Thursday, 31 October 2013

The Ambassador's Theatre London

Theatre Address & Map

West Street, London, WC2H 9ND


Facilities


  • Air conditioned
  • Bar
  • Infrared hearing loop
  • Toilets

Seating Description

This theatre seats 408, and seating is split into stalls and circle. The stalls seating is in one single block, whereas the seats in the circle are split into two blocks, front and back, divided by an aisle. In general, the intimate venue allows clear view from most stalls seats, but the extreme back of the stalls may be affected by its shallow rake, and the overhang from the circle. Thanks to the circle’s steep rake, and also the small size of the theatre, seats in the circle feel close to the stage.

Theatre History

The Ambassador’s Theatre was designed by W. G. Sprague, an architect veteran of theatre design, responsible for architectural work on the most theatres in the West End. In 1921, the Ambassador’s Theatre hosted the debut of star of the stage Ivor Novello, in Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones. Likewise, in 1935, the theatre saw the stage debut of another legend, Vivienne Leigh in The Mask of Virtue. Britain’s longest running play, The Mousetrap, opened at the Ambassador’s Theatre, and ran for 21 years before transferring next door to St Martin’s Theatre, where it ran for just as long again. The stalls bar displays a commemorative statuette, which was presented to the theatre by Agatha Christie, celebrating the record-breaking run.

After The Mousetrap, Alan Rickman starred in the RSC hit Liasiones Dangereuses. In 1996, the theatre was converted into two separate studios to accommodate The Royal Court Theatre upstairs. They were resident until 1999, at which point the theatre was reconverted to its original layout as one theatre. It took the name of the New Ambassadors Theatre, which it retained until 2007, when, presumably since the newness had worn out, it reverted to its original name. The Ambassador’s Theatre. Famous productions since 1999 include The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, and Meiner Chocolate Factory’s revival of Little Shop of Horrors.

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