BLOG : Shaftesbury Theatre London
Tuesday 28 June 2011
The Shaftesbury theatre is one of London’s largest theatres situated, as you guessed it – Shaftesbury Avenue. We’ve put together some facts and information about the Shaftesbury Theatre London.
Shaftesbury Avenue is home to many other fascinating theatres and Shaftesbury Theatre was the last one to be built on this road. It was designed by a talented Victorian architect, Bertie Crewe and was considered a flamboyant masterpiece in the early 1900's. It was originally called The Princes Theatre.
The theatre actually opened 26 December 1911 with a production of The Three Musketeers, its initial owners, Walter and Frederick Melville became Popular Playhouses Ltd and The Princes Theatre was born.
There were a vast number of productions that took place in the early days, to name but a few - Sarah Bernhardt in Daniel (1921), Sybil Thorndike and Henry Ainley in Macbeth (1926) and Funny Face with Fred Astaire (1928). Despite two occasions of bombing during the Second World War, the theatre remained open, offering audiences a cultural programme of international talent such as Serge Diaghaleff's Ballet featuring Margot Fonteyn and the Sadler's Wells Opera and Ballet.The theatre was sold to EMI in 1962, and became the Shaftesbury Theatre the following year. Broadway productions that transferred to the theatre for long runs in the 1960s included Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Little Me Part of the ceiling fell in on 20 July 1973, forcing the closure of the long-running musical Hair, after 1,998 performances. The theatre almost fell victim to redevelopment, but a campaign by Equity (the trade union for actors, stage managers and models) succeeded in having the theatre placed on the 'Statutory List of Buildings of Special architectural or Historic Interest', and the theatre was Grade II listed by English Heritage in March 1974.Since 1984, the theatre is currently owned by The Theatre of Comedy Company. There was a major refurbishment in spring 2006 including re-seating, and re-decoration of the theatre including front of house areas. The theatre then hosted several revivals and new productions including Daddy Cool, a contemporary musical which featured the music of the pop phenomenon Boney M.Since May 2007, the theatre has a long term production of the classic hit musical Fame and other hits including Hairspray, Burn The Floor and flashdance.The Shaftesbury theatre, will see Derren Brown's Svengali arrive in June and later in the autumn, the Broadway hit Rock of Ages, will hit the stage.The Shaftesbury theatre is very easy to get to, with its location right in between Tottenham court road and Holborn stations. Now you have all the information you need to know about the Shaftesbury Theatre London
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