The London Palladium, London
Current show: The first West End revival of Michael Bennett's A Chorus Line about the lives and loves of a group of actors auditioning to be a 'the chorus line' of a show
Architect: Frank Matcham
In the 1880s the site of the present theatre was home to Hengler's Circus. The current theatre was built in 1910 and presented variety. It was originally named The Palladium before changing to the now familiar name The London Palladium in 1934.
The London Palladium became familiar to many millions in the mid-1950s with the weekly television variety show Sunday Night at The London Palladium - a format that was revived some years later in the late 1980s with Live From The Palladium. The theatre has also been used for concerts - perhaps the most famous one being the 1960s Judy Garland / Liza Minnelli concert which was televised on television. Other American stars that have headlined here include during the 1950s and 60s include Ethel Merman, Frank Sinatra, Danny Kaye, Bob Hope, Liberace and others.
In 1931 the London Palladium saw the emergence of a group of comedians who together formed what became to be known as the famous Crazy Gang who occupied the theatre from June 1931 through to Oct 1939.
From the 1980s in particular the London Palladium become associated with large scale musicals - The King and I with Yul Brynner and Virginia McKenna, Barnum with Michael Crawford, Singin' in the Rain with Tommy Steele, the short lived Ziegfeld with Topol, La Cage Aux Follies with George Hearn and Denis Quilley, the Opera North/Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Show Boat, Oliver! with Jonathan Pryce and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang starring Michael Ball.
Unfortunately, inorder to accommodate the mechanism that allows the car Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to fly over the stalls audience, the drum revolve under the stage has had to be removed.