UK – London – Fortune Theatre

Dates: 1924 – present

Official website:

Capacity: 432 Seats

Intimate and tremendously effective home for The Woman in Black since 1989.

Owned by the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG).

Past Productions

  • The Woman in Black (August 1989 – paused in March 2020 due to coronavirus. Performances resumed 7 September 2021, before closing on 4 March 2023)
  • Re-Joyce (previews 8 September 1988, opened 14 September 1988, closed 18 February 1989 & transferred to the Vaudeville Theatre) starring Maureen Lipman
  • Dangerous Obsession (Transferred from the Apollo Theatre 26 January 1988, closed 27 August 1988)
  • Nunsense (opened 23 March 1987)
  • Lillian (previews 4 Feb 1987, Opens 6 Feb 1987) starring Frances De La Tour
  • Double Double (1986)
  • Godspell (1985) starring Davy Jones and Celina Duncan
  • Up ‘N’ Under (1984-1985)
  • Toad of Toad Hall (17 December 1984  – 12 January 1985)
  • The Hobbit (1987)
  • Annie Wobbler (1984)
  • Mr Cinders (previews April 19 1983, opened April 27 1983, closed July 21 1984) transferred from the Kings Head Theatre Club
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (6 May 1982 – ) 
  • Pleasure and Repentance (1981)
  • Brothers Karamazov (9 November – 19 December 1981)
  • The Hollow Crown (1 July – 15 August 1981) devised by John Barton
  • Mister Lincoln (22 April – 30 May 1981) one-man play by Herbert Mitgang
  • Jeeves Takes Charge (30 September 1980 – 10 January 1981)
  • Dr Faustus (1980) starring Patrick Magee and James Aubrey 
  • The Undertaking (Previews Oct 29 1979, opened October 31 1979.) starring John Barron, Lorraine Chase, Annette Crosbie, Gerald Flood, Steven Grives, Miriam Karlin and Kenneth Williams. Directed by Donald MacKechnie. Designed by Saxon Lucas. Lighting by Jon Daly. 
  • Murder At the Vicarage (12 July 1976 – 27 October 1979) transferred from Savoy Theatre. Starring Avril Angers & Derek Bond
  • Gigi (1976)
  • Sleuth (From October 9 1973 -1975) Transferred from Garrick Theatre. 5 years of performances
  • Suddenly At Home (1971)
  • The Contractor (Previews 1-4 April 1970, opened 6 April 1970) directed by Lindsay Anderson (running Nov 24 1970)
  • Three (5 Feb 1970? – 21 March 1970) starring Michael Denison & Dulcie Gary, Robert Flemyng, June Barry
  • Close the Coalhouse Door (October 1968)
  • Toad of Toad Hall (1967)
  • The Promise (1967)
  • Wait A Minim! (1964)
  • Beyond the Fringe (May 10th 1961-1962) starring Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore & Jonathan Miller.
  • And Another Thing.. (1960) starring Lionel Blair, Anna Quayle, Bernard Cribbins
  • Flanders and Swann, At the Drop of a Hat (24 January 1957 – 1959)
  • Who Cares? (1956)
  • Joyce Grenfell Requests the Pleasure (1954)
  • The Vagabond King (1950) Southern Railway Musical Society
  • The Paragon (1948)
  • Fly Away Peter (1947)
  • Power Without Glory (April 1947 – ?) starring Kenneth More (transferred from The New Lindsey, Notting Hill Gate
  • Fools Rush In (1946)
  • ENSA performances (Entertainments National Service Association) (Second World War)
  • The Plough and the Stars (12 May 1926 – 26 June 1926)
  • Sinners (1924)

History – from the ATG website

The Fortune Theatre, once so succinctly described as ‘This most intimate of theatres’ first opened to the public on Saturday, 8th November 1924. Built on the site of the old Albion Tavern, it was the first London theatre to be built after World War I. Its opening play was Sinners which was penned by Laurence Cowen, who commissioned the architect to design the theatre. Unfortunately for Cowen, the play only ran for two weeks! Over the course of the following years, there were many other productions, including some amateur work in the 1930s.
World War II even saw the venue being used by ENSA, the concert party corp of the Forces. Since then of course, the Fortune has seen many celebrated actors and actresses perform on its stage. Amongst the impressive roll call are Dame Judi Dench, Dirk Bogarde and Maureen Lipman, who famously portrayed the late Joyce Grenfall in her one woman show, ‘Re-Joyce’. Variety stars Flanders and Swann played here and The Fortune was home to the ground- breaking revue from Cambridge, Beyond The Fringe. That run saw the original line-up of Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Jonathan Miller perform together. Other shows that ran here include Mr Cinders, Double Double, Nunsense and Dangerous Obsession.
The Fortune is most closely associated, of course, with its current production The Woman In Black which has become a West End legend. This enigmatic and brilliant play first took up residence at The Fortune in 1989. The theatre and the show celebrated 5000 performances in July 2001 with a huge party, which was held in the Stalls Bar and the auditorium! Everyone present agreed that it was a most unforgettable and enjoyable occasion. For many years, The Fortune was privately owned, but in December 2001, it became part of the hugely successful Ambassador Theatre Group and joined ATG’s other West End theatres.


1971 (from The Stage Guide)
Electrics: Strand Grand Master board SR upstage. Dimmers – 44 (1300W to 1500W). Circuits – FOH 8 in Circle front; Flies 24; Stage dips 9. Socket type – 25A (3 pin). Total capacity available – 180A on 3 phases. Special effects supply – 60A on 1 phase. No follow spots. No footlights. 

Exhibits from this venue in the Backstage Heritage Collection

  • Grand Master from the Fortune Theatre
  • Links to information about equipment at Fortune Theatre, London over the years

  • Grand Master Board (Strand)
  • Documents

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

    Poster - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1982)
    [External Website]
    From Victoria & Albert Museum




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