Over Christmas 1998 Tom Conti starred in John Dowie's comedy monologue Jesus, My Boy that featured the story of the Navity from the point of view of Joseph as the bewildered Jewish dad. This was followed on February 1999 with another solo comedy show - Mark Little in Rob Becker's award winning comedy Defending the Caveman which enjoyed a very successful seven month season here. In September the new musical comedy A Saint She Ain't transferred here following a successful run at the fringe venue The King's Head. A British musical, written by Dick Vosburgh and Denis King, the show was a pastiche of the Hollywood film musicals of the 1940's and was very loosely based on Moliere's Le Cocu Imaginaire.
The year 2000 saw four shows stage here at the Apollo Theatre. First up in February was a transfer from Broadway of Warren Leight's autobiographical play about gigging jazz musicians called Side Man that dealt with the period from their heyday in the 1950's through to their dark years in the 1980's. The play starred Jason Priestly and Edie Falco and enjoyed a two month season before making way for musical comedy revue Personals - promoted as 'From the creators of Friends - about six people searching for love in the personal columns of New York newspapers which closed early after a seven week run. The National Youth Theatre moved in for a short two week season in September 2000 with a restaged production of their 1999 Edinburgh Festival hit They Shoot Horses Don't They? by Ray Herman from the novel by Horace McCoy. The year was then seen out by major revival of the Noel Coward comedy Fallen Angels starring Felicity Kendal and Frances de la Tour as the two 'fallen angels' which played a well received six month run before closing in April 2001. Next up was another femail 'double act', this time between Jenny Seagrove and Paula Wilcox in the West End Premiere of Neil Simon's The Female Odd Couple which had been adapted by the playwright himself from his hugely successful comedy The Odd Couple which managed a respectable two month run.
Following an acclaimed run at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury earlier in the year, John Doyle's landmark staging of the Gilbert and Sullivan's The Gondoliers opened here in July 2001. This marked the director John Doyle's first West End transfer with his now 'signature' approach to musical theatre of using casts who are both actors and musicians with them accompanying one another on musical instruments while simultaneously playing roles. This fun and well-received 'break-thru' production played a three month summer season, closing at the end of September 2001.
Fall 2001 saw the arrival of Noel Coward's last play Star Quality starring Penelope Keith. Originally written as a short story by Coward in 1951, he adapted it into a play in 1967, but it was never produced within his life time - and this production, running for five months and directed and adapted by Christopher Luscombe, marked the play's fully staged West End Premiere. Edward Hall's revival of William Somerset Maugham's classic comedy The Constant Wife then opened here in April 2002. Featuring an 'all-star' ensemble cast headed up by Jenny Seagrove and Simon Williams, this production proved popular, running here for three months before moving 'next door' to the Lyric Theatre where it run for a further three-and-a-half months. Elijah Moshinsky's revival of Anthony Shaffer's thriller Sleuth opened in July 2002 starring Peter Bowles and Gray O'Brien. This was the thriller's first West End revival since 1978 and was well recieved with the run being extended and the two central roles being taken over by Ian Ogilvy and Jonathan Kerrigan before it closed after a run of seven months.
In February 2003 Dawn French opened in Geraldine Aron's one-woman comedy play My Brilliant Divorce which enjoyed a twelve week season. Sean Holmes' revival of Arthur Miller's classic play The Price starring Warren Mitchell transferred here to the Apollo Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue in September 2003 following a season at the Tricycle Theatre in North-West London. This major revival enjoyed a four month run before closing in January 2004. The first new production of 2004 was the the London premiere of Edward Albee's somewhat controversial play The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? in April 2004. Directed by Anthony Page and starring Jonathan Pryce and his 'real-life' wife Kate Fahy, the Tony-award winning play concerned Martin (played by Jonathan Pyrce) having to tell his wife Stevie (Kate Fahy) and son (played in an early West End role by Eddie Redmayne) about his rather taboo-breaking 'relationship' with a certain goat. The rest of the year was then seen out by rather more light-hearted entertainment. First in September 2004 it was Ross Noble with his show titled Noodlemeister which enjoyed a four week run followed by the return to London's West End of the entertainment Puppetry of the Penis for a three week run and then Bill Bailey with his stand-up comedy show Part Troll which enjoyed an extended ten week season up to 1 January 2005.
2005 saw three productions play at the Apollo Theatre - in February it was a revival of David Mamet's A Life in The Theatre starring Patrick Stewart and Joshua Jackson, in May it was the transfer from the Theatre Royal Stratford of the new musical Big Life. Advertised as a 'feel-good ska musical' it was based loosely on Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost as it told the story of a group of immigrants to London from the Caribbean during the 1950s. This was followed by a transfer from the Donmar Warehouse of Phyllida Lloyd's revival of Friedrich Schiller's historical drama Mary Stuart with Janet McTeer in the title role of 'Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots' playing opposite Harriet Walter as 'Queen Elizabeth I'.
The following year was marked by revivals of works by three notable 20th Century American playwrights. Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin then starred as George and Martha in Edward Albee's classic play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. The production, directed by Anthony Page, had already enjoyed a critically acclaimed run in New York before transferring to London's West End where it played for a strictly limited four run season. Sam Shepard's play Fool for Love was then revived starring Juliette Lewis and Martin Henderson and directed by Lindsay Posner while in October 2006 Adrian Noble's production of Tennessee Williams' drama Summer and Smoke starring Rosamund Pike and Chris Carmack which closed early after running for six weeks and leaving the theatre dark over the Christmas and New Year period.
The next production in January 2007 was scheduled to be a major production of Richard and Robert Sherman's musical Over Here! but this was cancelled after the theatre was booked instead to house a revival of another Tennessee Williams' revival, The Glass Menagerie starring Jessica Lange and directed by Rupert Goold. Antony Sher then took the title role in a major revival of Jean Paul Sartre's play Kean which was directed by Adrian Nobel. The rest of 2007 was taken up firstly by a short two week Summer season from Danish choreographer Peter Schaufuss of his dance show Satisfaction which was based around the songs of the Rolling Stones which was followed in October by Jonathan Pryce and Aidan Gillen starring in a revival of David Mamet's play Glengarry Glen Ross which run up to January 2008 - the show was marketed as a '25th Anniversary' production as the first London production was produced at the National Theatre's Cottesloe Theatre in September 2008.
Filling in from January 2008 before the next major production was a short four week season of the one-man stage show An Audience With the Mafia which promised to reveal the secrets of the most powerful men in America. The rest of 2008 was then taken up firstly by Felicity Kendal and Dan Stevens starring in a traditional production of Noel Coward's The Vortex staged by Peter Hall, the return of Danish choreographer Peter Schaufuss with another of his dance shows for a two week season, this time based around the lives and songs made famous by Edith Piaf, Marlene Dietrich and Judy Garland in a show titled Divas. In September 2008 the stage version of Rain Man, adapted from the 1988 movie starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. The stage version featured Josh Hartnett as 'Charlie' (the Tom Cruise role) while Adam Godley played his older autistic brother, 'Raymond' (played by Dustin Hoffman in the movie). Filling in before the next major production was a short four week season of Lisa Kron's Tony Award nominated play Well. Starring Sarah Miles and Natalie Casey as mother and daughter, the production was a transfer from the small Trafalgar Studio 2 where it had earlier played for a three week season.
The first production of 2009 was a major revival of Richard Greenberg's 'three-hander' play Three Days of Rain which opened in February - the original production at the small Donmar Warehouse had been well received ten year previously - and this production, featuring James McAvoy, Nigel Harman and Lyndsey Marshall along with 'real rain' was equally well received, playing for three months up to May 2009. The following month choreographer Peter Schaufuss returned to the Apollo Theatre for the third year running with a short two week season of his latest dance show, Marilyn. Featuring original music from Marilyn Monroe's movies and performances, the show told the story behind the image of troubled Hollywood icon with a company of 15 dancers.
In June 2009 Novel Theatre brought in their stage version of the Nina Bawden's Carrie's War, which had been touring, for a three month summer season with an ensemble cast that featured Prunella Scales and Kacey Ainsworth. The rest of the year was then taken up by a number of 'entertainments': Firstly in September the standup comedian Ross Noble brought his new show called Things to the Apollo Theatre for a six week run which was followed by the comedian Dylan Moran and his show What It Is which also played a six week season. Starting in November Tall Stories' musical adaptation of the award winning children's picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler The Gruffalo returned to the West End to play for a special seven week Christmas season. Playing in the evenings over Christmas and the New Year was the chanteuse Camille O'Sullivan with her cabaret style concert show.
The first new show of 2010 was a transfer from the Royal Court Theatre of Jez Butterworth's play Jerusalem starring Mark Rylance which played to complete sell-out 'standing room only' audiences during its three month run. This was then followed by the Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds with her semi-autobiographical one-woman show as she celebrated 50 years in show business with a limited 12 performance season of Debbie Reynolds: Alive and Fabulous during April 2010. Serious drama then returned when in May 2010 Howard Davies 're-staged' his 2000 revival of Arthur Miller's All My Sons but with a new cast that featured David Suchet and Zoe Wanamaker. In October Rufus Norris revived the Clifford Odets' play The Country Girl starring Martin Shaw and Jenny Seagrove.
Leslie Jordan presented his autobiographical one man show My Trip Down the Pink Carpet, based on his book with the same title, for a three week season in February 2011 which was followed in March by a major revival of Noel Coward's classic comedy Blithe Spirit (transferring from the Theatre Royal Bath) with Alison Steadman taking on the 'Madame Arcati' role with Robert Bathurst as the husband 'Charles' and Ruthie Henshall as his deceased first wife 'Elvira'. Having already played a well-received season at the Gielgud Theatre during 2010, the new stage version of the classic 1980s television comedy Yes Prime Minister came to the Apollo Theatre in July 2011 before returning once again to the Gielgud Theatre in September. Having transferred to Broadway, Jez Butterworth's play Jerusalem returned to London's Apollo Theatre for another sell-out season running from October 2011 to January 2012 with Mark Rylance once again reprising his award-winning central role of Johnny Byron.
Christopher Luscombe's revival of Alan Bennett's The Madness of George III - transferring to London's West End from the Theatre Royal Bath and the first revival of this large cast play since its original 1991 production - opened in January 2012 starring David Haig in the title role. This was followed in April 2012 by a major revival of Eugene O'Neill's play Long Day's Journey into Night directed by Anthony Page and starring David Suchet as 'James Tyrone'.
In August 2012 the National Youth Music Theatre presented Jason Robert Brown's 13 the Musical for a strictly limited 6 performance season in a specially staged production directed by Jason Robert Brown. The day after it finished, on Sunday 26 August Jason Robert Brown performed a concert of his songs helped by a number of special guest stars. Later that month the children's character Dora the Explorer - from the television programme - was presented in a live stage musical adventure for a short three week season. September 2012 saw the Tony and Olivier and Tony Award winning stage, screen and television actor Roger Rees present his one man show based around William Shakespeare called What You Will for three weeks which was followed by a week-long concert season by the Tony Award winning actress Idina Menzel. Best known for originating the role of 'Elphaba' in the musical Wicked on Broadway, which she subsequently reprised in the original West End production, she performed a range of songs from her diverse repertoire.
The Shakespeare's Globe Theatre then presented two William Shakespeare plays together in repertory, both 'all male, original practices' productions and featuring Mark Rylance in lead roles. First was Tim Carroll's revival of his 2002 production of Twelfth Night with Mark Rylance reprising his role as 'Olivia' with Stephen Fry joining the cast as 'Malvolio' which was performed alongside Tim Carroll's new production of Richard III with Mark Rylance in the title role. In order to endeavour to go some way to replicate the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre's 'in-the-round' performance space in a traditional proscenium arch theatre, some audience seats where placed around the side and rear of the stage. This was followed by the critically acclaimed The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time, based on Mark Haddon's 2003 novel, which transferred here in March 2013 following a successful run at the National Theatre. Unfortunately, due to part of the ceiling falling in during the performance on 19 December 2013, all further performances were cancelled and the production transferred to the Gielgud Theatre from 24 June 2014.
After remedial work had been carried on the ceiling in the auditorium, including the addition of a false ceiling, the first production to 're-open' the theatre was John Tiffany's stage production of John Ajvide Lindqvist's Let the Right One In which was presented by the National Theatre of Scotland from March to August 2014. This was followed by a transfer from the St James Theatre in London's Victoria of the musical Urinetown which played for a limited four month season up to January 2015.
The first new show here at the Apollo Theatre in 2015 was a transfer from the Donmar Warehouse of Robert Hastie's 20th Anniversary revival of Kevin Elyot's comedy My Night With Reg which played a twelve week season. In May 2015 Stephen Daldry's staging of Peter Morgan's play The Audience was remounted for a second season, this time starring Kristin Scott Thomas as 'Queen Elizabeth II'. In August 2015 real life father and son James Fox and Jack Fox starring in Michael Simkins' staged adaptation of father and son Roger Mortimer and Charlie Mortimer's novel Dear Lupin which played for a seven week season over the summer. The comedy farce Peter Pan Goes Wrong played a two month season over Christmas and New Year, well received, the production returns for another holiday season here in October 2016. In February 2016 Christopher Luscombe's acclaimed production of Jessica Swale's acclaimed new play Nell Gwynn transferred here from Shakespeare's Globe for a three month season with Gemma Arterton taking over the title role for this West End outing. May 2016 saw the return to the London stage of Michael Crawford in a chamber musical stage adaptation of LP Hartley's The Go Between. This was followed by a return Christmas season of the comedy Peter Pan Goes Wrong.
The first two productions here at the Apollo Theatre in 2017 where transfers from South London's Menier Chocolate Factory - firstly in February it was Patrick Marber's revival of Tom Stoppard's Travesties starring Tom Hollander and Freddie Fox and then, following in May, was Trevor Nunn's revival of Terence Rattigan's Love in Idleness Eve Best and Anthony Head. In July 2017 Benedict Andrews' revival of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof starring Sienna Miller and Jack O'Connell opened. In November 2017 the new musical Everybody's Talking About Jamie opened here at the Apollo Theatre. During August 2018 there where special daytime performances of the children's show Horrible Histories, and during Christmas 2019 special daytime performances of The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. The COVID-19 situation forced Everybody's Talking About Jamie to close in March 2020, but it reopened a year later, playing for a further seven months. During August 2021 Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain 5 was presented for a special season of daytime performances.
In October 2021 Mischief Theatre presented a four month season of their comedy Magic Goes Wrong which had previous played a three month run at the Vaudeville Theatre in early 2020 which had been cut short due to COVID-19 restriction.