Prince Edward Theatre
|Prince Edward Theatre|
Prince Edward Theatre in 2008
|Address||Old Compton Street|
|Designation||Grade II listed|
|Owned by||Delfont Mackintosh Theatres|
|Type||West End theatre|
|Rebuilt||1946 T. and B. Braddock
1978 RHWL Architects
|Previous names||1935 London Casino
1942 Queensberry All Services Club
1954 Casino Cinerama Theatre
|Prince Edward Theatre website at Delfont Mackintosh Theatres|
The theatre was designed in 1930 by Edward A. Stone, with an interior designed by Marc-Henri Levy and Gaston Laverdet. Named after Prince Edward (then the Prince of Wales, briefly Edward VIII and later Duke of Windsor), it opened on April 3, 1930 with a performance of the musical Rio Rita. Other notable events in its opening years included the London debut of famed cabaret artiste Josephine Baker, who performed her famous 'Bananas Dance'.
In 1935, Stone converted the theatre to a dance and cabaret hall, being renamed the "London Casino".
As the London Casino, it was badly damaged and all its windows lost in London's worst air raid of WWII on the 10th May 1941. All neighbouring buildings directly across Greek Street were destroyed.
In 1942, stage alterations were undertaken by Thomas Braddock, re-opening as the "Queensberry All Services Club" in 1942 – a club for servicemen, the shows were broadcast on the BBC. After the war, the architects T. and B. Bradock restored the building to theatrical use, becoming the "London Casino" once again — when the King of Yiddish Music Leo Fuld hit the stage. In 1954, the same architects converted it to a cinema, reopening as the "Casino Cinerama Theatre".
In 1974, the theatre was acquired by impresario Bernard Delfont, and a new screen installed at a cost of £150,000. Four years later, in 1978, it was converted back to a theatre, by RHWL Architects and given its original name, reopening with the world première of the musical Evita on 21 June 1978. Further renovations were undertaken by RHWL in 1992–93, increasing the size of the stage, reopening 3 March 1993 with a revival of Crazy for You. The ABBA musical, Mamma Mia! premièred here on 6 April 1999, transferring to the Prince of Wales Theatre, after a five year run.
Recent and present productions 
- Evita (21 January 1978 - 8 February 1986) by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, starring Elaine Paige and David Essex
- Chess (14 May 1986 - 8 April 1989) by Tim Rice, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, starring Elaine Paige Tommy Koreberg and Murray Head
- Anything Goes (4 July 1989 - 25 August 1990) by Cole Porter, starring Elaine Paige, John Barrowman and Louise Gold.
- Children of Eden (8 January 1991 - 6 April 1991) by Stephen Schwartz and John Caird
- The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber (14 May 1991 - 25 May 1991), starring Sarah Brightman
- The Hunting of the Snark (24 October 1991 - 14 December 1991) by Mike Batt
- Some Like It Hot (19 March 1992 - 20 June 1992) by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, starring Tommy Steele
- Crazy for You (3 March 1993 - 24 February 1996) by George and Ira Gershwin and Ken Ludwig, starring Ruthie Henshall and Kirby Ward
- Martin Guerre (10 July 1996 - 28 February 1998) by Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil and Stephen Clarke
- Show Boat (28 April 1998 - 19 September 1998) by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II
- West Side Story (6 October 1998 - 9 January 1999) by Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein and Arthur Laurents
- Mamma Mia! (6 April 1999 - 27 May 2004) by Catherine Johnson and Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, starring Siobhán McCarthy, Louise Plowright, and, Jenny Galloway
- Mary Poppins (15 December 2004 - 12 January 2008) by Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman and Julian Fellows starring Laura Michelle Kelly, Scarlett Strallen, Gavin Lee and Gavin Creel
- Jersey Boys (18 March 2008 - ) by Bob Gaudio based on the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
- The exterior of the theatre was based on Stone's "Streatham Astoria Cinema"
- Earl and Sell (2000) pp. 132
- Prince Edward Theatre (Arthur Lloyd Theatre History) accessed 11 June 2008
- Guide to British Theatres 1750-1950, John Earl and Michael Sell pp. 132 (Theatres Trust, 2000) ISBN 0-7136-5688-3
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