The Piccadilly Theatre has a history dating back to its opening in April 1928. The theatre was built with a plain facade and an Art Deco style interior, designed by Marc-Henri Levy and Gaston Laverdet in shades of green and gold. The Piccadilly retains this colour scheme to this day.

When the theatre first opened it was one of the largest in London, with the original souvenir brochure boasting: ‘If all the bricks used in the building were laid in a straight line, they would stretch from London to Paris’! The theatre is in a thriving tourist location just behind Piccadilly Circus, right in the centre of the capital and close to a number of other attractions and entertainment sites.

The Piccadilly Theatre is not the biggest in London but still has the capacity to seat a large number of people per performance, with 1232 seats available in the main auditorium. It is built on three levels, with a seat to suit every budget and preference, as opposed to some smaller theatres where you can have less choice in the matter (or much larger theatres where a cheap ticket will leave you stuck up in the gods!).

Since opening in 1928, the Piccadilly Theatre has been used for a wide range of different kinds of entertainment, spanning everything from cinema through to ballet and drama. The opening production, Blue Eyes, was a musical and starred one of the most celebrated actresses of the era, Evelyn Laye. It was then taken over by Warner Brothers and used as a cinema. This period of the theatre’s history is notable as it was the first place in Britain to show a talking picture, a film called The Singing Fool starring Al Jolson, before reopening as a venue for live performance and drama in November 1929.

Later on the Piccadilly Theatre was converted into a cabaret restaurant. it reopened in 1936 as The London Casino, under which name it was renowned for its over-the-top stage shows. During the Second World War it was one of many significant London buildings to be damaged during bombings, with a German bomb landing on part of the theatre and necessitating extensive repairs in the 1950s.

However, the theatre reopened once more under its present name and was recognised as a location for plays, revues and indeed musicals, making its mark by hosting the first ever London performances of A Streetcar Named Desire and Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? The theatre was also the venue for broadcast entertainment such as the variety show Live from the Piccadilly, hosted by Jimmy Tarbuck, in the 1980s.

In the 1990s the theatre moved more solidly towards musicals and dance, with Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake becoming the most successful commercial ballet season ever to take place on the West End stage. Other musicals included Spend Spend Spend, Jailhouse Rock, Guys and Dolls, Grease the Musical and Ghost the Musical.

More recently the theatre has hosted Viva Forever, Dirty Dancing and, since 2014, Jersey Boys after it transferred from the Prince Edward Theatre.

Piccadilly theatre tickets in London:

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