Duke of York's Theatre
Royal Court Downstairs (during redevelopment at Sloane Square)
Duke of York's Theatre in June 2006
|Address||St Martin's Lane
|Owner||Ambassador Theatre Group|
|Designation||Grade II listed|
|Type||West End Theatre|
|Capacity||640 on 3 levels
(900 on 4 levels in 1892)
|Opened||10 September 1892|
|Closed||1940–43 war damage|
|Duke of York's website at Ambassador Theatre Group|
The Duke of York's Theatre is a West End Theatre in St Martin's Lane, in the City of Westminster, London. It was built for Frank Wyatt and his wife, Violet Melnotte, who retained ownership of the theatre until her death in 1935. It opened on 10 September 1892 as the Trafalgar Square Theatre, with Wedding Eve. The theatre, designed by architect Walter Emden became known as the Trafalgar Theatre in 1894 and the following year became the Duke of York's to honour the future King George V.
One of the earliest musical comedies, Go-Bang, was a success at the theatre in 1894. In 1900, Jerome K. Jerome's Miss Hobbs was staged as well as David Belasco's Madame Butterfly, which was seen by Puccini, who later turned it into the famous opera. This was also the theatre where J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up debuted on 27 December 1904. Many famous British actors have appeared here, including Basil Rathbone, who played Alfred de Musset in Madame Sand in June 1920, returning in November 1932 as the Unknown Gentleman in Tonight or Never.
The theatre was Grade II listed by English Heritage in September 1960. In the late 1970s the freehold of the theatre was purchased by Capital Radio and it closed in 1979 for refurbishment. It reopened in February 1980 and the first production under the patronage of Capital Radio was Rose, starring Glenda Jackson. In 1991 comedian Pat Condell performed sketches at the theatre which were later released onto DVD.
The Ambassador Theatre Group bought the theatre in 1992; this coincided with the successful Royal Court production of Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden. A host of successes followed including the 21st anniversary performance of Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show and the Royal Court Classics Season in 1995.
The theatre is the London headquarters of the Ambassador Theatre Group, as well as the producing offices of their subsidiary Sonia Friedman Productions, whose revival of In Celebration starring Hollywood leading man Orlando Bloom played until 15 September 2007.
Recent, current and future productions
- After Mrs Rochester (22 July 2003 – 25 October 2003) by Polly Teale
- Sweet Panic (12 November 2004 – 7 February 2004) by Stephen Poliakoff
- Calico (3 March 2004 – 3 April 2004) by Michael Hastings
- The Holy Terror (14 April 2004 – 8 May 2004) by Simon Gray
- Dirty Blonde (16 June 2004 – 28 August 2004) by Claudia Shear
- Journey's End (5 October 2004 – 19 February 2005) by R.C. Sherriff
- The Dresser (28 February 2005 – 14 May 2005) by Ronald Harwood, starring Nicholas Lyndhurst and Julian Glover
- Hedda Gabler (27 May 2005 – 6 August 2005) by Henrik Ibsen, starring Eve Best and Iain Glen
- Tom, Dick and Harry (23 August 2005 – 29 October 2005) by Ray Cooney and Michael Cooney, starring Joe, Stephen and Mark McGann
- I Am My Own Wife (10 November 2005 – 10 December 2005) by Doug Wright, starring Jefferson Mays
- Embers (1 March 2006 – 24 June 2006) by Sandor Marai, adapted by Christopher Hampton, starring Jeremy Irons and Patrick Malahide
- Eh Joe (27 June 2006 – 15 July 2006) by Samuel Beckett, starring Michael Gambon
- Rock 'n' Roll (22 July 2006 – 24 February 2007) by Tom Stoppard, starring David Calder, Emma Fielding, Dominic West, Rufus Sewell, and Nicola Bryant
- Little Shop of Horrors (12 March 2007 – 23 June 2007) by Alan Menken, starring Sheridan Smith, Paul Keating and Alistair McGowan
- In Celebration (5 July 2007 – 15 September 2007) by David Storey, starring Orlando Bloom, Tim Healy and Lynda Baron
- Rent Remixed (16 October 2007 – 2 February 2008), by Jonathan Larson, starring Denise Van Outen (succeeded on 24 December 2007 by Jessie Wallace)
- The Magic Flute (8 February 2008 – 12 April 2008)
- That Face (1 May 2008 – 5 July 2008) by Polly Stenham, starring Lindsay Duncan, Hannah Murray and Matt Smith
- Under the Blue Sky (25 July 2008 – 20 September 2008) by David Eldridge, starring Catherine Tate, Francesca Annis and Dominic Rowan
- No Man's Land (7 October 2008 – 3 January 2009) by Harold Pinter, starring Michael Gambon, David Bradley, David Walliams and Nick Dunning
- A View From the Bridge (5 February 2009 – 16 May 2009) by Arthur Miller, starring Ken Stott
- Arcadia (27 May 2009 – 12 September 2009) by Tom Stoppard starring Samantha Bond, Nancy Carroll, Jessie Cave, Trevor Cooper, Sam Cox, Lucy Griffiths, Tom Hodgkins, Hugh Mitchell, Neil Pearson, George Potts, Dan Stevens and Ed Stoppard
- Speaking in Tongues (18 September 2009 – 12 December 2009) by Andrew Bovell starring John Simm
- Ghost Stories (25 June 2010 – 16 July 2011) by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman starring Andy Nyman, David Cardy, Ryan Gage and Nicholas Burns
- Journey's End (19 July 2011 – 3 September 2011) by R. C. Sherriff, directed by David Grindley
- Backbeat (10 October 2011 – 18 February 2012), co-written by Iain Softley and Stephen Jeffreys, musical direction by Paul Stacey, and directed by David Leveaux.
- All New People (22 February 2012 – 28 April 2012) by Zach Braff, directed by Peter DuBois, starring Zach Braff, Eve Myles, Paul Hilton and Susannah Fielding.
- Posh (23 May 2012 – 4 August 2012) (transfers from the Royal Court Theatre)
- Jumpy (28 August 2012 – 3 November 2012) by April de Angelis, starring Tamsin Greig
- Constellations (16 November 2012 – 5 January 2013) by Nick Payne, starring Sally Hawkins and Rafe Spall (transfers from the Royal Court Theatre)
- The Judas Kiss (17 January 2013 – 6 April 2013) by David Hare, starring Rupert Everett and Freddie Fox (transfers from the Hampstead Theatre)
- Passion Play (7 May 2013 – 3 August 2013) by Peter Nichols, starring Zoë Wanamaker
- A Doll's House (14 August 2013 – 26 October 2013) by Henrik Ibsen, starring Hattie Morahan
- Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense (12 November 2013 – 20 September 2014) by PG Wodehouse
- Neville's Island (10 October 2014- ) by Tim Firth, starring Adrian Edmondson, Miles Jupp, Neil Morrissey and Robert Webb
Nearby Tube Stations
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Duke of York's Theatre.|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2008)|
- Violet Melnotte (1855–1935) D'Oyly Carte, Who Was Who (Boise State University) accessed 11 Oct 2007
- English Heritage listing details accessed 28 Apr 2007
- "Barf Bites Back! (VHS) (1991)". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
- – Rent posts early closing notices. – IndieLondon, 2007.
- "Official Duke of York's Theatre Website", Ambassador Theatre Group, accessed 22 August 2011.
- "All New People". All New People. 30 April 2012.
- Who's Who in the Theatre, edited by John Parker, tenth edition, revised, London, 1947, p. 1183-4.
- Guide to British Theatres 1750–1950, John Earl and Michael Sell pp. 108–9 (Theatres Trust, 2000) ISBN 0-7136-5688-3