Prince of Wales' Theatre

Definition

Theater

  • (1) A theater in Coventry Street, London, associated with successfulmusicals and revues. The first venue on the site was built as ThePrince's Theatre by the actor-manager Edgar Bruce; it was noted forits foyer decorated in the Moorish style and a circular Moorish 'grotto'under the street (used as a smoking room). The first production wasW. S. Gilbert's The Palace of Truth (1884). Later that yearBeerbohm Tree scored a great success in The Private Secretary,while Lillie Langtry's 1885 - 86 repertory season includedSheridan's The School for Scandal. The theater's present namewas adopted in 1886. Between 1918 and 1926 several revues were presentedby AndrĂ© Charlot. Edith Evans briefly managed the venue in1930.

    The Prince of Wales' Theatre was rebuilt in 1936, the interiorbeing redesigned in a stark simple style by Robert Cromie. It reopenedin 1937 with Les Folies de Paris et Londres. Sid Field hada successful run in Harvey (1949) before musical comedies andrevues returned in the 1950s, attracting such international starsas Mae West and Barbra Streisand. The World of Susie Wong openedin 1959 and ran for 824 performances, while The Danny La Rue Showwas a highlight of 1973. Recent revivals have included Rodgers andHammerstein's South Pacific (1988), Irving Berlin's AnnieGet Your Gun (1992), and Bernstein's West Side Story (1999).The Abba musical Mamma Mia! transferred here from the PrinceEdward in 2004 and is still running.

    (2) see Scala Theatre.

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