London: Aldwych Theatre

Country: England, United Kingdom
City: London
Borough: City of Westminster
Location: Aldwych / Drury Lane

Built 1905 by W. G. R. Sprague for Seymour Hicks and Charles Frohmann, as one of a pair of a similar, though not identical theatres to each side of the not yet built Waldorf Hotel (the other being the "Waldorf Theatre", 1909 renamed "Strand Theatre", now the "Novello Theatre"). Opened Dec 1905 with Seymour Hicks's musical comedy "Bluebell in Fairyland". From 1925-1933 used for performances of Ben Traver's farces, also known as "The Aldwych Farces". From the mid-1930s until ca. 1960 owned by the Abrahams family. Used for drama performances with world famous actors (e. g. Vivian Leigh in Tennesee Williams's "A Streetcar Named Desire"). 1960 interior alterations. From 15 Dec 1960 to 1981, home to the Royal Shakespeare companies. Also home of Peter Daubeny's World Theatre Season. 1963 interior redecoration and alterations. 1971 seating alterations. Restored after the Royal Shakespeare Company moved to the newly-built Barbican centre in 1981. Currently operated by Michael Codron Plays Ltd. Used for drama performances that often involve with world famous actors, and for musical performances. Originally 1092 seats, today 1176 seats.

Notable world premieres:

  • John Whiting: The Devils (1961)
  • Harold Pinter: The Collection (18 June 1962)
  • Harold Pinter: The Homecoming (3 June 1965)
  • Harold Pinter: Old Times (1 June 1971)
  • Tom Stoppard: Travesties (10 June 1974)
Links:, Wikipedia, Theatres Trust

London: Aldwych Theatre Front Text: "Aldwych Theatre, London", inscription: "Aldwych Theatre", signs: "Ellaline Terriss - Seymour Hicks"
Publisher: E. F. A. London Theatre Series; No. 1004
Type: Divided Back
Size: Classic
Not sent.

London: Aldwych Theatre /  District Messengers of London Front Text: "District Messengers Reserving Places at the Theatre", on poster (hardly legible): "Aldwych ... Ellaline Terriss", on doors: "Gallery 1", "Pit 2'6"
Reverse Text: "The best way to obtain a good seat in the pit of a theatre is to hire a District Messenger to retain a place. As many as 150 messengers have been engaged in one day for this purpose. Time is money, and time saved in this way is invaluable."
Publisher: Raphael Tuck & Sons; Oilette 9424
Type: Divided Back
Size: Classic
Sent: within London, 1907

London: Aldwych Theatre Front Text: "The Aldwych Theatre, London"; on marquee: "Blondel"; signed: "N.C."
Reverse Text: "Aldwych Theatre, Aldwych, Strand. Developed by the actor Seymour Hicks and opened on 23 Deceember 1905. Architect: W. G. R. Sprague. Famous for the Aldwych Farces of the 1920's and 30's. Home of The Royal Shakespeare Company in London from 1960-1982. Capacity: 994. - Drawn by Nicholas Charlesworth"
Publisher: The Badger Press, Westbury; Vaudeville Postcards
Size: Classic
Not sent.

London: Aldwych Theatre Front Text: "The Aldwych Theatre, Tony Matthews 1993"; on marquee: "The Importance of Beaing Earnest by Oscar Wilde"
Reverse Text: "Presumably to cash in on the pantomime season December seems to be the month for theatre openings. The Theatre Royal (1732), The Lyric (1888), The Coliseum (1904), The Adelphi (1930) and Tony Matthews personal favourite The Aldwych (23rd December 1905)."
Publisher: The C. I. A.
Size: 16.5 x 9.6 cm
Not sent.

London: Aldwych Theatre Front Text: "Aldwych Theatre, London"
Publisher: Ice Cream at the Interval / Etsy; 2021
Size: Modern
Not sent.

For other pictures of this theatre, see London: Gaiety Theatre and London: "The Theatres of London".

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