Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Vaudeville Theatre London

Theatre Address & Map

404 Strand, London WC2R 0NH
Nearest Tube Station: Charing Cross

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  • Air conditioned
  • Bar
  • Infrared hearing loop
  • Toilets
  • Wheelchair accessible

Seating Description

The theatre seats 690, and seating is split into stalls, dress circle and upper circle. Seats in all levels are arranged in a single block. The rake of the stalls is good, allowing an intimate feel, since theatre is small, and a clear view from all seats. The front rows of the dress circle and the central columns of the upper circle have the best view.

Theatre History

The Vaudeville Theatre is third building to have been built on this site on the Strand. The first of the three opened in 1870, designed by prolific architect of the time, C. J. Phipps. The auditorium was a horseshoe built behind two houses on the Strand, which left little room for a foyer or behind the scene areas. By 1889, these houses had been demolished, making room for an extension of the guest facilities. In 1891, the theatre was sold to the Gatti family, who purchased to avoid disputes over noise coming from their nearby electricity generating facility. The Gatti family were very successful managers of the Vaudeville Theatre, owning all the way up until 1969. In 1925, the theatre was reconstructed, including changing the horseshoe shaped auditorium to the rectangular shape which is in use today. It reopened in 1926, with a revue by Archie de Bear, famous because the final rehearsal was broadcast on the BBC.

A proposed development of Covent Garden saw the Vaudeville Theatre under threat along with other nearby theatres including the Duchess Theatre and the Lyceum Theatre. In 1969, the Gatti family finally sold their interest in the theatre to new manager Peter Saunders. He had the Vaudeville Theatre redeveloped, including making the balcony an extension of the bar. In recent years, the Vaudeville Theatre has hosted musicals including prize-winning Kat and the Kings (1998), in which, in a strange case, the whole cast won the Best Actor Olivier Award. Madame Melville (2000) saw the return to acting of Home Alone star Macauley Culkin. The longest running show has been Stomp, which ran from 2002 to 2007.

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