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Prince of Wales Theatre

Theatre, Musicals Piccadilly Circus
Prince of Wales Theatre
Pres Panayotov / Shutterstock.com

This West End theatre has a long (and very glamorous) history of staging musical theatre extravaganzas

For over a hundred years, the Prince of Wales Theatre has been giving West End crowds a proper night out at a glitzy succession of musical shows. Its 1,160-seater auditorium is tricked out in a modern take on Art Deco style, and glows in shades of metallic bronze and red.

Named after the future Edward VII, this theatre dates back to 1884, but it’s been through quite a few changes over the years. The original Prince of Wales Theatre hosted Victorian theatre stars like Lillie Langtry and Charles Hawtree, and developed a reputation for comic operas and musicals. In the early twentieth century, Ivor Novello and Noel Coward launched their fantastically flamboyant revues at the venue. And in the '30s, things took a still more extravagant turn with the advent of the 'Folies Bergere'. These risqué song-and-dance shows ran nonstop from 2pm until midnight, and titillated audiences with a mixture of lavish design, magical effects, and scantily-clad chorus girls. 

The Folies pulled in so much money that the theatre was completely rebuilt in 1937, to house twice as many punters. From then on, things proceeded on starry form, with Mae West and Katherine Dunham both appearing at the Prince of Wales, as part of an ever-changing line-up of revues, musicals and variety shows. Barbra Streisand starred in 'Funny Girl' in 1966, followed by the success of comedy show 'Underneath the Arches' and Lloyd Webber's record-breaking 1989 bohemian musical 'Aspects of Love'.

The Prince of Wales then underwent a swish refurbishment in 2004, re-opening in its current form with smash hit ‘Mamma Mia!’ which became the longest-running show ever at the venue. In 2013 it was booted out to make way for the smash comedy ‘The Book of Mormon’, which has been in place ever since.

Posted:

Venue name: Prince of Wales Theatre
Contact:
Address: 31
Coventry Street
London
W1D 6AS
Opening hours: Check website for show times
Transport: Tube: Piccadilly Circus/Leicester Square
Price: Various
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  • West End Until Wednesday June 26 2019
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