UK Travel Guide


Shaftesbury Theatre

Graced with one of London's most ornate and beautiful auditoriums designed by Bertie Crewe, the Shaftesbury has had an eventful life, and a number of names. Beginning in 1911 as the New Princes Theatre it became the Princes in 1914, and renamed the Shaftesbury in 1962 following redecoration. In 1978 the theatre was bought by the newly formed Theatre of Comedy company founded by Ray Cooney, and given its official name of the Shaftesbury Theatre of Comedy. The first of a number of mishaps occurred in 1928 when a gas-pipe explosion interrupted Funny Face starring Fred Astaire, and forced the closure of the theatre for a number of weeks. However despite bomb damage on two separate occasions during the Second World War, the Savoy managed to remain open. The theatre was forced to close again in 1973 when part of the auditorium roof fell in just as the musical Hair was about to celebrate its 2000th performance. Only prolonged and passionate opposition from members of the actors' union and general members of the entertainment industry saved the building from conversion into an office block, and it is now a Grade II listed building. Many great names have performed here including Sarah Bernhardt (who made her final London appearance here), Sybil Thorndike, Eric Sykes, Jimmy Edwards, and Peter O'Toole.

Located at: Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2

Telephone: 07000 211221

Opens: Box Office Open 10:00am - 7:30pm

Cost: 12.50 - 32.50

Closest Subway Station: Holborn Station (Click to see more atrraction at this station)