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 – ) by Eleanor Bergstein
  • 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 (August 25, 1993 – January 21, 1995)
  • 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


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