Piccadilly Theatre

Theatre in/near Piccadilly Circus, existing between 1928 and now.

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(51.5108 -0.135473, 51.51 -0.135) 
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Theatre · * · ·
MAY
19
2014
The Piccadilly Theatre is an Art Deco masterpiece in the West End.

Built by Bertie Crewe and Edward A. Stone for Edward Laurillard, its simple facade conceals a grandiose Art Deco interior designed by Marc-Henri Levy and Gaston Laverdet, with a 1232-seat auditorium decorated in shades of pink. Gold and green are the dominant colours in the bars and foyer, which include the original light fittings. Upon its opening on 27 April 1928, the theatre's souvenir brochure claimed, "If all the bricks used in the building were laid in a straight line, they would stretch from London to Paris." The opening production, Jerome Kern's musical Blue Eyes, starred Evelyn Laye, one of the most acclaimed actresses of the period.

The Piccadilly was briefly taken over by Warner Brothers, and operated as a cinema using the Vitaphone system, and premièred the first talking picture to be shown in Great Britain, The Singing Fool with Al Jolson. The theatre reopened in November 1929, with a production of The Student Prince, having a success in January 1931 with Folly to be Wise, running for 257 performances.

Following a conversion into a cabaret restaurant, the theatre reopened in April 1936 as the London Casino, which became noted for its lavish stage shows. The building sustained considerable damage when it was hit by a stray German bomb during World War II. After renovations in the early 1950s, it returned to its original name and became a venue for plays, revues and musicals.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Piccadilly improved its reputation with a series of successful transfers from Broadway: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, A Streetcar Named Desire and Man of La Mancha made their London debuts at the theatre. The Beatles recorded a number of songs at the Piccadilly on 28 February 1964 for the BBC Radio show, 'From Us to You'. In 1976, the Jerome Kern and Guy Bolton musical Very Good Eddie ran for 411 performances at the theatre. The cast included Prue Clarke.

In 1986, the venue was the setting for ITV's popular Sunday evening variety show, Live From the Piccadilly, hosted by Jimmy Tarbuck. The 1990s witnessed an expansion in ballet and dance, notably the most successful commercial ballet season ever to play in the West End, including Matthew Bourne's acclaimed production of Swan Lake.

The Donmar Warehouse production of Guys and Dolls ran at the Piccadilly from 19 May 2005 to 14 April 2007. It was followed by Paul Nicholas and David Ian's production of Grease which opened on 8 August 2007 and was the longest running show in the theatre's history before closing in April 2011.
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CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCALITY

Comment
Simon   
Added: 15 Jan 2024 15:44 GMT   

Simon De Charmes, clockmaker
De Charmes (or Des Charmes), Simon, of French Huguenot extraction. Recorded 1688 and Free of the Clockmakers’ Company 1691-1730. In London until 1704 at least at ’his House, the Sign of the Clock, the Corner of Warwick St, Charing Cross’. See Brian Loomes The Early Clockmakers of Great Britain, NAG Press, 1981, p.188

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TUM   
Added: 27 Aug 2022 10:22 GMT   

The Underground Map
Michael Faraday successfully demonstrated the first electrical transformer at the Royal Institute, London.

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Scott Hatton   
Added: 30 Jan 2023 11:28 GMT   

The Beatles on a London rooftop
The Beatles’ rooftop concert took place on the rooftop of the Apple Corps building in London. It was their final public performance as a band and was unannounced, attracting a crowd of onlookers. The concert lasted for 42 minutes and included nine songs. The concert is remembered as a seminal moment in the history of rock music and remains one of the most famous rock performances of all time.

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Comment
Jessie Doring   
Added: 22 Feb 2021 04:33 GMT   

Tisbury Court Jazz Bar
Jazz Bar opened in Tisbury Court by 2 Australians. Situated in underground basement. Can not remember how long it opened for.

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Comment
Jude Allen   
Added: 29 Jul 2021 07:53 GMT   

Bra top
I jave a jewelled item of clothong worn by a revie girl.
It is red with diamante straps. Inside it jas a label Bermans Revue 16 Orange Street but I cannot find any info online about the revue only that 16 Orange Street used to be a theatre. Does any one know about the revue. I would be intesrested to imagine the wearer of the article and her London life.

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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

Lived here
Mike Dowling   
Added: 15 Jun 2024 15:51 GMT   

Family ties (1936 - 1963)
The Dowling family lived at number 13 Undercliffe Road for
Nearly 26 years. Next door was the Harris family

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Comment
Evie Helen   
Added: 13 Jun 2024 00:03 GMT   

Vickers Road
The road ’Vickers Road’ is numbered rather differently to other roads in the area as it was originally built as housing for the "Vickers" arms factory in the late 1800’s and early 1900s. Most of the houses still retain the original 19th century tiling and drainage outside of the front doors.

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Paul Harris    
Added: 12 Jun 2024 12:54 GMT   

Ellen Place, E1
My mother’s father and his family lived at 31 Ellen Place London E1 have a copy of the 1911 census showing this

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Comment
   
Added: 10 Jun 2024 19:31 GMT   

Toll gate Close
Did anyone live at Toll Gate Close, which was built in the area where the baths had been?

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Charles Black   
Added: 24 May 2024 12:54 GMT   

Middle Row, W10
Middle Row was notable for its bus garage, home of the number 7.

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Comment
   
Added: 2 May 2024 16:14 GMT   

Farm Place, W8
The previous name of Farm Place was Ernest St (no A)

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Comment
Tony Whipple   
Added: 16 Apr 2024 21:35 GMT   

Frank Whipple Place, E14
Frank was my great-uncle, I’d often be ’babysat’ by Peggy while Nan and Dad went to the pub. Peggy was a marvel, so full of life. My Dad and Frank didn’t agree on most politics but everyone in the family is proud of him. A genuinely nice, knowledgable bloke. One of a kind.

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Comment
Theresa Penney   
Added: 16 Apr 2024 18:08 GMT   

1 Whites Row
My 2 x great grandparents and his family lived here according to the 1841 census. They were Dutch Ashkenazi Jews born in Amsterdam at the beginning of the 19th century but all their children were born in Spitalfields.

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LOCAL PHOTOS
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Get Back
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In the neighbourhood...

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Theatreland, Shaftesbury Avenue
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Get Back
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Tottenham Court Road (1927)
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Truefitt & Hill products Truefitt & Hill is the oldest barbershop in the world, as certified by Guinness Book of World Records in April 2000. Truefitt was established in 1805 by William Francis Truefitt. Truefitt styled himself as hairdresser to the British Royal Court and the firm received their first Royal Warrant from King George III. In 1911, Edwin Hill set up a barber shop on Old Bond Street, also near the royal neighbourhoods in London and it was to this address H.P. Truefitt (William’s nephew) moved in 1935 to create Truefitt & Hill. The present location of Truefitt & Hill at 71 St James’s Street, was taken up in 1994.
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London Hippodrome in 2017
Credit: Ethan Doyle White
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Sectional view of Wyld’s Great Globe, which stood in Leicester Square, London 1851–62
Credit: Illustrated London News
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De Hems, 11 Macclesfield Street and the entrance to Horse & Dolphin Yard. This pub is a centre for Dutch expats living in London. It was also the location where the Rolling Stones first met Andrew Loog Oldham, their future manager
Credit: Colonel Warden
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Swears & Wells Ltd at 192 Regent Street, ’Ladies Modes’ (1925) Originally in Regent Street, the store moved to Oxford Street in the 1930s and became a national chain of furriers. This original Regent Street location became Hamleys. Swear and Wells is a department store in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels - a rival to Crumley’s and Horrids. It is renowned for its upmarket food hall which boasts an unparalleled selection of imported Überwaldean food and drink.
Credit: Bishopsgate Institute
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London Library, 14 St James’s Square. The London Library is a self-supporting, independent institution. It is a registered charity whose sole aim is the advancement of education, learning and knowledge. The adjacent building (13 St James’s Square) is the High Commission of Cyprus.
Credit: Wiki Commons/GrindtXX
Licence: CC BY 2.0




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