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The London Palladium, Argyll Street, Oxford Circus, London

Formerly - The Corinthian Bazaar / Hengler's Grand Cirque / The National Skating Palace / The Royal Italian Circus

Introduction - Early Site History - Pre Opening Report - A Variety House - Sunday Night at the London Palladium - Backstage at the Palladium - Royal Variety Shows and Later History - Photographs of the Palladium - 100th Anniversary - Recommended Books on the London Palladium  

The London Palladium whilst celebrating it's 100th anniversary in December 2010 - Photo M.L.

Above - The London Palladium whilst celebrating it's 100th anniversary in December 2010 - Photo M.L.

See London's West End TheatresSee Theatreland MapsSee this Theatre on Google StreetviewThe London Palladium opened on the 26th of December 1910 with a Variety Show and a one act play called 'The Conspiracy' (See Opening Programme Below Right). Consequently in December 2010 the Theatre, which is one of the most well known in London's West End, celebrated its 100th anniversary.

The Theatre was designed by the renowned Theatre Architect Frank Matcham and built at a cost of £250,000, with an auditorium constructed on three levels, stalls, dress circle, and upper circle, with a massive original seating capacity of 3,435, today a more modest 2,298. Yet despite its size, even today, the Theatre is surprisingly intimate, with actors and audiences alike always adoring it.

The Auditorium of the London palladium in September 2017 - Courtesy Piers Caunter.

Above - The Auditorium of the London palladium in September 2017 - Courtesy Piers Caunter.

The opening Variety Programme for the London Palladium on the 26th of December 1910 - Courtesy Chris Woodward - Click to see Entire Programme. Originally on the site now occupied by the London Palladium was the London home of the Dukes of Argyll; Argyll House. In the 1800s the first Earl of Aberdeen lived there until his death in 1860 when the building was demolished and the land excavated so as to build 'Bonded Wine Cellars.' Above these cellars, in 1870, the Corinthian Bazaar was erected as a temporary structure.

Right - The opening Variety Programme for the London Palladium on the 26th of December 1910 - Courtesy Chris Woodward - Click to see Entire Programme.

1912 Variety Programme for the newly opened London Palladium under Charles Gulliver's Direction. - Click to see Entire Programme.The land was later acquired by Charles Hengler, who had worked in the Circus all his life. He altered and renamed the building Hengler's Grand Cirque which opened in 1871. The original architect for this building was J. T. Robinson and it had a capacity of 1,090 but the building was eventually condemned as it was made entirely out of wood. In 1884 Hengler had the building enlarged and almost completely rebuilt by C. J. Phipps. However, when Hengler died in 1887, even though his sons continued with the enterprise, Circus was already on its way out.

Left - A 1912 Variety Programme for the newly opened London Palladium under Charles Gulliver's Direction. - Click to see Entire Programme.

Another Circus Showman called Edward Wulff took over the running of the building for a short period but was unsuccessful so in 1895 the place was turned into a skating ring, called the National Skating Palace, which was famed at the time for having real ice.

Programme for The Royal Italian Circus / Formerly Hengler's Grand Cirque - Circa 1905 - Click to see Entire Programme.Ten years later in 1905 another go at Circus was tried out in the building when it was renamed The Royal Italian Circus (see programme right).

Right - A programme for The Royal Italian Circus, formerly Hengler's Grand Cirque , circa 1905 - Click to see Entire Programme.

Variety Programme for the 31st of December 1928 at The London Palladium, directed by George Black.But this venture failed as the London Hippodrome had already opened and was a major success with its new form of Circus and Music Hall combined, and the London County Council had near enough condemned the building demanding major alterations and improvements which were too expensive for the present owners, consequently the building closed down and the lease became the property of a syndicate who were already drawing up plans for a new Music Hall on the site, namely the London Palladium.

Left - A Variety Programme for the 31st of December 1928 at The London Palladium, directed by George Black.

Variety Programme for the 6th of July 1936 at The London Palladium, directed by George Black.Two days before the London Palladium opened the ERA reported on the new Theatre in their 24th of December issue saying:- 'Brilliant in white and gold, with seating in warm red, the house sounds the last word in luxury and appointment, and the magnificent sweep of the dress circle presents a remarkable appearance from the stage.

Right - A variety Programme for the 6th of July 1936 at The London Palladium, directed by George Black.

The auditorium of the London Palladium in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Courtesy Philip Marshall.In the great Palm Court at the back of the stalls, one thousand persons can be comfortably served with tea. This is a very striking feature of the Palladium and the Palm Court is of all Norwegian Rose granite which, especially, looks extremely attractive. In this Palm Court a ladies' orchestra will play daily between performances.

Left - The auditorium of the London Palladium in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Courtesy Philip Marshall.

The decorations are very beautiful, Rose du Barri hangings adorn the boxes, and upholstery of the same colour has been employed in the stalls, while the orchestra is enclosed by a marble balustrade, Generally speaking, the colour scheme of the walls is pink, white and gold, with coloured marbles, and certainly there is not a dull note anywhere. The walls of the main vestibule are painted silver. Perhaps the most unique feature is the box to box telephone that has been installed. It will therefore be possible for the occupants of one box, recognising friends in another box, to enter into conversation with them.'

The above text in quotes was first published in the ERA, 24th December 1910.

The auditorium of the London Palladium in 1949 - From the Moss Empires Jubilee Brochure of 1949

Above - The auditorium of the London Palladium in 1949 - From the Moss Empires Jubilee Brochure of 1949

A 1970s Seating Plan for the London Palladium

Above - A 1970s Seating Plan for the London Palladium

A photograph of Charles Gulliver standing outside the London Palladium during the production of 'Sky High' in 1925 - Courtesy Chris Woodward.A flyer forthe London Palladium under Charles Gulliver's management - Courtesy Chris Woodward.From the beginning The London Palladium was a Variety House where all manner of shows were put on including Music Hall, Melodrama, Farce, Operetta, and of course Variety, and everyone who was anyone played there.

Charles Gulliver took over in 1912 and ran the Theatre hard by putting on twice nightly shows and three matinees a week.

1917 variety Programme for the London Palladium during Charles Gulliver's management.Right - A photograph of Charles Gulliver standing outside the London Palladium during the production of 'Sky High' in 1925, And Above Right - A flyer for the London Palladium under Charles Gulliver's management - Courtesy Chris Woodward.

Left - A variety programme for the week commencing 8th October 1917 at the London Palladium during Charles Gulliver's management.

1922 saw the very successful 'Rockets' which ran for 490 performances (See brochure below), followed by 'Whirl of the World' in 1923 which ran for 627.

Then there was 'Sky High' in 1925, which ran for 309 performance (see photograph above), and 'Folies Bergeres,' 'Palladium Pleasures of Life,' in 1926, and 'The Apache,' in 1927, all of them successful.

The cover of a brochure for 'Rockets' at the London Palladium in 1922 - Courtesy Chris Woodward.

Above - The cover of a brochure for 'Rockets' at the London Palladium in 1922 - Courtesy Chris Woodward.

The auditorium of the London Palladium in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Courtesy Philip Marshall.Twice Daily Variety Programme for the London Palladium during the General Theatre Corporation ownership.In 1928 The Theatre was bought by The General Theatre Corporation and remarkably theyturned it into a Cinema, but this was a dismal failure and only lasted three months.

Right - A Twice Daily variety programme for the London Palladium during the General Theatre Corporation's ownership. And - The auditorium of the London Palladium in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Courtesy Philip Marshall.

George Black took over the running of the Theatre shortly afterwards and his own style of spectacular Variety Shows was extremely successful. It was black who started a new kind of entertainment at the Palladium called 'Crazy Week' which eventually became the 'Crazy Gang Shows,' with titles such as 'Life Begins at Oxford Circus,' 'Round About Regent Street,' 'All Night at Oxford Circus,' 'London Rhapsody,' and 'These Foolish Things.' The Crazy Gang were so successful that they later had a home of their own and ran for years at the Victoria Palace Theatre.

An early Wooden Seating Plan for the London Palladium, now restored and situated in the Theatre's former 'Donkey Run' - Courtesy Piers Caunter.

Above - An early Wooden Seating Plan for the London Palladium, now restored and situated in the Theatre's former 'Donkey Run' - Courtesy Piers Caunter.

The original Moss Empires letter box from the London Palladium now displayed safely inside the Theatre - Courtesy Philip Marshall.Pantomime was a regular feature at the London Palladium for many years, and the Pantomime 'Peter Pan' became so popular that it was a fixture at Christmas at the Theatre every year from 1930 to 1938.

Right - The original Moss Empires letter box from the London Palladium now displayed safely inside the Theatre - Courtesy Philip Marshall.

A programme cover for a Variety Show at The London Palladium on the 19th of November 1951 during the Theatre's ownership by Moss Empires - Courtesy Martin Clark.When George Black died in 1946 Val Parnell took over the running of the Palladium when it also became owned by Moss Empires.

Left - A programme cover for a Variety Show at The London Palladium on the 19th of November 1951 during the Theatre's ownership by Moss Empires - Courtesy Martin Clark.

The George Black style continued under Val Parnell until 1948 when he tried his hand at Variety for the Theatre again, and with spectacular success.

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Above - A Programme for one of Val Parnell's Twice Nightly London Palladium Variety Shows for the 12th of October 1949 - Courtesy Martin Clark. On the Bill for the first half were Annel & Brask, Johnny Lockwood, Two Berty Borrest, Reg Dixon, The Stevil Sisters, and The Delta Rhythm Boys. The Intermission was enhanced by the Skyrocket's Orchestra playing 'Tortilla' under the direction of Woolf Philips, and then the show continued with an all star second half with Jose Moreno, Peter Sellers, and Gracie Fields.

Sunday Night at the London Palladium

A Bust of Bruce Forsyth, host of 'Sunday Night at the London Palladium' for many years, which has been situated in the Cinderella Bar of the London Palladium since 2005 - Courtesy Piers Caunter.And of course, who can forget television's 'Sunday Night at The London Palladium', a variety show produced by Val Parnell as the main attraction for the debut weekend of ATV, first airing on the 25th of September 1955, and hosted by Tommy Trinder, who had been a much loved regular at the Palladium since 1941 with his 'Gangway' review shows. Stars to perform on the first Sunday Night at the London Palladium show included Gracie Fields and Guy Mitchell.

Sunday Night at the London Palladium was an immediate success, a regular 'must see' for just about everyone in Britain on a Sunday night from 1955 to 1969, and again from 1973-1974, produced by Val Parnell, and later with his son Jack Parnell leading the orchestra.

Right - A Bust of Bruce Forsyth, host of 'Sunday Night at the London Palladium' for many years, which has been situated in the Cinderella Bar of the London Palladium since 2005 - Courtesy Piers Caunter.

The Cinderella Bar at the London Palladium with the bust of Bruce Forsyth on display in October 2017 - Courtesy Piers Caunter.Tommy Trinder hosted the show from 1955 to 1958 and then Bruce Forsyth was tried out for a four week run which quickly made him a star and boosted the Sunday night audience to over 14 million, ensuring Forsyth would remain as the much loved host of the show for many years on and off.

Left - The Cinderella Bar at the London Palladium with the bust of Bruce Forsyth on display in October 2017 - Courtesy Piers Caunter.

Other well known showbiz names to host the show, sometimes as guest hosts, included Don Arrol, Norman Vaughan, Jimmy Tarbuck, Jim Dale, Ted Rogers, Hughie Green, Alfred Marks, Robert Morley, Arthur Haynes, Dickie Henderson, Dave Allen, Des O'Connor, Bob Monkhouse and Roger Moore.

The Tiller Girls on Sunday Night at the London Palladium in 1960.
The Tiller Girls on Sunday Night at the London Palladium in 1960.

With its famous Tiiller Girls, Forsyth's game show segment 'Beat the Clock, its revolving stage curtain calls, and its host of top name stars every week, Sunday Night at the London Palladium was the biggest show on Television for many years.

Sunday Night at the London Palladium (1960) Beat the Clock.
Sunday Night at the London Palladium (1960) Beat the Clock.

In January 1960 the show reached its largest audience ever when Cliff Richard and the Shadows headlined the show hosted by Bruce Forsyth, reaching a staggering 20 million viewers, all watching live, there was no catch up TV back then, and TV Company's could only dream of reaching such a large audience today.

The original show ended on ATV in 1969 but returned from 1973 to 1974, and then again under the new name of 'Tonight at the London Palladium' on ITV in 2000, and yet again from 2014 to 2015 as 'Sunday Night at the Palladium'. In 2016 the show returned again as 'Tonight at the London Palladium' hosted by Bradley Walsh. More information on Sunday Night at the London Palladium can be found here and here.

Backstage at the London Palladium

The Other Side of the Footlights - Backstage at the Famous London Palladium - From a Souvenir programme for 'To See Such Fun' at the London Palladium in 1971 - Courtesy Martin Clark.

Above - The Other Side of the Footlights - Backstage at the Famous London Palladium - From a Souvenir programme for 'To See Such Fun' at the London Palladium in 1971 - Courtesy Martin Clark.

A Souvenir programme for 'To See Such Fun' at the London Palladium in 1971 - Courtesy Martin Clark.In 1971 a Souvenir programme for 'To See Such Fun' at the London Palladium, carried a double page spread entitled 'The Other Side of the Footlights - Backstage at the Famous London Palladium'. The show starred Tommy Cooper, Clive Dunn, Anita Harris, Russ Conway, The Stupids, Francis & Rita Szony, the Bel Canto Singers, Robin Hunter and Dorothy Dampier, and the London Palladium Dancers. I have transcribed the text from the Backstage article below, along with its many images of backstage areas of the London Palladium in the 1970s by Dave Grimley.

Right - A Souvenir programme for 'To See Such Fun' at the London Palladium in 1971 - Courtesy Martin Clark. The show starred Tommy Cooper, Clive Dunn, Anita Harris, Russ Conway, The Stupids, Francis & Rita Szony, the Bel Canto Singers, Robin Hunter and Dorothy Dampier, and the London Palladium Dancers.

NOW firmly established as the Ace Theatre of the World, the famous London Palladium occupies the site of what was once the town residence of the Duke of Argyll (hence Argyll Street) which adjoined the town residence of the Duke of Marlborough (hence Great Marlborough Street) where the stage-door is situated. All that remains of the old building, which was later taken over by the Earl of Aberdeen, is a "crinoline staircase" leading from street-level to the manager's office and other Palladium offices next door to the present spacious Booking Hall, which is the most up-to-date in the country...

The Palladium Box Office - probably one of the largest theatre box offices in the world.

Above: The Palladium Box Office - probably one of the largest theatre box offices in the world.

...The original old building was pulled down in 1870, and a hall known as the Corinthian Bazaar erected on the site. After further reconstruction during the years 1882-4 the building housed the famous Hengler's Circus, and the present safety-curtain (which is lowered and raised in the presence of each audience) shows the building as it was in those days...

The Safety Curtain at the London Palladium in November 2017 - Courtesy Piers Caunter.

Above - The Safety Curtain at the London Palladium in November 2017 - Courtesy Piers Caunter.

The man responsible for the co-ordination of all the Palladium back-stage staff - stage director, Tommy Hayes, seen here in the prompt corner, which is on the right hand side of the stage, seen from the Auditorium.

Above - The man responsible for the co-ordination of all the Palladium back-stage staff - stage director, Tommy Hayes, seen here in the prompt corner, which is on the right hand side of the stage, seen from the Auditorium.

...In 1885 this was converted into an ice-skating rink known as the National Skating Palace, and in 1909 Mr. (later Sir) Walter Gibbons acquired the premises, and opened after further rebuilding, the London Palladium Music Hall in December 1909.

This is, very briefly, a short history of this world-famous theatre. Since its early days, all the great music-hall names have appeared here.

It is not generally known that we have two artesian wells beneath the theatre, from which water for domestic purposes is obtained from a depth of 420 feet, independent of the mains water supply. There are 20 dressing rooms, six of which can be converted into suites of two adjoining rooms when required...

What at first appears to be an organ keyboard. is, in fact, a complex network of keys which comprise the Lighting Console. From here the operator can effect literally hundreds of stage lighting changes.

Above - What at first appears to be an organ keyboard. is, in fact, a complex network of keys which comprise the Lighting Console. From here the operator can effect literally hundreds of stage lighting changes.

...Recently an entirely new lighting and sound equipment system was installed at a cost of £100,000, which makes the Palladium the finest and most completely equipped theatre in Europe and also provides full facilities for colour television...

The Sound Console which controls the volume of the numerous loud-speakers and microphones used on the stage.

Above - The Sound Console which controls the volume of the numerous loud-speakers and microphones used on the stage.

...A staff of over 250 people is regularly employed at the London Palladium including attendants, clerical and stage staff, electricians and wardrobe staff, etc. . . . many of whom have been at this theatre for many years. Their experience ensures the very best possible service and efficiency at this, the world's most famous theatre.

The famous London Palladium as seen by the performers - a star's-eye view of the auditorium.

Above - The famous London Palladium as seen by the performers - a star's-eye view of the auditorium.

The Palladium "lift" in the centre of the stage. On the outside of this is the famous "revolve" used in ATV's Palladium Show.

Above - The Palladium "lift" in the centre of the stage. On the outside of this is the famous "revolve" used in ATV's Palladium Show.

The above Article and most of its accompanying images are from a Souvenir programme for 'To See Such Fun' at the London Palladium in 1971. The original article photographs were by Dave Grimley - Programme Courtesy Martin Clark.

The Royal Variety Shows and Later History

The Entrance Foyer at the London Palladium in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Courtesy Philip Marshall.The London Palladium is also famous for hosting the annual Royal Variety Performance, although it has actually been held at many different Theatres over the years. You will find details of all the Royal Variety Performances from 1958 to the present day here.

Right - The Entrance Foyer at the London Palladium in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Courtesy Philip Marshall.

In the 1980s The Palladium became home to a string of successful large scale musicals, such as 'The King and I' with Virginia McKenna and Yul Brynner, 'Barnum' with Michael Crawford, 'Singing in the Rain' with Tommy Steele, and much less successful, the huge and lavish 'Ziegfield' which couldn't be saved even by Topol himself. Later there was 'Show Boat' 'Saturday Night Fever,' and 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' which was such a large production that the famous split Revolve at the Palladium was finally removed and scrapped, although a number of pieces were retained at the Theatre including a section of track and a running wheel. When the revolve was removed the central section of the stage was then replaced with a demountable Steeldeck style stage. Interestingly the revolve which was used for the production of 'Sister Act' which opened in 2009 closely resembled the original but was only a temporary structure designed to be removed at the end of the production.

The finale of the 1948 Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium - From the Moss Empires Jubilee Brochure of 1949.

Above - The finale of the 1948 Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium - From the Moss Empires Jubilee Brochure of 1949.

The London Palladium on the night of the first preview of the revival of the 1975 production of 'A Chorus Line' on the 5th of February 2013 - Photo M.L.

Above - The London Palladium on the night of the first preview of the revival of the 1975 production of 'A Chorus Line' on the 5th of February 2013 - Photo M.L.

A Programme for the Drury Lane production of 'A Chorus Line' in July 1976 - Courtesy Linda Chadwick.A Programme for the London Palladium production of 'A Chorus Line' in February 2013 .In February 2013 the Palladium became home to the revival of Broadway's smash hit of 1975, 'A Chorus Line'. I saw the Broadway cast in the show myself when it was produced at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in July 1976.

The revival, which I also saw, on its first preview at the London Palladium on the 5th of February 2013, was an almost exact recreation of the original and well worth seeing, whether you saw the original production or not.

Right - A Programme for the London Palladium production of 'A Chorus Line' in February 2013, and a Programme for the Drury Lane production of 'A Chorus Line' in July 1976 - Courtesy Linda Chadwick.

The London Palladium is currently owned and run by the Really Useful Group whose own website can be found here.

If you have any more information or images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

Some Photographs of the London Palladium

The Entrance Foyer at the London Palladium in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Courtesy Philip Marshall.

Above - The Entrance Foyer at the London Palladium in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Courtesy Philip Marshall.

The Entrance Foyer at the London Palladium in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Courtesy Philip Marshall.

Above - The Entrance Foyer at the London Palladium in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Courtesy Philip Marshall.

The Staircase leading up to the Circle and Val Parnell bar at the London Palladium in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Courtesy Philip Marshall.

Above - The Staircase leading up to the Circle and Val Parnell bar at the London Palladium in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Courtesy Philip Marshall.

The Val Parnell bar at the London Palladium in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Courtesy Philip Marshall.

Above - The Val Parnell bar at the London Palladium in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Courtesy Philip Marshall.

The 'Long Bar' of the London Palladium in September 2017 - Courtesy Piers Caunter.

Above - The 'Long Bar' of the London Palladium in September 2017 - Courtesy Piers Caunter.

The 'Long Bar' of the London Palladium in September 2017 - Courtesy Piers Caunter.

Above - The 'Long Bar' of the London Palladium in September 2017 - Courtesy Piers Caunter.

The auditorium and stage at the London Palladium in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Courtesy Philip Marshall.

Above - The auditorium and stage at the London Palladium in a photograph taken in May 2011 - Courtesy Philip Marshall.

The London Palladium during production for 'The Sound Of Music' in October 2006. - Photo M.L.

Above - The London Palladium during the production of 'The Sound Of Music' in 2006.

The London Palladium during the run of 'Sister Act' in July 2009 - Photo M.L.

Above - The London Palladium during the run of 'Sister Act' in July 2009 - Photo M.L.

The London Palladium during the run of 'I Can't Sing' which opened at the Theatre on the 26th of March 2014 but was unsuccessful and closed on the 10th of May.  Photo M.L.

Above - The London Palladium during the run of 'I Can't Sing' which opened at the Theatre on the 26th of March 2014 but was unsuccessful and closed on the 10th of May.

The London Palladium's 100th Anniversary

Birthday cake celebrating 100 years of Great Entertainment at the London Palladium - Photo M.L.

Above - Birthday cake celebrating 100 years of Great Entertainment at the London Palladium.

The London Palladium's Cinderella Bar shortly before guests arrived to celebrate the Theatre's 100th Birthday on the 12th of November 2010. - Photo M.L.The London Palladium opened on Boxing Day, the 26th of December 1910, and so in December 2010 the Theatre celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Several events were held at the Theatre to mark this event, one of which was on the 12th of November in the Cinderella Bar of the Palladium when many people involved with the Theatre over the years gathered to toast the Palladium's anniversary and catch up with faces from the past.

Right - The London Palladium's Cinderella Bar shortly before guests arrived to celebrate the Theatre's 100th Birthday on the 12th of November 2010.

If you are interested in reading more about this World Famous Theatre see my recommended books section below.

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Andre Ptaszynski, Owner and Chief Executive of Really Useful Theatres make short speeches about the Palladium's history before toasting the Theatre's 100th anniversary - Photo courtesy Roger Fox

Above - Andrew Lloyd Webber and Andre Ptaszynski, Owner and Chief Executive of Really Useful Theatres make short speeches about the Palladium's history before toasting the Theatre's 100th anniversary - Photo courtesy Roger Fox, who is pictured below with Terry Powell.

Roger Fox, Theatre Consultant and Chairman of the ABTT Historical Research Committee, and Terry Powell, assistant to the late Tod Kingman, designer of many memorable Palladium productions.

Above - Roger Fox, Theatre Consultant and Chairman of the ABTT Historical Research Committee, and Terry Powell, assistant to the late Tod Kingman, designer of many memorable Palladium productions. Both of whom have been endlessly supportive of, and regular contributors to, this website.

Introduced as the 'Tiller Girls' Jackie Simmonds, Rosalie Kirkman, Shirley Caught, June Vincent, & Rosemarie Russell cut the cake celebrating the London Palladium's 100th anniversary.

Above - Introduced as the 'Tiller Girls' Jackie Simmonds, Rosalie Kirkman, Shirley Caught, June Vincent, & Rosemarie Russell cut the cake celebrating the London Palladium's 100th anniversary.

Recommended Books on the London Palladium

Live from the London Palladium by Neil Sean

Live from the London Palladium by Neil Sean Why the London Palladium? That was the question posed to me by a non-theatrical friend and like all of us in the business I simply answered "It’s the greatest variety theatre in the world."

My new book "Live from the London Palladium by the stars who appeared there" is simply a feast of glitter, glamour and gossip.

As an entertainment reporter now for Channel 10 ( Australia ), Fox News, and NBC news, plus so many more media adventures, this role allowed me to top up and interview the remaining greats of showbiz, from Palladium faves like Debbie Reynolds and Mickey Rooney, and also going back to my own audio archive when as a young boy I was allowed to interview variety greats like Larry Grayson, Les Dawson, Tommy Trinder, Sir Bruce, Marti Caine, Frank Carson, and Barry Manilow, all on my trusty Dansette tape recorder with a C60 cassette... Remember you had to turn it over after 30 minutes to continue.

Over 100 Stars, Exclusive Stories and PicsThe book has over 100 Palladium stars and looking back and watching, listening to the stars talk, is amazing... More so when you think I was just a kid asking all these celebrated stars about their careers and what it takes to become a legend... So if you want to really know why the London Palladium is so special this really is the book for you.

Neil Sean in the Palladium Dressing RoomsI recall Larry Grayson really hit a point when he told me "It was the culmination of all the hard work... I think, looking back I went on like in a trance you know, because in your head you have dreamed it and actually done it, but yes nothing like the real thing at all really... It was magical."

Pictured together in the number one dressing room at the Palladium is the one and only Dad’s Army star Ian Lavender who was starring in the hit musical "Sister Act" at the time of the interview, he tells me "I was not so sure about doing the musical to be honest but then they said the magic words "It’s on at the Palladium", well truly after that I was in, it was that simple for me, and yes to be sitting here and looking out at that vast auditorium and thinking all the greats have looked and felt like me nightly on this stage... I was sold... Now I can’t wait to come back."

Joan Rivers and Neil Sean

As ever any project ends up been tinged with sadness and in this case it’s one of the greatest comedians of our time Miss Joan Rivers (shown above). I spoke with Joan for the last time a week before her sudden death and as well as revealing her time on that Palladium stage she spoke candidly about the wears and tears of a comic's life...

But as ever the Palladium is built on laughter so take a seat in the stalls and let the Skyrockets Orchestra sway over you while. Val Parnell presented another of his spectaculars... Sit back and let those famous red velvet curtains swish open to you enjoying "Live from the London Palladium" with a bill that also includes Tommy Steele, Max Bygraves, Liza, Kylie, Anita Harris and many more - all brand new unheard interviews from my personal archive. - Neil Sean 2014.

Click here to Buy the book on Amazon.co.uk.

The London Palladium - The Story of the Theatre and its Stars
by Chris Woodward

The London Palladium by Chris Woodward - Click here to buy the book at Amazon.co.uk.Readers of this page who have an interest in the history of the London Palladium would be well advised to look at Chris Woodward's wonderful book on the Theatre; 'The London Palladium - The Story of the Theatre and its Stars.'

The book chronicles the history of the site of the London Palladium from its earliest days when Argyll street was first developed in the 1730s and a large house was built for Archibald Campbell, the 3rd Duke of Argyll, through to its days as the Corinthian Bazaar, parts of which still survive in the present building; and Hengler's Circus, of which I have never seen so many wonderful programmes and images depicted all in one place, and with such lovingly researched history of this once famous Arena. After detailing the history of the site Chris's book goes on to tell the story of what is probably Britain's most cherished Theatre, Frank Matcham's wonderful London Palladium, from its opening on Boxing day 1910, through its career as a Music Hall and Variety Theatre, it's days as a television star for Sunday Night at the London Palladium, its Sunday concerts and long running musicals, right up to the present day, and all in such meticulously researched detail. The book is copiously illustrated with an image for almost everything the Palladium has staged over its hundred year history. An absolute must buy for anyone who has graced its stage, sat in the audience, seen it on Television, or simply walked past its facade and wondered to themselves 'what kind of a story can such a magnificent building tell.' Click here to buy the book at Amazon.co.uk.

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

 

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