919 housed productions by People’s National Theatre Co – Night Must Fall 1935;
Corn is Green 1938; The Deep Blue Sea 1952; Caretaker 1960; Isabel’s a Jezebel
1970; Collaborators, Dirtiest Show in Town; Oh Calcutta 1974 to 1980; No Sex
Please We’re British; Glorious 2005; – Jan/05 – Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is
reportedly in talks to sell some of his West End theatres. He currently owns
eleven, making him the predominant West End theatre owner, but is considering
selling The Apollo, The Garrick, The Duchess and The Lyric.

Duke of Connaught Coffee Tavern – 1881

of York’s Theatre
– (Leicester Square) St. Martin’s Lane – 1892 (650 seats)
– built as Trafalgar Square Theatre 900 seats – The Wedding Eve 1892; Master
Builder 1893 – changed its name in 1895 to Duke of York’s – Madame
Butterfly/Miss Hobbs 1900; The Admirable Crichton 1902; Peter Pan 1904 (revived
every Christmas until 1915); Enchanted Cottage 1922 (64); Easy Virtue Noel
Coward) 1926; Jew Suss (Peggy Ashcroft); Madame Butterfly 1932; damaged during
WW I – closed 1940-43 – Shadow and Substance 1943; Moby Dick (Joan Plowright)
(1950s); The Happy Marriage (1950s); Point of Departure (Mai Zetterling, Dirk
Bogarde) (1950s); House by the Lake 1956 (928); One Over the Eight (1960s); The
Killing of Sister George (Beryl Reid, Eileen Atkins) 1965; Relatively Speaking
(Celia Johnson, Michael Hordern) 1960s; Seagull 1975; Half Life (John Gielgud);
Clouds (Tom Courtenay); – closed 1979 for refurbishment – Rose (Glenda Jackson)
1980; Duet For One 1981; American Buffalo (Al Pacino); Stepping Out; Shirley
Valentine 1989 (over 2 years); Death and the Maiden 1992; Oleanna 1993; The
Rocky Horror Show 1996; Beautiful Thing; Broken Glass; Royal Court season 1995;
The Man Most Likely To; The Changing Room 1995; The Weir 1996 (2 years); Stones
in His Pocket 2000 (3 years); After Mrs. Rochester; Sweet Panic; Calico; The
Holy Terror; Dirty Blonde; Journey’s End; The Dresser; Hedda Gabler; Tom, Dick
and Harry; I Am My Own Wife; Embers (Jeremy Irons) 2006

Duke’s Theatre – see
Holborn Theatre – built 1671 by Sir Christopher Wren, on the former grounds of
Dorset House (which had been destroyed by the Great Fire) – 1000 seats – known
as “Dorset Garden Theatre” – used by “The Duke’s Players” – after 1682 used for
entertainment shows, wrestling, and musical competitions – 1689 renamed “Queen’s
Theatre” – demolished 1709

Dust Hole – see Scala Theatre


Eagle Tavern – situated on City Road – 1844
– music hall of the era – small hall attached to the Public House

Ealing Theatre/Hippodrome – 1899 as
“Ealing Hippdrome” – later renamed “Ealing Theatre” – 1906 rebuilt – later named
“Lyric Palladium” – demolished 1958

East London Theatre – see Royalty

Eden Palace of Varieties – see Kingsway

Edmonton Theatre – 1805

Effingham Theatre, Stepney (changed to East
London Theatre)-built in 1834 and closed in 1897

Elephant & Castle Theatre, Southwark –
opened 1872 – Newington Butts – closed 1928 – 1932 became a cinema

Embassy Theatre – 1890

Embassy Theatre – Hampstead – 1928 – opened
with Yellow Streak 1928 – damaged by bombing Second World War – closed 1957 and
taken over by Central School of Speech and Drama

Emma Abbott English Opera Company – found
1878 – toured – 35 new opera houses were dedicated by this company

Empire Cinema – opened 1884 as music hall
with 3000 seats – demolished and rebuilt 1928 – gutted and reopened 1962 –
incorporated Ritz Cinema (adjacent) and became triplex – 2008 screens 4 & 5

Empire Islington – 1860 on Music Hall –
also known as Philharmonic Hall, Philharmonic Theatre, Grand Theatre Islington,
Islington Empire

Empire Mile End Road

Empire Theatre – Wood
Green – Leicester Square – famous music hall – originally theatre 1884-1886
housed burlesque – on site of Saville House, home of George II when Prince of
Wales – 1887 became Empire Theatre of Varieties – successful musical comedies
like Lilac Domino began long run – Irene 1920; Rebel Maid 1921; Lady Be Good
1926 – 1927 closed – demolished and replaced by cinema – closed and gutted 1961
– interior reconstructed as cinema and dance hall; 2nd – Empire – Islington –
see Grand Theatre

Empire Theatre – now site of Empire Cinema
– stands on site of Saville House – burned down 1865; the Alcazar opened 1883
Empire dates from the 1890s

Empire Theatre – Badham – 1902-1909 – also
known as Badham Hippodrome, Duchess Palace, Duchess Theatre

Empire Theatre Kingston – 1910-1956 – –
also known as New Empire

Empress Brixton – 1898-1992 – also known as
Empress Theatre, Empress Theatre of Varieties, Empres Music Hall, Granada
Cinema, Carlton Grove, Brighton Terrace, Brixton

Emsbury Park Empire – 1910-1965

Enfield Ritz Theatre – 1933

English Comedians – troupes of English
actors who toured the continent during late 16th and early 17th centuries

National Ballet

National Opera
– previously Sadler’s Wells Opera Company – opened 1974

English Opera Group – formed 1947 –
reformed 1975 as English Music Theatre Company

English School Theatre – established 1936 –
childrens’ theatre

English Stage Company (at the Royal Court)
– started 1956 at the Royal Court – 1969 Theatre Upstairs opened

Entertainments National Service Association
– formed 1938-9 to provide entertainment for British and Allied armed forces and
war workers during World War II – headquarters at Drury Lane Theatre

Erith Playhouse – 1913

Establishment Club – Soho – early 1960s – cabaret

*Etcetera Theatre Club – Oxford Arms Pub –
265 Camden High Street (Camden Town) – 5 or 6 rows of seats

Euston Music Hall – see Regent Theatre

Euston Theatre of Varieties – 1900-1960 –
also known as Euston Palace of Varieties, Euston Theatre, Euston Music Hall,
Regent Theatre

Evans’s Music and Supper Room – King Street, Covent Garden – best
known song-and-supper room – 1820 – closed 1880 – 1934 taken over by Players’

Everyman Theatre – Hampstead – 1920-1926 –
originally a drill hall – 1947 converted to cinema – opened with Bonds of
Interest 1920; Getting George Married (Rex Harrison)1930;

Expressionism – associated with Germany and
the likes of Buchner, Wedekind and Strindberg


Fairs – Saint Bartholomew, Smithfield,
Southwark, Greenwich, Mayfair – always theatrical entertainments i.e. puppet

Fairfield Hall – 1961

Farce/Light Comedy – began at Whitehall
Theatre in 1942

– located above a pub at 118 Finborough Road, London (Earl’s Court)
– has been a fringe venue for about 20 years – since 1994 the resident company
is Steam Industry

Finsbury Park Empire Theatre – 1910 – demolished

Fitzroy Theatre – see Scala Theatre

Foco Novo – fringe theatre – British
touring company founded 1972 – ceased producing in 1988 after Arts Council
withdrew funding

Folies-Dramatiques – see Kingsway Theatre

Folly Theatre – see Charing Cross Theatre

Foresters Music Hall – 1870-1965

Fortune Theatre- Golden Lane, Cripplegate,
Clerkenwell – 1600 – to house Admiral’s Men (1000 seats – 1621 burnt down –
reopened 1602 – 1649 interior dismantled – demolished 1661 due to concern of
masses spreading plague;

2nd – *Fortune
– (Covent Garden) Russell Street – 1924 (440 seats); built on site
of old Albion Tavern – based on Shakespeare’s Fortune Theatre – first theatre to
be built in London after World War I – 2001 – purchased by Ambassador Theatre
Group (Duke of York’s, Picadilly, Phoenix, New Ambassador’s and Comedy as well)-
The Sinners 1924 (2 weeks); On Approval 1927 (469); The Promise (Judi Dench,Ian
McShane,Ian McKellen) 1967 (289) ; At the Drop of a Hat 1957 (over 700 perf.);
Beyond the Fringe (Dudley Moore,Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller, Alan Bennett) 1961
(1184); Mr. Cinders; Double Double; Nunsense; Dangerous Obsession; Fortune 1967
(nearly 300 perf); Suddenly at Home 1971; Murder in the Vicarage 1976 –
transferred from Savoy; Suddenly at Home; The Woman in Black 1989 (17th year

Forum, Ealing – 1934

Forum, Fulham Road – 1930

Forum, Kentish Town – 1934

Franco-British Exhibition:
Palace of Music
– 1908 for the Franco-British Exhibition that took place at
the same time as the 1908 Olympic Games in nearby “White City Stadium” –
subsequently used by other exhibitions – later area was used partly by the BBC,
partly as a housing estate. 1995 the “White City” was bought by a building
society that plans to convert the site into a huge shopping centre

Frederick’s (Late Wilson’s) Royal Palace of
Varieties – opened 1850 and closed by fire in 1877 – see Wilton’s

Fringe Theatres – well over 50 fringe
theatres in London – seating ranging from 40 to 200 seats – few actually built
as theatres – King’s Head, Islington; Soho Poly; Orange Tree at Richmond; Bush
at Shepherd’s Bush; Half Moon at Towers Hamlets; Foco Novo, Shared Experience;
Belt and Braces; Hull Truck; Pip Simmons Theatre Group; Joint Stock; 7:84
Theatre Companies (1971)

Fulham Grand Theatre
see Grand Theatre – built 1897 – closed ca. 1950 – demolished in 1958


Gables – 1882

Gaiety Theatre – on site
of Citibank House between Catherine St. & Wellington St – East end of Strand –
opened as Strand Musick Hall 1864 – closed 1866 – new building erected 1126
seats as Gaiety in 1868 – burlesque – demolished 1903; 2nd Gaiety – nearby with
1267 seats – 1903 – closed 1939 – demolished 1957 – Circus Girl 1896; Orchid
1904; Our Miss Gibbs 1909; Theodore & Co 1916; 3rd – Gaiety 1903 – demolished
1957; 4th Gaiety Theatre – 70 Leman St., Whitechapel – 1831 – burnt down 1846 –
rebuilt and reopened 1854 – building fell into disuse after 1881; – Jan/05 –
Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is reportedly in talks to sell some of his West End
theatres. He currently owns eleven, making him the predominant West End theatre
owner, but is considering selling The Apollo, The Garrick, The Duchess and The

Gallery of Illustration – 1824

Garden Theatre, Dorset – 1671

Garrick Club – gentlemen’s club – 700
members with strong theatrical associations – 1831 – present club house opened
1864 – Old Rose Street

Garrick Theatre
– (Charing Cross) Charing Cross Road – there in 1889 – (656
seats) – built by W.S. Gilbert – river runs under the foundations – Profligate
1889; The Notorious Mes. Ebbsmith (Mrs. Patrick Campbell) 1895; long run with A
Pair of Spectacles; The Wedding Guest 1900; Fairy’s Dilemma 1904; The Walls of
Jericho 1905; The Unwritten Law 1911; By Pigeon Post 1918; Cyrano de Bergerac
1919; The Rat 1924; Dracula 1927; Lady With a Lamp (Edith Evans) 1929 (22
weeks); The Lady of the Camelias (Tallulah Bankhead)1930; Love on the Dole
(Wendy Hiller, Cathleen Nesbitt) 1935; Brighton Rock 1943; Better Late (Beatrice
Lillie) 1946; La Plume de la Tante 1955; Share My Lettuce 1957; Living for
Pleasure 1958; Fings Ain’t What They Used to Be (long run) 1960; The Homecoming
1978; Cindy-Ella or I Gotta Shoe 1962; Sing a Rude Song; Death Trap 1978-1981;
No Sex Please We’re British 1982; The Vortex 1989; An Inspector Calls 1995; This
is Our Youth 2002; The Lieutenant of Inishmore; 2005 Garrick was purchased along
with Apollo, Duchess and Lyric, creating Nimax Theatres, The Vaudeville
completes the Nima portfolio; You Never Can Tell 2006; One Flew Over the
Cuckoo’s Nest (Christian Slater,Tom Conti) 2006; The Little Dog Laughed 2010;

Gate Theatre – considered off West End –
above Prince Albert Pub – 11 Pembridge Road, Notting Hill Gate (Notting Hill
Gate) – started 1979 – flexible seating – 65 seats; 2nd Gate Theatre –
experimental theatre club in Florat Street, Covent Garden – 96 seats – 1925 –
opened with Bernice – moved to Villiers Street, off Strand; 3rd Gate opened 1927
– 1941 extensively damaged by bombing and never reopened

Gatti’s Villiers Street – 1856 – restaurant
demolished for Charing Cross Station – reopened in Westminster Bridge Road 1865
– licenced music hall – also formed Gatti’s-Under-the-Arches (original nicknamed
Gatti’s-Over-the-Water) – rebuilt 1893 (1183 seats) as Gatti’s Palace of
Varieties – closed 1924 – demolished 1950; Gatti’s-Under-the-Arches was renamed
Hungerford Music Hall 1883 and later Charing Cross Music Hall – closed 1903 and
in 1910 became cinema – 1927-41 part of site was Gate Theatre and 1946 another
part became Players’ Theatre

Gaumont State – 1937

Gaumont Theatre – 1938

Gay Sweatshop – British theatre company
founded 1975

George Inn – 77 Borough High Street –
London’s last surviving fragment of a galleried inn – old part dates from 1670s
– plays occasionally performed here

Gibbons’ Tennis Court – see Vere Street

– (Piccadilly Circus) Shaftesbury Avenue – 1906 – originally stood
as half and Quen’s Theatre was other half – (888 seats) as the Hicks – renamed
The Globe in 1909 – Our Betters (over 500 perf); Fallen Angels; The Lady’s Not
for Burning 1949; Man for All Seasons; Private Ear, the Public Eye 1962 (549);
Play It Again Sam (Dudley Moore) 1969; renamed Gielgud in 1994 to celebrate Sir.
John’s 90th birthday; Lettuce and Lovage; The Graduate

Globe Theatre – 1st –
Shakespeare’s Globe – built
originally as the Theatre in Shoreditch, 1576, by James Burbage – Shakespeare’s
company moved across the road to the Curtain Theatre in 1597 – later moved and
rebuilt the wooden “O” in 1599 near the Rose Theatre, not more than 200 yards
from where the Globe stands today; Moved: To Bankside, 1599, by Cuthbert Burbage,
and named the new Globe
– opened with Julius Caesar (1,500 seats and standing) Destroyed: By
fire, 1612, during a performance of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, thanks to the
thatched roof – reopened
1614 until 1642
– demolished: By the Puritans in 1644 – 2nd – 1800 seat
Newcastle Street near Opera Comique – 1868 – Cyril’s Success 1868 – demolished
1902; Re-construction: Work begins on the building in 1992, completed in 1997 –
Costs: Old – £700 to build, New – £10 million is still needed to complete the
next three phases of the project – Capacity: Old – approx 3000, New – 1600 Other
famous Globes: 2nd Globe Theatre, Strand, built in 1868 by Sefton Parry, and
closed due to fire risk in 1902; 3rd Globe, Shaftesbury Avenue, opened 1906
(as the Seymour Hicks Theatre), with The Beauty of Bath (transferred from
Adelphi) – re-named the Globe in 1909 and became the Gielgud in 1994; – reopened
with new theatre in Southwark in 1996 – Fallen Angels (Tallulah Bankhead,Edna
Best)1925 (158); Ring Round the Moon 1950 (682); After the Ball 1954; Private
Ear/Public Eye (Maggie Smith) 1962 (549); Notes on a Love Affair; Match Girls
1966; Chez Nous (Albert Finney,Denholm Elliot,Geraldine McEwan) 1974;Rear Column
(Jeremy Irons,Simon Ward) 1978 (44); Songbook 1979; Mitford Girls 1981; 4th
Globe (Shakespeare’s Globe) *Shakespeare’s
– (London Bridge/Mansion House) New Globe Walk,Bankside – 900 seats

Globe Theatre – Eighty in the Shade (Sybil
Thorndike) 1959; Chez Nous (Albert Finney,Denholm Elliot,Geraldine McEwan) 1974
(over a season);

Golder’s Green Hippodrome – 1913 –
currently BBC recording and broadcasting studio

Goldsmith’s College – George Wood Theatre

Goodman’s Fields Theatre – Ayliffe Street,
Whitechapel – 1727 in converted shop – The Recruiting Officer 1727 – closed 1751
to become warehouse – burnt down 1802; 2nd opened 1732 – closed but reopened
1740 – closed 1742

Grace Theatre – Latchmere Pub, 503 Batterse
Park Road, London (Clapham Junction) – seats about 80

Grafton Theatre – 1910

Granada – 1920; 2nd Granada – 1939

Grand Harmonic Hall – Southwark Bridge Road
– see Surrey Theatre – also known as Surrey Music Hall, Winchester Music Hall

Grand Palais – 1911

Grand Theatre – Islington High Street –
opened 1870 as Philharmonic Music-Hall – destroyed by fire 1883 – reopened as
Grand Theatre – burnt down 1887 and again in 1900 – 1908 became Islington Empire
and in 1932 became cinema; 2nd in Putney Bridge Approach – opened 1897 as Fulham
Grand – renamed Fulham Theatre 1906 – 1933 as Shilling Theatre – demolished
1958; 2nd Grand – 1900 – St. John’s Hill – opposite Clapham Junction near
Battersea Arts Centre – last in use as music venue – currently shut after
housing bingo and concert venues

Grange Court Theatre – 1994

Granville Theatre of Varieties – Waltham Green – 1898 –

Grapes – Southwark Bridge Road – 1856 –
became Winchester Music Hall

Great Hall, Hampton Court Palace – 1532-34

Great Queen Street Theatre – see Kingsway

Grecian Theatre/Eagle – Shepherdess Walk – 1830 –
situated in pleasure grounds of Eagle Saloon – reconstructed 1858 (3400 seats) –
1872 restored – sold to Salvation Army 1881

Green Room Club – Adam Street – social club
formed 1866

Greenwich Playhouse – 1995 – to close end of April 2012 after 20 years

Greenwich Prince of Wales Theatre – built
1855 as Rose and Crown Music Hall, then Crowders Music Hall, then Greenwich
Hippodrome, 1924 became a cinema

Greenwich Theatre – 1709 – Church Street –
Love Makes a Man 1710; 2nd Greenwich – 75 London Road – 1864 (721 seats) –
converted to cinema 1910 – demolished 1937; 3rd – on Stockwell Street, Croom’s
Hill – was a concert hall attached to Rose and Crown Public House which opened
1855 – rebuilt 1871 and became Crowder’s Music-Hall & Temple of Varieties; 1879
became Parthenon Theatre of Varieties – 1885 theatre rebuilt – 1911 Greenwich
Hippodrome – closed 1924 – later became cinema – then warehouse – closed after
bomb damage in 1949 – 1960s became theatre once again – – revamped to 426 seats
and reopened 1969; Greenwood Theatre – 1975

Greenwood Theatre – 1975

Greyhound – 1831

Griffin Assembly Rooms – Shoreditch High Street – 1856 and
was renamed London Music Hall in 1894 and from 1916-1935 known as Shoreditch
Empire – now demolished

Grosvenor Theatre – 1936


– 291 Mare Street – opened December 1901 (2,158 seats) – The Hackney
Empire will at last re-open after refurbishment which began in 2001. The opening
will be celebrated on 28th January and the first production in the 2000-seater
will be Opera International’s Tosca, previously seen at the Royal Albert Hall –
One of London’s most famous early 20th century music halls will throw open its
doors again after a two-year restoration – The Hackney Empire — where Charlie
Chaplin and W.C. Fields once trod the boards — has been saved from decay –
closing end of January 2010, but plans to reopen for following year’s pantomime – building at risk of demolition

Half Moon – Tower Hamlets – fringe theatre

Hammersmith Apollo – 1932 – see London Apollo

Hammersmith Palace Theatre/Hammersmith Palace of Varieties – Hammersmith –

– considered off West End – Hampstead Parish Church – Church Row,
London – church founded in 1976 – theatre founded in 1959, scored its first big
hit in 1962 when it revived Private Lives at a time when the playwright Noel
Coward was deeply unfashionable – Days of Hope 1991; 2nd
Hampstead Theatre – Eton Avenue,
Swiss Cottage – opening February 2003 with Safari Party – magnificent
purpose-built state-of-the-art theatre that has just celebrated its fifth
birthday but a company fast approaching its fiftieth – Best of Friends 2006

Hampstead Theatre Club – opened 1959 at
Moreland Hall – The Room and The Dumb Waiter (1960); Jacques 1961 – 1962 moved
to Swiss Cottage – 1970 moved again (157 seats) – His Monkey Wife 1971

Hampton Court Palace Theatre – Great Hall
used for theatricals from 1572 onwards – stage survived until 1798, but last
performance was 1731

Handel Opera Society – 1955

Hanover Grand Theatre – 6 Hanover Street
(Oxford Circus)

Harold Pinter Theatre – as of Oct 2011 – formerly Comedy Theatre – 6 Hanover Street
(Oxford Circus)

Harrow Arts Centre – 1906

Harrow Coliseum – 1920

Theatre Royal
– (Piccadilly Circus) Haymarket – 1720 a little theatre built
on site of old King’s Head Tavern – first performance 1720 by visiting French
company – stood empty until 1747 – present theatre opened 1821 a little south of
old building (894 seats) – An Ideal Husband 1895; Hamlet (John Barrymore) 1925
(67); Waters of the Moon (Edith Evans,Sybil Thorndike,Wendy Hiller) 1951 (835);
Voyage Round My Father 1971; Crown Matrimonial 1972; Case in Question 1975
(254); Odd Couple; Streetcar Named Desire; 2nd Haymarket Theatre – Leicester –
1973 – 710 seats – Cabaret and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
first seatson – theatre closed at the end of July, 2003 after amassing debts of
£450,000. It is due to reopen next year after Arts Council bosses approved a
recovery plan which involves the Haymarket dramatically reducing its operating
costs – As of June/04 Leicester’s Haymarket has announced full details of its
new programme that includes the reopening of the theatre which has been dark for
the past year – A Man For All Seasons 2006;

Heaven – Villiers Street – venue isn’t a
conventional theatre, but rather the gay London nightclub – Hedwig and the Angry
Inch – part of the Pride Festival 2005 between June 17 and July 1/05

and Chickens Theatre
– 109 St. Paul’s Road, Highbury, London (Highbury/Islington)
– reopened in 1998 – 7 or 8 rows of seats

Majesty’s Theatre
– (Piccadilly Circus) Haymarket – 1705 (1219 seats) – first theatre on this site was called Queen’s Theatre – Confederacy 1705; Rinaldo 1711; became opera house – 1714
name changed to King’s – Jupiter in Argos 1739; Esther 1732 – destoyed by fire
1789 – King’s Theatre 1791 – 1837 renamed Her Majesty’s; burnt down 1867 –
reopened as Her Majesty’s 1868 – rebuilt again and reopened 1877 – closed 1891
and was demolished – 2nd Her Majesty’s Theatre -1283 seats opened in 1897 –
Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts started in attic here – theatre built as rival to Drury
Lane – name alternates between His Majesty and Her Majesty – Queen’s – 1940 badly damaged by bombs – reopened 1959 after restoration – Ages of Man (John Gielgud) 1959; ”’sister of present Globe Theatre – opened 1907 – Belle of Britanny 1908; Mystery of Edwin
Drood 1908; Pygmalion (Mrs. Patrick Campbell,Herbert Beerbohm Tree) 118; Chu
Chin Chow 1916 (over 2,238 perf); Beau Geste (Laurence Olivier) 1929; Bitter
Sweet; Edward My Son 1947; Brigadoon 1947; In 1952 became Her Majesty’s – Paint Your Wagon 1953; West Side Story 1958 (1040); Bye
Bye Birdie (Chita Rivera,Peter Marshall) 1961 (268); Fiddler on the Roof 1967
(over 2000 perf); Amadeus 1981; Bye Bye Birdie 1961 (268); Right Honourable
Gentleman (Anthony Quayle) 1964 (17 month run); Good Companions 1971; Pericles
(Derek Jacobi) 1974; By Jeeves 1975; Thomas and the King 1975; Bar Mitzvah Boy
1978; Travelling Music Show 1978; Phantom of the Opera has been resident since

Hick’s Theatre – see Globe Theatre

Hippodrome – see London
Hippodrome – 1900

His Majesty’s – see Her Majesty’s – Chu
Chin Chow 1916; Bitter Sweet 1929; Beau Geste 1929 (Laurence Olivier)Converation
Piece 1934;

Holborn Empire Theatre – High Holborn –
opened Weston’s Music-Hall 1857 – renamed Royal Music Hall 1868 – rebuilt 1887
as Royal Holborn – closed 1905 – reopened 1906 as Holborn Empire – 1941 damaged
in war – demolished 1960; 2nd – Holborn Theatre – 42 High Holborn – 1866 –
opened with The Flying Scud – reopened 1875 as the Mirror – 1876 became Duke’s –
destroyed by fire 1880

Holland Park Theatre – 1607

Holloway Empire Theatre, Islington – opened
in 1899 – used as a cinema by 1924

Hope Theatre (The Bear
Garden) – Bankside, Surrey – brick and wood similar to Swan Theatre – built 1613
as theatre and a bull and bear baiting ring – burnt down 1613 – reopened with
Bartholomew Fair 1614 – 1617 became Bear Garden – demolished 1682 or after; –
remains of the Hope theatre 1614, which stood near the Globe and the Rose in the
seventeenth century, have also been discovered and are being examined. The South
Bank area was a flourishing one for playhouses at the time of Shakespeare as the
land was outside the City of London and the jurisdiction of its relatively
Puritan authorities

Hounslow Arts Company – operative –

Hoxton Hall – 130 Hoxton St – built 1863 as
Mortimer’s Hall – 1867 became Macdonald’s Hall – survived as theatre until 1871
then became Temperance Hall and later a Quaker Hall

Hoxton Varieties – 1869 – still standing

Hull Truck – fringe theatre


Ideas Foundry – Seven well known London
theatre figures are to combine their talents in a new company, The Ideas
Foundry, which will launch on 5th April/05. Focused on creating new work for
theatre, film and television, it is “dedicated to forging new work and
collaborative relationships between talented people with exciting ideas thereby
creating exhilarating theatre and cross-media entertainment of significant
artistic and commercial value.”

Ilford Hippodrome – demolished

Imperial Palace Canning Town – see Imperial
Theatre Westminster

Imperial Theatre
Tothill Street – originally Aquarium Theatre, part of exhibition palace, Royal
Aquarium Winter Garden – theatre opened 1876 – 1879 changed to Imperial – 1906
theatre demantled and taken to Canning Town – re-erected as Imperial Palace –
later became cinema and destroyed by fire 1931

Imperial Theatre Westminster – – also known
as Aquarium Theatre, Royal Aquarium Theatre, Royal Albert Music Hall

Independent Theatre Club – see Kingsway

Inns – used as theatres – Bell (Gracechurch)
– in use until after 1583; Bel Savage (Ludgate Hill) – used until at least 1588;
Boar’s Head (Whitechapel) – used until after 1616; Bull (Bishopsgate) –
1576-1594; Crosskeys – (Gracechurch) – 1579-1596; Red Bull (Upper Street) –
1605; Red Lion (Stepney) – 1567; Saracen’s Head (Islington) – 1583

Institute of Contemporary Art – contains
simple black box theatre
– 1833

Interaction – founded 1968

Intimate Theatre – 1931

Inverness Court Hotel – 1905

Islington Empire – see Grand Theatre – 1860

Islington Palace – 1869

Ivor Novello Theatre – see Strand Theatre


Jacksons Lane Community Centre – 1908

Jacobean Theatre – Shakespeare’s Globe theater has announced the go-ahead to complete the planned building of an indoor, 320-seat Jacobean theater adjacent to its 1,500 seat open-air home – Fundraising will begin in February, 2011 to recreate an English renaissance indoor theater – major construction work is skedded to begin in November 2012, with a projected opening season from November 2013 – Shakespeare’s Globe is planning to build an indoor Jacobean theatre to complement our world-famous open-air stage. The shell of this theatre already exists to the left of the Globe’s main foyer entrance. Shakespeare wrote for both types of playhouse and it was always the intention of Sam Wanamaker to create an indoor Jacobean theatre alongside the outdoor theatre.
– it will follow authentic designs and craftsmanship of the period to create a theatre that Shakespeare would recognise with two tiers of galleried seating and a pit seating area, indoor theatre will inspire a uniquely intimate and intense theatre experience which will allow
theatre productions to play throughout the winter, widening the Globe’s repertoire and further understanding the nature of Jacobean theatre –
playing in a period-appropriate indoor space will add a new dimension to the tragedies of contemporary writers such as Middleton and Webster, and to the sharp city comedies that would have been so relevant to the Jacobean public – space for staging works that have not been seen since their seventeenth century premieres –
designs for the indoor theatre are based around a set of plans discovered in the 1960s – showing a small seventeenth-century indoor theatre, similar in shape and design to the Blackfriars theatre, a U-shaped galleried auditorium embracing a platform stage, being earliest plans for an English theatre in existence, and remain the best indication of the nature of an indoor Jacobean theatre

Jermyn Street Theatre
– 1991 – 16B Jermyn Street, Piccadilly – cabaret venue – 70 seats

Jerwood Vanbrugh – 1921

Joint Stock Theatre Group – fringe theatre
– British touring theatre company founded 1974

Jordell Theatre – see Kingsway


Karsino – 1913

Kenneth More Theatre – 1974

Kilburn Empire – 1906

Killigrew’s Vere Street Theatre – tennis
court theatre – 1660

King’s Concert Rooms – see Scala Theatre

King’s Cross Theatre – 1820
King’s Cross Theatre – King’s Blvd – new 900 seat venue at King’s Cross – starts Oct 25/16 with Lazarus (Michael C. Hall)

King’s Head Theatre
– considered off West End – 115 Upper Street, Islington (Angel) – its
heritage goes back to mid 1500s and the time of Shakespeare – first dinner
theatre in the U.K. – 1864 – current incarnation goes back to mid 1970s – elements like
seating, curtains and lighting are from such prestigious theatres as Royal
Haymarket, Lyric Shaftesbury and Scala Theatre – King’s Head is London’s first
pub theatre and has blazed a trail for subsequent fringe theatres for some 30
years, under the direction of Dan Crawford – Nashville New York 1979; Secret
Garden 1987; Saint She Ain’t 1999

King’s Place – classic music scene has been
transformed in past 20 years by number of symphony halls

King’s Road Theatre – 1909

Kingsland Empire – 1831

King’s Theatre
Hammersmith Road – 1902 – 1700 seats – closed 1955 and sold to BBC – demolished
1963; 2nd King’s – Haymarket
– built 1705 – burned down 1789 – rebuilt 1793 and renamed Her Majesty’s in 1937
– see Her Majesty’s Theatre

Kingston Empire Theatres – 1910-1956 – also
known as New Empire

Kingsway Opera House – 1911 – Stoll Theatre
now pulled down

Kingsway Theatre – Great Queen Street,
Holborn – 1882 opened as Novelty Theatre – renamed Folies-Dramatiques 1883-1888
became Jodrell – 1889 back to Kingsway – then New Queen’s Theatre 1890 and Eden
Palace of Varieties 1894 – 1900 became Great Queen Street Theatre – 1908 was
Kingsway again – 1932 became home of Independent Theatre Club – 1940 building
damaged by bombing – demolished 1956


Lambs – supper club founded 1860s – 24
members met at Gaiety Restaurant and later Albemarle Hotel – survived until

– 70 Landor Road (Clapham North) – one of London’s most atmospheric
and intimate pub theatres – 2009/10 is their 15th Anniversary season

Latchmere Theatre

Leicester Square Theatre – 1930 – Odeon
Leicester Square now stands on the site – bombed during blitz – 1931 presented
variety shows and films, before becoming just a cinema

Leicester Square Theatre – 5 Leicester
Place – opening August 2008 with Joan Rivers – formerly Venue Theatre which
opened 2002 with Taboo – 420 seats – originally Notre Dame Hall, dance hall in
basement of a church

Lewisham Hippodrome – Catford – 1911 – demolished

Lido – 1913

LIFT (London International Festival of
Theatre) – launched 1981 as biennial event

Linbury Studio – see Royal Opera House

Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre – Portugal
Street – originally Lisle’s Tennis Court built in 1656 – 1660 enlarged for
theatre – opened 1661 with Seige of Rhodes, Part I 1661 – closed 1744 and became
barracks, auction room, Salopian China Warehouse – demolished 1848 for extension
of Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons

Lincoln Theatre – built 1731 in Drury Lane;
2nd theatre built 1764 in some buildings in Kings Arms yard; 3rd theatre built
1806 in Kings Arms Yard – burned down 1892 – another built on same site 1893,
now Theatre Royal – closed 1976 – closed and reopened as 482 seat theatre for
touring companies

Lisle’s Tennis Court – see Lincoln’s Inn
Fields Theatre

Little Angel Marionette Theatre – 1961 –
childrens’ theatre

Little Drury Lane Theatre – see Olympic

Little Theatre – 1768; 2nd Little Theatre – John Adam Street, Adelphi
– 1910 (309 seats) – Lysistrata 1910 – theatre damaged by bombing 1917 – reopened
1920 – damaged again in WWII 1941 and demolished in 1949 – Autumn Fire 1926 (8

Little Theatre Guild of Great Britain –
founded 1946

Little Theatre in the Hay – see Haymarket

London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA)
– established 1861

(formerly Labbatts) – (Hammersmith) Queen Caroline Street,
Hammersmith – 3485 seats (formerly Hammersmith Apollo – Music and book retailer
HMV Group is to step into the UK’s £1 billion live music arena in venture with
the MAMA Group – move will see 11 music venues around the UK – including the
Jazz Cafe in Camden, Edinburgh’s the Picture House and the Borderline in London
– taken into joint ownership. Several venues, including the 5,100-seat
Hammersmith Apollo, will be re-named with the HMV brand during the ten-year deal

London Bubble – see Bubble Theatre Company

London Casino – see Prince Edward

– (Charing Cross)- St. Martin’s Lane – 1904 – London’s largest
theatre (2358) – has been music hall, opera house, TV theatre and cinema – since
1968 home of the English National Opera (formerly Sadler’s Wells Opera) –
Nijinsky Clown of God (Bejart)(currently closed for renovations – reopening
2004)- Cinderella(Tommy Steele)1958; English National Opera 2006 – see Colisseum

London Hippodrome – Westminster – 1900 –
Joy-Bells 1919; Round in Fifty 1922 (471); It’s a Leap Year 1924 (471); –
Cranbourn Street & Charing Cross Road – now the Hippodrome Nightclub – opened
1900 as a circus and contained a huge water tank for naval, high dives, snow
storms etc – became a music hall in 1909 – Harry Houdini – from 1949-1951
French-type music hall – Bet Your Life 1952 , and in 1958 became Talk of The
Town with featured entertainers – closed 1982 – became Leicester Square
nightclub, then Talk of the Town – to start as casino May 21/14 – see
Hippodrome – already houses Matchan Room with live cabaret and new Lola’s Underground Casino space has been created out of tunnels and rooms that were the backstage home to performers, animal trainers, scene shifters and theatre management in the venue’s former life. It is named after Lola McGuire, a chorus girl who appeared in the former theatre’s very first show in 1900. She was famous in her day for organizing illicit card games and drinking parties

London Music-Hall – Shoreditch – see
Griffin – Shoreditch High Street Music-Hall

London Opera House – Kingsway – company,
which built its reputation on opera productions performed in English and is due
to be relaunched summer 2004 after a 75 million dollar refurbishment, will be
reviving such musicals as Bernstein’s On the Town and West Side Story – planned
is a new musical about the Libyan dictator Colonel Gadaffi for which the British
pop group Asian Dub Foundation has been commissioned to write the score.

– (Oxford Circus)- Argyll Street – London’s largest theatre –
built 1871 (2286 seats) as Hengler’s Circus, 1871 reconstructed as Music-Hall
(2325 seats) – changed to Palladium in 1910 – 1928 theatre used as cinema but
back to theatre three months later – Crazy Gang 1930s – renamed London Palladium
in 1934 – Swinging Down the Lane (Max Bygraves) 1959 (328); Babes in the Wood
1965; Barnum 1981 (Michael Crawford); Ziegfeld 1988; Stairway to the Stars 1989;
Fred Astaire – His Daughter’s Tribute 2001; King and I – revival; Barnum; Singin’
in the Rain; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat; Sinatra at the
Palladium 2006; Clique (final show closes June 14/09 before becoming Hippodrome
Casino – £15million refurbishment, including a 150-seat cabaret venue – Work
will begin immediately after the run finishes on 14 June, with the new-look
venue due to open before Wizard of Oz opens Feb 2011

London Pavillion – and
The Trocadero, Piccadilly (both originally theatres) – famous music hall – began
as song and supper room of Black Horse Inn in Tichborne Street – built 1859 as
2000 seat Pavilion Music Hall – converted to cinema in 1934 and became shopping
centre in late 1980s – 2nd Pavillion opened same year – 1934 became a cinema and
1981 closed for demolition – now houses tacky shops and Rock Circus – Trocadero
has been theatre, music hall and circus

London Pavillion – Tichborne Street –
famous music hall built 1861 (2,000 seats) – demolished in 1885 and rebuilt in
Piccadilly – opened Dec 26, 1910 with music hall, variety, revue, pantomime and musicals


London Symphony – 100th anniversary 2004 –
began 1904 – played at Queen’s Hall 1911

London Theatre Company – Situated at the heart of?Berkeley Homes’ landmark?One Tower Bridge?development, the venue will be the flagship theatre for the new independent producing company founded by?Nicholas Hytner?and?Nick Starr, following their departure from the National Theatre after 12 years


Lost Theatre – youth company best known for
helping to launch the careers of performers such as Ralph Fiennes, will open the
doors to its new London home Jan 2010, after ten years “on tour” – venue, which
is located in Stockwell in the former South Bank University building, has a
181-seat theatre, two rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms, a backstage area and a
bar – Company had to leave its old premises in Fulham in 1999 because the site
was being redeveloped – opens with Panphobia, January 26/10. Lost Theatre’s own
season begins with Twelfth Night on March 2, followed by Daisy Pulls it Off and
The Skin of Our Teeth;


Lusby’s Music Hall – see Lusby’s Summer and
Winter Palace

Lusby’s Summer and Winter Palace – Stepney
– 1848 to 1933 – from 1912 called Mile End Empire

– (Covent Garden/Charing Cross) Wellington Street, just off Strand –
entertainment space here as early as 1765 – 1771 opened as exhibition and
concert hall – 1775 converted to theatre – 1802 became 1st venue for Madame
Tussaud – 1809 Drury Lane company moved here (1800 seats) – 1817 reopened as
Royal Lyceum and English Opera House – 1830 theatre burnt down – 1830- 1816
renamed Theatre Royal English Opera; Royal Lyceum Theatre and English Opera
House opened 1834-1904; 1902 partly demolished – rebuilt in 1904 as music hall
with the 1834 facade retained – one of London’s most historic theatres – 1938
theatre threatened with demolition – 1945 became a dance hall (Mecca Ballroom)-
closed in 1982 – 1996 completely refurbished – 2075 seats – Jesus Christ
Superstar; The Lion King

*Lyceum Theatre – see Royal Lyceum English
Opera House 1839; Theatre Royal, English Opera 1839-1841; Theatre Royal, Lyceum
1844-1845; Lyceum Theatre 1847; Royal Lyceum Theatre 1848

Lyric Hall – see Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith

Lyric Hammersmith – King St – original
theatre built 1895 – 1972 sold for redevelopment and demolished but best parts
were saved and new theatre using these became part of development

Hammersmith Theatre
– King Street – opened as Lyric Hall 1888 –
reconstructed and opened as Lyric Opera House 1890 – 1895 seating increased from
550 to 800 – 1918 renamed Lyric Theatre – Beggar’s Opera 1920 (1463 perf); 1933
theatre stood empty – 1946 reopened – Venice Preserved (John Gielgud,Paul
Scofield) 1953; Grab Me a Gondola 1956; Share My Lettuce 1957; Valmouth 1958
(84); Hooray for Daisy 1960; New Cranks 1960; – closed 1966 – – demolished 1972
– some of Victorian plasterworks used in the 2nd Lyric Hammersmith, 20 yards
away (450 seats) – restored old name and reopened in 1979 – also small studio
theatre of 130 seats – Aladdin 1979; Nightingale 1982; Moll Flanders 1993; The
Odyssey 2006;

Lyric Opera House – see Lyric Theatre,

– (Piccadilly Circus) Shaftesbury Avenue – 1888 – (950 seats) –
oldest surviving theatre on Shaftesbury – La Dame aux Camelias (Elenora Duse)
1893; Floradora 1899 – became Lyric in 1918 – Make Believe 1918; Abraham Lincoln
1919 (466) – reconstructed 1933 – oldest of six surviving theatres on
Shaftesbury Avenue – rear parts were built on the site of an anatomical theatre
and museum – Strange Interlude; Victoria Regina 1937 (42 weeks); Winslow Boy
1946 (476); Little Hut 1950; Vortex (Dirk Bogarde) 1952; Irma La Douce 1958
(1512); Robert and Elizabeth 1964; Plaza Suite 1969; Battle of Shrivings (John
Gielgud,Wendy Hiller) 1970 (73); How the Other Half Loves; Habeus Corpus 1973;
Poor Horace, Blood Brothers 1983; Five Guys Named Moe 1990 (long run); Maddie
1997; The Night of the Iguana (Woody Harrelson) 2006; Smaller (Dawn French)
2006; Jan/05 – Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is reportedly in talks to sell some
of his West End theatres. He currently owns eleven, making him the predominant
West End theatre owner, but is considering selling The Apollo, The Garrick, The
Duchess and The Lyric

*Lyttleton Theatre – 900 seats – see
National Theatre – first of three theatres – 890 seats – 1976 – opened with
Hamlet (Albert Finney) 1976



Macdonald’s Hall – see Hoxton Hall

MacOwan Theatre (LAMDA)

Maida Vale Picture House – 1913

*Man in the Moon Theatre – 392 Kings Road –
pub theatre in Chelsea, London (Sloane Square) – last play “Kicking Oscar’s
Corpse” – closing after 20 years of fringe venues – Sept 2002

Manchester School – small group of regional
playwrights who flourished at the Gaiety Theatre in Manchester from 1908 but did
not survive WWI

Marlborough Hall – 1834

Marlborough Theatre – Islington –

Marylebone Music-Hall – see Music-Hall, and
Rose of Normandy Tavern

Marylebone Theatre – see West London

Maxine Elliott Theatre – Lure 1913

Mayfair Theatre
Stratton Street – part of Mayfair Hotel – 310 seats – opened in 1963 with Six
Characters in Search of an Author, with Ralph Richardson; All in Love 1964;
Beyond the Fringe moved here from the Fortune for rest of its long run – and
sold in 1964 – since 1992 it had been used for conferences – reopened in May
2001 after 10 years – renovation – Philanthropist; Song of Singapore 2001

McDonald’s Music Hall – – also known as
Hoxton Hall – 1863

Mecca Ballroom – see Lyceum

Medieval Drama – so called mystery plays
most commonly produced in open air locales

Menier Chocolate Factory
South London theatre venue – former industrial building 1870s built as chocolate
factory – Tick..Tick..Boom(05)

Mercury Theatre – Notting Hill Gate – 150
seats – opened 1933 – Amphitryon 1933; Murder in the Cathedral 1935 (1st London
production) – used by Ballet Rambert – Playboy of the Western World 1939

Mermaid Theatre – Puddle
Cock – originally a private theatre in the garden of a house – 1951 – opened
with Dido and Aeneas 1951 – 1953 re-erected in London and permanent home opened
in 1959 (500 seats) – in danger of demolition currently – The Mermaid’s glory
days under Bernard Miles are over thirty years ago, it is a tribute to the
affection in which the City of London’s first post-war purpose-built theatre is
held by those who have worked there that so many well-known theatre
personalities have raised their voices and fired off letters to the Corporation
of London – in its defense – September 2001; Lock Up Your Daughters 1959; Virtue
in Danger 1963; We’d Rather Switch 1969; Saint Joan 1969; Cowardy Custard 1972;
Treasure Island 1973; Cole 1974; Point 1976; Side By Side By Sondheim (Millicent
Martin,Ned Sherrin,Julie McKenzie,David Kernan) 1976 – transferred to Wyndhams
1976 (781);St. Joan – revival 1969; renovated 1981 with studio for children,
Molecule Club (250 seats)- At their meeting last Tuesday (18th March, 2003), the
Corporation of London planning committee decided to accept the revised plans for
the site of which the Mermaid Theatre forms a part. This means that the site
will be redeveloped without any replacement for Sir Bernard Mile’s theatre,
although there will be “compensation” of £6m to be paid by the developers to the
Theatres Trust instead – no hope that the Mermaid Theatre will be saved –
redevelopment is unlikely to begin soon as the property development market is
depressed – no further moves to save the theatre are possible.

Metropolitan Music Hall – Edgeware Road –
1862 – was small concert hall attached to White Lion Inn – refurbished and
reopened as Turnham’s Music Hall – renamed Metropolitan 1864 – rebuilt 1897
(1855 seats) – became tv studio – shut down 1962 – demolished 1963

Michael Grandage Company – new London company starting Fall 2012 for 15 month season at Noel Coward
Middlesex Music-Hall – Drury Lane –
originally Mogul Saloon since early 19th Century – 1851 became Middlesex
Music-Hall – reconstructed 1872, 1891 and 1911 opened as New Middlesex Theatre
of Varieties (3000 seats) – closed 1919 – reopened as Winter Garden Theatre –
site is now New London Theatre

Middle Temple Hall
built 1563-1573 as a meeting hall for the Middle Temple lawyers – opened 1573 by
Queen Elizabeth I – damaged by bombs in World War II, subsequently repaired

Mikron – British narrowboat-based touring
theatre company – founded 1972 – toured waterside pubs

Miles’s Musick House – see Music Hall and
Sadler’s Wells Theatre

Dome (O2)
– Ben Hur Sept 2009;

Middle Temple Hall – 1570

Millfield – 1988

Mirror Theatre – see Holborn Theatre

Miss Kelly’s Theatre – see Royalty Theatre

Mogul Saloon – see Middlesex Music-Hall –
first theatre on the site built 1848 as “Mogul Saloon” – also known as “Mogul
Music Hall”- 1851 renamed “Middlesex Music Hall” – new theatre built 1891 as
“Middlesex Theatre of Varieties” – 1911 rebuilt by Frank Matcham – 1919 interior
rebuilding, renamed “Winter Garden Theatre”. Closed in the 1930s – re-opened
1942 – closed 1959, demolished 1965. Also known as “Old Mo”

Monstrous Regiment – British women’s
theatre company founded 1975

Moody Manners Opera Company – British
touring company – founded 1898 – disbanded 1916

Mortimer’s Hall – see Hoxton Hall

Mountview Theatre School – 104 Crouch Hill
– amateur group founded 1947 in derelict hall made into small theatre –
Importance of Being Earnest 1947 – bad fire 1963 – renovations – performances
presented in Mountview Theatre and studio theatre opened in 1971 named in honour
of Dame Judi Dench

Musicals – history derived from Shakespeare
and European operettas, Gilbert and Sullivan and from Broadway, Gershwin,
Porter, Kern, followed by Leonard Bernstein, Richard Rodgers and Oscar
Hammerstein II, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, Frank Loesser; from late
1960s the likes of Hal Prince, Bob Fosse, Michael Bennett became kings, with
Stephen Sondheim and in Britain Andrew Lloyd Webber

Music Hall/Variety – started early to mid
19th Century in pubs and song and supper rooms and gradually moved into theatres
i.e. Coliseum, but most closed after World War I when cinema became a force to
contend with

Music Halls – listing by year

Myddelton Hall – 1890


National Film Theatre – Plans
for a £4.6m transformation of London’s National Film Theatre have been revealed
– complex – which will be rebranded as BFI Southbank – is due to reopen in
February 2007

National Operatic and Dramatic Association
– founded 1899

National Standard Theatre – Shoreditch –
1837-1940 – also known as Shoreditch Olympia, Royal Standard Public House and
pleasure gardens, Royal Standard Theatre, New Standard Theatre, Standard
Theatre, Olympia

National Theatre – see Royal National
Theatre – winner of Regional Theatre Tony Award 1969 – – in 1976 moved to the
South Bank and in 1982 the Barbican Centre opened as the new home for the Royal
Shakespeare Company – Medea (John Gielgud, Judith Anderson, Marian Seldes) 1947
(214); Jumpers (Diana Rigg); Amadeus

Theatre Cottesloe – being renamed Dorfman Theatre (2011)
– 1977 (25th Anniversary on London’s South Bank
October/01)(Waterloo) South Bank – 320 seats;

Theatre Lyttelton
– 1976(25th Anniversary on London’s South Bank October/01)
(Waterloo) South Bank – 900 seats

Theatre Paintframe
– National Theatre’s backstage scenic studio “paint-frame room” sits on the third floor of an unassuming building across the road from the Old Vic (Waterloo) South Bank

Theatre Olivier
– 1976(25th Anniversary on London’s South Bank
October/01)(Waterloo) South Bank

Theatre – Shed
– (Waterloo) South Bank

National Youth Theatre – founded 1956 –
childrens’ theatre – used Toynbee Hall; various venues – 1971 took over Shaw
Theatre (510 seats)

New Albion Theatre, Poplar – Queen’s
Theatre, Poplar – opened 1856

New Ambassadors – formerly Ambassadors –
450 seats

– (Leicester Square) West Street – Hamlet (Tom Stoppard) 2006 –
sold to Stephen Waley-Cohen, owner of St. Martin’s & Victoria Palace – April
2007 – in June 2007 will be known as Ambassador’s (as it had from 1913-1999)

New Arts Theatre Club – Cambridge Circus

New Chelsea Theatre – see Royal Court

New Cross Broadway Theatre – 1897 to 1960s

New Cross Empire – 1899 – demolished

New Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith – see also
Lyric Theatre Hammersmith – Wayward Way (Jim Dale) 1964

New Middlesex Theatre – Holborn –

New Players Theatre
– Villiers Street – previous showcase for old-style
music hall – reopening with Snooy! The Musical in July 2004 – changed to Charing Cross Theatre – 2011

New Rainbow/Astoria

New Royalty Theatre – see Royalty Theatre

(New) Royalty Theatre – opened 1840 and
closed in 1938

New Theatre – Queen of Scots (Gwen
Ffrangcon-Davies,Laurence Olivier) 1934 (106); Seagull (Edith Evans,John
Gielgud,Alex Guiness) 1936; Summer of the Seventeenth Doll 1957 (254); London
Assurance (Donald Sinden,Judi Dench,Elizabeth Spriggs) 1970 (390)- transferred
to Palace Theatre ,NYC; 2nd – New Theatre – St. Martin’s Lane – opened
1903 – see Albery – Rosemary 1903 – after bombing of Old Vic and Sadler’s Wells
– both companies used the theatre – Sadler’s Wells until 1944 and Old Vic until
1950 – Oliver 1960; Jorrocks 1966; Anne of Green Gables 1969; Tyger 1971 – 1973
renamed Albery

New Theatre, Greenwich (New Theatre
Greenwich Royal)

New Theatre of Varieties – see New London

New Victoria Cinema – see Apollo Victoria

New Victoria Palace – see Old Vic

New Watergate Theatre – Buccaneer 1953;
Cranks 1955

New Wells Theatre – 1739 – Goodman’s Field
– theatre closed by magistrates 1747

New Wimbleton Theatre – 1910

Noel Coward Theatre – 1903 – see Albery Theatre

Normansfield Hospital Entertainment Hall – 1879 –
Hospital had chapel with little theatre – future uncertain

North London Colisseum – built in 1860s

Notre Dame Hall – dance hall in basement of
church – became Venue, and currently Leicester Square Theatre August 2008

Novello Theatre – 1905 – see Strand Theatre – As
You Like It 2006;

Novelty Theatre – see Kingsway Theatre


Odell’s Theatre – see Goodman’s Fields

Odeon Theatre – 1931; Odeon Kingston Upon Thames 1933; Odeon Leicester Square 1937;
Odeon Romford 1936; Odeon Theatre Ealing – Atmospheric style – closed; Odeon West End 1930; Odeon Woolwich 1937;

Offside Bar – see Red Lion

Oldham Coliseum Theatre – Under the plans a
new Oldham Coliseum Theatre would be built with space for Oldham Theatre
Workshop; Designs for new theatre include building with two auditoria, one
seating 585 people and a second seating 150

Old Red Lion – see Red Lion

Old Stagers – performances closely
associated with Canterbury Cricket Festival since 1842

Old Vic Theatre – (Waterloo) Waterloo Road – 1067 seats – perhaps the Most Famous Theatre in the World? – opened in 1818 as the Royal Coburg Theatre with Trial By Battle; or, Heaven Defend the Right 1818, and is the only theatre in London from that time still in business with materials coming from old Savoy Palace – Royal National Theatre, home for its first 13 years – Edmund Kean, the great tragedian, played Richard III, Othello and King Lear in it in 1831- in 1833 renamed Royal Victoria Theatre (affectionately called “Old Vic” – in 1858 16 people lost their lives in a panic due to false fire alarm – 1871 sold and became New Victoria Palace – in 1880 and re-opened it as The Royal Victoria Coffee and Music Hall – 1884 became The Royal Victoria Hall and Coffee Tavern – 1912 opera programme begins;
every play in Shakespeare’s First Folio between 1914 and 1923, at prices which most of the public could afford – and against all professional advice – Pericles (Lilian Baylis) 1921; Troilus and Cressida, the last play in the cycle, was performed on 23 November 1923 before the Princess Royal (the late Queen Mother) with a copy of the First Folio under glass in the orchestra pit – 1920-25 all 36 Shakespeare plays presented; 1929 Hamlet with John Gielgud; 1931 – Sadlers Wells until company moved to Sadler’s Wells; Sadlers Wells Theatre (built originally in the mid-13th century, and derelict since 1914), which was re-opened in 1931, with an opening performance of Twelfth Night with John Gielgud. In the same year, the Old Vic-Sadlers Wells Ballet company was formed, led by Ninette be Valois, with her assistant Frederic Ashton and leading dancer Alicia Markova (and later Robert Helpmann and Margot Fonteyn). 1933 Tyrone Guthrie took over management, working with Lilian Baylis. He brought Charles Laughton, fresh from his success in Hollywood, to lead the Company, with Flora Robson;
School For Scandal (Alaistair Sim,Anthony Quayle,Peggy Ashcroft) 1933; Macbeth 1937; King Lear (John Gielgud) 1940 – In 1940, Gielgud led the Old Vic Company in a season just a few months long with King Lear including Fay Compton, Jessica Tandy and Jack Hawkins, and then The Tempest, which was the last production at the Old Vic for a decade – The Old Vic was badly damaged in the Blitz, although Old Vic Companies continued to tour, in particular to the North West and the mining areas of South Wales. In 1941 the Old Vic established itself at the Liverpool Playhouse – 1944 Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier were released from the Navy to lead a new Old Vic Company, performing at other venues, particularly the New Theatre for the next six years – Following VE Day, the Company played in Hamburg, Belsen, the Comedie Française in Paris, in New York and then again in Paris –
Old Vic building was finally re-opened in December 1950 by King George V, Queen Elizabeth (the late Queen Mother) and Princess Margaret. Between 1953 and 1958 the Old Vic repeated its feat of the 1920s in producing the whole cycle of Shakespeare’s First Folio – Twelfth Night (John Neville,Claire Bloom,Richard Burton) 1954; Major Barbara (Peter O’Toole,Moira Shearer) 1956; Romeo and Juliet (Judi Dench) 1957; The final season of The Old Vic Company in 1962 included Leo McKern in Peer Gynt – A national theatre in all but name, the Old Vic became so in reality when, in October 1963 re-opened as the home of the new National Theatre with a performance of Hamlet with Peter O’Toole, Michael Redgrave, Rosemary Harris, Robert Stephens, Derek Jacobi, John Stride, Frank Finlay, Colin Blakely and Lynn Redgrave –
the next 13 years, regular casts at the Old Vic under the leadership of the National’s first Director, Laurence Olivier, and then Peter Hall – Crucible (Joyce
Redman,Colin Blakely) 1965; These 13 years included the first major production of a Tom Stoppard play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead 1967; Jumpers (Diana Rigg,Michael Hordern) 1972; Hall took over as Director in 1973 with productions including: John Gabriel Borkman with Ralph Richardson, Peggy Ashcroft and Wendy Hiller; Happy Days with Ashcroft, No Man’s Land with Richardson and Gielgud; and Hamlet with Albert Finney;
Equus 1973; Tempest (John Gielgud) 1974 – National’s last performance before moving to its new home in 1976 was Tribute to the Lady (Lilian Baylis that is). Peggy Ashcroft (appearing as Baylis), Gielgud and Richardson were on stage; Sybil Thorndike (by then 93) in the audience –
first Old Vic production following the departure of the National was The White Devil with Glenda Jackson. The following year, the Old Vic became the home of the Prospect Theatre Company, directed by Timothy West, with productions including Hamlet with Derek Jacobi, Antony and Cleopatra with Alec McCowen and Dorothy Tutin, and St Joan with Eileen Atkins; The Party (Laurence Olivier’s last stage performance) 1973; Tribute to the Lady 1976; 1976 National Theatre moves to the South Bank; 1982 theatre purchased by Canadian Ed Mirvish, who restored the theatre to its orginal glory – In the 16 years of ownership by the Mirvish family, the Old Vic staged an astonishing 80 productions, mainly classical and new drama – The facade of the building is now a splendid interpretation of an engraving of 1830, and the auditorium itself true to the designs of 1871 – refurbished and reopened in 1983 – Blondel 1983 – between 1987 and 1990, Jonathan Miller served as Artistic Director, collecting five Olivier Awards, including one for Candide as Best Musical. In 1997, Peter Hall’s triumphantly revived classic repertory season included Becket’s Waiting for Godot with Ben Kingsley and Alan Howard – was put up for sale in 1997 – last-minute reprieve saw the Old Vic spared its final curtain by the creation of a charitable trust – the Trust announced the formation of a new Old Vic Theatre Company – Waiting for Godot 1997; The Iceman Cometh (Kevin Spacey) 1998; Amadeus 1999; Cloaca 2004; National Anthems (Kevin Spacey) 2005; Philadelphia Story 2005; The Soldier’s Tale 2006; Resurrection Blues 2006 – Old Vic been a dramatic home for many of the greatest actors of the last 150 years, including Peggy Ashcroft, Eileen Atkins, Colin Blakely, Richard Burton, Judi Dench, Edith Evans, Frank Finlay, Albert Finney, John Gielgud, Alex Guiness, Antony Hopkins, Glenda Jackson, Derek Jacobi, Charles Laughton, Vivien Leigh, Geraldine McEwan, Ian McKellen, Laurence Olivier, Peter O’Toole, Joan Plowright, Lynn Redgrave, Michael Redgrave, Ralph Richardson, Maggie Smith, Robert Stephens, Sybil Thorndike, Dorothy Tutin, and many more

Old Vic Tunnels – performance space started 2009 – closes March 15/13

*Olivier Theatre – largest
of three National Theatre houses – 1165 seats – 1976 – see Royal National
Theatre – Tamburlaine the Great (Albert Finney) 1976

Olympic Music Hall – Shoreditch – see
Standard Theatre – 1907

Olympic Theatre – Aldwych – at the end of
Wych Street, Strand, occupies site of old Craven House, near site of Australia
House – opened as Olympic Pavilion 1805 housing circus acts and horsemanship in
arena – reconstructed 1813 and became Little Drury Lane Theatre – became Olympic
– burned down and rebuilt 1849 – rebuilt 1890 – theatre closed 1889 and again
1897 – derelict – demolished 1899 to make way for Kingsway and during
reconstruction of the Aldwych

Olympic Theatre – Leicester Square – 1930 –
also known as Leicester Square Theatre – now Odeon West End

One Person Shows – due to the arts funding
cuts, we have got the likes of Joyce Grenfell, Beatrice Lillie, Maurice
Chevalier, and the remarkable Ruth Draper (1930s and 1940s), readings of
Dickens, Alec McCowan’s St. Mark’s Gospel, Simon Callow’s Shakespearian Sonnets;
Hal Holbrook’s Mark Twain Tonight; Ian McKellen’s Acting Shakespeare, Roy
Dotrice’s Brief Lives, Julie Harris’ Belle of Amherst

Air Theatre
– Inner Circle – (Baker Street) Regent’s Park – Queen Mary’s
Garden – 1187 seats – 1933 opened with Twelfth Night – 1975 site reconstructed –
2007 is 75th Anniversary season

Opera Comique – East Strand and Holywell St
– back to back with old Globe Theatre in Newcastle Street – 1870 with French
company “Les Pres St. Gerais” – 1877 D’Oyly Carte took over – redecorated 1885 –
1899 closed and demolished 1902

Opera House – 1912 – Oscar Hammerstein
built in 1911 – became a variety house and later became Stoll Theatre

Tree Theatre
– considered off West End – 1 Clarence Square, Richmond, Surrey
– founded 1971 in a room above the Orange Tree Pub – the new theatre opened in
1991 behind the facade of a Victorian school – this is their 30th Anniversary
season (2001)

Other Place – see Statford-Upon-Avon –
Royal Shakespeare Company’s Studio Theatre – presents plays in repertory

O2 – see Millenium Dome

Oxford Music Hall – Oxford Street and
Tottenham Court Road – 1861 – rebuilt 1869, 1873 and 1893 – 1917 became Oxford
Theatre – Better ‘Ole 1917 (811 perf) – 1921 old hall converted to theatre –
theatre closed 1926 and demolished 1927 – Lyons Corner House built on site


Paine’s Plough – British touring theatre
company started 1975

– (Leicester Square/Tottenham Court Road) Shaftesbury Avenue – (1400
seats) – Cambridge Circus – a London landmark opened as Royal English Opera
House 1891 – renamed Palace Theatre of Varieties 1892 – present name in 1911 –
Ivanhoe 1891; Buster Keaton 1909; Anna Pavlova 1910; Fanny Brice 1913; Nijinsky
1914; Airs and Graces 1917; Harry Lauder 1921; The Four Horsemen of the
Apocalypse (film – 22 weeks) 1922; No No Nanette 1925; The Girlfriend 1927; Gay
Divorce 1933; Anything Goes 1935; On Your Toes 1937; – severe bomb damage during
World War II -Chu Chin Chow 1940; Jack and Jill 1941; Full Swing 1942; Something
in the Air 1943; Gay Rosalinda 1945; Song of Norway 1946; Charley’s Aunt 1947;
Finian’s Rainbow 1947; Zip Goes a Million 1951 (544); The Entertainer 1957; Much
Ado About Nothing (John Gielgud,Peggy Ashcroft); Where’s Charley 1958 (404);
Flower Drum Song 1960 (600); The Sound of Music 1961 (2,385); Cabaret 1968;
Danny LaRue at the Palace (2 Years) 1970, Jesus Christ Superstar (8 years) 1972;
Maid of the Mountain; Two Cities 1969; Song and Dance 1982; Jesus Christ
Superstar 1972 (8 years); Oklahoma 1980; Song and Dance 1982; On Your Toes 1984;
since 1985 home of Les Miserables (7,602)- transferred to Queen’s 2004The Woman
in White 2004; ; Whistle Down the Wind 2006; Spamalot 2006

Palace Theatre of Variety – 1900 – see Palace

Palmadium – 1920

Palladium – 1910 – see London Palladium –

Pantomine – traditional Christmas shows
based on fairy tales or children’s stories

Paragon Theatre – Stepney – demolished

Park Theatre – see Alexandra Theatre

Paul’s – Cathedral precinct, 1576 –
playhouse of Shakespeare’s time

Pavilion Music-Hall – 1923– see London Pavilion

Pavilion Theatre – Whitechapel Road – 1928
– destroyed by fire 1856 – rebuilt 3500 seats – rebuilt again 1874 2500 seats
and again 1894 – closed 1933 and stood empty – demolished 1961 as damaged by
bombing World War II – Cochran’s 1931 Revue (book and lyrics by Noel Coward)
1931 – demolished

*Peacock Theatre/Royalty Theatre – (Holborn) Portugal
Street – 1010 seats – London Opera House 1910 was demolished for this theatre –
theatre orginally called Royalty 1960 – Snowman 1982; Yamato – Drummers of Japan

Peckham Hippodrome – 1898

Pembroke’s Men – 1592 – Shakespeare wrote
some of his plays for this company, but his connection ceased when he joined
Chamberlain’s Men on their foundation in 1594

Peoples’ Palace – 1887-1892

Performance Art – live art by featured

Pheasantry on King’s Road in SW London will become cabaret venue – opens June 13, 2010 – 75 seats – originally Georgian building and grounds designed to raise pheasants for the Royal Household to hunt – In the 1930s home to both a dance school and a club where Dylan Thomas would drink, while the likes of Eleanor Thornton and Eric Clapton have lived there; “The Female Eunuch” was written within its walls, and it was where Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice discovered Yvonne Elliman, who would go on to star in Jesus Christ Superstar. In the 1970s, The Pheasantry became a nightclub, playing host to some of the earliest gigs by Lou Reed, Queen and Hawkwind, among others

Philharmonic Hall – 1860 – three theatres
built on this site – also known as Philharmonic Theatre, Grand Theatre
Islington, Islington Empire

Phoenix Society – group founded 1919 to
present plays by early English dramatists – existed for 6 years and staged 26

– (Tottenham Court Road) Charing Cross Road – 1930 – (1012 seats) –
opened with Private Lives 1930; Tonight at 8:30 1936; Browning Version;
Harlequinade; Bloomsbury (53); Death of a Salesman; Quadrille 1952; Much Ado
About Nothing (John Gielgud,Dorothy Tutin,Paul Scofield) 1952 (7 months);
Sleeping Prince 1953; Canterbury Tales 1968 (2,082); Biograph Girl 1980; Blood
Brothers 1983 ; Peg 1984; Are You Lonesome Tonight 1985; Into the Woods; Dancing
at Lughasa; Blood Brothers returns to theatre for its 20th year; 2nd Phoenix
Theatre – Drury Lane – see Cockpit

– (Piccadilly Circus) Denman Street – opened 1928 with Blue Eyes
(Evelyn Laye) – (1200 seats) – then became cinema (Singing Fool and Jazz Singer
with Al Jolson) – back to theatre the next year – damaged by bombs – closed 1939
reopened 1941 – Blithe Spirit (Margaret Rutherford, Noel Coward) 1941; Macbeth
(John Gielgud) 1942; Question of Fact (Paul Scofield,Gladys Cooper,Pamela Brown)
1953 (30 weeks); Romanoff and Juliet (Peter Ustinov)1956 (47 weeks); Man of
Magic 1966; Vivat Vivat Regina 1970, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf; Richard II
and Edward II (Ian McKellen); Clarence Darrow (Henry Fonda); Filumena (Judi
Dench); Kafka’s Dick; I and Albert 1972; Pull Both Ends 1972; Streetcar Named
Desire (Claire Bloom) 1974; Who Killed Santa Claus (Honor Blackman) 1970; Gypsy;
Educating Rita; Piaf; Mack and Mabel; Mutiny 1985; Shop in the Name of Love
1988; Metropolis 1989; Moby Dick 1992; Piaf 1993; Swan Lake; Shockheaded Peter;
Spend,Spend,Spend 1999; La Cava; Noises Off; My One and Only; Ragtime; Jumpers
(revival) 2003; Jailhouse Rock; Guys and Dolls 2005;

Pip Simmons Theatre Group – fringe theatre

Pit Theatre – 240 seats

Pizza on the Park
– 11 Knightsbridge, Hyde Park Corner – cabaret venue – opened 1982 – Barbara Cook, Andrea Marcovicci, Karen Akers, Steve Ross etc. – venue closing June 18/10

Place – 1889 – now essentially a dance venue

– opened 1867 and originally known as “The Arches” an early music
hall – in 1936 opened as a private theatre club Playroom Six at 6 New Compton
Street – 1927 – Peggy Ashcroft debut in One Day More 1927 – 1929 name changed –
1936 moved to King Street, Covent Garden – 1937 reopened as New Players – 1940
moved to 13 Albemarle Street – 1946 acquired part of Gatti’s-Under-the-Arches –
Boyfriend 1953; Divorce Me, Darling 1964

Playhouse – Newington
Butts – 1580 – demolished;

2nd *Playhouse
– (Embankment) Northumberland Avenue – built 1882 as Royal Avenue
Theatre (761 seats)(Portland Stone exterior remains) – opened with Madame Favart
– 1905 theatre wrecked when part of Charing Cross Station collapsed and 6 people
were killed and 20 injured – new theatre, the Playhouse, opened 1907 with 679
seats – 1920s managed by Gladys Cooper – 1951 became BBC studio – close to
Hungerford Bridge footpath across Thames to South Bank and Charing Cross Station
– 1975 was given up – renovated in 1987 – previously the Avenue Theatre – Arms
and the Man – theatre has also been host to the Almeida Theatre and the Peter
Hall Company – purchased by American producers Ted and Norman Tulchin 2002; now owned by Ambassador Group which owns 39 theatres in Britain and Foxwoods on Broadway – The
Creeper (Ian Richardson) 2006;

Plaza Cinema – 1926

Plaza Regent Street
Cinema – opened in the 1920’s and closed July 2002

Pleasance Theatre

Pleasure Gardens of Marylebone
– included atmospheric theatre – 1737-1777

Gardens of Vauxhall
– included atmospheric theatre

Polka Theatre

Poplar – Queens –

Poplar Hippodrome –

Poplar Town Hall –

Porter’s Hall – playhouse erected 1615 in
precincts of Blackfriars, near Puddle Wharg – not used after 1618

Portman Theatre – see West London Theatre

Prince Charles – 1962 – Leicester Place –
low budget cinema was originally legitimate for 3 year period

Edward Theatre
– (Leicester Square/Tottenham Court Road) Old Compton Street
– 1930 – (1650 seats) opened with Rio Rita (59 perf); Nippy 1930; Fanfare 1932–
closed 1935 – rebuilt as London Casino (1936 to 1978), Folies Parisiennes 1936;
during war was Queensberry All Services Club – Latin Quarter Revues 1945; Wish
You Were Here 1953; then a cinema (1954 to 1974) – Cinerama 1954 – restored 1992
– has been theatre, cabaret, cinema and a club – reopened as Prince Edward in
1978 with long running Evita (almost 8 years); Chess 1986 (3 years); Anything
Goes (3 years); Crazy for You (over 3 years); Children of Eden 1991; Hunting of
the Snark 1991; Some Like It Hot (1992 – 3 mos); 1992 refurbished – reopened
1993 – Crazy for You; Martin Guerre 1996; currently Mamma Mia opened 1999
transferred to Prince of Wales after 5 years; Mary Poppins 2005

of Wales
– (Piccadilly Circus) Coventry Street – opened 1884 as the Prince’s
Theatre (1133 seats) – opened with Breaking a Butterfly (Doll’s House) 1884 –
became Prince of Wales in 1886 – 1937 building demolished; 2nd Prince of Wales
opened 1937 (1139 seats) – see also Scala Theatre – Gaiety Girl 1893; See-see
1906 (152); Blue Lagoon 1920; Hamlet 1925; Harvey 1949; Fancy Free 1951 (369);
Water Gipsies 1954; Summer Song 1956; World of Suzie Wong 1959-over 800 perf);
Funny Girl; Come Blow Your Horn; Johnny the Priest 1960; King Kong 1961; Passion
Flower Hotel 1965; Good Old Bad Old Days 1972; Smilin’ Through 1972; Mardi Gras
1976; Evening With Tommy Steele 1979 (414 days); Underneath the Arches 1981;
Aspects of Love (1989 – 3 years); City of Angels; Copacabana 1994; Witches of
Eastwick; Mamma Mia – Delfont Mackintosh Theatres’ plans for the Prince Of Wales
are for a major overhaul of the building with a glass-fronted tower that reverts
to Robert Cromie’s original 1937 design concept – auditorium will benefit from
new bronze-coloured interior walls more comfortable seats and greater leg-room,
while the bars and foyers will be expanded and refurbished in a manner to
recreate the glamour of theatregoing in the 1930s – the theatre will reopen in
Summer 2004; 3rd – Prince of Wales – Greenwich – 1855 – formerly Rose and Crown
Music Hall, Parthenon, Crowders Music Hall, Parthenon Palace of Varieties,
Greenwich Hippodrome

Prince’s Theatre – see Prince of Wales –

Prince’s Theatre – opened 1911 – see
Shaftesbury Theatre, Prince of Wales, Shaftesbury Avenue; King Street
Piccadilly, St. James- Coventry Street –

Princess’s Theatre – 1828 – destroyed by fire 1829
and rebuilt 1836 building in 73 Oxford Street known as Queen’s Bazaar –
converted to theatre – remodelled and reopened in 1840 – Streets of London 1864
– theatre closed 1880 and reopened as Royal Princess’s – building became
warehouse – Streets of London 1864; Royal Princess’s Theatre; Fatal Wedding 1902
– closed 1902 – demolished 1931

Print Room – 34 Hereford Road – London’s newest fringe venue/theatre – opening late 2010 with Pasolini play – see Coronet

Private Theatres – England – 1770-1790 –
Cliveden – open air theatre – still extant; Wargrave – 1789 – 400 seats –
demolished 1792; Brandenburgh House – 1793 – Hammersmith – in use until 1804;
Wynnstay – 1771-1789; Blenheim Palace – Oxfordshire – 1787-89- converted
greenhouse; Richmond House – 1787 – 150 seats; Chatsworth – Derbyshire – 1830 –
oldest in existence; Burton Constable – Yorkshire – 1830-50; Tavistick
House-London; Campden House – Kensington 1860s; Capethorne Hall, Cheshire 1870;
Herkomer’s at Bushey, Hertforshire; Craig y Nos, Wales – still extant; Stansted,
Essex; Buscot Park, Berkshire – still in use; Glyndebourne, Sussex – opera
house; Seler’s theatre – Rosehill, Whitehaven

Promenade Performances – concerts where the
audience can roam freely

Pub/Café Theatre – forerunner of the

Puddle Wharf Theatre – see Porter’s Hall

Punch’s Playhouse – see Strand Theatre

Purcell Rooms – South Bank Centre, London –
cabaret venue

Putney Hippodrome – 1906 – now Odeon cinema


Q Theatre – on Brentford
side of Kew Bridge – 500 seats – 1924 in converted hall – Young Person in Pink –
over 1,000 plays presented here and over 100 of these were transferred to the
West End i.e. Dial M For Murder – demolished 1958

Queen Anne’s Men – company formed in 1603 –
played at the Curtain, and at the Red Bull until 1616 – some of the company went
to new theatre at the Cockpit – company disbanded 1619

Queen Elizabeth’s Men – formed 1583 –
company played at several inns used as theatres – the Bull, the Bell, and the
Bel Savage and also at the Theatre, the Curtain, and the Rose – abandoned 1594
and replaced by Admiral’s Men

Queen Henrietta’s Men – performed at the
Cockpit 1625 to 1636 – company disbanded 1636 when plague closed theatres, and
replaced at the Cockpit by Beeston’s Boys

Queen’s Hall – 1900
Queen’s Long Acre (1867-1878) – In 1849 original known as St. Martin’s Hall – used by Charles Dickens to read from his own works – 1867 converted to 2nd largest theatre in London – Double Marriage 1867; Dearer Than Life 1868; Katharine and Petrochio 1868; Fool’s Revenge – 1869; Wandering Heir (Ellen Terry) 1873; named changed to National in 1877 – closed 1879;
Queen’s Royal Opera House – Crouch End –

Queen’s Theatre – (see also Dorset Garden Theatre (1672-1674) – 1689 renamed Queens – demolished 1709; 2nd Queen’s Theatre – 1704 – 1789 burned down
and new one built 1790-91; 3rd Queens Theatre – (see St. Martin’s Hall) – Neal Street & Long
Acre – erected 1849 as St. Martin’s Hall beside John Menzies’ newsagent – used
on numerous occasions by Charles Dickens reading from his own works – part of
the outside walls still stand in Endell Street and Arne Street opened 1867
converted to 2nd largest theatre in London – opened with Double Marriage, but
first success was Dearer Than Life 1868 – name changed to National in 1877; ; 4th – Queen’s Theatre – (Piccadilly
Circus) Shaftesbury Avenue – 1907-08 – (977 seats) – (see also Dorset Garden
Theatre, Her Majesty’s Theatre and Scala Theatre) – built as sister to The Globe
which it adjoins – first success 1908 with Belle of Brittany, and Potash and
Perlmutter 1914; Old Folks at Home (Marie Tempest) 1933 (204); – 1940 damaged during blitz – exterior rebuilt 1950 – derelict until
1959 – Paint Your Wagon (1953); Teahouse of the August Moon 1954; West Side Story 1958; Ages of Man (John Gielgud) 1959; Otherwise
Engaged; The Dresser; Stop the World I Want to Get Off (Anthony Newley) 1961
(485); Lady From the Sea (Margaret Leighton) 1961; Vanity Fair 1962; 12 Angry
Men (Leo Genn) 1964 (99); Fiddler on the Roof 1967; Conduct Unbecoming 1969; What the Butler Saw (Ralph
Richardson,Coral Browne) 1969 (101); Getting On 1971; Tommy 1979 (118); Conduct
Unbecoming; Card 1973; Bordello 1974; Flowers for Algernon (Michael Crawford)
1979 (28); Amadeus 1981; Matador 1991; Radio Times 1992; Lenny (Eddie Izzard) 1999; Les
Miserables – 21st year

Questors Theatre
– Matlock Lane, Ealing – largest amateur theatre – founded
in 1929 – 1933 adapted disused chapel for its productions – new theatre opened
1964 (325-450 seats)

Raglan Music Hall – Lord Raglan Music Hall
and Public House 1855-1878

Red Bull Theatre – Upper Street,
Clerkenwell – originally an Inn used for yard plays – 1604 – adapted as
permanent theatre in 1605 – occupied by Queen Anne’s Men until 1917 and then by
other companies – renovated 1625 – 1661 theatre fell into disuse – demolished
between 1663-65 (see also Inns)

Red Lion – to launch new venue New Red Lion in Fall 2010 – 80 seats and take over current Offside Bar on City Road

Red Lion Playhouse – Stepney – England’s
first public amphitheatre opened in Whitechapel in 1567 with “Samson”

Regal – now Cannon – in Streatham High Road
& Beckenham High Road

REgal – now Odeon in Broadway, Wimbledon

REgal Cinemas, Kingston – 1932

Regency Theatre – see Scala Theatre

Regent Music Hall – 1861-1879

Regent’s Park – Open Air – Bashville 1983

Regent Theatre – Euston Road – 1310 seats –
1900 as Euston Music-Hall – became Playhouse 1922 – Body and Soul 1922 – 1932
became cinema

Rex – 1896

Richmond Odeon – 1930

Richmond Theatre
– built 1899 as “Richmond Theatre and Opera House” – 1902
renamed “Prince of Wales Theatre” – 1909 renamed “Richmond Hippodrome” – also
known as “Theatre Royal, Richmond” and “The Theatre on the Green” – 1915
refurbished – 1975 restoration of foyer, seating changes – 1990-1991
refurbished – 840 seats; 2nd – Richmond – 1765

Ridiculusmus –

Ring – large octagonal structure –
originally chapel on Blackfriars Road – 1783 became boxing ring and
theatre-in-the-round – Henry V 1936; Much Ado About Nothing 1937; Merry Wives of
Windsor 1937 – demolished after WWII – has been confused with nearby Rotunda

Riverside Studios – 1900 – Crisp Road,
Hammersmith – arts centre housing theatre, concerts, films, dance – originally
an iron foundry on the banks of the Thames in Hammersmith – munitions factory
during the war – was the largest BBC TV centre in Europe – vacated 1974 – centre
opened 1976/78 – Invade My Privacy 1993; The Exonerated 2006

River Theatre – see Unicorn Theatre

River Walk Restaurant – 2nd Floor, Oxo Tower Wharf – cabaret venue –

Rose Theatre – Bankside,
Surrey – built 1587 – halfway between Globe and Hope Theatres – 1592 Strange’s
Men there, and from 1594 to 1600 the Admiral’s Men – lease expired in 1605 – see
also Globe Theatre – campaign to protect and display the remains of the Rose
theatre has been given a further boost – Mike Corfield, chief scientist for
English Heritage, says the remains are far better preserved than had been
expected – The Rose has been something of a poor relation to the Globe –
recreated, a few yards from the Rose’s site on the South bank of the Thames, and
under the artistic direction of Mark Rylance – Rose was more closely asociated
with Christopher Marlowe than with Shakespeare, but was recreated for the film
Shakespeare in Love – talk of it being erected close to the current remains of,
and museum devoted to original Rose Theatre – Tonight (11 September 2003), for
the first time since its closure in 1603, the Rose Theatre in the London borough
of Southwark, site of Shakespeare’s early career and the plays of Christopher
Marlowe, will play host to a full theatrical production. At the archaeological
site, discovered in 1989 and still being excavated, 2003 new staging of
Marlowe’s Tamburlaine The Great

and Crown Theatre

Rose of Normandy Tavern – 1858 – Marylebone
High Street – became Marylebone Music Hall – flourished until 1894 when closed
as being unsafe

Rose Tavern – see Will’s Coffee House

Rotherhithe Hippodrome – 1899-1955 – also
known as Tarriss Theatre

Rotunda – hall in Blackfriar’s Road –
sometimes confused with Ring (opposite side of road about 500 yards away) – 1790
opened as museum – from 1833-1838 was known as Globe Theatre – 150 seats – later
Britannia Music Hall – closed 1886 – became warehouse – demolished 1945

Rotunda Assembly Room – Southwark –

Roundhouse – Chalk Farm Road – Camden Town
– built 1847 to house trains and turn them around – became disused locomotive
shed – taken over 1961 as Centre 42 – Catch My Soul 1968; Joseph and the Amazing
Technicolor Dreamcoat 1972; Big Sin City 1978; – closed May 2004 for
refurbishing – reopens June 5/06 with Fuerzabruta 2006; Main House boasts a
seating capacity of 1,800 and standing room for 3,300. The roof has been
replaced and its central glass lantern restored, allowing natural light into the
space for the first time since the 1860’s; also includes Studio 42, a 150-person
seated or 200 standing capacity studio theatre space; Undercroft, has been
converted into rehearsal spaces and recording and video editing studios,
providing opportunities for 10,000 young people a year to develop creative
skills – will host an annual season of work by the Royal Shakespeare Company for a five-year period beginning in 2012

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) –
established 1904 – see Vanbrugh

Royal Adelaide Theatre – see Gatti’s

Royal Adelphi Theatre – see Adelphi

Albert Hall
– concert hall, built 1867-1871 for the “Royal Albert Hall of
Arts and Sciences Corporation”, on the former site of Gore House. Opened 1871 by
Queen Victoria – named in honour of Queen Victoria’s late husband, Prince
Consort Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1819-1861). The Royal Albert Hall Organ
(9779 pipes) is the second-largest organ in the U.K. (second only to the
Liverpool Anglican Cathedral Organ). 1995-2003 major renovation. Used for
political and religious meetings, exhibitions, banquets, sports tournaments,
balls, and classical and pop concerts, including the BBC’s annual “Proms” summer
concert series. Capacity: up to 5266 persons

Royal Albert Music Hall – Canning Town –
1876-1907 – also known as Imperial Theatre, Aquarium Theatre, Royal Aquarium
Theatre, Victoria London

Royal Alexandra Theatre – opened in 1865
and closed in 1871

Royal Alfred Theatre – see West London

Royal Amphitheatre – 1867 – see Astley’s

Royal Aquarium Theatre – Victoria – see
Imperial Theatre

Royal Artillery Theatre – Woolwich – built
to take place of theatre constructed in old garrison church in 1863 – closed due
to bomb damage – 1956

Royal Assembly Rooms, Woolwich – 1881

Royal Avenue Theatre – Northumberland Ave – see also Playhouse – 1882 – 761 seats – demolished 1905 – Manteaux Noirs 1882; Nell Gwynne 1884; Nadsy 1888; Lady Slavey 1894; New Barmaid 1896; Monte Carlo 1896; Man About Town 1897;

Royal Brunswick Theatre – see Royalty

Royal Cambridge Music Hall – 1864-1936

Royal Camden Theatre – now Camden Palace –
1900-01 Camden High Street – currently nightclub – original seated 3000

Royal Circus – Blackfriars Road – see
Surrey Theatre

Royal Coburg Theatre – see Old Vic

Royal Colosseum, Albany Street

Royal County Theatre – 1897

Royal Court Theatre – Lower George Street,
Chelsea – from a Noncomformist Chapel – opened as New Chelsea 1870 – changed to
Belgravia – opened 1871 as Royal Court – Randall’s Thumb 1871; Wedding March
1873; Happy Land 1873 – closed 1887 and was demolished; 2nd Royal Court – *Royal
– (Sloane Square) – East side of Sloane Square – 1888 – celebrating 50
years 2006 – built to replace Royal Court – Mamma 1888; Cabinet Minister 1890;
Trelawney of the Wells 1898 – seating 642 – 1888 – 1932 became cinema – damaged
1940 by bomb – reopened 1952 – closed 1964 for reconstruction – downstairs 395
seats – see also English Stage Company – 1969 Theatre Upstairs added – 80 seats
– famous as the home of new playwrights from Shaw to Osborne – Look Back in
Anger (Kenneth Haigh,Mary Ure,Alan Bates) 1956; Entertainer (Laurence Olivier)
1957; Changeling (Robert Shaw,Mary Ure,Zoe Caldwell) 1961; Laughter 1978
(Timothy West); Big Wolf, Lovers of Viorne, The Sea; The Winterling 2006; –
2005-06 celebrates their 50th Anniversary Season

*Royal Court Jerwood Theatre – Sloane
Square – see Royal Court

Royal Duchess Theatre – Badham – 1899-1960s
– also known as Badham Hippodrome, Duchess Palace, Duchess Theatre

Royal English Opera House – see Palace –
Cambridge Circus – 1891 – closed and is now the Palace Theatre

Festival Hall
– (Waterloo) South Bank Centre – home of the London
Philharmonic and Philharmonia Concert hall, built 1949-1951 – 2909 seats – Royal
Festival Hall was the first part of the Southbank Centre to be opened. Other
concert halls, theatres, and museums like Queen Elizabeth Hall (917 seats),
Purcell Room (370 seats), Royal National Theatre, National Film Theatre, Jubilee
Gardens, Hayward Gallery, Museum of the Moving Image, and Saison Poetry Library
followed, making Southbank Centre one of the largest cultural centres in the
world – now under renovation – to reopen June 2007

Royal Foresters’ Music Hall, Mile End –
opened 1825 and closed in 1917

Royal Globe Theatre – opened in 1868 until

Royal Grecian Theatre, Shoreditch – opened
in 1825 and closed in 1882

Royal Grove Theatre – see Astley’s

Royal (Holborn) Music-Hall – see Holborn

– The Lion King opened 1999

Royal (Late Weston’s) Music Hall –
opened in 1857 and closed by bombing in 1941 – demolished in 1961

National Theatre
– 1976 – South Bank – built on the banks of Thames – three
theatres – Olivier (1160), Lyttelton (890)- revival My Fair Lady; Cottesloe
(400); Plenty (Kate Nelligan) 1978; Oklahoma (revival) Hugh Jackman 1998;
Southwark Fair 2006; Once in a Lifetime 2006;

Royal Olympic Theatre – 1831 – remodelled
in 1849 – demolished in 1889 – rebuilt in 1890 and finally torn down in 1905

Opera House
– Covent Garden – reopening December 1999, completely rebuilt
and refurbished – 2100 seats – houses the Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera –
this is the third theatre built on this site – originally built in 1732 – Handel
premiered some of his important works here, as well as actors like David
Garrick, playwrights like Sheridan and Goldsmith – remodelled and seating
capacity increased in 1782 and 1792 – burnt to the ground 1808 and reopened 1809
– Queen Victoria and her consort became regular attendees – 1846 theatre
substantially rebuilt as the Royal Italian Opera – 1856 after a riot, theatre is
razed to the ground by fire – reopened in 1858 and entertained talents like
Nellie Melba and Adelina Patti – 1892 renamed The Royal Opera House – used
mostly as a furniture store during the war 1914-18 – 1939-45 theatre used as a
dance hall for the troops – 1946 theatre houses the Covent Garden Opera Company
and the Sadler’s Wells Ballet Company – 1956 Sadler’s Wells renamed The Royal
Ballet featuring Dame Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev – closed for
redevelopment in July 1997 for 2 and a half years, reopening the spectular new
theatre in 1999 – also houses the Linbury Studio Theatre, close to the Theatre

Royal Panopticon of Science and Art – see
Alhambra – 1851 – also known as Alhambra Theatre, Odeon Leicester Square

Royal Pavillion – there in 1837

Royal Shakespeare
– formed 1961 – moved to Barbican arts complex 1982

Royal Shakespeare Theatre – name given to
Shakespeare Memorial Theatre – 1928 Twenty-nine year old Elizabeth Scott wins
the architectural design competition for a new Stratford Memorial Theatre in
Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Scott, the lone female entrant, incorporates some
of the remains of the burnt building, but her Art Deco design breaks with the
former Victorian tradition – see Stratford-Upon-Avon – As You Like It (Vanessa
Redgrave); Othello; Pericles (Ian Richardson) 1969 – reopening after extensive renovations in Nov 2010 – brand new 1,000 seat thrust stage auditorium, 36 metre high Tower, new exhibition spaces, new places to eat and drink, including Rooftop Restaurant and Riverside Café and terrace, restored 1930s features and improved public areas including the new Weston Square

Royal Standard Music Hall –

Royal Strand- at Aldwych Underground
Station, south of Aldwych – 1882 – demolished 1905

Shakespeare Company at Stratford Upon Avon
– theatre built in 1932 (Royal
Shakespeare Theatre) – the original festival of presenting Shakespeare’s plays
was started in 1769

Royal Soho Theatre – see Royalty Theatre

Royal Standard Music-Hall – Pimlico – see
Victoria Palace – 1832-1910 – formerly Royal Standard Hotel, Moy’s Music Hall,
Royal Standard Concert Rooms, Royal Standard Music Hall

Royal Strand Theatre – 1832-1905

Royalty Theatre – Well Street, Wellclose
Square – 1787 – As You Like It 17871813 changed to East London – 1822 staged
shipwreck of the Grosvenor – 1826 burnt down – rebuilt as Royal Brunswick –
opened 1828 and collapsed three days later due to weight of roof – 15 people
were killed and 20 injured; 2nd Royalty – Dean Street – Soho and then New
English Opera House – 1861 reopened as New Royalty – reconstructed in 1895,
1906, & 1911 – closed 1938 – badly damaged during war – demolished 1955 –
Disraeli 1916 (128); At Mrs. Beam’s 1923 (280) ; 3rd Royalty – *Royalty
– (Holborn) – Portugal Street, Kingsway – see Peacock – 1960 – built
as part of office development on site of Stoll Theatre (1911) as rival to Royal
Opera House – 997 seats – The Visit (starring the Lunts) 1960; 1960-61 became
cinema and reopened as live theatre 1970 with Oh Calcutta (3 years) – 1981
became tv studio; 2nd – Royalty Theatre – Soho – 1840-1953 – – also known as
Miss Kellys Theatre, Royal Soho Theatre, Soho Theatre, New English Opera House,
New Royalty Theatre, Theatre Francais, Royalty Theatre

Royal Victoria Hall and Coffee Tavern – see
Old Vic – 1880s

Rudolf Steiner House – theatre at 35 Park
Road – often used for drama


Sadler’s Wells – (Angel) – Rosebery Avenue
– 1927 – In 1683 Sadler discovered a medieval well & enclosed it with garden and
stage – first stone theatre built 1746

– Theatre Royal Sadler’s Wells – (Lilian Baylis Theatre, Peacock
Theatre) – Rosebery Avenue, Finsbury – opened 1683 as a music hall – 2500 seats
– a popular pleasure-garden became known as Sadler’s Wells – 1685 a wooden music
room to house concerts – 1699 renamed Miles’s Musick House – 1753 became a
theatre – 1765 wooden building replaced with stone one – 1804 became Aquatic
Theatre, but soon returned to former name – 1807 false alarm of fire resulted in
death of 20 people – 1840s Miles’s Musick House (music hall) – closed 1878 as
dangerous structure – reopened same year – closed down 1906 – 1927 new theatre
built – opened 1931 (1650 seats, later 1499) – became home to Old Vic from 1934
– closed 1940 – reopening 1945 – Polish Mime Theatre; Trelawny 1972; Ragged
Child 1988

St. George’s Hall, Regent Street – opened
1867 and destroyed by bombing during World War II

St. George’s Theatre – Islington – 1976 in
converted church

St. James Theatre
– opened December 14, 1835 – built on the site of a rundown hotel – renovated
1900 (1,200 seats) – demolished in 1957 to make way for an office block; 2nd St.
James’s Theatre – Royal St. James’ Theatre – King Street, Piccadilly – Opened as
St. James House 1835 – 1200 seats – 1840 became the Prince’s Theatre – in 1842
became St. James – reconstructed in 1879 – Lady Windemere’s Fan 1892; Woman of
No Importance 1893; Importance of Being Ernest 1895 – auditorium rebuilt 1900 –
Bella Donna (Mrs. Patrick Campbell) 1911 (253); roof damaged by bombing 1944 –
Separate Tables 1954 (726); theatre closed 1957 – demolished 1957 for offices
; 2. St. James Theatre – 12 Palace Street – newley built theatre complex on site of former Westminster Theatre – 312 seat main theatre – opening in Victoria Sept 2012 – also flexible studio space seating 200 or 150 standing
St. Martin’s Music Hall – Long Acre – see
Queen’s Theatre

Martin’s Theatre
– (Leicester Square) – West Street – St. Martin’s Lane –
built 1913 but opened 1916 due to WWI – (550 seats) – Houp La! 1916; Damaged
Goods 1917; The Ghost Train 1925; When We Are Married 1938; Shop at Sly Corner
1945 (over 800 perf); Enter a Free Man 1968 (44); Sleuth 1970; The Creeper; 1961
(2,385); Sleuth 1970; Say Goodnight to Grandma; “The Mousetrap” moved here in
1974 – now in its 56th year (Nov 2008);

St. Pancras Peoples Theatre – 1926-1940

Salisbury Court Theatre – 1629 –
Whitefriars – on part of site of Dorset House between Fleet Street and Thames –
interior destroyed 1649 during raid – restored 1660 as first theatre to open –
burnt down in Great Fire of 1666 – sometimes confused with Whitefriars Theatre,
which it replaced – see Beeston’s Boys

Sam Wanamaker Theatre – new indoor Jacobean theatre that will be built within Shakespeare’s Globe in honor of the Globe’s pioneering founder – first performances due to begin there in January 2014 – will seat 340 people with two tiers of galleried seating and a pit seating area
Sanger’s Grand National Amphitheatre – see
Astley’s Amphitheatre

San Pareil – see Adelphi

Sans Souci – 1791 – Strand – closed 1796 –
reopened at corner of Leicester Place, Leicester Square 1796 – 1832 vaudeville –
after 1834 became warehouse and hotel – demolished 1898

Saracen’s Head – inn used as theatre
(Islington) – one of earliest known to be used for plays – inn reconstructed
early in 17th Century (may have been situation at the junction of Goswell Street
and St. John’s Street

*Saville Theatre – Shaftesbury Avenue –
1931 – 135 Shaftesbury – last theatre to be built on Shaftesbury – opened with
series of musical plays 1931 – damaged in bombing 1941 – reopened as cinema in
1955 – Love From Judy 1952; Expresso Bongo 1958 (316); Pickwick (Harry Secombe)
1963 (694); On the Level 1966; Amen Corner, A Very Private Matter – closed 1970
– converted to twin cinemas

*Savoy Hotel – Strand –
opened 1889 – home to Gary Grant, Noel Coward, Marlene Dietrich, Winston Churchill – elegant Savoy Library, American Bar, Savoy Grill, built by Richard D’Oyly Carte – next to Strand Theatre – 174 Edward rooms and 94 art deco rooms – restored

– (Charing Cross) Strand – Beaufort Buildings – opened 1881 with
Patience – (1100 seats) built as D’Oyly Carte’s theatre – first to be lit by
electricity – refurbished in 1929 – Merrie England 1902; Caesar and Cleopatra
1907; Pairs and Penalties:Defence of Queen Caroline 1911; Journey’s End 1929
(594); 1921 reconstruction – 1121 seats – 1930 art deco; Journey’s End 1929
(594); Othello (Paul Robeson,Peggy Ashcroft) 1930; Free As Air 1957; Marigold
1959; Murder in the Vicarage 1976 (1776) – moved to Fortune Theatre; interior
destroyed by fire 1990; – reopened in 1993 restored; Whose life is it Anyway
1978 (672); Travesties, She Loves Me; The Rat Pack – Live From Las Vegas (Savoy
Theatre is set to become the capital’s third opera house in April, 2004 when the
Savoy Opera opens there; October 2005 theatre sold to Ambassador Theatre Group
(ATG) and the Tulbart Group by West One now owned by Ambassador Group which owns 39 theatres in Britain and Foxwoods on Broadway; 2nd Savoy opened 1939;

Scala Theatre – Tottenham Court Road –
opened as King’s Concert Rooms in 1772 and 1802 became Cognoscenti Theatre –
closed 1808 – reopened as Tottenham Street Theatre 1810 – 1814 became Regency
Theatre – 1820 – became West London – closed for many years – reopened 1831 as Queen’s or alternatively Fitzroy – became
nicknamed “Dust Hole” – redecorated 1865 – renamed Prince of Wales – 1882 closed
for repairs – became Salvation Army Hostel – 1930 demolished – original portico
served as stage door entrance to the Scala – 1905 – 1193 persons called the Scala – 1969 theatre closed – demolished 1972 – see West London Theatre;
Tottenham Street (1820-1831); Queen’s Theatre, Tottenham Street (1831-1833) and
(1839-1865); Fitzroy Theatre (1833-1835) and (1837-1839); Prince of Wales
Theatre, Tottenham Street (1865-1905); Scala (1905-1969) – closed for demolition
– opened in 1772 and closed in 1969 – demolished 1972

Sevenoaks Playhouse – previously Stag
Theatre – London Road

7:84 Theatre Company – fringe theatre group
– British touring theatre company began 1971

– undergoing redevelopment early 2013(Holborn) 210 Shaftesbury Avenue – 1887 (1404 seats) – formerly
opened 1911 as Prince’s Theatre – Shaftesbury built on this site – As You Like It 1888;
Middleman 1889; Judah 1890; In Dahomey (first Negro musical) 1903 (251 perf);
Middleman 1889; Arcadians 1909; Daniel (Sarah Bernhardt) 1921; Thank You, Mr.
Pepys! (Edmund Gwenn) 1937 – destroyed during blitz in 1941; 2nd Shaftesbury at
Holborn end of Shaftesbury Avenue – 1300 seats – opened 1911 as New Prince’s
Theatre – “new” was dropped – badly bombed 1940-1 but stayed open – 1962
renovated and reopened as Shaftesbury Theatre – Pal Joey 1954; Wonderful Town
1955; How to Succeed in Business 1963; Our Man Crichton 1964; Twang 1965; Hair
1968; Dad’s Army 1975;Big Bad Mouse; Hair (2000 performances)1968 – 1974 saved
from demolition and led to founding of Theatres Trust to protect endangered
theatres; Liza of Lambeth 1976; Drake’s Dream 1977; Maggie 1977; Follies 1987
(18 months); Phantom of the Opera 1991; Out of the Blue 1994; M. Butterfly; Kiss
of the Spider Woman; Carousel; Tommy; Rent (18 months);

Shakespeare’s Globe
– 1993-1997see Globe Theatre – 1500 seats – also see Sam Wanamaker Theatre

Shakespeare Memorial Theatre –
Stratford-Upon-Avon – Warwickshire – 1879 – 1926 destroyed by fire – new theatre
opened 1932 – 1500 seats – 1961 theatre renamed Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Shakespeare Theatre – Clapham District – 1996 –
Through Death Valley; Or, the Mormon Peril 1911

Shared Experience – fringe theatre group –
British touring company – founded 1975 – now playing out of converted laundry in

Shaw Theatre – built 1979 – see National
Youth Theatre – Beatlemania 1976; closed 1984 – Challenge 1992 – part of Novotel
– renovated and reopened in May, 2001 – Fears have been raised over the future
of the Shaw Theatre in central London, after it was revealed that the management
of the venue is to be taken over by Novotel in which it is located

Shepherd’s Bush Empire – 1903 – longtime
BBC TV theatre and currently concert venue

Shoreditch Empire Theatre – London Music
Hall – see Griffin

Shoreditch High Street Music-Hall – opened
1576 – known as The Theatre – the first private playhouse

Shoreditch Town Hall – 1865

Slough Asian Theatre Company

Society for
Theatre Research
– founded 1948 – encourages preservation of theatre
buildings, source material and photographic records – instrumental in founding
British Theatre Museum – helped in founding of “International Federation of
Theatre Research” – 1956

American Society for Theatre Research
was founded

Soho – 21 Dean St – small and intimate –
part used by restaurant – formerly West End Great Synagogue

Soho Poly – fringe theatre

Sondheim Theatre
– Shaftesbury Avenue – first new theatre to be built since
1931 – on top of the Gielgud/Queen’s block (see photo below) – Sir Cameron
Mackintosh unveiled his plans June 26/03 for the renovation of all of his
theatres, including the Prince of Wales and the Strand, as well as a major
overhaul of the Queen’s and Gielgud block on Shaftesbury Avenue that will
include a new studio theatre, to be named the Sondheim Theatre. This theatre –
the first to be built in Shaftesbury Avenue since 1931 – is named after the
composer Stephen Sondheim – The new theatre will be above the Gielgud and
Queens, designed to accommodate transfers from venues such as the Donmar
Warehouse, Almeida, Cottesloe and Royal Court and its foyers will have views
over the rooftops of the West End; Work on the Queen’s, Gielgud and Sondheim
site will begin in early 2006, with a projected completion date of early 2008.
Seating capacity for the Queen’s will be increased from 900 to 1,213 with
improved sightlines and improved circulation in the foyers – with the ability to
move between all three theatres

Sound Theatre
– A new 200-seat theatre, 10 Wardour Street – is due to open
in London’s Leicester Square on June 21/05 – KIT Productions will produce its
own work as well as transferring off-West End productions to the Sound. There
are also plans for late-night cabaret slots, lunchtime readings, workshops and
discussions. The venue will open with The Laramie Project. The rest of the
opening season will include Terence McNally’s Frankie and Johnnie In the Clair
de Lune, and a new version of Prometheus Bound – will close on 26 August 2006

South Bank Centre

South London Music Hall – see Music Hall –
1860 – burned down 1869 – rebuilt and reopened – damaged by enemy action 1941 –
demolished 1955

South London Palace (of Varieties) –
Lambeth – opened 1860 (formerly South London Music Hall)

South London Theatre
– 1881

Southwark Playhouse – Founded 1993 it was originally housed in a disused workshop, before moving to London Bridge – to bid farewell to its current home as of Jan. 5/13 – theatre will be temporarily relocating to new premises while development work is carried out to London Bridge station that runs overhead – found new temporary premises to replace its current home below London Bridge Station, which is being redeveloped – new space in the heart of Southwark, located on Newington Causeway in London SE1, halfway between Elephant & Castle and Borough tube stations – new building is converted 1960’s office space/warehouse, which provides space enabling the theatre to expand from a 150-seat capacity Main House and 100-seat Vault space to a 240-seat Main House and 120-seat Studio with, for the first time in its almost  20-year history its own café, rehearsal rooms and a dedicated space for education work – it will reopen there in April 2013 – theatre managed to secure a permanent home within the London Bridge Station development when it is completed in 2018

– Isle of Dogs – 200 seats

Stage Society – founded 1899 to produce
plays not likely to be performed in commercial theatres – functioned for 40
years and staged over 200 plays

Stag Theatre – 15, Bressenden Place – new
upstairs space – Above the Stag – 50 seats – opened Oct 2008 with American

Stag Theatre – see Sevenoaks

Standard Theatre, Shoreditch – originally
pleasure garden attached to Royal Standard Public House from1837 – 3000 seat
circus ring burnt down 1866 – rebuilt 1867 as Standard Theatre – 1876 reopened
as New National Standard Theatre – 1907 became Olympia, Shoreditch, then
Music-Hall and used as a cinema from 1926 – damaged by bombs 1940 – demolished
soon after – also known as New Great National Standard Theatre (c. 1859)

Standard – demolished

Stephen Sondheim Theatre – new 500-seat
studio space named in honour of American composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim. The
Sondheim Theatre will form part of a new £20 million Shaftesbury Avenue complex
that will also comprise the refurbished Gielgud and Queen’s Theatres

Stockport Garrick Society – dates from 1901

Stoll-Moss Theatres

Stoll Theatre – Kingsway
– see Opera House – first known theatre on the site in the 17th century (‘Vere
Street Theatre’ in Clare Market) – from the 18th century to 1911, no theatrical
use of the site is recorded – 2430 seats – built for Oscar Hammerstein I as
London Opera House 1911 – 1917 became Stoll Picture Theatre and back to theatre
as Stoll in 1941 – Porgy and Bess 1952; Kismet 1955 (648) – closed 1957 – demolished –
Royalty Theatre in Portugal Street built on part of the site

Strand Music-Hall – see Gaiety Theatre

–168-9 Strand – 1067 seats – building near Somerset House which was
used for panoramas (1803-1828) – converted to theatre 1832 as Rayner’s New
Strand Subscription Theatre – closed and reopened 1833 – again remodelled and
reopened 1836 – 1850 became Punch’s Playhouse – reconstructed 1865 – closed 1905
– demolished for Aldwych underground station; 2nd >*Strand
– (Charing Cross) – originally known as Waldorf – twin to Aldwych
Theatre – Strand will be reopened as the Ivor Novello Theatre 2005 after its
refurbishment – Aldwych – 1084 seats – opened 1905 as Waldorf – (1077 seats) –
1909 became Strand Theatre – 1911 the Whitney – back to Strand in 1913 – bombed
during war 1915 – Scandal (Noel Coward) 1918; bombed again 1940 – Arsenic and
Old Lace 1942; Sailor Beware (1955); A Funny Thing Happened 1960; Belle 1961;
Wait Until Dark 1966; Not Now Darling 1968; The Real Thing; No Sex Please We’re
British 1971; Buddy currently in its 9th year – will have its sightlines and
disabled access improved and refurbished public areas and bars – one of which
will be renamed the Novello Bar after Ivor Novello who used to live in the
Strand building facing Aldwych, and whose flat will be reconverted from offices
to a private dwelling

Strange’s Men – company appeared at Court
1582 after playing Provinces – amalgamated with Admiral’s Men – at The Theatre
1590 – may have employed Shakespeare – also appeared at The Rose 1592-3 –
separated themselves from Admiral’s Men in 1594 – some joined newly formed
Chamberlain’s Men

Stratford Borough Theatre – Stratford East
– demolished

Stratford Circus Theatre – opening June
2001 – Theatre Square (adjacent to Theatre Royal and Stratford Picture House) –
the Circus will contain four performance spaces, meeting rooms, a computer
suite, bars and a café. The centre aims to deliver up to 2,000 events a year,
including touring shows from across the performance spectrum, plus a full
programme of classes, workshops and community events – closed 2 years after its

Stratford East Borough Theatre – 1884 – see
Theatre Royal, Stratford East

Stratford-Upon-Avon – Warwickshire –
birthplace of Shakespeare – 1st festival 1769 – theatre built 1827 – demolished
1872 (see Shakespeare Memorial Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Theatre – now
houses a three theatre complex – see Royal Shakespeare Theatre – 1300 seats –
built in 1932; Swan; and Other Place – plans for being demolished and replaced
plus refurbishing the other 2 theatres – scheduled for completion by 2008 –
total capacity of the 3 theatres would increase from 1,855 to 2,132, and the
cost would be 72.7 million U.S. dollars – reopening Nov 2010 – brand new 1,000 seat thrust stage auditorium, 36 metre high Tower, new exhibition spaces, new places to eat and drink, including Rooftop Restaurant and Riverside Café and terrace, restored 1930s features and improved public areas including the new Weston Square

Streatham Hill Theatre – 1929 – now bingo

Sun Theatre/Music Hall and Gardens –
Knightsbridge – licenced 1851 – flourished as a music hall until 1890

Surrey (Garden) Music Hall – 1856 –
Kennington – burned down 1861 – building on site used by St. Thomas’s Hospital
until 1872 – was remodelled as Music-Hall – used until 1877 when it closed –
demolished 1878

Surrey Music Hall – Surrey Garden Music
Hall – see Winchester Music Hall – see also Surrey Theatre – 1856

Surrey Theatre – Blackfriars Road, Lambeth
– on site of Royal Circus (1782-1810) – burnt down 1799 and 1805 – rebuilt 1806
and converted to theatre as Surrey – 1814 became a circus again until 1816 –
opened in 1832 – New Strand Theatre (1838-1840); Strand Theatre (1844); and
Royal Strand Theatre (1859) – 1865 theatre burnt down and new theatre (2161
seats) opened – 1920 became cinema – closed 1924 and demolished 1934

Sussex’s Men – company founded around 1569
at Court in 1572 – played The Rose 1593-4 – disbanded soon after they left the

Swan Theatre – Paris
Garden, Surrey – see Stratford-Upon-Avon – reopening Nov 2010 – brand new 1,000 seat thrust stage auditorium, 36 metre high Tower, new exhibition spaces, new places to eat and drink, including Rooftop Restaurant and Riverside Café and terrace, restored 1930s features and improved public areas including the new Weston Square

– Bankside in Southwark, in Paris
Garden – 4th theatre to be built in London – 1595 – (3,000 seats) – wooden –
used for sports and fencing and plays – when Hope Theatre opened 1614 – Swan was
disused until 1632 and fell into disrepair – Isle of Dogs 1597 – closed in 1637


Taboo – cabaret 1985

Talk of the Town – see Hippodrome

Arts Theatre
– British Asian theatre company – founded 1976

Tara Theatre – – new state of the art home in South London for the acclaimed Tara Arts, the oldest diverse multicultural theatre company in the UK, today, Thursday 1 September 2016 – 100-seat auditorium, a fully soundproofed rehearsal studio/workshop space, rooftop offices, bar and an outdoor patio garden
Tavistock House – 1855

Tavistock Repertory Company – see Tower

Teatr Polski – 1975

TEMBA – British theatre company – founded

Temperance Hall – see Hoxton Hall

Terriss Theatre – Rotherhithe – 1899-1955 –
– also known as Rotherhithe Hippodrome

Terry’s Theatre – Westminster – 105-109 The
Strand on site of Norman House – 1887 to 1923 – originally built on side of Coal
Hole – a forerunner of the music hall – 800 seats – became cinema in 1910 and
demolished in 1923 when road was widened

Theatre – built 1576 – Finsbury Fields,
Shoreditch – see Shoreditch Theatre – first playhouse to be built in London – on
site now occupied by Holywell Lane, Shoreditch – circular wooden building – 1576
– Leicester’s Men (later Oxford’s Men – remained until 1580s – by 1590 Admiral’s
Men were established here) – The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet – theatre
dismantled 1597 and timber used to build Globe Theatre – original site possibly
found in East London at vacant garage (angled walls of polygonal shape
discovered) August 2008

Theatre – Plans are underway to build a
400-seat, state of the art theatre on a graveyard just metres from the site of
Shakespeare’s original playhouse in London – £5 million venue will be built on
land attached to St Leonard’s church in Shoreditch, east London, close to what
is believed to be the site of The Theatre – London’s first purpose-built theatre
– scheduled to open in 2012 and will become a permanent home to Big Space
Theatre Productions, which has developed proposals for the location and which
uses St Leonard’s as its base – Elizabethan actor and theatre impresario James
Burbage, who built The Theatre – where some of Shakespeare’s early plays
premiered – is buried in the crypt of the church. His son Richard, who took many
leading roles in Shakespeare’s plays, is also buried there – theatre would take
its name from Burbage’s The Theatre, the suspected remains of which were
discovered last year just moments from the church – Although not the actual site
of The Theatre, we feel where we are proposing to build is its spiritual home,
because of the connection the church has with the Burbages

Theatre Buildings – Greek theatres were
open air cut out of hillsides, usually facing the sea (5th Century B.C.); Roman
theatres were built on the flat and amphitheatres were built for chariot races
and gladiator combats, but the destruction of the Roman Empire saw collapse of
organized theatre – it was reborn in liturgical dramas given in churches, and
later open air either in front of churches, or the marketplace on raised
platforms; Renaissance brought great change to theatre design, now indoors on
temporary stages of halls or palaces through the 16th Century. Proscenium arch
innovation 16th Century Italy and opera and ballet evolved horseshoe shaped
auditoriums (Teatro Olympico at Vincenza 1585; Sabionetta 1589; Teatro Farnese
at Parma 1619); Early French theatres were long and narrow (1540s); unroofed
playhouses of Elizabethan England i.e. Theatre, Fortune, Rose and The Globe;
Italian architects dominated building all over the continent during 17th
Century; In London after the Restoration, theatres were modelled on European
pattern like Dorset Garden (1671); Drury Lane (1674); Lincoln’s Inn Fields
(1714); Covent Garden (1732)); Grand staircases, foyers and porticos began with
opera houses of Germany and later Italy, to be taken up by legitimate theatres
only in 19th Century; a boom in theatre building worldwide after 1800; Germany
led world in theatre design up until World War I, but the boom in cinema
architecture led to theatres like the Duchess (London 1929); Cambridge (1930);
and Saville (1931); In United States Pasadena Playhouse (1925); Ziegfeld (New
York 1927); and Radio City Music Hall (1932) – later experimental-like
theatres-in-the-round and flexible staging e.g. Circle in the Square (New York
1960 and 1972); Arena Stage (Washington 1961); more dominant theme was the
thrust stage like Stratford Festival (Ontario 1953, rebuilt 1957); Guthrie
Theatre (1963) – 1970s developed the small workshop theatre i.e. National
Theatre (London 1976)

Theatre Centre – formerly the London
Childrens’ Theatre – 1954

Theatre 503 – formerly Latchmere Theatre – 60 seat venue above Latchmere Pub, Battersea

Theatre-in-the-Round – the stage is
surrounded by the audience (Arena Theatre) – mid 1930s being used by Realistic
Theatre in Moscow

Theatre Museum
– see Royal Opera House (Covent Garden) – formed association
1957 – came into being 1974 in Victoria and Albert Museum – to have been
transferred to Covent Garden when reopened – Since opening 20 years ago, the
venue in Tavistock Street has kept a valuable record of the arts, including
theatrical memorabilia and video archives – new news that V & A us collaborating
with Blackpool on possible new National Theatre Museum – London’s Theatre Museum
will open its doors to the public for the last time on Jan. 7/07 – closure goes
ahead despite protests from some of Britain’s highest-profile actors, including
Diana Rigg, Judi Dench and Venessa Redgrave – to become restaurant 2008; plans
to move shelved as Victoria & Albert new theatre performance galleries opening
March 2009 will provide same amount of permanent display space

Theatre of Black Women – British theatre
company founded in 1982

Theatre Royal – Croydon – 1800-1956 – also
known as Hippodrome, Empire Croydon, Eros Cinema

Royal, Drury Lane
(Covent Garden) – has been theatre on this site since 1636
– first permanent playhouse opened in 1663-1671 as Brydges Street Playhouse –
destroyed by fire 1672, The Playhouse (1674-1775), Drury Lane Theatre, Henry
Holland (1791), Theatre Royal Drury Lane (1812) – one of the world’s most famous
theatres and oldest site in Britain used continuously as a theatre – 4th and
present opened October 10, 1812 – remodelled in 1821 (3,060) – remodelled 1831
and a major renovation in 1847 – Cavalcade 1931; Glamorous Night 1935; Careless
Rapture 1936; Dancing Years 1939; Pacific 1860 1946; Oklahoma 1947; My Fair Lady
1958 (2281); Four Musketeers 1967; Gone With the Wind 1972; Billy 1974; Evening
with Alan Jay Lerner 1987; Miss Saigon 1989; Witches of Eastwick 2000; 2nd
Theatre Royal –
Theatre Royal,
– Haymarket (Piccadilly Circus) – there in 1833-1869 – built as
Little Theatre 1720 in building next door; Theatre Royal 1821 on site south of
the Little Theatre; reconstructed 1880; present interior 1905 – one of 3 Grade 1
historic buildings, along with Theatre Royal Drury Lane and Royal Opera House
Covent Garden remodelled 1858- The Chalk Garden, Voyage Round My Father; Lust
1993; Miss Saigon (10 years); 3rd Theatre Royal – Theatre Royal, Covent Garden
(See Royal Opera House) – built in 1732 – plays were being presented 1652-1685;
Handel played here 1745-1747 – burned plus subsequent building – present
building erected in 1858; 1859 became Royal English Opera, Covent Garden; 4th
Theatre Royal – Theatre Royal, Marylebone – opened 1832 as Royal Pavillion West;
West London Theatre – became a cinema in 1923; 5th Theatre Royal – Theatre Royal
– Glenarm Road – built in 1860s; 6th Theatre Royal – Theatre Royal, Stratford
East – in Gerry Raffles Square – 470 seats – 1884 – 1902 damaged by fire –
reopened on Dec. 13, 2001. The multi-million pound renovation of one of the two
jewels in East London’s crown (the other being the Hackney Empire) took a couple
of years, but the wait has been worth it and the architect and builders have
produced a theatre that can carry on into the millennium with confidence and
panache – Theatre Royal’s previous glory days were under the direction of Joan
Littlewood – A Taste of Honey and Oh What a Lovely War – Under Miss Littlewood
the Theatre Royal became known for its interest in plays about the working
class, reflecting the make up of the local community. That community is now
drawn from a great many different ethnic groups, and Afro-Caribbean and Asian
work is now a strong feature of the Theatre Royal’s artistic programming –
Although the newly refurbished theatre has launched with a seasonal pantomime,
Aladdin, the next year will see a play, Shoot 2 Win set around a netball team,
and a musical version of the Indian cinema epic Baju Bawra – Three productions
that originated at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East – Five Guys Named Mo, The
Phantom of the Opera (not the Lloyd Weber version) and The Invisible Man have
transferred to the West End during Philip Hedley’s time as Artistic Director,
and hopefully this list will be extended now that his theatre has the resources
to showcase new plays and musicals to even greater effect – Square Thing, a 100
seat studio opened 1979; The Harder They Come 2006; 7th Theatre Royal – Theatre
Royal, St. James

Theatre Royal, Stratford East – see

Theatres Trust – 22 Charing Cross Rd –
houses archive of theatrical resources

Theatre Upstairs – see Royal Court – Rocky
Horror Show 1973

Theatre Workshop – founded in Kendal in
1945 by Joan Littlewood – toured England and Europe – 1952 took over Theatre
Royal, Stratford opening 1953 – Twelfth Night 1953; Travellers 1953; Oh What a
Lovely War 1963 – group dispersed 1973

The Theatre – see Theatre – built in 1576 –
destroyed and its timbers used to build the Globe in 1598

Thrillers – probably originally such plays
as Arden of Faversham or Duchess of Malfi, Vampire, Thirteenth Chair, Ringer,
Arsenic and Old Lace, the plays of Dame Agatha Christie, Rope, Gaslight, Night
Must Fall, Dial M For Murder, Wait Until Dark, and more currently Deathtrap and


Tivoli Music-Hall – 65 The Strand (bet.
Adam and Durham House St (1890-demolished 1957) – erected on site of beer hall –
opened 1890 as Tivoli Theatre of Varieties – closed 1914 – demolished and
replaced 1923 by a cinema New Tivoli – closed 1956 – demolished 1957 and site
became department store

TKTS – was founded in 1980, when it was
known as the Half Price Ticket Booth. It was rebranded as tkts in 2001 to
distinguish it from the many unofficial ticket kiosks which had sprung up in the
area. The tkts booth, located in the Clocktower Building on the south side of
Leicester Square, is a popular local landmark and draws its customers from all
over the world. A second tkts outlet, which also now sells both on-the-day
discount and advance tickets, opened at the Brent Cross Shopping Centre in North
West London earlier this year

Toole’s Theatre – William IV St. & The
Strand (1854-1895)- built on the site of 5 previous theatres – Best Man 1894 –
closed in 1895

Tottenham Palace Theatre – Tottenham High
Road – 1908 – variety theatre – became cinema 1926 – bingo hall 1969

Tottenham Street Theatre – see Scala

Touring Companies – after demise in Britain
of local stock and repertory companies, touring groups appeared because of cheap
rail travel, but today companies throughout the world travel mainly by road, but
these companies are becoming rarer because of escalating costs

Tower Theatre
– Canonbury Place – Islington – well preserved 16th Century
building – theatre originally social club – home of Tavistock Repertory Company
(founded 1932) in 1952 moved to Canonbury Tower, Islington– adjacent hall became
160 seat theatre opening 1953 as Tower

Trafalgar Square Theatre – see Duke of
York’s – Whitehall – The Old Country 2006;

Trafalgar Studios -Whitehall
Theatre – is to be reborn as Trafalgar Studios – opening the 350 seat theatre in
May, 2004 – After years of being seen as one of the West End’s less commercially
happy venues, the Whitehall Theatre is in the process of a radical overhaul. It
will reemerge at the end
of May 2004 as two studio theatres under the name the Trafalgar Studios. Tim
Foster Architects is altering what was a fairly conventional 650-seat proscenium
arch theatre with stalls, circle and stage into the two new spaces – larger of
the spaces will have around 400 seats (depending on the seating configuration)
sweeping down, Roman amphitheatre-style, to the stage — or, alternatively, it
can be arranged as seating in the round – smaller space will have just 100 seats
and will be used exclusively to present new writing – the 400-seater would open
in May, 2004

Tricycle Theatre
considered off West End – 269 Kilburn Road (Kilburn) – a theatre and cinema with
a pub in the middle – was 1920s dance club – began 1980 in converted Foresters
Hall – almost destroyed by fire in 1987 – 225 seats, plus a rehearsal studio,
arts studio, smaller theatre/workshop and art gallery, cafe and bar – The
Tricycle has been home to British premieres of several August Wilson plays
(which later moved on to larger venues), and James Baldwin’s “The Amen Corner”
which moved on the West End. Tricycle was also the original home to the British
premieres of “Ain’t Misbehavin'” the Fats Waller musical and the South African
musical “Kat & the Kings” both of which moved on to the West End – 1998 cinema

Tristan Bates Theatre – 1A Tower St, Covent Garden – was created through the generosity of Sir Alan Bates and his family, and is dedicated to the memory of his son Tristan, who died tragically at the age of nineteen at the outset of his acting career

Trocadero Palace of Varieties – Great
Windmill Street- built on site of 1744 tennis court – opened 1829 as
Subscription Theatre – closed from 1835-50 when reopened as Argyll Rooms –
closed 1878 – 1882 reopened as Trocadero – 600 seats – 1895 converted to grill
room – 1965 converted to bowling alley

Turnham’s Music-all – see Metropolitan

Twentieth Century Theatre – see Bijou
London’s newest fringe theatre that was established above the London Road pub in the south-west London suburb of Twickenham, has shuttered after its sell-out opening production of Sweeney Todd ended an extended run Oct 2014

Unicorn Theatre
– a new children’s theatre (340 seat Weston Theatre and 120
seat River Theatre) opening December 2005 on Tooley Street, Southwark, near
London Bridge, near the National and Globe theatres on Tooley Street near the
London Dungeon – 1948-73 – Unicorn founded in 1947

Union Theatre – founded 1998
near Southwark Station, former paper warehouse – Sweeney Todd 2008;

Unity Theatre – Goldington Street, St.
Pancras – small theatre – 200 seats – 1936 – destroyed by fire 1975


Vanbrugh, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
(RADA) – Britain’s leading drama school – 1904 – moved to 62-64 Gower St in 1927
– 200 seat theatre, also 50 seat studio theatre

– (Charing Cross) – 404 The Strand – 1870 (690 seats) – For Love or
Money 1870 – Joseph’s Sweetheart 1888; Belle of Mayfair 1906;renevated and
reopened 1891 and again in 1926 – Rosmersholm; Hedda Gabler; Salad Days 1954-1960 (2282
perf.); Follow That Girl 1960; Wildest Dreams 1961; Chips With Everything;
Arsenic and Old Lace (Subil Thorndike) 1966; Absurd Person Singular; Move Over
Mrs. Markham 1970, A Private Matter; Present Laughter 1981; Who Plays Wins 1985;
Stomp (4th year 2006)

Vauxhall – place of entertainment on south
bank of Thames – originally Spring Gardens, Foxhall, opening 1660 – 18th Century
used for concerts and spectaculars – early 19th Century known as Royal Gardens,

Venue – Leicester Place – new theatre space
2002 – a conversion of a church basement off Leicester Square into a 300 seater
theatrical space has created the first new West End theatre since the Arts –
also near Leicester Square – some seventy years ago – two leading fringe venues
created in the 1990s, Jermyn Street Theatre and the Bridewell, are both in
basements next to or near famous Wren churches – Taboo 2002; Pete and Dud Come
Again 2006 – being changed to new venue called Leicester Square Theatre August

Vere Street Theatre – Clare Market –
originally tennis court 1634 – used for plays after closing of theatre in 1642 –
became fencing school 1669-1671 – then meeting house, carpenter’s, slaughter
house – destroyed by fire 1809 – Stoll Theatre built on part of this site in

Verulamium – St. Alban’s – Roman Theatre
AD140 and 150 – mainly used for sport – AD200 stage enlarged – end of 3rd
Century theatre was rebuilt – abandoned end of 4th Century – discovered 1847 and
excavated 1934

and Albert Museum
– In March 2009, the new Theatre and Performance galleries
at the V&A will open to the public. The galleries replace those at the Theatre
Museum in Covent Garden, which closed in 2007. The new displays will explore the
process of performance, from the initial conception, through the design and
development stages, to audiences’ reactions. A section on costume design will
include Maria Bjornson’s design for Michael Crawford as the Phantom of the Opera
as well as realised garments worn by performers including Richard Burton as
Henry V, Adam Ant as Prince Charming and an Ossie Clarke jump suit worn by Mick
Jagger. A section on set design will display models, sketches and stage props;
There will also be archive footage and photographs of well-known performances
and performers including Rudolf Nureyev, Fred Astaire, Anna Pavlova, Maria
Callas, Luciano Pavarotti and Daniel Radcliffe, original posters and playbills,
theatrical prints and paintings. Pages from the first folio of Shakespeare’s
plays (1623), the only Handel promptbook in existence dating from his lifetime
(1720) and the original score for Jesus Christ Superstar will be digitised so
visitors can turn the pages and gain an insight into the creative process of
developing a performance; As well as our new galleries, we are also preparing a
major exhibition on Diaghilev and the Ballet Russes for 2101. This major
retrospective will examine the origins, development and long term influence of
the Ballets Russes, to celebrate the centenary of the company’s creation in

Palace Theatre>
– (Victoria) Victoria Street on site of Royal Standard Hotel
– 1911 – (1500 seats) – room known as Moy’s Music Hall – 1910 – built on site of
three previous music halls – 1840 present theatre built replacing music hall
from 1886 which had replaced one of 1863 – first theatre on the site opened 1848
or earlier as “Royal Standard Tavern”, later renamed “Royal Standard Music Hall”
– 1863 major rebuilding- 1886 major rebuilding – demolished 1911 – recently
renovated – Black and White Minstrels (10 years); The Windmill Man 1921-29); The
Show’s the Thing (Gracie Fields) 1929; Young England 1934; Me and My Girl 1937
(1646); Crazy Gang 1947 (15 years, until 1962); Black and White Minstrel Show
1962 (10 years); Me and My Girl 1954; Revues 1970s; Little Foxes (Elizabeth
Taylor) 1982; Charlie Girl (1980s); High Society (1980s); Winnie (1980s);
Brigadoon (1980s); Annie (3 and half years)1978; Windy City 1982;Barnum (Michael
Crawford) 1984; Buddy 1989 (6 year run); Jolson 1995 (over 2 years); Always;
Fame; Always 1997; Sweet Charity – revival 1998; Annie – revival; The New Rocky
Horror Show 1999; The Colour of Justice; Soul Train; The Pajama Game; La Cava
2000; Fame – revival; Kiss Me Kate; Grease 2002; Tonight’s the Night; Billy
Elliot – the musical 2005;

Victoria Theatre, Lambeth – (later known as
Old Vic) opened in 1818 as Royal Coburg Theatre; 2nd Victoria Theatre –
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire – converted cinema – 347 seats; 3rd Victoria
Theatre – other side of the Thames

Vortex Jazz Bar
– 139-141 Stoke Newington Church Street – cabaret venue


Waldorf Theatre – see Strand Theatre –
Antelope 1908

Waltham Forest Theatre

Warehouse Theatre – 1881 – became Royal
Shakespeare Company’s studio theatre – 200 seats – 1977 – Royal Shakespeare
Company left Warehouse in 1982

Washington Theatre – Battersea – 1886-1924
– also known as Battersea Palace

Watermans Theatre – 1984

West London Theatre – Church Street, off
Edgware Road – opened 1832 as Royal Pavilion West – 1835 renamed Portman – 1837
became Marylebone Theatre – 1868 became Royal Alfred and 1873 once again
Marylebone – end of 19th Century renamed West London – became cinema 1932 –
damaged 1941 then used as warehouse – while being demolished 1962 was destroyed
by fire; 2nd West London Theatre – Tottenham Court Road – see Scala Theatre

Westminster Theatre – opened 1832 – 585
seats – closed due to lack of a licence – site later occupied by part of
Imperial Theatre and subsequently Central Hall, Westminster; 2nd Westminster
Theatre – *Westminster
– 12 Palace Road, near Victoria Station – 1924 – 585 seats –
originally the Charlotte Chapel built in 1766, then a cinema 1921 – the St.
James Picture Theatre – became a theatre in 1931, the only theatre in west end
not to serve alcohol – The Anatomist 1931 – (Moral Rearmament Movement 1960)-
1946 it was acquired by the Westminster Memorial Trust – Space is So Startling
1962; Relative Values (Margaret Lockwood) 1972; Follow the Star 1975; Ride!
Ride! 1976- being demolished 2002, but the developers of the site have agreed to
create a smaller theatre within new development – new theatre earmarked for the
Talawa theatre company, especially in light of the continuing row about the
proposed demolition of the existing Mermaid Theatre in the City of London –
closing officially on March 3, 2002
– see St. James Theatre

Weston’s Music Hall – see Holborn Empire

Weston Theatre – see Unicorn Theatre



*White Bear Theatre – 138 Kennington Park
Road, London (Kennington) – about 20 years old (45 seats)

Whitefriar’s Theatre – private roofed
theatre in refectory hall of Whitefriars Monastery (Bouverie Street) – adapted
1605 – used by Children of the King’s Revels from 1608 to 1609, by Queen’s
Revels from 1609 to 1613; by Lady Elizabeth’s Men 1613 to 1614 – still in use in
1621 – replaced by Salisbury Court Theatre 1629

– see also Trafalgar Studios – Whitehall (Charing Cross), near
Trafalgar Square – 628 seats – Whitehall 1930 – Art Deco – Easy to Treat a Woman
1930 (transferred from Duke of York’s) – home to successful farces from 1954 to
1966 (4 plays only in 12 years) – Worm’s Eye View 1945 (1,745+ performances);
Come Spy With Me 1966; Pajama Tops 1969 (5 ½ years); Tribute to the Blues
Brothers 1991; Voyeurz 1996 – to close indefinitely when the current run of
Abigail’s Party finishes on 12th July, 2003, owners the Ambassador Theatre Group
have announced. There are no plans to sell the theatre and ATG have been quick
to say that the closure does not imply that the company is in any kind of
financial trouble. There will be six redundancies at the 650-seater theatre; ATG
also owns the New Ambassadors, Duke of York’s, Phoenix, Piccadilly, Comedy,
Donmar Warehouse, and Fortune Theatres, and runs the Playhouse, Albery and
Wyndham’s. The leases of the last to will revert back to Cameron Mackintosh in
2005. It is the second largest theatre operator in the UK, after Clear Channel
Entertainment which owns or runs thirty theatres from Torquay to Edinburgh;Two
weeks ago ATG announced that it is close to finalising a deal to take over the
Wimbledon Theatre

White Lodge Museum and Ballet Resource
Centre – UK’s first permanent museum dedicated to ballet is to open in
February/09 – operated by the Royal Ballet School, it will be housed in the home
of the company’s Lower School in Richmond Park, London – new facility will offer
an insight into the history of ballet and of the Royal Ballet School

Whitney Theatre – see Strand

Willesden Empire – Willesden Wood Green –

Will’s Coffee House – also known as the
Rose Tavern – 1 Bow Street, Covent Garden, at corner of Russell Street – famous
theatrical tavern

Wilton’s Music Hall
– see Music-Hall – Grace’s Alley – Wellclose Square –
built behind Prince of Denmark Pub – 1858 – became Frederick’s Royal Palace of
Varieties before closed 1877 after disastrous fire – reopened 1878 – last surviving venue of its
type, originally hosting classical overtures, opera and operetta before popular
“music hall” entertainment evolved world’s oldest surviving grand music hall –
before “old time music hall” evolved – in Graces Alley, E1 – Rumour has it first
ever can-can was performed and promptly banned at Wiltons – auditorium remains
incredibly intact – 1,500 used to cram into music hall to hear the top acts –
artistes from the Royal Opera House were lured over in full costume to perform
late night favourite arias – continued as a music hall until 1884 – hall taken
over by East End Mission of the Methodist Church in 1885 and kept name Old
Mahogany Mission until 1956. In the first dock strike of 1898 served 2,000 meals
a day to strikers and was the HQ for the people of the East End who gathered to
stop Mosley’s fascists in the Battle of Cable Street, and in World War II gave
shelter to a badly blitzed community. During 1950s the Mission set up mobile
cinema called Penny Pictures – also operated in the streets of the East End. In
1956 Wiltons was sold and used as a rag warehouse. Having survived the bombing
of the London docks it was next in line for slum clearances and demolition plans
of the 1960s – Many people have helped in saving Wiltons – they include Laurence
Olivier, Peter Sellars, John Earl, Colin Sorensen, Liza Minelli, Norma Dunbar,
Roy Hudd and Christopher Biggins. For many years it was owned by the GLC and
then the London Music Halls Trust – semi derelict Wiltons Music Hall was opened
to the public in January 1999 – had been largely boarded up since the 1960s,
save for highly acclaimed performances of The Wasteland, in December 1997 and
1998 – beginning of Wiltons’ renaissance – now on the 2008 World Monuments Watch
list of 100 Most Endangered Sites – celebrating its 150th anniversary March 29,
2009, is bidding to be taken over by the National Trust later this year; cabaret Live at Wilton’s opening July 1/10

Wimbledon Theatre – 103
The Broadway – film theatre

Winchester Music Hall – Southwark Bridge
Road – saloon attached to Grapes Public House – known as Surrey Music Hall –
opened 1830s – 1856 changed to Winchester – closed 1878 – demolished

Windmill Theatre – Great Windmill Street,
near Piccadilly Circus – 326 seats – 1931 in converted cinema dating from 1910 –
opened with Inquest 1931 – featured the famous “Windmill Girls” appearing in
nude tableaux – only theatre to remain open during the whole of the 2nd World
War – reverted to cinema 1974 – became theatre once again with nude revues –
1981 converted to theatre-restaurant

Winter Garden Theatre – Drury Lane –
originally Middlesex Music Hall – later adapted to theatre – 1581 seats – 1919 –
Kissing Time 1919; Witness for the Prosecution 1953 – closed 1960 – stood empty
– demolished 1965 – New London Theatre occupies this site – now a strip joint

Women’s Theatre Group – British theatre
group founded 1974

Woodford ABC Cinema

Wood Green Empire – 1912 – – also known as
Theatre of Varieties

Woolwich Empire Theatre – demolished; Woolwich Granada – 1937; Woolwich Hippodrome – 1900

World Theatre Season – annual festival of
foreign plays in the original language performed by foreign companies – Aldwych
Theatre – ran from 1964 to 1973 and a final season being 1975

– 1899 – Refurbishment of Wyndham’s Theatre – which, like its neighbour the
Albery reverts from the Ambassadors Theatre Group to Mackintosh’s management in
October – is planned for 2006 – (Leicester Square) Charing Cross Road – opened
1899- (758 seats) – has last complete picture frame surround in London – David
Garrick 1899; Cyrano de Bergerac 1900; Raffles 1910; Bull-Dog Drummond 1910;
Dancers (Tallulah Bankhead) 1923 (346); Ringer 1926 (410); 1930s series of crime
plays, The Ringer, The Calendar and On the Spot; Quiet Week-End 1941 (1000+
perf); The Years Between 1945; The Love of Four Colonels 1951; Boy Friend (Julie
Andrews) 1954(2084); Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop 1959 including A Taste
of Honey, The Hostage and Oh What a Lovely War; Call It Love 1960; Inadmissable
Evidence 1964; The Cocktail Party 1968; Italian Girl 1968 (315); Side by Side by
Sondheim (transferred from Mermaid); Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Vanessa
Redgrave) 1966 (588); Italian Girl (Elizabeth Sellars) 1968 (315); Boys in the
Band 1969; Abelard and Heloise 1970; Godspell 1972 (1128 perf); No Man’s Land
1975; Side by Side by Sondheim 1976; Ghosts (Vanessa Redgrave, Tom Wilkinson)
1986; Ride Down Mount Morgan (Tom Conti) 1991; Three Tall Women (Maggie Smith)
1994; Art 1996 (over 1,500 perf) – transferred to Whitehall Theatre until 2003;
The Play What I Wrote 2001; Absolutely! (perhaps) 2003; Honour 2006


Ye Olde Paragon Music Hall – Mile End – converted to Empire – 2,000 seats

Vic Theatre
– considered off West End – 66 The Cut (?), South Bank – 1945 as
part of new Old Vic Drama School – King Stag 1946; 2nd Young Vic – founded 1970
as part of National Theatre – erected on bomb site near Old Vic – 5 rows of
seats plus a studio seating about 80 – theatre built in 1970 – Scapino 1970 –
childrens’ theatre – On 10 July 2004, London’s much-loved Young Vic closes its
doors for a two-year, £12.5 million refurbishment and two new theatre spaces:
the 160 capacity Maria opens November/06 – named after theatre designer Maria
Björnson – and the 80 capacity Clare – named after director Clare Venables;


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