This 'Italian Renaissance' style theatre is one of the largest in London and was styled as a 'People's Palace of Entertainment and Art' - some 67,000 people visited The London Coliseum in its opening week - there where four two hour performances each day running from 12noon to 11.00pm. The large external revolving 'Globe' feature at the top of the building caused a problem with the Local Council who said it contravened the London Building Act - a compromise solution was found where the globe did not move itself but was fitted with internal lights that flashed on and off to give the impression of the globe revolving around. In January 2002 a major refurbishment started and was completed in January 2004, in time to celebrate the theatre's centenary year.
The theatre initially presented a range of variety of shows before becoming a 'legit' theatre in 1931. For the ten years from 1947 the theatre became synominous with the big American musicals as, one after the other, Annie Get Your Gun, Kiss Me Kate, Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, Bells Are Ringing where all presented here.
The London Coliseum became the new home of The Sadler's Wells Opera Company - renamed The English National Opera - in 1968 since when they have presented annual season's of opera - all sung in English - interspersed by visiting company's such as The English National Ballet.
Architect: Frank Matcham
Opened: 24 December 1904
Listed: Grade II*
Seats: 2,558 on 4 levels