Apollo Victoria Theatre, London
The Stephen Schwartz musical Wicked that tells 'the untold story of the witches of Oz', based on the best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire
|Architect:E Warmsley Lewis with W E Trent|
Opened: 15 October 1930
Listed: Grade II*
|Seats: 2,208 on 2 levels|
Archive: Previous shows at this theatre
Originally built as a 'super-cinema' and called the New Victoria Cinema when it opened in 1930 with the film Old English, adapted from the stage play by John Galsworthy. This strikingly art deco cinema was designed, as were all super-cinemas of the period, with facilities for stage shows that would precede the cinema films.
The cinema closed in 1975, then reopened for live music venue on 15 September 1980 under it's present name. The opening show was a Shirley Bassey concert - and a review from the time said: "It was a tough test for the newly restored theatre, but it survived - no falling plaster or cracked Art Deco lampshades. The Apollo Victoria (formerly the New Victoria) is one of those medium-to-large cinemas now permanently given over to popular music. It was always good for sound, but now, with its plush interior rejuvenated, it's also a nice place to be." Since then other productions included The Sound of Music with Petula Clark in 1981, Camelot with Richard Harris in 1982, Dash with Wayne Sleep in 1983 and Fiddler on the Roof with Topol also in 1983. Then 1,262 seats where removed to accomodate a roller-skating track and much of the auditorium was painted black for the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Starlight Express which opened on 27 March 1984 and played for 7,406 performances up to 12 January 2002. After it closed the theatre was extensively refurbished - including the reinstatement of the seats removed to accommodate the Starlight Express skating track - and the interior was once again returned to its former glory. The new musical Bombay Dreams, presented by Andrew Lloyd Webber in his producing capacity, opened on 19 June 2002.
List of shows currently playing in London's West End