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London Palladium

  • Theatre
  • Soho

Time Out says

This gorgeous Georgian variety hall is one of London's most prestigious venues, even if it seems too big for a proper hit these days

Tucked away between Oxford Circus and Great Marlborough Street with a discreetness that belies its enormous size, the London Palladium is one of the city's best-loved and most beautiful theatres. Opening on Boxing Day, 1910, its rose and gold interior has welcomed generations of audiences to shows with a populist, variety flavour. 'The Royal Variety Show', a perennial British favourite, is filmed here, while commercial stage shows from 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' to 'Scrooge' have benefited from a steady flow of popular TV faces.

Acquired by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 2000, the venue had a blockbuster '00s, the tail end fuelled by its owners hit talent search shows, foremost the production of 'The Sound of Music' spawned by 'How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?'

But with a whopping 2,286 seats, sometimes the Palladium struggles to find a hit big enough to fill it. Although 2011's 'The Wizard of Oz' was a legitimate box office success, the notorious flop of 'I Can't Sing!' in 2014 led to a period in the wilderness, where the theatre focused on limited run shows, comedy gigs, and one-off performances from bands. In 2019, that all changed with the prospect of a revival of Lloyd Webber's 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat', in a second coming for a hit of Biblical proportions.


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Tube: Oxford Circus
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What’s on

Jack and the Beanstalk

  • Panto

After a few years doing slightly random titles (‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, ‘Pantoland’), the Palladium’s annual megapanto returns with a classic of the genre as it tackles ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. As ever, the pantomime will be based around its hardcore of regular stars: Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers and Gary Wilmot will all be present and correct as ever, with this year’s big guest name being comic icon Dawn French. Herself a returnee – having starring in 2018’s ‘Snow White’ – she’ll star as Mrs Trot, mother to the to-be-cast Jack, who famously trades the family cow away for a bag of magic beans. As ever, expect the whole show to be dominated by Clary, whose role hasn’t been announced, but whose barely legal double entendres give the annual event its heart and laughs.

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