UK – London – Duchess Theatre

Dates: 1929 – present

Official website: https://www.nimaxtheatres.com/duchess-theatre/

Capacity: 494 Seats

Owned by Nimax Theatres

1970s Plan

The Duchess 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. 

Past Productions: 

  • The Play That Goes Wrong (Previews 5 September 2014, Opened 14 September 2014 – Booking to May 2020)
  • Bakersfield Mist (May – August 2014) starring Kathleen Turner
  • Tell Me On A Sunday (February – March 2014)
  • The Wind in the Willows (11 December 2013 – 1 February 2014) Royal Opera House production, directed by Will Tuckett
  • The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui (September – December 2013)
  • Fences (June – September 2013)
  • Untold Stories (April – June 2013)
  • The Boy With Tape On His Face (December 2012 – January 2013)
  • Our Boys (October – December 2012)
  • The Hurly Burly Show (July – September 2012)
  • Written on the Heart (April – May 2012) RSC
  • The Pitmen Painters (October 2011 – April 2012)
  • Ruby Wax: Losing It (August – October 2011)
  • Butley (June – August 2011)
  • Ecstasy  (April – May 2011) written & directed by Mike Leigh
  • Sign of the Times (March – April 2011)
  • Love Story (December 2010 – February 2011)
  • Krapp’s Last Tape (September – November 2010) starring Michael Gambon
  • The Secret of Sherlock Holmes (July – September 2010)
  • The Fantasticks (June 2010)
  • Ghosts (February – March 2010)
  • Morecambe (December 2009 – January 2010)
  • Endgame (October – December 2009)
  • Taking Sides / Collaboration (May – August 2009)
  • Plague Over England (February – May 2009)
  • The Buddy Holly Story (August 2007 – February 2009)
  • Hound of the Baskervilles (April – June 2007)
  • Underneath the Lintel (February – March 2007)
  • Stones In His Pockets (November – December 2006)
  • See How They Run (June – October 2006)
  • 2005: Veteran producers Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer purchased the Duchess Theatre, along with the Apollo, Lyric and Garrick Theatres creating Nimax Theatres on 26 September 2005. The Vaudeville Theatre, solely owned by Max Weitzenhoffer, completes the Nimax portfolio.
  • Glorious (2005) Eddie Izzard
  • The Birthday Party (2005)
  • Man and Boy (2005) starring David Suchet
  • Little Women (2004)
  • Coyote on a Fence (2004)
  • George Gershwin Alone (2004)
  • The Herbal Bed (April – October 1997)
  • Don’t Dress for Dinner (Monday 26 October 1992 – 1 March 1997) transfer from the Apollo Theatre
  • Late Joys (1987 – 1990) Victorian Music Hall programme, by the Players Theatre Company
  • Oh Calcutta! (December 1974 – 1980) transferred from The Royalty Theatre
  • The Dirtiest Show In Town (1970s) 700 performances
  • A Severed Head (opened 27 June 1963, running Dec 11 1965) by Iris Murdoch and J.B.Priestley
  • Alfie (1962)
  • Blithe Spirit (1942) Transferred from St James Theatre & Piccadilly Theatre, a total run of 1997 performances
  • Murder in the Cathedral (1936) London premiere
  • East End (1934) by J B Priestley, starring Ralph Richardson
  • 1934 J B Priestley joined the management team of the theatre
  • The Intimate Revue (1930) Shortest run in West End history – closed before completing its first performance
  • Tunnel Trench (25 November 1929 – ?) opening play, featuring Emlyn Williams

Some dates & show information from London Theatre.com
Some information from Wikipedia

Equipment

1971 (from The Stage Guide)
Electrics: Strand LC board in FOH. Dimmers – 72 (15 x 1kW, 49 x 2kW, 8 x 3kW); 2 presets; 2 groups. Circuits – FOH 20; Flies 40; Stage dips 12. Socket type – 15A BESA. Total capacity available – 150A on 3 phases. Special effects supply – 60A on 1 phase. Follow spots – 2 Patt.293 in stock. Footlights can be installed or covered but no set position. 
Sound: Console SL. Amplifiers 1 x 50W, Tape deck – 1. No turntables. 3 Shure mic sockets. 4 loudspeakers FOH and 2 backstage. 

Links to information about equipment at Duchess Theatre over the years

  • LC / System LC (Strand)
  • Grand Master Board (Strand)
  • Patt.293 (Strand)
  • Documents


    Duchess Theatre - Arthur Lloyd 
    [External Website]
    From Arthur Lloyd website

    Location


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