Peacock is dance hub Sadler’s Wells’s satellite venue, designed to serve up shows that appeal to West End punters. As such, you can expect the programme to lean towards populist dance theatre from the likes of hip-hop dance company ZooNation and Latin dance masters Tango Fire. Just don’t wander in while the sun is still up: by night, the Peacock auditorium may play host to dance spectaculars, but by day the space becomes a lecture hall for the London School of Economics who owns the building.
The current Peacock Theatre isn't the most glamorous of locales, sitting in the basement of a pretty uninspiring 1960 office block in Holborn. But inside, it's been carefully designed with acoustics in mind, comfy seats, and sightlines that are perfect for audiences keen to catch every last pirouette. Its 1000 seats are split across stalls, balcony, and a couple of boxes. Initially, it struggled to attract punters to fill them, and became an ITV studio where 'This Is Your Life' was filmed. But when Sadler's Wells was temporarily turfed out of its Islington home in 1996 during a refurb, the space's association with dance began, and it's taken on transfers ever since.
Taking up a pew at the Peacock also means being part of a bit of invisible London history. Although no trace of it remains today, this concrete monolith sits on the site of the old London Opera House, a majestic venue built by in 1911 by Oscar Hammerstein (the millionaire grandfather of the musical theatre legend of the same name). After struggling to find enough opera fans to fill it, the venue became first a cinema, and then a home of grand dance spectaculars and ice skating shows before it was unceremoniously demolished in 1957.