Shaftesbury Theatre, London
Current show: From 30 September 2013 by the World Premiere of Sir Tim Rice's new musical From Here to Eternity adapted from the novel by James Jones.
Architect: Bertie Crewe
Originally called the New Prince's Theatre when it opened on Boxing Day in 1911, the theatre changed it's name to the Prince's Theatre in 1914. The theatre was sold to E.M.I. in 1962 and, after a refit and redecoration, was re-opened in 1963 as the Shaftesbury Theatre. On 20 July 1973 parts of the ceiling fell in, closing the then current production of the musical Hair, and bringing with it the threat of 'redevelopment' (ie more office space) which fortunately was averted after a public campaign and the listing of the building by the Government in March 1974 which meant it was protected from redevelopment. More recently the theatre was refurbished in 1986.
This theatre has presented a wide range of productions, from musicals and operettas through to comedies and Shakespeare. In 1963 the musical How To Succed in Business Without Really Trying reopened the theatre after it's refit. The most (in)famous production here is probably the musical Hair with it's nude scene which opened days after stage censorship ended in September 1968. Just before Hair was going to celebrate it's 2,000 performance the run was cut short on 20 July 1973 when parts of the ceiling fell in! The theatre reopened in 1974 with a revival of the musical West Side Story, in 1980 Marvin Hamlisch's musical They're Playing Our Song enjoyed a successful run. More recent productions here include Stephen Sondheim's Follies, Kander and Ebb's Kiss of the Spider Woman, the Royal National Theatre's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel and The Who's Tommy.
The Shaftesbury Theatre hit the headlines in early 2002 when local residents complained about the noise from the show Umoja and the local council served an 'enforcement notice' to close the show down. Umoja managed to run for another year, firstly at The Queen's Theatre and then The New London Theatre.