Dates: 1930 – present
Auditorium Capacity: 1,436
Official website: http://www.reallyusefultheatres.co.uk/our-theatres/adelphi
The current theatre is the fourth venue on it’s site in the Strand. The first building opened on 27 November 1806.
The first theatre was The Sans Pareil (which was renamed the Adelphi in 1819, the the Theatre Royal, Adelphi, in 1829).
A second theatre built in 1858 took the name Theatre Royal, New Adelphi from 1867 onwards.
In 1901, the third building, reconstructed to provide a new frontage on the Strand, opened as The Century Theatre, but within a year it reverted to the Royal Adelphi.
From the official history website.
The Adelphi was one of five theatres that were almost demolished due to a plan to redevelop the Covent Garden area by the Greater London Council (GLC), in 1971. The GLC planned to build new theatres to replace them. However, the plan was abandoned in 1973 after a campaign by the Covent Garden Community Association.
Guardian article about the plan which contains fascinating insights into the financial workings of West End theatre in the 1970s.
From the Really Useful Theatres history website
“In December 1897 the famous melodramatic actor William Terris was dramatically and fatally stabbed on his way into the theatre to prepare for a performance of Secret Service. The stage door was then in Bull Inn Court, but Terris used the Royal Entrance in Maiden Lane as a private access route. It proved his undoing for it allowed Richard Prince, a jealous (and mad) colleague, to attack him with a knife. He died from his wounds inside the theatre in the arms of his leading lady, and mistress, Jessie Milward. He was enormously popular and greatly mourned and since his last words were reportedly ‘I’ll be back’ there may be some truth in reputed sightings of his ghost here in the theatre and at Covent Garden Tube Station.”
Equipment & Facilities
Stage Revolve: 11.12m diameter (from British Theatre Directory 1987)
From the British Theatre Directory, 1978 & 1987
Switchboard: MMS Desk; 150 ways; FOH Spots 29 Auto; 4 Battens; 80 Dips.
Sound Equip: Cue Call
Past Productions / History
- Kinky Boots (21 August 2015 – Booking to 30 June 2018)
- 2015 – Refurbishment – new bar in the foyer and more improved toilets.
- Made in Dagenham (2014) starring Gemma Arterton
- The Bodyguard (2012)
- 2012 – Refurbishment – new toilets and movement space in the basement, next to the Jessie Matthews Bar.
- Sweeney Todd (2012)
- One Man, Two Guvnors (2011) starring James Corden
- Love Never Dies (2010)
- Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2007)
- Evita (2006)
- Chicago (1997 – 2006) ran for over 8 years – holds the record for the longest West End run of an American musical
- Sunset Boulevard (1993 – 1997?)
- 1993 – Theatre restored, prior to the opening of Sunset Boulevard restoring original art deco features.
- Me and My Girl (1985 – 1993)
- My Fair Lady (1982) Cameron Mackintosh revival
- Charley’s Aunt (1979) starring John Inman
- A Little Night Music (1975)
- Showboat (1971) 909 performances
- Charlie Girl (1965)
- Blitz! (1962) Lionel Bart
- The Music Man (1961) Van Johnson
- Auntie Mame (1958) starring Beatrice Lillie
- Bless the Bride (1947) starring Lizbeth Webb
- Dear Octopus (1940) Dame Marie Tempest’s last performance
- 1940 – The ‘Royal’ epithet was dropped, leaving the theatre called The Adelphi.
- Magnolia Street (1934)
- Nymph Errant (1933) Cole Porter
- Words and Music (1932) Noel Coward
- Grand Hotel (1931) Vicki Baum
- Ever Green (1930) starring Jessie Matthews
- 1930 – Reconstructed theatre opened (with internal art deco features). Architect: Ernest Schaufelberg.
- Aloma (1926)
- The Green Hat (1925) starring Tallulah Bankhead
- The Way of an Eagle (1922)
- The Quaker Girl (1908)