Palace Theatre, London

place and theatre

Aged unknown

The Palace Theatre is a West End theatre in the City of Westminster in London. Its red-brick facade dominates the west side of Cambridge Circus behind a small plaza near the intersection of Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road. The Palace Theatre seats 1,400. Richard D'Oyly Carte, producer of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, commissioned the theatre in the late 1880s. It was designed by Thomas Edward Collcutt and intended to be a home of English grand opera. The theatre opened as the Royal English Opera House in January 1891 with a lavish production of Arthur Sullivan's opera Ivanhoe. Although this ran for 160 performances, followed briefly by André Messager's La Basoche, Carte had no other works ready to fill the theatre. He leased it to Sarah Bernhardt for a season and sold the opera house within a year at a loss. It was then converted into a grand music hall and renamed the Palace Theatre of Varieties, managed successfully first by Sir Augustus Harris and then by Charles Morton. In 1897, the theatre began to screen films as part of its programme of entertainment. In 1904, Alfred Butt became manager and continued to combine variety entertainment, including dancing girls, with films. Herman Finck was musical director at the theatre from 1900 until 1920. In 1925, the musical comedy No, No, Nanette opened at the Palace Theatre, followed by other musicals, for which the theatre became known. The Marx Brothers appeared at the theatre in 1931, performing selections from their Broadway shows. The Sound of Music ran for 2,385 performances at the theatre, opening in 1961. Jesus Christ Superstar ran from 1972 to 1980, and Les Misérables played at the theatre for nineteen years, beginning in 1985. In 1983, Andrew Lloyd Webber purchased and by 1991 had refurbished the theatre. Monty Python's Spamalot played there from 2006 until January 2009, and Priscilla Queen of the Desert opened in March 2009 and closed in December 2011. Between February 2012 and June 2013, the Palace hosted a production of Singin' in the Rain. From June 2016 the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ran at the theatre until performances were suspended in March 2020 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The play returned to the stage on 14 October 2021, after a 19-month break.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Palace Theatre Built for Richard D'Oyly Carte in 1891 by T E Colcutt and known as the 'Royal English Opera House'. The theatre was renamed the 'Palace Theatre of Varieties' in 1892. In 1911 it became the Palace Theatre and is famous for being the home of London's longest-running musicals

113 Shaftesbury Ave, London, United Kingdom where it sited