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The Vaudeville Theatre, London

3.6
#172 of 1,211 in Nightlife in London
The Vaudeville Theatre is a West End theatre on the Strand in the City of Westminster. As the name suggests, the theatre held mostly vaudeville shows and musical revues in its early days. It opened in 1870 and was rebuilt twice, although each new building retained elements of the previous structure. The current building opened in 1926, and the capacity is now 690 seats. Rare thunder drum and lightning sheets, together with other early stage mechanisms survive in the theatre.HistoryOriginsThe theatre was designed by prolific architect C. J. Phipps, decorated in a Romanesque style by George Gordon, and opened on 16 April 1870 with Andrew Halliday's comedy, For Love Or Money and a burlesque, Don Carlos or the Infante in Arms. A notable innovation was the concealed footlights, which would shut off if the glass in front of them was broken. The owner, William Wybrow Robertson, had run a failing billiard hall on the site but saw more opportunity in theatre. He leased the new theatre to three actors, Thomas Thorne, David James, and H.J. Montague. The original theatre stood behind two houses on the Strand, and the entrance was through a labyrinth of small corridors. It had a seating capacity of 1,046, rising in a horseshoe, over a pit and three galleries. The cramped site meant that facilities front and backstage were limited.
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  • Good little theatre with comfortable seats and good visibility of the stage. We saw stand up comedy and acoustics were also good.  more »
  • The show was phenomenal. You must see this! It left me buzzing in so many ways. The direction and effervescent staging, simultaneously playful and serious, charismatic performances from the ENTIRE cas...  more »
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