- The third theater to be built on London's Shaftesbury Avenue.Opened in 1901 by Harry Lowenfeld, the Apollo has maintained its FrenchRenaissance exterior and the ornate auditorium decorated in pink,turquoise, and gold. The theater's badge, seen in the dress circle,features a group of German gypsies that lived on the Lowenfeld familyestate in Poland.
The Apollo concentrated on musicals until 1913 (hence thespecial orchestra pit design). Cicely Courtneidge made her Londondebut here in Tom Jones (1907) and the Pélissier Follieswere based at the theater from 1908 to 1912. Other notable productionsincluded a series of comedies (1934 - 37) written by Walter Hackettand George Broadhurst for Hackett's US actress wife Marion Lorne,Robert Sherwood's Idiot's Delight (1938), and Rattigan's FlarePath (1942). John Dighton's farce The Happiest Days of YourLife opened in 1948 and ran for 605 performances; in 1962 MarcCamoletti's air-hostess comedy Boeing, Boeing began its runof 2035 performances at the Apollo. John Gielgud appeared in 1968as the headmaster in Alan Bennett's Forty Years On.
More recently the Apollo has presented Peter Shaffer's Letticeand Lovage (1987) starring Maggie Smith, Keith Waterhouse's OurSong (1992) with Peter O'Toole, an acclaimed revival of Who'sAfraid of Virginia Woolf? starring Kathleen Turner (2006), and JezButterworth's much lauded Jerusalem (2010).