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London Palladium

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


Time Out says

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.


Argyll Street
Tube: Oxford Circus
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Hello Dolly

Director Dominic Cooke's stellar National Theatre revival of Sondheim's ‘Follies’ had much to recommend it, but one of its highest points was Imelda Staunton's performance as a wistful former showgirl, haunted by regrets. Now, Staunton and Cooke are reuniting for a crack at another classic musical, ‘Hello, Dolly’, which hasn't had a London revival in over a decade. Cooke’s production was due to have a 30-week run at Adelphi Theatre starting in 2020; the pandemic scuppered that – and presumably her commitments to ‘The Crown’ delayed it further their part – but it’s finally hitting the stage in 2024 with a limited run in the huge Palladium. Staunton will play the eponymous socialite matchmaker who finds a bride for her millionaire friend, then embarks on a hunt for a love of her own. It's got music and lyrics by Jerry Herman (‘La Cage aux Folles’) including the wonderful title number, plus 'Put on Your Sunday Clothes' and 'Before the Parade Passes By'.

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