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How to get there

The Vaudeville Theatre is located on Strand, near to Covent Garden and Charing Cross in London's West End. Below you can find information on how to get to the theatre and a map showing the location of the venue.

Address

Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, London, WC2R 0NH.

If you’re driving into the West End to see a show, take advantage of Q-Park's Theatreland Parking Scheme saving 50% off off-street car parking charges for up to 24 hours. To qualify, simply present your Q-Park car park ticket for validation at our box office and the car park machine will automatically charge you half price. For details of locations and prices please visit Q-Park's Website.

10am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday.

Parking

NCP at Upper St Martins Lane Masterpark at Trafalgar Square

Public Transportation

Charing Cross (Northern, Bakerloo) Embankment (District, Circle)

Bus Routes

1, 4 , 6, 9, 11, 13 , 15, 68, 76, 171, 176, 188

View larger version of map

Theatre Facilities

Dress Circle and Upper Circle Bars

Cloakroom

Air Conditioning

Disabled booking Service

Book online or call 0844 482 9675 (24hrs)

Vaudeville Theatre

The Vaudeville Theatre is located on Strand in London's West End. The theatre is owned and operated by Nimax Theatres and has 681 seats.

We look forward to welcoming you at the Vaudeville Theatre soon!

Information

History

The current building is the third theatre to be built on this prominent Strand site. The first theatre, which had a capacity of 1,000 people, opened in April 1870 under the management of H J Montague, David James and Thomas Thorne. The architect was C J Phipps. The first production was a comedy by Andrew Halliday called For Love or Money. The auditorium was horseshoe shaped and built behind two houses, leaving little room for the provision of a foyer or, for that matter, any dressing rooms for the cast. The building witnessed plays with many major stars of the day including Henry Irving, and enjoyed several long runs including a record-breaking 404 performances for a revival of The School for Scandal starring Henry Neville (1872) and 1,362 performances of Our Boys by H J Byron (1875), an astounding run for the time.

By 1889 Thomas Thorne had become sole lessee and had demolished the two houses, allowing him to expand the theatre onto the Strand. C J Phipps was once again commissioned, building the Portland stone facade behind which the foyer and visitor facilities were built. The theatre reopened on 13 January 1891 with a production of Woodbarrow Farm; subsequent productions included the first performances given in England of Ibsen’s Rosmersholm and Hedda Gabler (1891).

Thorne sold up his interest after only a year to Agostino and Stephano Gatti who acquired the theatre to avoid a legal wrangle with Thorne over the noise made by an electric generating station they had developed off Maiden Lane. The Gattis survived by producing further revivals and comedies, then joined forces with Charles Frohman to present a series of long runs with Seymour Hicks and Ellaline Terris including Alice in Wonderland (1900), Scrooge (1901) and J M Barrie’s Quality Street (1902). Charles Hawtrey also appeared in several successful comedies between 1907 and 1909 but, most famously, from 1915 the theatre became the home of André Charlot’s revues with names such as Buzz-Buzz (1918) and Puss! Puss! (1921). Ivor Novello found early success providing material for Charlot in these productions. The Gattis closed the theatre in 1925 for a complete interior reconstruction by architect Robert Atkinson and the builders Bovis Ltd. The building was made more spacious with a higher roof and the oblong auditorium we see today.

The first performance in the current building was a revue by Archie de Bear called R.S.V.P. in February 1926. Other productions of the time included Jack Hawkins and Dame Peggy Ashcroft in The Breadwinner, Sir John Mills in a play by his wife, Mary Hayley Bell, Men in Shadow (1942), and Dame Thora Hird in her West End debut, No Medals (1944). In 1954 the opening of Salad Days by Dorothy Reynolds and Julian Slade was a milestone in the history of long runs, going on to amass 2,288 performances. Ned Sherrin’s 50th anniversary revival in its original home did not fare so well in 2004.Other 20th-century productions of note include Sybil Thorndike and Athene Seyler in Arsenic and Old Lace (1966), The Man Most Likely To (1968) with Leslie Phillips, Alastair Sim (and an early male full-frontal nude) in A Private Matter (1973), a play about STDs (then known as VD) with Dame Maggie Smith called Snap (1974), Glenda Jackson in Stevie (1977), Michael Frayn’s Benefactors (1984), Joanna Lumley in Blithe Spirit (1986), Julia Mackenzie in an award-winning performance in Alan Ayckbourn’s Woman in Mind (1986), Pauline Collins as Shirley Valentine (1988), David Hare’s Skylight (1997), the award-winning South African musical from the Tricycle Theatre Kat and the Kings (1998), Bill Kenwright’s production of The Chiltern Hundreds (1999) and Alison Steadman in The Memory of Water (1999).

The new century began with Macauley Culkin in Madame Melville (2000) and a sequel to Ray Cooney’s long-running Run for Your Wife called Caught in the Net (2001). The bulk of the new millennium has been taken up by the enormously successful Stomp (2002-07) which has now made way for Christian Slater’s appearance in Swimming with Sharks (2007), The Importance of Being Earnest (2007), The Female of the Species (2008), Piaf (2008), The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (2009), Private Lives (2010), Jeff Goldblum and Mercedes Ruehl in The Prisoner of Second Avenue (2010) and An Ideal Husband (2010).

Part of the Vaudeville’s success lies in the fact that it has only had five owners since 1892; the Gatti family retained ownership until 1969 when impresario Peter Saunders, most famous as the producer of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, took over. He in turn handed over to prolific theatre producer Michael Codron in 1983 who presided over a varied programme of major plays and musicals until Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen bought the theatre in 1996.

In 2001, Max Weitzenhoffer, a Tony Award-winning American producer, acquired the venue, having found considerable success producing the award-winning Defending the Caveman (Apollo), Medea (Queen’s), Feelgood (Garrick) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Gielgud and Garrick) with his UK producing partner Nica Burns.

In September 2005, Max Weitzenhoffer and Nica Burns purchased four playhouses from Andrew Lloyd Webber (Apollo, Lyric, Garrick, Duchess). These theatres together with the Vaudeville complete the Nimax Theatres portfolio. The theatre’s programme is set to continue with a variety of new plays, revivals, comedy and musicals with which it has been entertaining theatregoers for nearly 140 years.

Mark Fox with thanks to Adam Smith

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