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Palace Theatre, London

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The Palace Theatre is a West End theatre in the City of Westminster in London. Its red-brick facade dominates the west side of Cambridge Circus behind a small plaza near the intersection of Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road. The Palace Theatre seats 1,400.


Richard D'Oyly Carte, producer of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, commissioned the theatre in the late 1880s. It was designed by Thomas Edward Collcutt and intended to be a home of English grand opera. The theatre opened as the "Royal English Opera House" in January 1891 with a lavish production of Arthur Sullivan's opera Ivanhoe. Although this ran for 160 performances, followed briefly by André Messager's La Basoche, Carte had no other works ready to fill the theatre. He leased it to Sarah Bernhardt for a season and sold the opera house within a year at a loss. It was then converted into a grand music hall and renamed the Palace Theatre of Varieties, managed successfully by Charles Morton. In 1897, the theatre began to screen films as part of its programme of entertainment. In 1904, Alfred Butt became manager and continued to combine variety entertainment, including dancing girls, with films. Herman Finck was musical director at the theatre from 1900 until 1920. The Marx Brothers appeared at the theatre in 1922, performing selections from their Broadway shows.


In 1925, the musical comedy No, No, Nanette opened at the Palace Theatre, followed by other musicals, for which the theatre became known. The Sound of Music ran for 2,385 performances at the theatre, opening in 1961. Jesus Christ Superstar ran from 1972 to 1980, and Les Misérables played at the theatre for nineteen years, beginning in 1985. In 1983, Andrew Lloyd Webber purchased and by 1991 had refurbished the theatre. Monty Python's Spamalot played at the theatre from 2006 until January 2009, and Priscilla Queen of the Desert opened at the Palace in March 2009 and closed in December 2011. Between February 2012 and June 2013, it hosted a production of Singin' in the Rain.


In June 2016, the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened at the theatre.
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Palace Theatre Reviews
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  • My second visit to the Palace Theatre to see the cursed child. Staff are friendly and helpful, and the production itself is fantastic, would highly recommend. The only downsides I would say is the...  more »
  • Great cast especially the leading man deserves to b on in the West End. Really enjoyed this play but would have given it a 5 star if I could have understood all the words. Probably the most authentic....  more »
Google
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is an awesome experience! Everyone considering themselves Harry Potter fans even a little bit, should visit this play! It's spanning across 6 hours in total run time and takes us on a thrilling adventure in the life of our beloved characters from the franchise a bit down the road in their life. The cast is great and the visuals amazing. Didn't know you could pull so many stunts and visual effects in a theater play. You should definitely spend the time and money to visit it. I give it 5 stars! The only things you should consider are that there are usually tickets available for purchase 6 months in advance, so the visit requires a bit of planning and preparation on your end. As well as when the day comes, you should expect some waiting lines, and a tight security at the entrance going through your luggage and scanning with metal detectors. But in the end all this is nothing in comparison with the actual experience. It's totally worth it!
  • No spoilers here. Just to say the plays are really good. The magic effects are amazing. We had balcony seats that felt VERY high and steep but once the lights went out and the performance started that was quickly forgotten. Highly recommended.
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