Home Page
The Music Hall and Theatre History Website

 

Home - Index - Forum - Contact

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W.1

Formerly - The Hicks Theatre / The Globe Theatre

The Gielgud Theatre in April 2014 during the run of 'Blithe Sprit' with Angela Lansbury who had returned to the West End for the first time in nearly forty years - Photo M. L.

Above - The Gielgud Theatre in April 2014 during the run of 'Blithe Sprit' with Angela Lansbury who had returned to the West End for the first time in nearly forty years - Photo M. L.

 

 

See a Seating Plan for this Theatre with non commercial and independent opinions on the best seats to book - From Seatplan.co.ukSee London's West End TheatresSee Theatreland MapsThe Gielgud Theatre is situated on London's Shaftesbury Avenue and originally opened as the Hicks Theatre on the 27th of December 1906 with a musical play called 'The Beauty of Bath' by Seymour Hicks and Cosmo Hamilton for whom the Theatre was built.

Programme for 'Brewster's Millions' at the Hicks Theatre in 1907, shortly after the Theatre opened. The play ran for 321 performances. - Click for details. - Courtesy Crispin Cockman.The Theatre was designed by the well known and prolific Theatre Architect W. G. R. Sprague and was one of two Theatres designed by him next to each other on Shaftesbury Avenue.

The Hicks Theatre  from a Programme for 'Brewster's Millions' in 1907.Right - A Programme for 'Brewster's Millions' at the Hicks Theatre in 1907, shortly after the Theatre opened. The play ran for 321 performances - Courtesy Crispin Cockman - Click for details.

Left - A rare image of the Hicks Theatre, from a Programme for 'Brewster's Millions' at the Hicks in 1907.

The first of the two Theatres to open was the Hicks, on the 27th of December 1906, and then shortly afterwards the Queen's which opened on the 8th of October 1907.

Both Theatres were built by Walter Wallis of Balham with frontages of Portland Stone on a site which was formerly an estate agent's premises, comprising of 35 to 49 Shaftesbury Avenue.

 

Programme for 'The Village' at the Globe Theatre in 1927.There were also seventeen houses previously standing on the site of the Two Theatres in Wardour Street, Rupert Street, and Upper Rupert Street, (now Winnet street).

The Queen's Theatre was originally a twin with the Hicks, although slightly larger, but it was seriously damaged by bombs during the Second World War and suffered considerable damage to its front of house areas, and especially to its Facade which was completely destroyed.

The Queen's Theatre remained closed for nearly 20 years before being rebuilt on more modern lines and reopening in 1959.

The Hicks Theatre was renamed the Globe Theatre in July 1909.

Right - A Programme for 'The Village' at the Globe Theatre in 1927.

 

The Globe Theatre during the run of 'Nude With Violin' in 1958 - Courtesy Gerry Atkins

Above - The Globe Theatre during the run of 'Nude With Violin' in 1958 - Courtesy Gerry Atkins

 

A Seating Plan for the Globe Theatre, probably 1920s

Above - A Seating Plan for the Globe Theatre, probably 1920s

 

Programme for 'Call It A Day' at the Globe Theatre in 1935. The play opened in October 1935 and ran for 509 performances.Programme for 'Biography' at the Globe Theatre in 1934.The auditorium of the Globe Theatre, formerly the Hicks Theatre, had a capacity of 970 and was constructed on three levels, Stalls, Upper Circle, and Gallery.

Left - A Programme for 'Call It A Day' at the Globe Theatre in 1935. The play opened in October 1935 and ran for 509 performances.

Right - A Programme for 'Biography' at the renamed Globe Theatre in 1934 .

Although the Upper is now called the Dress, and the Gallery is now known as the Upper, and the boxes were removed from the rear of the Upper in 1950, the Theatre remains in much the same form as it did in 1906.

 

Programme for 'Call It A Day' at the Globe Theatre in 1936. The play opened in October 1935 and ran for 509 performances.Programme for 'They Came by NIght' at the Globe Theatre in 1937.This Globe Theatre should not be confused with the Globe Theatre on Newcastle Street, which was demolished when London's Aldwych, named after the Old Wych Street, was constructed.

Left - A Programme for 'Call It A Day' at the Globe Theatre in 1936. The play opened in October 1935 and ran for 509 performances. And Right - A Programme for 'They Came by Night' at the Globe Theatre in 1937.

This vast operation began in the last years of the nineteenth century and was not finally completed until after the First World War. Four Theatres were demolished during the early stages of the work. The Olympic Theatre in Wych Street and the Opera Comique in the Strand were closed in 1899, the Globe Theatre in Newcastle Street shut its doors in 1902. This was followed by the closure of the Gaiety Theatre in the Strand in June of the same year.

 

Programme for 'Robert's Wife' at the Globe Theatre in 1938.Programme for 'While The Sun Shines' at the Globe Theatre in 1943.The Hicks Theatre, or the Globe Theatre as it was known from 1909, was renamed yet again in 1994, this time to the Gielgud Theatre.

This was partly in celebration of John Gielgud but mainly because the newly opened recreation of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on London's South Bank would have caused major confusion to the Theatre going public if there were two Globe Theatres in one City.

Left - A Programme for 'Robert's Wife' at the Globe Theatre in 1938.

Right - A Programme for 'While The Sun Shines' at the Globe Theatre in 1943.

 

Programme for 'The Prisoner' with Alec Guinness at the Globe Theatre in 1954. Programme for 'The Prisoner' with Alec Guinness at the Globe Theatre in 1954.

Above - A Programme for 'The Prisoner' with Alec Guinness at the Globe Theatre in 1954.

 

Shaftesbury Avenue in June 1977 showing the Lyric, Apollo, Globe, and Queen's Theatres - Photo M.L. 1977.

Above - Shaftesbury Avenue in June 1977 showing the Lyric, Apollo, Globe, and Queen's Theatres
Photo M.L. 1977.

 

The Gielgud Theatre during the run of 'The Canterbury Tales' in October 2006. - Photo M.L.

Above - The Gielgud Theatre during the run of 'The Canterbury Tales' in October 2006.

Shaftesbury Avenue showing four of London's West End Theatres in a row, the Lyric Theatre, the Apollo Theatre, the Gielgud Theatre, and the Queen's Theatre in October 2006 - Photo M.L.

Above - Shaftesbury Avenue showing four of London's West End Theatres in a row, the Lyric Theatre, the Apollo Theatre, the Gielgud Theatre, and the Queen's Theatre in October 2006 - Photo M.L.

Photograph showing the Gielgud Theatre and the Queen's Theatre in October 2006 - Photo M.L. The Gielgud and the Queen's were both designed by W. G. R. Sprague as a pair.

Above - A Photograph showing the Gielgud Theatre and the Queen's Theatre in October 2006 - Photo M.L.
The Gielgud and the Queen's were both designed by W. G. R. Sprague as a pair.

The Gielgud Theatre in March 2007 during the run of Peter Shaffer's 'Equus' with Daniel Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths, and whilst refurbishment work to the frontage was being carried out.

Above - The Gielgud Theatre in March 2007 during the run of Peter Shaffer's 'Equus' with Daniel Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths, and whilst refurbishment work to the frontage was being carried out.

The Gielgud Theatre during the run of 'Hair' in April 2010 - Photo M.L.

Above - The Gielgud Theatre during the run of 'Hair' in April 2010

The Gielgud Theatre is currently owned and run by Delfont Macintosh Theatres. You may like to visit the Theatre's own website here.

 

London's West End Theatres

Adelphi Aldwych Ambassadors Apollo Apollo Victoria Arts Cambridge Criterion Dominion Drury Lane Duchess Duke Of Yorks Fortune Garrick Gielgud Harold Pinter Haymarket Her Majesty's London Coliseum London Palladium Lyceum Lyric New London Noel Coward / Albery Novello Old Vic Palace Peacock Phoenix Piccadilly Playhouse Prince Edward Prince of Wales Queen's Royal Opera House Savoy Shaftesbury St. Martin's Trafalgar Studios / Whitehall Vaudeville Victoria Palace Wyndham's