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The Music Hall and Theatre History Site
Dedicated to Arthur Lloyd, 1839 - 1904.

 

The Victoria Palace Theatre, 126 Victoria Street, London

Formerly - The Royal Standard Hotel / Moy's Music Hall / Royal Standard Concert Rooms / Royal Standard Music Hall

Introduction - The Royal Standard Music Hall - The Victoria Palace Theatre - Photographs of the Theatre's Auditorium in 2008 - Refurbishment of the Theatre in 2016/17 - Photographs of the Theatre just after its refurbishment in December 2017 - Photographs of the Theatre's Auditorium in 2018 - Neil Sean's 'Memories of the Victoria Palace Theatre'

The Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of the hit Broadway show 'Hamilton' in September 2018 - Photo M.L.

Above - The Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of the hit Broadway show 'Hamilton' in September 2018 - Photo M.L.

See London's West End TheatresSee Theatreland MapsSee this Theatre on Google StreetviewThe Victoria Palace Theatre was designed by the now renowned Theatre Architect Frank Matcham, and built by Henry Lovatt Ltd on the site of the former Royal Standard Music Hall at a cost of £12,000. The Theatre opened on the 6th November 1911 and was the last great variety house to be built in the West End. Still standing over a hundred years later the Victoria Palace Theatre continues to be a successful home to large scale musicals, and, after the refurbishment of 2016/17, may be considered one of Matcham's greatest surviving Theatres. Information on the earlier building on the site, the Royal Standard Music Hall, follows, and then full details of the Victoria Palace itself are detailed further down on this page. Also see Neil Sean's 'Memories of the Victoria Palace Theatre London' here.

Some photographs of the FOH areas of the Theatre after its 2016/17 refurbishment can be seen in the slideshow below, photographs of the Theatre's exterior can be seen in a slideshow here, and many photographs of the Theatre's auditorium after refurbishment can be seen in the slideshow here, and more from 2017 here.

  • The Foyer of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018. The photo also shows the Theatre's reinstated Lightwell which reaches all the way up to the Matcham Room far above.
  • The Foyer and Box Office of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Victoria Palace Theatre Lightwell which reaches up from the Foyer to the Matcham Room high above, during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Main Bar of the Victoria Palace Theatre in September 2018, which is situated beside the Foyer in an area which was originally a yard running alongside the outside of Theatre.
  • The Main Bar of the Victoria Palace Theatre in September 2018, which is situated beside the Foyer in an area which was originally a yard running alongside the outside of Theatre.
  • The Foyer and Stairs to the Royal and Grand Circles of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Stairs to the Royal and Grand Circles of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Royal Circle Lobby of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Royal Circle Bar and Terrace of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Royal Circle Bar and Terrace of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Royal Circle Bar of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • Stairs to the Royal Circle Saloon of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Royal Circle Saloon of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018. Also showing the Theatre's Lightwell which reaches down to the Foyer below and up to the Matcham Room above.
  • The Royal Circle Saloon of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.Also showing the Theatre's Lightwell which reaches down to the Foyer below and up to the Matcham Room above.
  • The Royal Circle rear corridor of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • Stairs to the Grand Circle and Matcham Room of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • Stairs to the Grand Circle and Matcham Room of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Matcham Room of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018. Also showing the top of the Theatre's Lightwell which reaches down to the Foyer below.
  • The Matcham Room of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Matcham Room of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018. Also showing the top of the Theatre's Lightwell which reaches down to the Foyer below.
  • The Mackintosh Room of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018. On the walls are two Posters for the Royal Standard Music Hall from 1910, donated to the Theatre for it's refurbishment in 2016/17 by arthurlloyd.co.uk.
  • The Grand Circle Bar of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Grand Circle Salon of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018, a room that did not exist prior to the refurbishment, the stairs lead up to the very back of the auditorium.
  • The Exit Stairs from the Grand Circle of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Exit Stairs from the Grand Circle of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Exit Stairs from the Grand Circle of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Lower Stalls Bar of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Lower Stalls Bar of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018. On the Wall is a copy of 'Popularity' Walter Lambert's vast painting depicting the Music Hall Stars of the early 1900s held at the Museum of London.
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Above - A Slideshow of Photographs of the Foyers, Bars, and Function Rooms at the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018, and after the Theatre had been extensively refurbished in 2016/17. These photographs are shown here with the kind permission of Delfont Mackintosh Theatres and are © Copyright Matthew Lloyd 2018. Swipe left or right, or Click the Arrows or Thumbnails to Navigate.

The Royal Standard Music Hall

Formerly - The Royal Standard Hotel / Moy's Music Hall / Royal Standard Concert Rooms

The Royal Standard Music Hall - Courtesy John Culme of Footlight Notes

Above - The Royal Standard Music Hall which originally stood on the site of the Victoria Palace Theatre. - Courtesy John Culme of Footlight Notes

Programme for the Royal Standard Music Hall - Courtesy Peter Charlton. Originally on the site of the present Victoria Palace Theatre there was a small hotel / tavern in Stockdale Terrace, Victoria called the Royal Standard Hotel which was built in 1832. Here 'Harmonic Meetings' were held in a room above the stables, but by 1840 the proprietor, John Moy, had obtained a new Licence which allowed for singing and dancing in the premises.

Following the success of this entertainment Moy enlarged the building and began putting on Music Hall Bills. The building soon became known as Moy's Music Hall, but in 1854 it was renamed The Royal Standard Concert Rooms.

Right - An early Programme for the Royal Standard Music Hall - Courtesy Peter Charlton.

Programme for the Royal Standard Music Hall May 2nd 1904 - Click to see the entire programme.Alfred Brown, who took over the premises in 1863, refurbished it and opened the, now renamed, Royal Standard Music Hall on December 26th of that year. The audience were seated at tables and the stage was actually part of an adjoining room.

Left - A Programme for the Royal Standard Music Hall, May 2nd 1904 - Click to see the entire programme.

This new Music Hall soon became very popular, so popular in fact that in 1886 Richard Wake completely demolished it and then rebuilt a new enlarged Royal Standard in its place to cash in on its popularity.

The ERA reviewed this new building in 1891 saying:- 'Entirely Re-built, Enlarged, and Re-decorated, being at the present time the most comfortable Hall of entertainment in London. No expense has been spared both on the Stage and in the Auditorium, to study the comfort of the Public.

Auditorium of the Royal Standard Music Hall from a programme dated May 2nd 1904The lighting of the Hall by electricity has now been completed, and by the brilliance of light and coolness throughout, testifying to its complete success.

Right - The Auditorium and Stage of the Royal Standard Music Hall - From a programme dated May 2nd 1904.

The Refreshment department has always been the careful study of the Proprietor. There is a large and Handsome Grill Room, open from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Billiard Room, with two tables by Burroughes Watts; large Public Bars on the ground floor; and the continued and increased popularity of this Establishment sufficiently attests the estimation in which it is held.'

The above text in quotes was first published in the ERA in 1891.

Arthur Lloyd is known to have performed at the Royal Standard Music Hall in 1890 and 1892.

The Royal Standard Music Hall, from a programme - Courtesy Peter CharltonThe last owner of the Royal Standard Music Hall was Thomas S. Dickie who bought it in 1896. Two years later he had the place renovated and improved, reopening it on Monday October the 3rd 1898. The Stage Newspaper reported on the reopening in their 6th of October edition saying:- 'After being closed for some time this popular music hall was reopened on Monday night, under, as before, the proprietorship of Mr. T. S. Dickie, and the management of Mr. Fred Law. Some alterations which have been effected in the hall are to its improvement.

Right - The Facade of the Royal Standard Music Hall, from an early programme - Courtesy Peter Charlton.

Grill Room of the Royal Standard Music Hall from a programme dated May 2nd 1904The place has been thoroughly overhauled, papered, and painted. The principal alterations, however, are with the restaurant and public-house connected with the establishment, which will not be completed for a few weeks.

Left - The Grill Room of the Royal Standard Music Hall - From a programme dated May 2nd 1904.

War was the sketch that filled the house with enthusiasm on Monday. War, the Spanish-American incident so graphically illustrated by Mr. Frederick Maxwell, Mrs. Lois Du Cane, and company, is a safe card for any manager to play. The Mayvilles (Harry and Elsie), "Liliputian Wonders," proved an entertaining couple, and another sprightly pair are the Donnells (Kate and James), who gave duets briskly and danced in smart fashion. Harry Nation, a comic singer in the proper sense of the word, amused the audience with "Innocent Lambs" and "The Old brigade." Corbett showed versatility in changing from "My 'Enery," a low comedy ditty, to "The Work Girl," a pathetic lay calculated to bring tears to the eyes of the sympathetic, which won abundant applause. The Three Phydoras, described as "marvellous eccentrics"; the Zetina Family; Joe Lawrence, "the upside-down comedian"; Henri Cazman, in a new act; Rice, Rose, Davis, and The Half; Mam'zelle Flossie, an exceedingly capable artist, clever alike in song and dance; Nat Clifford; and Miss Billie Barlow, a universal favourite, made up the bill. Mr. Victor Opferman's valuable services as musical director are retained.' - The Stage, October 6th 1898.

  • A Poster for the Royal Standard Music Hall in 1910.
  • A Poster for the Royal Standard Music Hall in 1910.

Thomas S. Dickie sold the Music Hall in 1910 to Alfred Butt and this was the year that the Royal Standard, with the longest record of uninterrupted Music Hall and Variety performances in London, was demolished to make way for a brand new building called the Victoria Palace Theatre, see below.

Right - Two Posters for the Royal Standard Music Hall during the last few months of its operation in 1910, and whilst still in the ownership of Thomas S. Dickie. The building was sold to Alfred Butt later that year and was subsequently demolished to make way for the building of the Victoria Palace Theatre in 1911. These Posters were donated to DMT for the Theatre's reopening in December 2017, and are now on display in the Theatre's Matcham Room, see photo below left.

The Matcham Room at the Victoria Palace Theatre in September 2018.The Stage Newspaper mentioned the closure of the Royal Standard Music Hall and its imminent rebuilding as the Victoria Palace Theatre in their October 20th 1910 edition saying:- '...The Royal Standard, Pimlico, finally closed its doors on Saturday, and almost immediately builders will start pulling down and re-building the house, as Mr. Alfred Butt is anxious that the Victoria Palace shall rise up on the old site with as little delay as possible. On Tuesday, October 25, a sale will take place on the premises of the whole of the contents, which include seating, scenery, and a large quantity of bar fittings, lounges, and miscellaneous furniture.' - The Stage, October 20th, 1910.

The Victoria Palace Theatre

The Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of The Crazy Gang's 'These Foolish Kings' in 1957 - Courtesy Gerry Atkins, who was principal dancer in the show.

Above - The Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of The Crazy Gang's 'These Foolish Kings' in 1957 - Courtesy Gerry Atkins, who was principal dancer in the show.

An early artist's impression of Frank Matcham's 1911 Victoria Palace Theatre.The Victoria Palace Theatre was designed by the renowned Theatre Architect Frank Matcham, and built by Henry Lovatt Ltd on the site of the former Royal Standard Music Hall at a cost of £12,000. The Theatre opened on the 6th November 1911.

This new Theatre which, due to extra land being bought by Alfred Butt, was a lot bigger than the Royal Standard, was also the last great variety house to be built in the West End.

Right - An early artist's impression of Frank Matcham's 1911 Victoria Palace Theatre.

The ERA enthused about the new Theatre in their 4th of November 1911 edition saying:- 'In the scheme of internal treatment the main object has been to combine a maximum of comfort and convenience with a prevailing note of simplicity. The handsome entrance hall through which the visitor passes to the stalls, dress circle, and boxes has walls of grey marble with embellishments of old gold mosaic and pillars of white Sicilian marble. Left and right from this vestibule there are cloakrooms and an elegant boudoir devoted to the comfort of the ladies.

From the vestibule to the stalls, dress circle, and boxes it is but a very few steps and this ease of accessibility will be appreciated by all who, having entered the house, desire to reach their places in as little time as possible. For the further convenience of visitors to the tea room, dress circle and box levels there has been installed a lift, a feature which, doubtless, will be greatly appreciated. An elaborate heating system has been installed, which enables an even temperature to be kept throughout the winter, and in the summer the magnificent sliding roofs of the auditorium and main vestibule permit the house to be kept delightfully cool.'

The above text in quotes was first published in the ERA, 4th November 1911.

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Above - Exterior Views of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018. The last photo shows the Theatre's extended Stage House which was enlarged during the Theatre's refurbishment in 2018, the rear wall of the original stage house which was enclosed inside the extended one will be removed only when 'Hamilton' eventually closes - Photos M.L.

The Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of The Crazy Gang's 'These Foolish Kings' in 1957 - Courtesy Gerry Atkins, who was principal dancer in the show.Programme for Me and My Girl at the Victoria Palace TheatreThe Victoria Palace Theatre was to have an illustrious career. It opened on the 6th November 1911 with a variety bill and over the ensuing years every famous Music Hall and Variety name appeared there.

Right - The Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of The Crazy Gang's 'These Foolish Kings' in 1957 - Courtesy Gerry Atkins, who was principal dancer in the show. And A Programme for Lupino Lane in 'Me and My Girl' at the Victoria Palace Theatre.

The Theatre continued with plays, variety, repertory and revues, and in 1937 the musical 'Me and my Girl' opened, running for a record breaking 1,046 performances right up until the outbreak of war in 1939. The show was then revived again in 1944 and continued for another long run.

The Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of The Crazy Gang's 'These Foolish Kings' in 1957 - Courtesy Gerry Atkins, who was principal dancer in the show.The Theatre remained open during the war with, amongst others, George Black's 'Vanities,' 'La-Di-Da-Di-Da,' and Stanley Lupino in 'The Love Racket.'

Left - The Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of The Crazy Gang's 'These Foolish Kings' in 1957 - Courtesy Gerry Atkins, who was principal dancer in the show.

The Last Night of the Crazy Gang at the Victoria Palace Theatre on May 20th 1962.
The Last Night of the Crazy Gang at the Victoria Palace Theatre on May 20th 1962.

In 1945 the Theatre went back to its roots with various variety productions for a year but then on 17th April 1947 The Crazy Gang were to take over the Theatre for a remarkable 15 years. Such was their popularity that they didn't finally vacate the Theatre until 1962.

A video of the Television Broadcast of the Last Night of The Crazy Gang at the Victoria Palace Theatre on May the 20th, 1962 can be seen by clicking the thumbnail shown above right.

A Mural of the Crazy Gang gazing out from the Victoria Palace Theatre's Royal Circle Box. The Crazy Gang performed at the Theatre for 15 years until 1962- Photo M.L. 2018.A Programme for the Crazy Gang at the Victoria Palace TheatreWhen the Theatre was refurbished in 2016/17 the Crazy Gang were given a permanent home in the Theatre's Royal Circle in the shape of a mural of them looking out from one of the Theatre's boxes, forever gazing at the stage they had performed on for so many years.

Right - A Mural of the Crazy Gang gazing out from the Victoria Palace Theatre's Royal Circle Box. And a programme cover for the Crazy Gang in 'Ring Out the Bells'. The Crazy Gang performed at the Theatre for 15 years until 1962.

After the Crazy Gang left the Victoria Palace the Theatre then became famous for the now rather un-politically correct Black And White Minstrels shows which back in the 60s were hugely popular and ran at the Theatre until 1970, and were also regularly broadcast on British television for many years.

A 1970s Seating Plan for the Victoria Palace Theatre

Above - A 1970s Seating Plan for the Victoria Palace Theatre.

Some Photographs of the Victoria Palace Theatre's Auditorium in 2008

The Auditorium of Frank Matcham's Victoria Palace Theatre in August 2008 - Photo M.L.

Above - The Auditorium of Frank Matcham's Victoria Palace Theatre in August 2008 - Photo M.L.

The Auditorium of Frank Matcham's Victoria Palace Theatre in August 2008 - Photo M.L. The Auditorium of Frank Matcham's Victoria Palace Theatre in August 2008 - Photo M.L.

 

Above - The Auditorium of Frank Matcham's Victoria Palace Theatre in August 2008 - Photo M.L.

The Auditorium of Frank Matcham's Victoria Palace Theatre in August 2008 - Photo M.L.

Above - The Auditorium of Frank Matcham's Victoria Palace Theatre in August 2008 - Photo M.L.

The Auditorium of Frank Matcham's Victoria Palace Theatre in August 2008 - Photo M.L.

Above - The Auditorium of Frank Matcham's Victoria Palace Theatre in August 2008 - Photo M.L.

A Programme for the Royal Gala Premiere of 'High Society' at the Victoria Palace Theatre on the 18th of February 1987 in the presence of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.The Victoria Palace was one of Matcham's finest achievements and still stands today much in its original condition. The Theatre has rarely been dark and has put on a string of musicals and plays ever since. Recent successes were 'Annie,' 'Barnum,' 'High Society', 'Buddy,' which ran for six years, 'Jolson,' and the long running and very successful hit show 'Billy Elliot.'

Right - A Programme for the Royal Gala Premiere of 'High Society' at the Victoria Palace Theatre on the 18th of February 1987 in the presence of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.

The crown of the dome, now with the figure of Pavlova back in her rightful position. Photo M.L. 06.In 1991 Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen took over the Theatre from its long time owners Stoll Moss Theatres. Cohen went on to lavish a great deal of time and money on the building, enlarging the Foyer, adding modern W.C. facilities, increasing the dressing rooms, adding a new bar on the ground floor where an alley originally ran along the side of the building, and, in 2006, he replaced the figure of Pavlova which originally crowned the dome but had been missing since being removed in the second world war.

Left - The crown of the dome of the Victoria Palace Theatre, now with the figure of Pavlova back in her rightful position. Photo M.L. 06.

The Theatre's Rank Strand MMS lighting board which was situated in one of the stage left Auditorium boxes and used for many productions at the Victoria Palace in the 1980s. - Photo M.L.Shown right is the Victoria Palace Theatre's Rank Strand MMS lighting board which was situated in one of the stage left Auditorium boxes and used for many productions at the Victoria Palace in the 1980s.

From 2012 the Victoria Palace Theatre began suffering major upheaval due to works on enlarging and upgrading Victoria Station. The Theatre became something of an island site whilst all the surrounding buildings were demolished and a long running dispute between the Theatre's owners and London Underground ensued. However, the works did reveal the Theatre's side and rear elevations for the first time since its construction some 100 years earlier (See images below).

The side elevation of the Victoria Palace Theatre is revealed for the first time since it was constructed, during development work on the surrounding area for the enlargement and upgrade of Victoria Station in March 2012 - Photo M.L.

Above - The side elevation of the Victoria Palace Theatre is revealed for the first time since it was constructed, during development work on the surrounding area for the enlargement and upgrade of Victoria Station in March 2012.

The rear elevation of the Victoria Palace Theatre is revealed for the first time since it was constructed, during development work on the surrounding area for the enlargement and upgrade of Victoria Station in March 2012 -  Photo M.L.

Above - The rear elevation of the Victoria Palace Theatre is revealed for the first time since it was constructed, during development work on the surrounding area for the enlargement and upgrade of Victoria Station in March 2012.

Refurbishment of the Victoria Palace Theatre in 2016/17

The Victoria Palace Theatre during production for the hit Broadway show 'Hamilton' in December 2017 - Photo M.L.

Above - The Victoria Palace Theatre during production for the hit Broadway show 'Hamilton' in December 2017 - Photo M.L.

A poster for a Twice Nightly Variety show at the Victoria Palace Theatre for Monday June the 29th 1925 - Courtesy Tony CraigIn 2014 Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen sold the Victoria Palace to Delfont Mackintosh Theatres who announced at the time that 'Billy Elliot' would continue to run at the Theatre until the Autumn of 2016, after which they planned to extend the Theatre's stage house and completely refurbish the Theatre. This would all eventually be achieved by the end of 2018, and to a very high standard, carried out by the architects Aedas Arts Team, along with interiors to the designs of Clare Ferraby.

Right - A poster for a Twice Nightly Variety show at the Victoria Palace Theatre for Monday June the 29th 1925 - Courtesy Tony Craig whose mother Jessie Jewel, and her brother Joe Ring, are featured on the Bill as Jewel & Ring. De Groot, the famous Violinist was top of the Bill.

The last performance of 'Billy Elliot' was eventually brought forward to Saturday the 9th of April 2016, and the Stage House rebuild, and refurbishment of the Theatre, were originally scheduled to take place shortly after this. However, although the refurbishment of the Theatre was carried out, part of the rebuild of the stage house was put on hold so that the proposed opening of the Broadway hit 'Hamilton' for the Theatre's reopening could take place in November 2017. Plans were then put in place to extend the stage house rewards by 6 metres whilst 'Hamilton' was running at the Theatre, and for the rear wall of the old stage house to be demolished, revealing the new one, once 'Hamilton' left the Theatre. A very innovative plan and one which has only been attempted a few times to my knowledge. The project included a new Fly Tower and a larger, now flat, Stage, enabling the Theatre to accommodate much larger productions. The refurbishment plans for the Backstage areas of the Theatre also included a new rehearsal space and more dressing room accommodation for larger casts.

  • The Auditorium of the Victoria Palace Theatre taken from the stage during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Auditorium of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Auditorium of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Auditorium and Ceiling Dome of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Auditorium of the Victoria Palace Theatre taken from the Stalls during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Auditorium Ceiling and Dome of the Victoria Palace Theatre taken from the Stalls during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Auditorium of the Victoria Palace Theatre taken from a Royal Circle Box during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Royal Circle of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The rear of the Royal Circle of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • A mural showing the Crazy Gang gazing out from one of the Royal Circle Boxes of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018. The Crazy Gang famously performed at the Theatre for 15 years from 1947 to 1962.
  • The Auditorium and Stage of the Victoria Palace Theatre taken from the back of the Royal Circle during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Auditorium and Stage of the Victoria Palace Theatre taken from the back of the Grand Circle during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Grand Circle of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
  • The Grand Circle of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018. The photo also shows the Theatre's Follow Spot Box and Lighting Control Room.
  • The Auditorium of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018.
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Above - A Slideshow of Photographs of the Auditorium of the Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of 'Hamilton' in September 2018, and after the Theatre had been extensively refurbished in 2016/17. These photographs are shown here with the kind permission of Delfont Mackintosh Theatres and are © Copyright Matthew Lloyd 2018. Swipe left or right, or Click the Arrows or Thumbnails to Navigate.

The Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of the hit stage musical 'Billy Elliot' in 2006 - Photo M.L.Refurbishment of the rest of the Theatre was started once 'Billy Eliot' closed in April 2016, this part of the project, which was envisioned as 'finishing what Matcham started', included much improved FOH facilities; adding a new extension to the east side of the building which included a new lift, bars, terrace, and toilet facilities; new boxes added to the rear of the Auditorium Stalls and Royal Circle; whilst the Stalls seating was altered to curved rows which it was hoped would provide better site lines and better use of the existing central aisle; FOH would also see the reopening of the original circular lightwell in the foyer and the reinstatement of the original box office location.

Left - The Victoria Palace Theatre during the run of the hit stage musical 'Billy Elliot' in 2006 - Photo M.L.

One of the major changes to the auditorium, which was completely refurbished during the renovations, was to widen the proscenium arch by 1.49 metres in order to provide better site lines for seats at the side of the auditorium, and to accommodate the larger depth of the new stage once it was revealed after 'Hamilton' closed, this was achieved by removing the plaster panels on either side of the proscenium and inserting an additional plaster panel above the stage. Sadly the Theatre's Safety Curtain, which was repainted by the Theatre's Master Carpenter many years before, and designed to reflect a crowded audience back at them, had to be replaced during the refurbishment to accommodate the enlarged proscenium opening.

The Safety Curtain at the Victoria Palace Theatre, repainted by the Theatre's Master Carpenter many years ago, and designed to reflect a crowded audience back at them. Sadly the Safety Curtain had to be replaced in the 2017 refurbishment when the proscenium width and height were changed to accommodate an enlarged stage.

Above - The Safety Curtain at the Victoria Palace Theatre, repainted by the Theatre's Master Carpenter many years ago, and designed to reflect a crowded audience back at them. Sadly the Safety Curtain had to be replaced in the 2017 refurbishment when the proscenium width and height were changed to accommodate an enlarged stage.

The Victoria Palace Theatre's renovated facade is finally revealed during production for the hit Broadway show 'Hamilton' in December 2017 - Photo M.L.The Theatre was scheduled to reopen with previews for 'Hamilton' on the 21st of November 2017, but delays with the refurbishment caused the owners to delay the reopening for two weeks and reschedule previews to begin on the 6th of December with the official opening press night on the 21st of December 2017.

Right - The Victoria Palace Theatre's renovated facade is finally revealed during production for the hit Broadway show 'Hamilton' in December 2017 - Photo M.L.

Whilst the Theatre was closed and being refurbished from 2016 to 2017 major redevelopment all around the building left the Theatre looking like a scene from the 2009 film 'UP'. The new buildings rapidly swamped Matcham's 1911 Theatre, and looked completely out of place in context with its historic architecture. And it seems that this is not just my opinion as the Nova Victoria building, which now towers over the Theatre, soon won the less than coveted Carbuncle Cup award of 2017 ('the award no one wants to win') for being the Uk's worst building, described by them as a 'bright red hideous mess'! The Carbuncle Cup is run by the Building Design Magazine (BD) and their judges for the award described the building as "crass, over-scaled and a hideous mess". You can see parts of this building in the photographs of the Theatre, whilst undergoing refurbishment in 2016, below. Some photographs of the Theatre's interior after its refurbishment can be seen below.

After the refurbishment was completed the Theatre had a capacity of 1,533 seated, and 1,569 with standing. The stalls accommodated 717, the Royal Circle 444, and the Grand Circle 402, all with access from the main foyer of the Theatre. There were also 5 bars over 4 levels, and two private VIP / Function Rooms. Backstage there were 9 Principle dressing rooms, 4 ensemble dressing rooms, and 2 band rooms.

You may like to visit the Victoria Palace Theatre's own website here.

Some of the information on this page was gleaned from Diana Howard's 'London Theatres and Music Halls 1850 - 1950, and Mander and Mitchenson's 'Theatres of London.'

Some photographs of the Victoria Palace Theatre during its refurbishment from 2016 to 2017

The Victoria Palace Theatre during Refurbishment in August 2016, Photo M.L. The Theatre is looking completely swamped by the office buildings erected all around it.

Above - The Victoria Palace Theatre during Refurbishment in August 2016, Photo M.L. The Theatre is looking completely swamped by the office buildings erected all around it.

The Allington Street Elevation of the Victoria Palace Theatre during Refurbishment in August 2016, Photo M.L.

Above - The Allington Street Elevation of the Victoria Palace Theatre during Refurbishment in August 2016, Photo M.L.

The Victoria Palace Theatre during Refurbishment in August 2016, Photo M.L.

Above - The Victoria Palace Theatre during Refurbishment in August 2016, Photo M.L.

The Rear Elevation of the Victoria Palace Theatre during Refurbishment in August 2016, Photo M.L.

Above - The Rear Elevation of the Victoria Palace Theatre during Refurbishment in August 2016, Photo M.L. The fly tower and stage house of the Theatre, still shown here, is planned to be demolished once the production of 'Hamilton' leaves the Theatre. A new Stage House, on a much larger scale, is planned to be constructed around the old one whilst 'Hamilton' is running at the Theatre.

The Victoria Palace Theatre during the its Refurbishment in September 2017, Photo M. L.

Above - The Victoria Palace Theatre during the its Refurbishment in September 2017, Photo M. L.

The Victoria Palace Theatre during the its Refurbishment in September 2017, Photo M. L.

Above - The Victoria Palace Theatre during the its Refurbishment in September 2017, Photo M. L.

The Victoria Palace Theatre during the its Refurbishment in September 2017, Photo M. L.

Above - The Victoria Palace Theatre during the its Refurbishment in September 2017, Photo M. L.

Some photographs of the Victoria Palace Theatre after its 2016 / 2017 refurbishment and during an invited Dress Rehearsal of 'Hamilton' the day before the first Preview on the 5th of December 2017

The Victoria Palace Theatre after its 2016 / 2017 Refurbishment - Photo M.L.

The Victoria Palace Theatre after its 2016 / 2017 Refurbishment - Photo M.L. The Victoria Palace Theatre after its 2016 / 2017 Refurbishment - Photo M.L.

 

The Victoria Palace Theatre after its 2016 / 2017 Refurbishment - Photo M.L.

The Victoria Palace Theatre after its 2016 / 2017 Refurbishment - Photo M.L.

The Victoria Palace Theatre after its 2016 / 2017 Refurbishment - Photo M.L.

London's West End Theatres

 

Adelphi Aldwych Ambassadors Apollo Apollo Victoria Arts Cambridge Charing Cross Theatre Criterion Dominion Donmar Warehouse Drury Lane Duchess Duke Of Yorks Fortune Garrick Gielgud Gillian Lynne Harold Pinter Haymarket Her Majesty's Leicester Square Theatre London Coliseum London Palladium Lyceum Lyric Menier Chocolate Factory 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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