skip to Main Content
prince edward theatre

The Prince Edward Theatre London: An Iconic Venue in the Heart of Soho

London’s West End is home to some of the most historic and iconic theatres in the world, and one of these venues is the Prince Edward Theatre.

Located in the bustling neighbourhood of Soho, this theatre has been entertaining audiences for over a century.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the history of this iconic venue, its importance in London’s entertainment industry and what makes it a must-visit spot for theatre enthusiasts.

A Brief History of The Prince Edward Theatre London

The Prince Edward Theatre was designed by architect Edward A. Stone for theatre impresario Frank Curzon and opened on 3rd April 1930. It was originally named as “The London Casino” but later known as “The Prince Edward Theatre”.

The opening night featured two musicals, including “Rio Rita” which ran for over a year. Over the years, it has undergone several transformations and renovations to keep up with modern times without losing its original charm.

One significant renovation took place in 1999 when Cameron Mackintosh turned it into a state-of-the-art musical venue at an estimated cost of £12 million. The transformation included installing air conditioning, improving acoustics and stage facilities.

The Importance of The Prince Edward Theatre London

The theatre industry plays an essential role in London’s economy as it contributes significantly to tourism revenues.

It also serves as a platform for aspiring actors, actresses, directors and playwrights to showcase their talent while providing audiences with an immersive experience that could only be found in live performances.

The Prince Edward Theatre has hosted numerous successful productions over the years such as “Anything Goes”, “Mary Poppins”, “Miss Saigon” among others – making it one of the most sought-after venues in the West End.

Besides, it has also gained international recognition with its productions being staged in other countries like Australia, New Zealand, Japan and so on. Moreover, it has won several awards and accolades over the years, including the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival for “Miss Saigon” in 2015.

These achievements are a testament to its significance not only within London’s entertainment industry but also worldwide. With an impressive history and ongoing relevance in London’s entertainment industry, The Prince Edward Theatre stands out as a historic landmark that continues to captivate audiences through enthralling live performances.

prince Edward theatre

Location and Architecture

A Home in Soho:

The Prince Edward Theatre London is located in the bustling neighbourhood of Soho, in the City of Westminster. This vibrant area is known for its diverse culture, thriving nightlife, and entertainment scene.

The theatre itself is situated on Old Compton Street, a lively street lined with restaurants, cafes, and shops, making it an ideal location for pre- or post-show dining or shopping. The area also boasts excellent transport links to other parts of London, making it easy for visitors to access the theatre.

A Masterpiece of Art Deco Design:

The Prince Edward Theatre London is a masterpiece of art deco design. It was designed by renowned architect Edward A. Stone and opened its doors in 1930 as a cinema before being converted into a theatre in 1936.

The exterior features a striking terracotta façade with geometric patterns and stylized figures that epitomize the glamour and luxury of the art deco era. Inside, visitors are greeted by an impressive foyer adorned with intricate plasterwork and ornate light fixtures.

The auditorium itself boasts three levels of seating with stunning views from every angle. The proscenium arch is adorned with a mosaic depicting “The Seven Ages Of Man,” which serves as a beautiful backdrop to each performance.

The Importance of Design:

The architecture and design of the Prince Edward Theatre London are not only visually stunning but also play an essential role in creating an immersive experience for audiences.

From the moment visitors step through the doors, they are transported to another world where they can forget about their everyday lives and become engrossed in the magic happening on stage. The art deco design also adds to the overall ambiance of each production held at the theatre.

Whether it’s a classic musical or contemporary play, visitors will feel like they are part of the performance in an environment that is both elegant and inviting.

Overall, the Prince Edward Theatre London’s location in Soho and its magnificent art deco architecture make it a must-visit for not only theatre enthusiasts but anyone who appreciates exceptional design and cultural landmarks.

prince edward theatre

Productions and Performances

A Legacy of Iconic Productions:

Since its opening in 1930, the Prince Edward Theatre London has seen a plethora of iconic productions fill its stage. One such production is the renowned musical “Evita,” which graced the theatre’s stage for over eight years.

Other notable musicals that have had successful runs at the Prince Edward Theatre include “Crazy for You” and “Mary Poppins.”

The theatre has also seen its fair share of plays, including Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” and Tennessee Williams’ classic play, “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Aside from musicals and plays, the Prince Edward Theatre has played host to numerous live events over the years.

These events range from comedy shows to charity concerts featuring some of the biggest names in music. With such an impressive history of productions and performances, it’s no wonder that the Prince Edward Theatre maintains a reputation as one of London’s most beloved entertainment venues.

Contributing to London’s Theatre Scene:

The Prince Edward Theatre London has made significant contributions to London’s theatre scene since its inception.

Located in the heart of Soho, it is easily accessible by public transportation and draws audiences from all over the city. The theatre has been instrumental in bringing new works and unique stage shows to London audiences.

Moreover, the variety of productions hosted at Prince Edward Theatre throughout its history have ensured that there is something for everyone who visits this renowned venue.

From timeless classics like “Cabaret” to contemporary hits like “Jersey Boys,” audiences can always expect quality productions that showcase diverse talents across acting, singing, dancing, and other performing arts.

Overall, Prince Edward Theatre is an important hub for artistic expression within London’s vibrant theatre scene. Its rich history speaks volumes about its commitment to providing top-notch entertainment while setting high standards throughout the industry.

Behind-the-scenes: Technicalities and Operations

The Production Process at Prince Edward Theatre London:

The process of putting together a production at the Prince Edward Theatre London involves multiple stages, from pre-production to opening night. The first step is selecting a show and securing the rights to perform it.

Once this is done, the creative team begins work on casting, set design, costume design, lighting design, sound design, and choreography. Rehearsals begin several weeks before opening night and are held daily until the show is ready for an audience.

During rehearsals, actors work with directors to refine their performances while technical teams focus on creating a seamless production from start to finish. The stage manager oversees all aspects of the production, ensuring that everyone is working together in harmony.

Technical Aspects and Their Contribution:

Lighting, sound, and stage design are critical components of any successful production at the Prince Edward Theatre London.

Lighting enhances mood and atmosphere by illuminating key areas of the stage or creating shadows for dramatic effect. Sound design involves creating audio effects that enhance or support what’s happening on stage while ensuring that performers are heard clearly by everyone in the audience.

Stage design covers everything from set construction to prop placement. Every detail must be carefully considered to ensure that it not only looks great but also supports the performers’ movements and enhances their performances.

Together these technical elements contribute significantly to a successful production at Prince Edward Theatre London. They create an immersive experience for audiences that transports them into different worlds while showcasing top-notch performances by actors who bring characters to life on stage.

The Role of Technical Teams:

The technical teams at Prince Edward Theatre play an essential role in bringing productions to life. From designing sets and costumes to programming lighting cues or running sound effects during shows – they work tirelessly behind-the-scenes so that audiences can enjoy a seamless performance.

The technical teams are responsible for ensuring that each show runs smoothly, from the first rehearsal to the final curtain call. They work closely with the creative team and performers to achieve a precise and polished production.

The result is a memorable experience for both audiences and performers alike. Technical aspects play a crucial role in creating a successful production at Prince Edward Theatre London.

From lighting design to sound effects, every detail must be carefully considered to ensure that audiences are transported into different worlds while experiencing top-notch performances by talented actors who bring characters to life on stage.

The technical teams at Prince Edward Theatre play an integral role in bringing these productions together and delivering unforgettable experiences for all who attend.

prince edward theatre

Unique Features

Vintage Charm of the Theatre:

One of the most unique features that sets Prince Edward Theatre apart from other theatres in London is its vintage charm.

The architecture and design of the theatre exude a classic appeal that makes it stand out from its modern counterparts. The theatre’s interior is adorned with intricate designs, plush seating, and ornate chandeliers, creating a rich ambiance that enhances the audience’s experience.

The theatre also boasts state-of-the-art technology and equipment that complements the vintage look while providing top-notch audio-visual quality. These elements combine to create an immersive experience for audiences, transporting them into a different world altogether.

The Circle Bar:

Another unique feature that makes Prince Edward Theatre stand out is its Circle Bar. Located on the first floor of the theatre, this bar offers an enchanting view of Old Compton Street through its large windows.

The décor in this bar is inspired by Art Deco style and features mirrored walls and furniture, creating a sophisticated atmosphere.

The Circle Bar offers a wide range of drinks and refreshments to choose from, including cocktails specially created for productions currently running at the theatre.

This bar also serves as an excellent meeting point before or after performances – allowing audiences to immerse themselves fully in their theatrical experience while socializing with friends or colleagues.

Location:

One undeniable unique feature that sets Prince Edward Theatre apart from others is its location in Soho – one of London’s most vibrant neighbourhoods.

Soho has long been known as London’s entertainment hub due to its diverse range of theatres, cinemas, clubs and restaurants catering to all tastes. Prince Edward Theatre is located right in the heart of Soho surrounded by some of London’s best bars and restaurants making it easy for theatre-goers to grab something to eat or drink before or after performances.

Being situated in such a lively neighbourhood adds to the theatre’s unique charm and provides for an all-encompassing entertainment experience that is hard to find elsewhere.

Prince Edward Theatre London stands out from other theatres in London due to its vintage charm, state-of-the-art technology, and unique features like the Circle Bar located in Soho.

These elements combine to create an immersive experience for audiences, transporting them into a different world altogether. Whether you are a theatre enthusiast or simply looking for an enjoyable night out with friends or family, Prince Edward Theatre is worth visiting – and exploring Soho while you’re at it!

Famous Faces

A Stage for Legends:

Throughout its long and illustrious history, the Prince Edward Theatre London has played host to some of the greatest talents in theatre.

Among the many iconic actors and actresses who have graced its stage are Hollywood legends such as Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and Marlene Dietrich. These performers helped establish the Prince Edward as a premier venue for West End productions that would become legendary in their own right.

Directors Who Shaped the Theatre:

The Prince Edward Theatre London has also attracted some of the most innovative theatre directors in history. One such figure is Bob Fosse, whose work on shows like “Chicago” and “Cabaret” revolutionized Broadway musicals.

Fosse brought his signature brand of choreography to the Prince Edward Theatre with his production of “Pippin,” which ran for over 700 performances in 1973-74.

Other notable directors who have worked at the Prince Edward include Michael Blakemore, who directed “Kiss Me, Kate” there in 2001, and Harold Prince, whose production of “Show Boat” won multiple Olivier Awards in 1991.

Conclusion

Prince Edward Theatre London is a vital part of London’s entertainment industry. It has a rich history dating back to the 1930s and has been home to many fantastic productions over the years.

In this essay, we explored the location and architecture of the theatre, the productions and performances that have taken place there, behind-the-scenes technicalities and operations, unique features that set it apart from other theatres in London, and famous faces who have graced its stage.

One thing that sets Prince Edward Theatre apart from other theatres in London is its unique features such as its grand staircase, art-deco design details, and spacious auditorium.

These features enhance audience experience and make every visit to the theatre memorable. Additionally, its location in Soho makes it easily accessible via public transport for both locals and tourists alike.

The technical aspects of production at Prince Edward Theatre are also impressive. Everything from lighting to sound is carefully planned out to ensure that each show is a success.

The dedicated team behind each production works tirelessly to bring each performance to life. Prince Edward Theatre London is a must-visit for anyone interested in experiencing live entertainment in London.

From iconic productions such as Miss Saigon and Mary Poppins to stunning stage design elements like the revolving stage in Evita, there is always something new and exciting happening at this remarkable venue.

Holly Jay

I Love Musical Theatre and made the Theatre Queen Blog To Share My Experiences, Reviews & Theatre News.