Currently showing at the Noel Coward Theatre

Noel Coward Theatre

A guide to the Noel Coward Theatre in London's West End

Formerly known as the Albery, the Noel Coward Theatre as it was re-named in 2006, has hosted many productions of classics over the years, including transfers of RSC productions and smash musicals. Opening in 1903 on St Martin's Lane, today the theatre is within walking distance of many popular restaurants and pubs making it ideally placed for pre- or post-theatre drinks, or a great theatre meal deal.

Just one minute walk from Leicester Square tube station, three minutes from Covent Garden and five from Charing Cross, the Noel Coward Theatre has a capacity of 872 accommodated across four levels, stalls, royal circle, grand circle and balcony. The theatre has a splendid interior which is decorated in the Rococo style, with white and gold colours predominant. It was extensively refurbished in 2005 when the seats were returned to their original damask rose colour and Noel's Bar restored to its former splendour, ensuring a sparkling setting for your visit to the theatre.

The history

The Savoy Theatre, originally called the New Theatre and one of 30 designed by the architect W G R Sprague, has hosted many notable productions in the last century and more, including Noel Coward's first play I'll Leave It to You (1920) which starred the playwright, Saint Joan (1924) by George Bernard Shaw with Sybil Thorndike and Sir John Gielgud's legendary Hamlet (1936). After the destruction of the venues of the Old Vic and Sadler's Wells during the Blitz, both companies made their home at the Noel Coward until their respective theatres were rebuilt in the 1950s. Performances included Richard III starring Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh and Peer Gynt starring Ralph Richardson. The 1950s were also notable for the West End stage d‚but of Katherine Hepburn as Epifania in George Bernard Shaw's The Millionairess. The venue saw one of its biggest hits in the 1960s with the premiere of Lionel Bart's Oliver! which ran for 2,618 shows.

Other more recent productions include Samuel Beckett's Endgame (2004) which starred Lee Evans and Michael Gambon; Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer (2004) with Diana Rigg; transfers of RSC productions of Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear and Romeo and Juliet, among others, the musical Ducktastic!; Calendar Girls; a Russian production of Uncle Vanya (2012); The Full Monty and Shakespeare in Love.

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