|Public transit Tottenham Court Road|
Type West End Theatre
|Designation Grade II|
Production Motown: The Musical
Phone +44 20 7379 5399
|Owner The Theatre of Comedy Company|
Opened 26 December 1911; 105 years ago (1911-12-26)
Address 210 Shaftesbury Ave, London WC2H 8DP, UK
Similar Dominion Theatre, Aldwych Theatre, Adelphi Theatre, Cambridge Theatre, New London Theatre
Shaftesbury theatre london
The Shaftesbury Theatre is a West End Theatre, located on Shaftesbury Avenue, in the London Borough of Camden.
- Shaftesbury theatre london
- Motown the musical press night shaftesbury theatre
- Present day
- Notable productions
- Recent productions
- Nearby Tube Stations
Motown the musical press night shaftesbury theatre
The theatre was designed for the brothers Walter and Frederick Melville by Bertie Crewe and opened on 26 December 1911 with a production of The Three Musketeers, as the New Prince's Theatre, becoming the Prince's Theatre in 1914. It had a capacity of 2,392 and a stage 31' 10" wide by 31' deep.
The Prince's was the last theatre to be built in Shaftesbury Avenue, and is located near New Oxford Street, perhaps explaining the many gaps between performances in its early years. It had considerable success with an 18-week season of Gilbert and Sullivan operas, presented by the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, in 1919. These became a regular attraction at the theatre in the 1920s, interspersed with runs of theatre productions transferred from other venues. Basil Rathbone appeared at the Prince's Theatre in May 1933 when he played Julian Beauclerc in a revival of Diplomacy. The Rose of Persia was revived at the theatre in 1935. The D'Oyly Carte returned in 1942.
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 (1962)and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1963).
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 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.
The theatre reopened with West Side Story a year later. Long runs in the 1980s included They're Playing Our Song (1980) and Follies (1987). The next decade included long runs of Kiss of the Spider Woman (1992), Eddie Izzard: Definite Article (1995) and Rent (1998). During the redevelopment of the Royal Opera House in nearby Covent Garden in the late 1990s, the theatre was booked as an alternative London venue for performances including Benjamin Britten's Paul Bunyan. A series of musicals followed.
The venue is currently owned by the Theatre of Comedy Company, who have owned the venue since 1984.
In March 2006, the 1,400 seat theatre underwent an internal refurbishment, with the entire auditorium being reseated and recarpeted and the front of house areas redecorated. Since reopening, the theatre has hosted several revivals, including the European premiere of the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit Hairspray, which opened in October 2007 and closed in March 2010. Flashdance The Musical open in September 2010 and closing in January 2011.