Cambridge Theatre

Definition

Theater

  • A London theater in the Seven Dials area of the West End. Itopened in 1930 and was noted for the modern simplicity of its architectureand decor. The Stage commented: "The beautiful, if somewhatpeculiar decorative scheme appears to be Teutonic, and is strangelyreminiscent of the then strange futuristic sets in German films immediatelyafter the war of 1914 - 18." The Cambridge, which seats1273, was refurbished in 1950, leaving a few mementos from the 1930s,such as the engraved mirrors in one bar.

    The new theater opened with a performance of Charlot'sMasquerade starring Beatrice Lillie. It has since presented anunusually varied programme, including drama, revue, musicals, opera,ballet, and even Sunday concerts. It hosted the Comédie-Françaisein 1934 and the New London Opera Company from 1946 to 1948. The Cambridgehas been home to the new D'Oyly Carte Opera Company since 1988.

    Successful productions have included William Douglas Home'sThe Reluctant Debutante (1955), which ran for 752 performances,Willis Hall and Keith Waterhouse's Billy Liar (1960 - 62),the Tommy Steele musical Half A Sixpence (1963 - 64), IngmarBergman's National Theatre production of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler(1970), Jonathan Miller's production of Chekhov's Three Sisters(1976), and the original London production of Chicago (1977). More recent productions have included Return to the Forbidden Planet, which won the 1990 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical and ran until 1993, and the hugely controversial Jerry Springer - The Opera, which wonthe 2003 Olivier Award for Best New Musical and ran until 2005. A revivalof Chicago transferred to the Cambridge in 2006 and is still running(2010).

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