UK – London – Savoy Theatre

Dates:1881 – present

Built at the instigation of impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte, for the staging of the works of Gilbert & Sullivan, the first production was their operetta Patience. The Savoy Theatre became famous as the first public building in the world to be lit by incandescent electric lights (see The White Heat of Revolution). 
There’s plenty of information about the electrical installation at the Savoy in the 1960 TABS article featured below. 

Official website: https://www.thesavoytheatre.com/

See also

The White Heat of Revolution: Talk by Dorian Kelly about the installation of electric light at the Savoy in 1881.

Fit-Up of Funny Girl

Past Productions and History

Some listings from https://theatricalia.com/place/1c/the-savoy-theatre-london

  • 9 to 5 (28th January 2019 – 31 August 2019)
  • Dreamgirls (November 2016 –  Booking to 12 Jan 2019) starring Amber Riley (to November 18, 2017)
  • Funny Girl (April 2016 – October 8th 2016)
  • Guys and Dolls (December 2015 – March 12 2016)
  • Gypsy (previews from 28th March 2015. Press Night was April 15th 2015. Closed November 28 2015) starring Imelda Staunton
  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (previews from March 10, 2014, official opening night on April 2, 2014. Closed March 7 2015)
  • Let It Be (1 February 2013 – ? 2014) Transferred from the Prince of Wales Theatre
  • Legally Blonde (January 13 2010 – April 7, 2012)
  • Carousel (2008-9)
  • Fiddler on the Roof (2007-8)
  • Porgy and Bess (2006) directed by Trevor Nunn
  • The Rat Pack: Live from Las Vegas (2006)
  • 2005 The theatre was sold to Ambassador Theatre Group and the Tulbart Group
  • 2004 The Savoy Hotel Group, including the theatre, sold to Quinlan Private
  • Blithe Spirit (16 November 2004 – 2005) The Peter Hall Company
  • The Pirates of Penzance (April 2001 – ?)
  • Hay Fever (1999) starring Geraldine McEwan
  • Richard III, Royal Shakespeare Company (18 Jan 1999 – ?) starring Robert Lindsay
  • Somewhere (5-21 June 1997)
  • Plunder (?1996-?1997)
  • A Letter of Resignation () starring Edward Fox
  • The Magistrate () starring Ian Richardson
  • The Pet Shop Boys in concert ()
  • The Importance of Being Oscar () starring Simon Callow
  • 1997: A group led by Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen was given management of the theatre by the Savoy Group. 
  • When We Are Married (?1996-?1997)
  • Communicating Doors (transferred here in 1996)
  • Dead Funny ()
  • She Loves Me (July 12, 1994 – July 1995?)
  • Travesties (24 March 1994 – 4 June 1994)
  • Relative Values (1993)
  • February 12 1990: A large fire in the auditorium destroyed much of it, although the fire curtain was in position and did an excellent job of preventing damage to the stage, and the auditorium doors prevented any damage to the foyer areas. The fire started during decoration works while the theatre was dark, and wasn’t detected until the smoke drifted up to the adjacent Savoy Hotel smoke detectors. The auditorium was restored to the 1929 designs, and reopened on 19 July 1993. During renovation an extra storey was added above the theatre that includes a health club for the hotel, with a swimming pool above the stage. The production of the Ben Travers farce ‘Thark’ starring Griff Rhys Jones and Dinsdale Landen which was due to open on February 20th was cancelled. It was a transfer from the Lyric Hammersmith. 

  • It’s Magic (preview 7 December 1989, opens 8 December 1989 – 3 February 1990) starring Paul Daniels
  • The Pirates of Penzance (September 6 1989 – November 29 1989) in rep with The Mikado (September 12 1989 – December 2 1989) D’Oyly Carte Company
  • Sugar Babies (1988 – 1989)
  • Kiss Me Kate, Royal Shakespeare Company (15 January 1988)
  • A Man For All Seasons (from 19 October 1987)
  • The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Previews from April 25, Opened May 7th 1987, closed 4 July 1987) starring Ernie Wise and Lulu
  • Killing Jessica (Opened November 12 1986, closed 30 January 1987) directed by Bryan Forbes
  • Noises Off (from 31 March 1982 to 1st November 1986) transferred from the Lyric Hammersmith (premiere)
  • House Guest (29 April 1981 – 1982)
  • Rattle of a Simple Man (18 Sept 1980 – ?1980)
  • Not Now Darling (7 November 1979 – 1980)
  • Whose Life Is It Anyway? (13 June 1978 – 27 October 1979) Bristol Old Vic Company
  • Alice’s Boys (1977 – 1978)
  • Man and Superman (16 August 1977 –  ?1978)
  • Murder At the Vicarage (? – 12 July 1976) transferred to Fortune Theatre Starring Avril Angers & Derek Bond
  • Journey’s End (1929)
  • The Young Idea (1923)
  • The Pirates of Penzance (December 1908 – ?)
  • Caesar & Cleopatra (1907)  by George Bernard Shaw. London premiere. 
  • September 16 1907 – Theatre reopens with new owners, Messrs Vedrenne & Barker, following the sale by Mrs D’Oyly Carte. 
  • The Pirates of Penzance (30 June 1900 – ?)
  • The Gondoliers (7 December 1889 – ?) premiere production
  • Captain Billy (23 September 1891 – ?)
  • Savoy Theatre opened in 1889, funded by profits from The Mikado
  • The Pirates of Penzance (March 1888 – ?)
  • 1881 – Theatre opened by impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte

Archive equipment related to Savoy Theatre over the years

  • Liquid Dimmers (Strand)
  • CD / System CD (Strand)
  • Documents


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

    Mentions of Savoy Theatre in indexed journals

    Exhibits in the Backstage Heritage Collection

  • Drum and Shaft
  • Intercom
  • Location


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