UK – London – Aldwych Theatre

Dates: December 1905 – present

Official website: https://www.nederlander.co.uk/aldwych-theatre

Architect: W.G.R.Sprague
A Nederlander Theatre

Past Productions

  • Tina (March 21 2018. Paused during Coronavirus pandemic. Performances resume 28 July 2021)
  • Beautiful (February 2015 – August 5 2017)
  • Stephen Ward (Previews 3 December 2013, Opened 19 December 2013 – 29 March 2014)
  • Top Hat (April 2012 – 26 October 2013)
  • A Round-Heeled Woman (30 November 2011 – 14 January 2012)
  • Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage (September 28 2006 – July 9 2011) by Eleanor Bergstein. 5 year run, prior to UK Tour. 
  • Dancing In The Streets (April 27 2006 – July 16 2006)
  • Fame – The Musical (September 6 2002 – April 22 2006) by Jacques Levy and Steve Margoshes
  • Bedroom Farce (April 8, 2002 – June 29, 2002) by Alan Ayckbourn
  • Mother Clap’s Molly House (February 8, 2002 – March 23, 2002) by Mark Ravenhill and Matthew Scott
  • Top Girls (January 9, 2002 – February 2, 2002) by Caryl Churchill
  • Thunderbirds FAB (December 11, 2001 – January 6, 2002) by Andrew Dawson, Gavin Robertson from Gerry Anderson
  • Mahler’s Conversion (October 2, 2001 – November 3, 2001) by Ronald Harwood
  • The RSC’s The Secret Garden (February 27, 2001 – June 2, 2001) by Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon
  • Whistle Down The Wind (July 1, 1998 – January 6, 2001) by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman
  • Amy’s View (January 14, 1998 – April 18, 1998) by David Hare
  • The Boys in the Band (October 29, 1997 – December 20, 1997) by Mark Crowley
  • Life Support (August 5, 1997 – October 18, 1997) by Simon Gray
  • Tom and Clem (April 14, 1997 – July 26, 1997) by Stephen Churchett
  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (November 6, 1996 – March 22, 1997) by Edward Albee
  • Tolstoy (April 30, 1996 – May 18, 1996) by James Goldman
  • Present Laughter (February 27, 1996 – April 20, 1996) by Noel Coward
  • The Fields of Ambrosia (January 31, 1996 – February 11, 1996) by Joel Higgins and Martin Silvestri
  • Indian Ink (February 27, 1995 – January 6, 1996) by Tom Stoppard
  • An Inspector Calls (Previews from 21 August, opened August 25, 1993 – January 21, 1995)
  • The Importance of Being Earnest (previews 22 Feb 1993, opened 9 March 1993, closed end July 1993?) starring Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Richard E. Grant, Susannah Harker, Claire Skinner, Richard Pearson, Margaret Tyzack. Directed by Nicholas Hytner. Designed by Bob Crowley. Lighting Design by Paul Pyant. (Saturday 29 May, last 9 weeks)
  • The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (playing October 1992 , closed 13 February 1993) transfer from National Theatre. Starring Alison Steadman & Jane Horrocks. Directed by Sam Mendes. 
  • Straight & Narrow (30 June 1992 – ) transfer from Wyndham’s Theatre. Starring Nicholas Lyndhurst, Carmel McSharry. Directed by Allan Davis. Running 11 July 1992.
  • The Cotton Club (previews from 24 January 1992, closed 27 June 1992) 
  • The BFG (from 26 November 1991 – 18 January 1992) Adapted & Directed by David Wood. Following UK Tour. 
  • Brand (previews from 21 August 1991, opened 27 August 1991, closed 28 September 1991) starring Roy Marsden & Kim Thomson. Directed by Roger Williams, Designed by Bernard Culshaw. 
  • Tango Argentino (Previews from 17 May 1991, opened 22 May 1991, Royal Gala 23 May, closed 11 August 1991) 4 weeks only, then extended twice
  • English Shakespeare Company: Coriolanus & The Winters’ Tale  (3 April 1991 – ?May 1991) Limited Season. Running 25 April. Closed by 10 May
  • Julian Clary – Camping at the Aldwych (Preview 29 January, opened 30 January 1991, closed 9 March 1991)
  • Private Lives (Preview 18 September, opened 19 September 1990 – 26 January 1991) starring Joan Collins, Keith Baxter. Limited season, extended. 
  • Run for Your Wife (15 May 1990 – 17 September 1990) transfer from Whitehall Theatre. Starring Eric Sykes, Terry Scott, Derek Griffiths. Written & Directed by Ray Cooney. Transferred to Duchess Theatre 17 September 1990.
  • Look Look (previews March 30 1990, opened April 17 1990, closed May 12 1990) by Michael Frayn. Starring Stephen Fry, Robin Bailey, Margaret Courtenay, Gabriella Drake, Serena Gordon, Michael Simkins. Directed  by Mike Ockrent, 
  • The Cherry Orchard (previews from 12 October 1989, opened 24 October 1989, closed ) starring Judi Dench, Ronald Pickup, Bernard Hill. Directed by Sam Mendes.  Translated by Michael Frayn. Running 3 Jan 1990
  • The Black Prince (previews from 12 April 1989, opened 25 April 1989, closed 30 September 1989) starring Ian McDiarmid, Simon Williams, Sarah Badel, Deborah Norton, John Fortune, Norma West, Abigail Cruttenden, Designed by Ultz. Directed by Stuart Burge. Produced by Josephine Hart Productions Ltd. 
  • The Sneeze (previews from 21 September 1988, opened 27 September, closed 1 April 1989) starring Rowan Atkinson, Timothy West, Cheryl Campbell. Directed by Ronald Eyre. 
  • Hapgood (previews from 3 March 1988, opened 8 March 1988, closed 10 September 1988) by Tom Stoppard. Starring Felicity Kendal, Nigel Hawthorne, Roger Rees. Directed by Peter Wood. Designed by Carl Tom. 
  • A View from The Bridge (previews from 28 October 1987, opened 3 November 1987, closed ?) starring Michael Gambon. Transfer from the National Theatre.
  • Brighton Beach Memoirs (previews from 27 November 1986, opened 3 December 1986, closed around 21 October 1987) starring Dorothy Tutin, Susan Engel, Harry Towb, Steven Mackintosh, Robert Glenister. Transfer from the National Theatre. Julie Covington joined the cast for the last weeks.
  • The Secret Life of Cartoons (previews from 9 October 1986 , opened 15 October 1986, closed ?15 November 1986) Starring Una Stubbs, Derek Griffiths, Geoffrey Hughes, James Warwick. By Clive Barker. Designed by Martin Johns. LIghting by Charlie Paton. Directed by Tudor Davies. Theatre Royal Plymouth production. 
  • Annie Get Your Gun (previews from 21 July 1986, opened 29 July 1986, closed 4 October 1986) starring Suzi Quatro
  • Made in Bangkok (previews from 6 March 1986, opened 18 March 1986, closed 12 July 1986) by Anthony Minghella. Starring Felicity Kendal, Peter McEnery, Benjamin Whitrow, Paul Shelley, Christopher Fulford and David Yip. Directed by Michael Blakemore. “This play deals with all aspects of tourism in Bangkok and may not be suitable for young people”
  • Peter Pan The Musical (previews from 18 December 1985, opened 20 December 1985, closed  22 February 1986) starring Bonnie Langford and Joss Ackland
  • Phedra (previews from 9 October 1985, opens 15 October, closed 14 December 1985) starring Glenda Jackson. By Jean Racine. Directed & Designed by Phillip Prowse.
  • Jumpers (previews from 22 March 1985, opened 1 April 1985, closed 5 October 1985) starring Paul Eddington, Felicity Kendal, Simon Cadell, Andrew Sachs. Directed by Peter Wood.
  • The Nerd (previews from 26 September 1984, opened 3 October 1984, Closed 16 March 1985) starring Rowan Atkinson. Directed by Mike Ockrent. 
  • Blondel (transfer from Old Vic. 21 January 1984 – 22 September 1984, playing 278 performances) produced by Cameron Mackintosh
  • Oliver! (Previews 14 December 1983; Opened 20 December 1983; Closed 14 January 1984) produced by Cameron Mackintosh
  • Messiah (transfer from the Hampstead Theatre) (January 26 1983 – ?) by Martin Sherman, directed by Ronald Eyre. Starring Maureen Lipman and Clive Swift
  • Andy Capp (to Jan 22 1983) starring Tom Courtney and Alan Price
  • Othello (1980) in rep with Twelfth Night, starring Donald Sinden
  • London home of the Royal Shakespeare Company (December 1960 – 1982)
  • Man Alive! (1956+?) farce starring Robertson Hare, Brian Reece, Joan Sims, Joan Benham
  • A Streetcar Named Desire (opened October 12 1949) directed by Laurence Olivier, starring Vivien Leigh
  • Aldwych Farces (see also Whitehall Farces, at what is now the Trafalgar Theatre)
    • A series of 12 farces which started at the Shaftesbury Theatre before moving into (and revitalising) the Aldwych. The producers of the farces, Tom Walls and Leslie Henson became the Licensees of the theatre. 
    • Tons of Money (Shaftesbury Theatre from 13 April 1922, then the Aldwych from 30 October 1922, then the Golders Green Hippodrome ) [still at Aldwych 13 Jan 1924]
    • It Pays to Advertise (2 February 1924 – 10 July 1925: 598 performances) [wrong start date?] [running by 16 March 1924]
    • A Cuckoo in the Nest (22 July 1925 – 26 June 1926: 376 performances)
    • Rookery Nook (30 June 1926 – 25 June 1927: 409 performances)
    • Thark (4 July 1927 – 16 June 1928: 401 performances)
    • Plunder (26 June 1928 – 27 April 1929: 344 performances)
    • A Cup of Kindness (24 May 1929 – 1 February 1930: 291 performances)
    • A Night Like This (18 February 1930 – 15 November 1930: 267 performances)
    • Marry the Girl (24 November 1930 – 16 May 1931: 195 performances)
    • Turkey Time (26 May 1931 – 16 January 1932: 263 performances)
    • Dirty Work (7 March 1932 – 27 August 1932: 195 performances)
    • Fifty-Fifty (5 September 1932 – 21 January 1933: 161 performances)
    • A Bit of a Test (30 January 1933 – 3 June 1933: 142 performances)
  • The Way of an Eagle (? – October 28 1922)
  • Double or Quit (1922)
  • Blue Bell (1905 – ?) (new version of pantomime ‘Bluebell in Fairyland’) 

Equipment

From ‘Yesterdays Lights’ by Francis Reid
27 October 1961
Control desk: Strand CD/TH/II. 
120-way electro-mechanical dimmer bank with servo clutches operated via polarised relays. Mainly resistance dimmers of 500W/1kW and 1/2kW capacity but 8 transformers of 2kW capacity providing infinitely variable load conditions on certain fly and dip plugs. Dimmer bank under stage.
Console situated in OP box next to stage, giving a side view of apron stage and restricted view of main stage – but feeling of contact with the stage. Also, being on the opposite side of the stage to the stage manager in the prompt corner, operator and SM have view of the entire stage area between them. Nevertheless, console operator cannot judge total effect of the lighting. 
Desk is standard layout for Strand CD systems. This is the first (at the time of writing, the only) theatre CD with two complete dimmer presets ahead of the lighting in use. Such consoles are however common in television. The 120 dimmer levers are repeated twice (i.e. a total of 240 dimmer levers) as the white preset and green preset. Push buttons (repeated as foot pushes) will drive either all the dimmers to the levels preset or alternatively only such dimmers as have been selected by the organ type tab switches. Crossfades from white to green and vice versa are possible. Also fades to blackout irrespective of dimmer settings. The circuit selection tabs can be controlled by hand or by the 14 adjustable piston memories. Nine dimmer speeds from 3 to 35 seconds and an impulse timer giving ‘inching’ speeds up to several minutes. Dial indicates progress of cue and on second pressure on dimmer tab will indicate dimmer position. Any single lever can be adjusted independent of setting of rest of board. 
Being electro-mechanical, the board has inertia and therefore once a cue is completed, a set of levers is not required to hold a cue. But no proportional dimming and only one motor, so all levers in a cue must move at the same speed. The board performed a 50 cue plot with ease. At no time was the single operator flustered. 

1971 (from The Stage Guide)
Electrics: Strand CD/TH II board in SR auditorium forestage control room. Dimmers – 120 (750 to 2000W); 2 presets; 14 groups. Circuits – FOH 36; Flies 60; Stage dips 24. Socket type 15A BESA. Total capacity to stage – 1800A on 3 phases. Special effects supply (for TV) 100A on 3 phases. Two follow spots installed. No footlights.
Sound: Console by SL proscenium has 2 x 120W and 5 x 30W amplifiers. Tape decks – 4. Turntables – none. Mic sockets – 6. Loudspeakers 18 FOH and 1 effects speaker upstage; 10 spare sockets. 

Links to information about equipment at Aldwych Theatre, London over the years

  • CD / System CD (Strand)
  • MMS (Strand)
  • Documents


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

     

     

    Location


    View in Google Maps