Victoria Palace Theatre

Definition

Theater

  • A London theater opposite Victoria Station, noted mainly forits musicals. It was built on the site of the Royal Standard MusicHall, when that venue was demolished in 1910. The new theater, designedby architect Frank Matcham, featured an entrance hall of grey marbleand pillars of white Sicilian marble. The classical facade later borea statue of Pavlova, the famous Russian ballerina, who made her firstLondon appearance there in 1912. The dancer was too superstitiousto look at it; during the Blitz the statue was removed and subsequentlylost.

    The Victoria Palace opened in 1911 as a music hall and quicklydrew all of the great stars. The venue added Theatre to its name in1934, the year it staged the much-ridiculed patriotic melodrama YoungEngland, which ran for 278 performances, attracting theater-goerswith its reputation for unintentional comedy. Successes followed withrevues and musical comedies. Me and My Girl (1937) ran for1646 performances, Crazy Gang revues were produced between1947 and 1962, and The Black and White Minstrels opened in1962 to run for 4344 performances. Later offerings included the first Londonproduction of Annie (1978), Winnie (1988), a musical based onthe life of Winston Churchill, and the hugely successful Buddy (1994), ashow built around the songs of Buddy Holly. Steven Daldry and Elton John'smusical adaptation of the hit film Billy Elliot opened here in 2005and was still running in 2010.

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