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The Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London, W.1

The Piccadilly Theatre during the run of 'Ghost The Musical' in August 2011 - Photo M.L.

Above - The Piccadilly Theatre during the run of 'Ghost The Musical' in August 2011 - Photo M.L. The Theatre is currently home to 'Jersey Boys' since transfering from the Prince Edward Theatre in March 2014.

 

 

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 Piccadilly Theatre opened on the 27th of April 1928 with a musical play called 'Blue Eyes' with Evelyn Laye, and written by Jerome Kern. The Theatre was designed by Bertie Crewe and Edward A. Stone, and was built by Griggs and Sons on land which was previously derelict stables.

 

Programme for 'Counsellor At LAw' at the Piccadilly Theatre in 1934.The Piccadilly Theatre's opening was followed by a flurry of Theatre Building in London's West End.

Programme for 'Living Dangerously' at the Piccadilly Theatre in 1934.1930 saw the opening of the Prince Edward on April the 3rd, then the Cambridge on the 4th of September, then the Phoenix on the 24th of September, and the Whitehall on the 29th of September. Then came the rebuilt Adelphi Theatre on 3rd of December, and finally the Leicester Square Theatre which opened on December the 19th.

Left - A Programme for 'Counsellor At Law' at the Piccadilly Theatre in 1934.

Right - A Programme for 'Living Dangerously' at the Piccadilly Theatre in 1934.

The Theatre was built for the Piccadilly Theatre Company and it's auditorium was decorated by Marc-Henri & Laverdet on three levels, Stalls, Dress, and Upper Circles, now called Stalls, Royal, and Grand Circles, with a capacity on opening of 1,395 although in 2006 the capacity is a more modest 1,232. The stage is large enough for musicals at 29' 10" Wide by 35' Deep.

 

A 1970s Seating Plan for the Piccadilly Theatre

Above - A 1970s Seating Plan for the Piccadilly Theatre

 

Programme for 'The Corn Is Green' at the Piccadilly Theatre in 1938.The first production at the Piccadilly Theatre ran until August of the same year before transferring to Daly's Theatre, (now View Cinema in the Warner Village, Leicester Square.) After this though Warner took over the Piccadilly and began using it as a cinema to show the new craze of the time, 'Talkies,' using their Vitaphone system. Indeed, it was at the Piccadilly that the very first Talkie was shown in Britain, 'The Singing Fool' staring Al Jolson.

Left - A Programme for 'The Corn Is Green' at the Piccadilly Theatre in 1938.

In February 1937 The Windmill Theatre Revudeville programmes were carrying this add for the Revudeville Pot-Pourri at the Piccadilly Theatre, continuous Two  Hour Review, a Vivian Van Damm Production. - Courtesy Maurice Poole.However, the Theatre was back in business again in November 1929 with a production of 'The Student Prince' and then in January 1931 it had its first success with 'Folly To Be Wise' which ran for 257 performances. Then came Robert Donat and Ernest Thesiger in September 1933 with 'A Sleeping Clergyman' and 'Counsellor at Law' (shown above left) in April 1934, 'Queer Cargo' in August, and 'Living Dangerously' (shown above right) in November of the same year.

Right - In February 1937 The Windmill Theatre Revudeville programmes were carrying this add for the Revudeville Pot-Pourri at the Piccadilly Theatre, continuous Two Hour Review, a Vivian Van Damm Production. - Courtesy Maurice Poole.

The Theatre began to lose business after this and the Windmill Theatre company took over for a while, giving them more room for their activities, but in late 1937 Frith Shephard opened his new entertainment at the Piccadilly called 'Choose Your Time' which was a mixture of News Reels, music with the 'Swingphonic Orchestra,' comedy in the form of a short play called 'Talk Of The Devil' with a young John Mills, and Yvonne Arnaud, and amazingly, a Donald Duck film.

 

The Piccadilly Theatre during the run of 'Guys And Dolls' in October 2006.  - Photo M.L.

Above - The Piccadilly Theatre during the run of 'Guys And Dolls' in October 2006 - Photo M.L.

The Piccadilly Theatre during the run of 'Grease' in September 2008 - Photo M.L.

Above - The Piccadilly Theatre during the run of 'Grease' in September 2008 - Photo M.L.

The Piccadilly Theatre has had something of a checkered history over the years, sometimes successful, but often host to some rather less fortunate productions. Recently however, the Theatre has been more successful. In 2005 the Theatre was home to a revival of the hit musical 'Guys And Dolls' which opened on the 1st of June that year and ran for two years until the equally successful production of the stage musical 'Grease' opened at the Theatre in July 2007. 'Ghost' the musical also ran very successfully in 2011 / 2012. The Theatre then staged a production the Spice Girls musical 'Viva for Ever!' and a revival of 'Dirty Dancing'. The Theatre will become the new home for 'Jersey Boys' in March 2014 when it transfers from the Prince Edward Theatre.

The Piccadilly Theatre is currently run by the Ambassador Theatre Group whose own website for the Theatre can be found 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