The Full Wiki

London Palladium: Map

Advertisements
  
  
  

Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:



The London Palladium is a 2,286 seat West End theatremarker located off Oxford Streetmarker in the City of Westminstermarker. From the roster of stars who have played there and many televised performances, it is arguably the most famous theatre in Londonmarker and the United Kingdommarker, especially for musical variety shows.

Building

The grade II* listed building dates from 1910, although the facade (originally that of Argyll House which is why the pub opposite is called The Argyll Arms) dates back to the 19th century. It was originally a temporary wooden building called Corinthian Bazaar, which featured an aviary and aimed to attract customers from the recently closed Pantheon Bazaar (now Marks and Spencers) on Oxford Streetmarker. The theatre was rebuilt a year later by Fredrick Hengler, the son of a tightrope walker, as a circus venue that included an aquatic display in a flooded ring. Next it became the National Skating Palace - a skating rink with real ice. However the rink failed and the Palladium was redesigned by Frank Matcham, a famous theatrical architect who also designed the London Coliseummarker, for a site that previously housed Hengler’s Circus. The building now carries Heritage Foundation commemorative plaques honouring Lew Grade and Frankie Vaughan.

The theatre retains many of its original features and was Grade II* listed by English Heritage in September 1960. The Palladium had its own telephone system so the occupants of boxes could call one another. It also had a revolving stage.

History

Pre-war

The theatre started out as The Palladium, a premier venue for variety performances. It is especially linked to the Royal Variety Performances, where many were, and still are, held. From 1928 it was managed by George Black and was even a cinema for three months. During the 1930s became the regular home for The Crazy Gang. The ‘London’ part of the name was added in 1934. Black controlled the large Moss Empires group of theatres. Responsible for bookings at the London Palladium was Val Parnell.

The Val Parnell era

Val Parnell took over as Managing Director in 1945. He adopted a controversial, but very successful, policy of presenting high-priced big-name acts. Among many, the list included Judy Garland, Sophie Tucker, Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Bob Hope, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Frankie Laine, Johnnie Ray, Petula Clark and Norman Vaughan.

From 1955-1967 the theatre was the setting for the top-rated ITV variety show Sunday Night at the London Palladium hosted first by Tommy Trinder, then by Bruce Forsyth. The programme was broadcast live every week by ATV, which was owned by the famous theatrical impresario Lew Grade. Production was by Val Parnell.

Val Parnell became associated with a property development company and began to sell Moss Empires' theatres for redevelopment. When it became known in 1966 that this fate awaited the London Palladium, The Victoria Palacemarker and even the Theatre Royal, Drury Lanemarker, Prince Littler organised a take-over to save the theatres and Val Parnell retired to live in France.

In 1968, Sammy Davis, Jr. starred in Golden Boy, the first book musical to be produced in the venue [33314].

Post-Parnell

In January 1973, glam rock band Slade played a gig in the theatre which resulted in the venue's balcony nearly collapsing. In 1976, and released in 1977 Marvin Gaye recorded his live concert on a Double LP Entitled Live at the London Palladium in which is considered Gaye at his finest while recording a live album, it also included his number one hit "Got to Give It Up".

In the late 1980s the venue was once again the setting for the popular ITV1 variety show, Live From the Palladium, compered by Jimmy Tarbuck.

During this time, the theatre was under the ownership of the Stoll Moss Theatres Group, and the management of both Margaret and David Locke, who both were major shareholders of Stoll Moss at the time.

Really Useful era

In 2000, ownership of the theatre changed once again when it was acquired by Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group, and in 2002, the famous (but outdated) revolving stage was removed to make way for more modern technology.

From April 2002 to 4 September 2005, the Palladium played host to a theatrical version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with songscore by the Sherman Brothers. Throughout its three and a half year run at the venue, the production starred many celebrities (see below). This show proved to be the most successful show to date, in the theatre's long history and reunited, 50 years later, the show's choreographer Gillian Lynne with the theatre in which she appeared as the Palladium's Star Dancer during the early 50s.

For Christmas 2005-6, the venue staged Bill Kenwright's production of Scrooge - The Musical which closed on 14 January 2006. The show starred Tommy Steele, making a return to the Palladium. From February 2006, the theatre played host to a new musical production entitled Sinatra At The London Palladium, which featured a live band, large screen projections and dancers performing Frank Sinatra's greatest hits.

Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Ian's new production of The Sound of Music opened at the Palladium in November 2006, starring Connie Fisher as Maria. Subsequent casting featured Aoife Mulholland and Summer Strallen. The production ran for just over two years, before closing on 21 February 2009.

A new production of Sister Act the Musical opened on 2nd June 2009.

Rufus Wainwright held two sold out Judy Garland tribute concerts at the theatre on the 18th and 25th of February 2007.

On 20 May 2007, the London Palladium was also the setting for the 2007 BAFTA awards, which were broadcast on BBC television.

Recent and present productions



Rumour has it that Shrek the Musical will be moving into the theatre next year.

References

  • Guide to British Theatres 1750-1950, John Earl and Michael Sell pp. 122-3 (Theatres Trust, 2000) ISBN 0-7136-5688-3


External links




Embed code:
Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message