Noel Coward Theatre

Friday 09 September 2011

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Noel Coward is the name given to one of London’s west end theatres on St Martin’s Lane. It used to be widely known as The Albery until 2006, when it was then owned by Delfont Mackintosh theatre group and renamed Noel Coward. This was named after Sir Noel Coward, one of Britain’s greatest playwrights and actors.

When the theatre was built in 1903, it was named The New Theatre. It was originally built by Charles Wyndham, who had also built The Wyndhams Theatre, which was part of the same site. Since then they have always been ‘together’ and managed as a duo. The renowned architect throughout theatre land, William Sprague designed this theatre with particular attention to detail. By 1903 William had already designed 30 theatres, and this theatre was yet another great achievement. As Charles Wyndham (and his wife) were actors and into everything theatrical, he ensured the design and layout were of high standard to cater the needs of not only actors and crew, but audiences alike, with all seating being completely clear view. The couple performed in a variety of plays in this theatre. In 1973, the theatre was known and named as The Albery - after Sir Bronson Albery who managed the theatre for many years. The Albery family was well known in this theatre and made many contributions, with writing and producing plays.

In 2005, the theatre was bought by Delfont Mackintosh group and it had a major refurbishment which included the foyers and corridors being redecorated and re-carpeted. The balcony was rebuilt, and all the auditorium seats were replaced and re-upholstered. The stalls bar (now Noël's Bar) has been restored to its original size and completely refurbished.

The theatre reopened on 1 June 2006 under its new name the Noël Coward Theatre with its Award winning Broadway musical, Avenue Q. Since then notable productions have taken to the Noel Coward stage, including the film adaptation Calendar Girls, Enron, Deathtrap and the current show Million Dollar Quartet.

The theatre has 3 main areas, the Stalls, Royal Circle and Grand Circle. It has 3 bars, toilets and it caters for hearing impaired customers, by providing infra-red headsets. Wheelchair users are able to access the theatre with a ramp provided and can be seated in one of the boxes. The Noel Coward theatre is centrally located, with Leicester Square being its neighbour with only 100metres from the underground station.

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