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Queen's Theatre by day

The Queen's Theatre is a West End theatremarker located in Shaftesbury Avenuemarker in the City of Westminstermarker. It opened on 8 October 1907 with a comedy called The Sugar Bowl by Madeleine Lucette Ryley. It was designed by W.G.R. Sprague as a twin to the neighbouring Gielgud Theatremarker and has a modern shell but an Edwardian interior following a hit on the facade by a Germanmarker bomb in September 1940.

The Stage on 10 October 1907 described the theatre as
A two-tier house, the Queen's holds about 1200 persons, representing some £300 in money.
The colour scheme of the walls and roof is white and gold, while green is the hue of the carpets, hangings and upholstery, and of the very charming velvet tableau curtain.
From a spacious and lofty entrance-hall, with passages leading down into the stalls, one ascends by a handsome marble staircase to the dress circle, which runs out over the pit; and there is a fine and roomy saloon at the top.
Mr Vedrenne makes a point that 7/6 will be charged for seats in the first three rows only of the dress circle, while but 5/- will be the price of the remaining eight rows, also unreserved, in which evening dress will be optional.
On the second tier of the Queen's, which is in the Old Italian Renaissance style and in the building of which the cantilever principle has been adopted, are the upper circle and the shilling gallery.
The auditorium is lighted up agreeably with electric lamps and an electrolier, and ample refreshment room and other accommodation will be found to have been provided

The Queen's Theatre has seen such talents as Edith Evans, George Bernard Shaw, Henry Daniell, Basil Rathbone, John Gielgud, Noel Coward, Kenneth Branagh, Marlene Dietrich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Hawthorne, Jane Lapotaire, Alec Guinness, Fiona Shaw and Maggie Smith. Recent notable shows at the Queen's include the Tony award winning musical Contact; Cyberjam, a production by the Emmy and Tony Award winning creators of Blast!; and The Taming of the Shrew.

Since April 2004, the theatre has played host to Cameron Mackintosh's production of Les Misérables which transferred after 18 years at the nearby Palace Theatre. The musical celebrated its 20th anniversary at the venue on 8 October 2005 and overtook Cats as the longest running musical of all time a year later on 8 October 2006 .

The theatre was Grade II listed by English Heritage in June 1972.

Recent and present productions

  • The Hobbit (28 November 2001 - 9 February 2002) by Glyn Robbins from J. R. R. Tolkien's book
  • Mysteries (26 February 2002 - 18 May 2002) adaptation by Speir Opera
  • Umoja: The Spirit of Togetherness (18 June 2002 - 31 August 2002) by Todd Twala, Thenbi Nyandeni and Ian von Memerty
  • Contact (23 October 2002 - 10 May 2003) by Susan Stroman and John Weildman
  • The Rocky Horror Show (23 June 2003 - 5 July 2003) by Richard O'Brien, starring Jonathan Wilkes and John Stalker
  • Cyberjam (23 September 2003 - 3 January 2004)
  • The RSC's The Taming of the Shrew (15 January 2004 - 6 March 2004) by William Shakespeare
  • The RSC's The Tamer Tamed (22 January 2004 - 6 March 2004) by John Fletcher
  • Les Misérables (3 April 2004 — ) by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schónberg


  • Guide to British Theatres 1750-1950, John Earl and Michael Sell pp. 133–4 (Theatres Trust, 2000) ISBN 0-7136-5688-3
  • Who's Who in the Theatre, edited by John Parker, tenth edition, revised, London, 1947, pps: 477-478 and 1183.

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