Following the fancy restoration job recently completed on the Victoria Palace Theatre (now home to ‘Hamilton’), Cameron Mackintosh’s Delfont Mackintosh will shutter a further four of its iconic West End theatres over the next couple of years in order to ensure the ageing Edwardian buildings make it through the rest of the century.
In three instances we’re unlikely to notice the theatre shutting for two to four months: Wyndham’s, the Noël Coward and the Gielgud typically play host to limited-run shows, and there will simply be longer gaps between these while the work is done, starting with Wyndham’s, which will begin work next month, after Michael Grandage’s hit production of John Logan’s ‘Red’ finishes its scheduled run.
More disruptive, though, will be the need to shutter the Queen’s, which has barely been refurbished since the repair of WWII bomb damage. It is, of course, home to ‘Les Misérables’. Therefore the longest running musical in history will be leaving the Queen’s for a bit in 2019-20 while extensive backstage work is conducted, alongside various other bits and bobs including the restoration of the original boxes. Exactly what is going to happen to ‘Les Mis’ is unclear at this stage (it presumably needs a large theatre with a revolve), but we are assured that ‘plans are being finalised to ensure that this legendary musical success will continue its run in the West End during the Queen’s Theatre closure and an announcement with these arrangements will be made in the autumn’.
Delfont Mackintosh have four other long-runners on their books, but the Victoria Palace (‘Hamilton’) has already been done up, the Novello (‘Mamma Mia!’) can apparently be fixed without the need for closure, and the Prince of Wales (‘Book of Mormon’) and Prince Edward (‘Aladdin’) are newer buildings that don’t require fixing up.
‘Les Misérables’ is currently booking at the Queen’s Theatre until Mar 2 2019.