Prince Edward Theatre

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Prince Edward Theatre
1935 London Casino
1942 Queensberry All Services Club
1954 Casino Cinerama Theatre
Prince edward theatre london 2008.JPG
Prince Edward Theatre in 2008
Address Old Compton Street
Westminster, London
Coordinates 51°30′48″N 0°07′51″W / 51.513472°N 0.130778°W / 51.513472; -0.130778
Owner Delfont Mackintosh Theatres
Type West End theatre
Capacity 1618
Production Miss Saigon
Construction
Opened 1930
Rebuilt 1946 T. and B. Braddock
1978 RHWL Architects
Architect Edward Stone
Website
Prince Edward Theatre website at Delfont Mackintosh Theatres

The Prince Edward Theatre is a West End theatre situated on Old Compton Street, just north of Leicester Square, in the City of Westminster, London

History[edit]

The theatre was designed in 1930 by Edward A. Stone,[1] with an interior designed by Marc-Henri Levy and Gaston Laverdet.[2] 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.[3] 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 where 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"[2] once again — when the King of Yiddish Music Leo Fuld was a major attraction.[citation needed] In 1954, the same architects converted it to a cinema, reopening as the "Casino Cinerama Theatre".[2]

In 1974, the building was acquired by impresario Bernard Delfont, and a new cinema screen installed at a cost of £150,000.[3] 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,[2] 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.[3]

Owned by the Delfont Mackintosh Group, and with a capacity of 1,618, it formerly hosted Jersey Boys, which opened on 18 March 2008. Until 12 January 2008 it hosted Mary Poppins, before the show toured. Jersey Boys moved to the Piccadilly Theatre in March 2014,[4] A revival of Miss Saigon opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in May 2014.[5]

Recent and present productions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The exterior of the theatre was based on Stone's "Streatham Astoria Cinema"
  2. ^ a b c d Earl and Sell (2000) pp. 132
  3. ^ a b c Prince Edward Theatre (Arthur Lloyd Theatre History) accessed 11 June 2008
  4. ^ "West End's Jersey Boys to Move Home from Prince Edward to Piccadilly Theatre". Playbill. June 14, 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  5. ^ BREAKING NEWS: It's Finally Official! MISS SAIGON to Return to West End in May 2014 at Prince Edward Theatre! broadwayworld.com Retrieved June 19, 2013
  • Guide to British Theatres 1750-1950, John Earl and Michael Sell pp. 132 (Theatres Trust, 2000) ISBN 0-7136-5688-3

External links[edit]