This Grade II-listed building specialises in musicals and is jointly owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group and Nederlander International. The theatre was founded in 1806 as the Sans Pareil by John Scott and his daughter Jane, a manager, performer and playwright. After her marriage and retirement in 1819, it was renamed the Adelphi and developed a reputation for presenting lurid melodramas, which became known as 'Adelphi screamers'. Adaptations of works by Dickens were also presented and the theatre itself is namechecked in ‘The Pickwick Papers’.
The theatre was demolished and reopened in 1858 as the more spacious New Adelphi, complete with a dazzling new chandelier. It was the site of a grisly murder in 1897 when actor William Terris was stabbed there; his ghost reputedly still haunts the building.
The trend for musical comedies began at the turn of the century, while the Adelphi went through further redevelopments. It reopened in 1930 in its present Art Deco style, designed by Ernest Schaufelberg. The inaugural production was Ridgers & Hart's musical ‘Ever Green’ and in 1975 it saw the UK premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s ‘A Little Night Music’. GLC plans for the redevelopment of Covent Garden saw the Adelphi come under threat of demolition, along with the Vaudeville, Garrick, Duchess and Lyceum, but the Save London Theatres campaign prevailed and they were saved.
In 1993, the Really Useful Group bought the theatre and undertook extensive refurbishment prior to the opening of Lloyd Webber’s musical ‘Sunset Boulevard’. In 1997, the Kander and Ebb revival ‘Chicago’ took up residence, before transferring to the Cambridge Theatre in 2006. Michael Grandage’s production of ‘Evita’ followed, and Brian Wilson gave a historic performance of the Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’ album here in 2006.
Lloyd Webber’s ‘Joseph’, starring TV talent show winner Lee Mead, was next; and in 2010 his 'Phantom' sequel, ‘Love Never Dies’, opened after a troubled development. It proved a dire, unwieldy piece; its planned Broadway production appears to have been abandoned and the show dubbed ‘Paint Never Dries’ by bloggers is due to expire at the end of August, when it will be replaced by ‘One Man, Two Guv’nors’, Richard Bean’s take on Goldoni, which will transfer from the National Theatre.
|Venue name:||Adelphi Theatre||Contact:|
|Transport:||Tube: Charing Cross|
|Do you own this business?|
Pick a dateto
This review is from 2015; David Hunter is now playing Charlie; Matt Henry remains in the cast as Lola Fabulously sassy, uplifting and ever so kinky, the Tony Award-winning musical that’s been dazzling audiences has finally high-kicked its way from Broadway...Musicals Until Saturday May 6 2017
Things to do
Dean Strang and Jerry Buting: Making A Murderer
If you devoured 'Making a Murderer' on Netflix last year, you should be very excited about this upcoming event. Steven Avery's defence attorneys, Dean Strang and Jerry Buting are touching down in London for an evening of conversation surrounding the case...Talks and lectures Sunday January 29 2017