Queen's Theatre, London
The Queen's Theatre was designed as a twin to the Globe Theatre (now called the Gielgud Theatre). On 24 September 1940 a bomb fell on the theatre destroying the entire front of house area along with part of the rear stalls. The theatre was subsequently used for rehearsals. The Queen's Theatre then reopened on 8 July 1959 after the front facade and front foyers had been rebuilt with a new modern exterior designed by Brian Westwood and Sir Hugh Casson. The theatre was refurbished in early 1992.
Productions here include the 1961 musical Stop the World - I Want To Get Off! with Anthony Newley which enjoyed a run of 485 performances. 1966 saw Noel Coward make his final stage appearance in Suite in Three Keys. Maggie Smith and Robert Stephens appeared together in Private Lives in 1972. In 1975 Otherwise Engaged had a run of 1,029 performances. 1982 saw Kenneth Branagh make his West End debut in Another Country while in 1987 Jeffrey Archer's first play Beyond Reasonable Doubt started a successful run of 17 months. More recent productions here include the Australian song-and-dance show Hot Shoe Shuffle, the Stephen Sondheim musical Passion with Michael Ball and Maria Friedman and Masterclass with Patti LuPone.
In 1999 theatre producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh's company Delfont Mackintosh Theatres bought the freehold of The Queen's Theatre and The Gielgud Theatre. A couple of years later Mackintosh took over the leasehold of The Queen's Theatre from Andrew Lloyd Webber's company Really Useful Theatres. Mackintosh is expected to take over the leasehold of The Gielgud Theatre from Really Useful Theatres 2006.
In 2003 theatre producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh announced plans to completely refurbish and re-model both theatres and include a new 500 seat studio theatre to be called The Sondheim Theatre, in honour of the American musical theatre writer Stephen Sondheim. The plan is to provide a shared foyer fronting onto Shaftesbury Avenue and to be located between both exisitng theatres. The Stalls and Dress Circle of The Queen's Theatre would be extended while the Upper Circle would be removed to make way for the new Sondheim Theatre at the top of the building.
The long running musical Les Miserables transferred to The Queen's Theatre on 3 April 2004 from its previous home, The Palace Theatre, a couple of hundred metres up Shaftesbury Avenue.
The Queen's Theatre is owned and managed by Delfont Mackintosh Theatres.