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I thought I'd write a review on the New London Theatre as I recently went to see 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' at The New London Theatre and was impressed with both the show and all the history of the theatre. The theatre itself can be found on Drury Lane, London and is only a 5 minute walk from either Holborn or Covent Garden Underground stations.
The New London Theatre has changed over the years along with the different productions shown there including the world famous 'Cats'.
1847 - The Mogul Saloon was built and, over the next four years, was renamed the Turkish Saloon and the Mogul Music Hall. 1851 - The building was named the Middlesex Music Hall. 1872 & 1892 - Reconstruction work took place to house larger audiences. 1911 - A completely new building was erected under the auspices of Oswald Stoll and renamed the New Middlesex Theatre of Varieties. 1919 - Acquired by George Grossmith and Edward Laurillard, the interior was completely redecorated and the building given another new name - the Winter Garden. 1921 - The Jerome Kern musical 'Sally'. 1922 - 'The Cabaret Girl', again by Kern. 1923 - A Kern hat trick with 'The Beauty Prize'. 1927 - 'The Vagabond King'. 1929 - Fred and Adele Astaire starred in 'Funny Face'. 1930 - Sophie Tucker in the Vivian Ellis musical 'Follow a Star'. 1932 - Gracie Fields in 'Walk This Way'. 1933 - Lewis Casson in George Bernard Shaw's 'On the Rocks'. 1935 - 'Love on the Dole', starring Wendy Hiller. 1945 - A Donald Wolfit season. 1953 - Agatha Christie's 'Witness for the Prosecution'. 1956 - 'The Water Gypsies' by Vivian Ellis and A P Herbert; 'Hotel Paradiso' starring Alec Guinness, Douglas Byng, Irene Worth and featuring Billie Whitelaw as a maid; Tyrone Power in Shaw's 'The Devil Disciple'. 1958 - 'The Iceman Cometh'. 1959 - The theatre closed when the Rank Organisation sold it to a property developer. The Winter Garden was stripped and stood idle for many years whilst different plans for the site came and went. The building as it stands today consists of an underground car park, a cabaret venue, the New London Theatre, a basement nightclub/bar, several shops and a residential tower. 1972 - The New London's auditorium first opened, under the supervision of Bernard Delfont, with a television recording of Marlene Dietrich's one-woman show. 1973 - The official opening was in January with 'The Unknown Soldier and His Wife', written by and starring Peter Ustinov and featuring his daughter Tamara Ustinov and Brian Bedford; Grease followed with Richard Gere as Danny Zuko. 1974 - Sheila Hancock and George Cole starred in 'Deja Revue' directed by Victor Spinetti. 1975 - Bruce Forsyth had a successful run with his one-man show; various short seasons included ' Kwazulu', 'Africa's Musical Explosion' and John Hanson in Ivor Novello's 'Glamorous Night'. 1976 - 'Leave Him to Heaven', a rock and roll musical starring Brian Protheroe heading a cast that featured Steven Pacey and Anita Dobson. Bernard Miles starred in his Mermaid Theatre production of 'Treasure Island'. 1977 - 'Lionel', a musical created from the works of Lionel Bart with a cast that included Avis Bunnage, Marion Montgomery, Clarke Peters and a very young Todd Carty. Steven Berkoff directed and appeared in his own adaptation of Kafka's ' Metamorphosis'. 1978 - Berkoff's 'East' and 'The Fall of Usher'. 1977-1980 - The auditorium was used as a television studio, including early broadcasts of championship snooker. The whole building was occasionally put to use as a conference centre as had been intended in the building's revolutionary design. 1981 - The opening of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical 'Cats' starring Elaine Paige, Brian Blessed, Wayne Sleep, Paul Nicholas, Sarah Brightman and Bonnie Langford. Direction was by Trevor Nunn with choreography by Gillian Lynne. 1991 - The building was purchased by Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group, and, in turn, the 2000 saw it become part of the Really Useful Theatres when Andrew Lloyd Webber and Bridgepoint Capital purchased Stoll Moss Theatres. 2002 - January heard the announcement that 'Cats', the longest running musical in West End and Broadway history, was to close. The show ended the first of its nine lives, on its 21st birthday, 11th May 2002. The final performance was also broadcast on a large screen in the Covent Garden Piazza. 2003 - Bill Kenwright's new production of 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' saw the building welcoming new generations into its spacious foyers and auditorium.
Overall, I would go back to this theatre if they were to show a new production. When you walk in you feel as though you are walking into a part of history. So many famous plays, musicals and stars have appeared here that you feel as though you are walking in there footsteps. I would give this theatre a 4/5, not top marks I'm afraid as some seats can have a restricted view due to the safety bars but when I went the theatre was not full so you could have easily changed seats.
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