UK – London – Coliseum

Dates: 1904 – present

Designed by Frank Matcham for Oswald Stoll, this is the largest theatre in London, at 2359 seats. There are no pillars to block the view from any seat. 
Widest Proscenium opening in London at 55 feet wide, 34 feet high. 
The first theatre in Europe to provide elevators to take the audience to the upper levels of the house.
The first theatre in England to have a triple revolve on stage.  
Apparently one of the first places in the UK to sell Coca-Cola. 

Official website: https://www.eno.org

1904 – 1933 – Variety shows, musical comedies, stage plays
1933 – 1934 – Talkies arrived and films were shown for a year, including the RKO classic King Kong
1934 – 1961 – Variety shows, musical comedies, stage plays
1961 June – 1963 – Cinema – The theatre was leased by MGM after a run of poorly-received musicals ended.
1963 July – 1968 – Leased by Cinema to become the second of London’s Cinerama locations. Renamed the Coliseum Cinema.
1968 – Sadlers Wells Opera company moved in, after a large orchestra pit had been installed, and the house was fully restored and redecorated.
1974 – The Sadlers Wells company changed it’s name to the English National Opera
2000 – 2004 – Extensive renovation, with design team RHWL as architects and Arup as acousticians and engineers.
Currently, the Coliseum is still the home of the ENO and is also the home of English National Ballet.

Selected Past Productions

  • On Your Feet (from June 2019)
  • Chess (26 April 2018 – 2 June 2018)
  • The home of English National Opera

Equipment

1971 (from The Stage Guide)
Electrics: Strand IDM board in rear stalls. Dimmers 240 (82 x 5kW, 158 x 2kW); 259 presets. Circuits – FOH 56; Flies 104; Stage dips 80 (includes perches). Socket type – 15A BESA. Total capacity available – 2700A on 9 phases. Special effects supply – 180A on 3 phases. Follow spots – 4 sunspots in rear of balcony. Footlights installed, but can be covered. 
Sound: Console SR. 3 amplifiers (2 x 100W and 1 x 50W). 1 tape deck. No turntable. 8 mic sockets (Cannon)

Archive equipment related to London Coliseum over the years

  • Light Console (Strand)
  • IDM (Strand)
  • MMS (Strand)
  • Documents


    London Coliseum - Arthur Lloyd 
    [External Website]
    From Arthur Lloyd website

    Mentions of London Coliseum in indexed journals

    Location


    View in Google Maps

    Stage Technology

    The first theatre in England to have a triple revolve on its stage, although this was rarely used.

    Huge stage space – 55 feet wide by 92 feet deep, flat floor (non-raked) stage. The widest proscenium arch in London. One of the first to have electric lighting.

    The theatre was listed by English Heritage in September 1960.

    See also