Noël Coward Theatre

Noël Coward Theatre

Coordinates: 51°30′40″N 0°07′38″W / 51.511111°N 0.127222°W / 51.511111; -0.127222

Noël Coward Theatre

New Theatre, postcard, circa 1905
Address St Martin's Lane
City Westminster, London
Designation Grade II listed
Architect W.G.R. Sprague
Owned by Delfont Mackintosh
Capacity 872 on 4 levels
Type West End theatre
Opened 1903
Previous names New Theatre
Albery Theatre
Production Million Dollar Quartet

The Noël Coward Theatre, formerly known as the Albery Theatre, is a West End theatre on St. Martin's Lane in the City of Westminster. It opened on 12 March 1903 as the New Theatre, and was built by Sir Charles Wyndham behind Wyndham's Theatre which was completed in 1899. The building was designed by architect W.G.R. Sprague with an exterior in the Classical style and an interior in the Rococo style.

In 1973 it was renamed the Albery Theatre in tribute to the late Sir Bronson Albery who had presided as its manager for many years. Since September 2005, the theatre has been owned by Delfont-Mackintosh Ltd. It underwent major refurbishment in 2006, and was renamed the Noël Coward Theatre when it re-opened for the London premiere of Avenue Q on 1 June 2006. Noël Coward, one of Britain's greatest playwrights and actors, appeared in his own play, I'll Leave It To You, at the then New Theatre in 1920, the first West End production of one of his plays.

The theatre seats 872 patrons on four levels. The building is now a Grade II Listed structure.


Notable productions

After opening in 1903 with a production of Rosemary starring Charles Wyndham and his wife, Mary Moore, the Noël Coward Theatre has hosted a number of notable productions. I'll Leave it to You, in 1920, was Coward's first play. George Bernard Shaw's St. Joan with an acclaimed performance by actress Sybil Thorndike ran in 1924.

The 1930s saw the greatest commercial success of John Gielgud's career, Richard of Bordeaux (1933). Gielgud followed up this triumph with a legendary production of Hamlet in which he both played the title role and directed a company that included Jessica Tandy, Jack Hawkins, and a young Alec Guinness in one of his first professional roles as Osric. Gielgud also appeared with Laurence Olivier, Peggy Ashcroft and Edith Evans in Romeo and Juliet. With the Blitz came the destruction of the theatres that were home to the Old Vic and Sadler's Wells Theatre Companies. Both companies made the New Theatre home until their respective theatres were rebuilt in the 1950s. One of the most successful shows to play the New Theatre opened 30 June 1960, it was Lionel Bart's musical retelling of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, Oliver!. It ran for 2,618 performances.

A 1974 Royal Shakespeare Company production of Dion Boucicault's London Assurance, directed by Ronald Eyre, with Donald Sinden as Sir Harcourt Courtly, (for which he received the 1975 Drama Desk Special Award)[1] Roger Rees as Charles, Judi Dench as Grace and Dinsdale Landen as Dazzle, transferred to the Albery Theatre in London for a year, prior to its tour to New York.

In 1981, Children of a Lesser God won Olivier Awards for Best New Play and for actors Trevor Eve and Elizabeth Quinn. Among some of the notable productions recently is the 1994 revival of Turgenev's A Month in the Country starring Helen Mirren and John Hurt.

Recently, the theatre has played host to some notable Shakespeare productions including a production of Twelfth Night set in India with an entirely Asian cast. The production played to packed houses and only closed as the Royal Shakespeare Company themselves had exclusive rights to perform their annual London season of Tragedies there. Between December 2004 and April 2005, they presented Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, King Lear and a brand new production of Euripides' Hecuba starring Vanessa Redgrave.

On 8 June 2005, Dion Boucicault's Victorian melodrama The Shaughraun opened; however, its success at the Dublin Gate Theatre was not repeated in London and it closed on 30 July. A dark period of around three months followed before the theatre was transferred to the ownership of Delfont Mackintosh Limited and reopened in October 2005 with The Right Size's new production Ducktastic!. Once again this failed to live up to expectations and closed just three weeks after opening on 19 November 2005. A short Christmas season of Patrick Stewart's one-man version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol played from 6 December to 31 December 2005, before the theatre hosted the Edinburgh International Festival hit drama Blackbird starring Roger Allam. The European premiere of the Broadway hit, Avenue Q, started previewing on 2 June 2006 and had its opening night on 28 June 2006, finally closing on 28 March 2009 prior to transferring to the Gielgud Theatre.

Following a production of Deathtrap, directed by Matthew Warchus and starring Simon Russell Beale and Jonathan Groff, the theatre became the home of jukebox musical Million Dollar Quartet in February 2011. The show recently had its booking period at the theatre extended until November 2012.[2]

Recent and present productions


  1. ^ Who's Who in the Theatre, 17th edition (1981)
  2. ^
  • Guide to British Theatres 1750-1950, John Earl and Michael Sell pp. 97 (Theatres Trust, 2000) ISBN 0-7136-5688-3

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Noël Coward — Noël Coward, 1972 Sir Noël Peirce Coward (16 December 1899 – 26 March 1973) was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called a sense of personal style, a… …   Wikipedia

  • Noël Coward — Noel Coward en su adolescencia Nombre real Noël Peirce Coward Nacimiento 16 de diciembre de 1899 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Noël Coward — Sir Noël Coward est un dramaturge britannique né à Teddington (Middlesex) le 16 décembre 1899 et mort à Port Maria  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Noel Coward — Noël Coward Noël Coward Noël Coward est un auteur de théâtre britannique, aux multiples talents, né à Teddington (Middlesex) le 16 décembre 1899, mort à Blue Harbor (Jamaïque) le 26 mars  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Noël Coward Society — The Noël Coward Society is an international society founded with the agreement of Cowards literary agent and Estate to celebrate the life and work of Sir Noël Coward. The Noël Coward Society was founded in 1999 and is the only official… …   Wikipedia

  • Cultural impact of Noël Coward — The Noël Coward Theatre in London A prolific playwright and successful actor and director, Noël Coward has had a significant impact on culture in the English speaking world. Time magazine said that he had a unique sense of personal style, a… …   Wikipedia

  • Théâtre Édouard VII — Le théâtre Édouard VII en 2009 Type Salle de spectacles L …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Theatre Calgary production history — Theatre Calgary is theatre company in Calgary, Alberta, established as a professional company in 1968. The following is a chronological list of the productions that have been staged since its inception as Musicians and Actors Club (MAC) from 1964 …   Wikipedia

  • Théâtre des Mathurins — Le théâtre des Mathurins, rue des Mathurins (Paris 8e) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Noel Gay — (15 July 1898 – 4 March 1954) was born Reginald Moxon Armitage. He also used the name Stanley Hill professionally.[1] He was a successful British composer of popular music of the 1930s and 1940s whose output comprised 45 songs as well as the… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.