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Concert Venues :: Lyceum Theatre


Now Known As
Date Opened 1834
Venue Capacity 2,000
Venue URL
Venue Address 21 Wellington Street

Venue Information

In 1834, the present house opened under the name "Theatre Royal Lyceum and English Opera House".

n 1904, the theatre was rebuilt and richly ornamented in rococo style by Bertie Crewe, retaining only the facade and portico of the original building. The theatre presented music hall and variety, in an attempt to compete with the Palace Theatre and the London Coliseum, but this was not a success, and the theatre soon returned to presenting drama.

In 1939, the London City Council bought the building, with plans to demolish it to make room for road improvement. The theatre closed that year with a landmark performance of Hamlet directed by Sir John Gielgud (Ellen Terrys great nephew). The road improvement plans collapsed, and after the war, in 1951, it was converted to a huge ballroom and reopened by Matthews and Sons, as the Lyceum Ballroom. Many big bands played here, including the Oscar Rabin Band which performed frequently. In the 1960s and 1970s, the theatre was used as a pop concert venue and for television broadcasts.

The theatre went dark in 1986, after the National Theatres promenade performances (in 1985) of Bill Brydens adaption of the Mysteries trilogy. Brent Walker leased the theatre during this time but later gave up his lease, and in 1996 it was restored and reconverted into a theatre for large scale musicals or opera (with a suitably large orchestra pit) by Holohan Architects.

Venue Photos

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