The current building is the third theatre to be built on this prominent Strand site in the centre of London. The first theatre, which had a capacity of 1,000 people, opened in April 1870. 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.
By 1889 Thomas Thorne had demolished the two houses, allowing him to expand the theatre onto the Strand. The theatre reopened on 13 January 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 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.
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.
Vaudeville theatre tickets in London:
To make a booking or to find ticket prices for Hobson’s Choice at the Vaudeville Theatre, London, you can select your ticket preferences at the top of this page. To get further information on :
- Hobson’s Choice (Jun 2016- Sept 2016), please click here.
- David Baddiel – My Family: Not The Sitcom (Sep 2016 – Oct 2016), please click here.
- Dawn French: 30 Million Minutes (Oct, 2016), please click here.
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