As many other venues in London, Prince of Wales Theater has a long and complicated history. It was demolished and renamed several times. In 2004 it was restored and now to visit this theater is a must have for those, who are interested in cultural life of London.
Prince of Wales Theatre History
The theater was founded in 1884. The place for the new theater was chosen thoroughly. It was located between Piccadilly Square and Leicester Square. Thus it was very accessible and many theater lovers visited it just because they were passing by!
It was designed by a famous theatrical architect Charles J. Phipps. The theater was one of the most beautiful in West End, London. The first manager of the theater used to be Edgar Bruce. Due to his efforts the theater soon became popular. In 1884 it was called “Prince’s Theater”. But two years later it got another name – “prince of Wales Theater”. It is entitled in that way till now.
The play “Dorothy”, staged in 1884, brought the first glory to the venue. It was on during many years, being the most popular musical at West End. Of course, some notable actors and singers of that time era performed on the stage of the theater. Thus, the lovers of that theater could see famous Hayden Coffin in numerous performances like “Dorothy”, “A Gaiety Girl” and some others. The other star, who appeared on the stage of Prince of Wales Theater, was Lily Elsie. She used to be the most beautiful woman of Edwardian Time Era. Lily Elsie was a prominent actress and singer of that period.
Gertrude Lawrence, Stanley Holloway, Jessie Mathews – the list of stars, who acted there, can be enumerated for ages. The shows of the theater became so popular that its capacity became too low for that amount of spectators, who wished to come here. In 1937 the theater was closed for restoration to make the building larger and more modern.
The second period of the history of Prince of Wales Theater started in 1937. The new building was designed by Robert Cromie. The new theatrical season was opened with the performance of Gracie Fields. She used to be a popular TV and musical star.
The new building of the theater was improved for both, spectators and actors. The stage became much larger and the amount of seats was increased to 1,100.
The theater was active enough during the World War II as well. Thus in 1941 famous talkie of Charley Chaplin was arranged here. In this show he parodied Hitler. Thus the actors of the theater tried to express their hatred to the regime of this dictator.
After the war many popular plays were staged in the theater. The members of the group of Prince Wales Theater were notable and that’s why the performances were always successful here. People came to admire the play of such popular actors as Vanessa Redgrave, Gemma Craven, Danny La Rue, Christopher Timothy, Michael Ball and many others.
In 2003 the theater was closed for reconstruction again. It was reopened in 2004. From that year the building of Prince of Wales Theater has been comfortable and modern. It is the sample of Art Deco style. According to this style, the building of the theater is decorated with symmetrical patterns and clear geometric shapes like rectangulars and zigzags. The auditorium became beautiful and comfortable here. The acoustic was the best.
That restored building of the theater is affordable for its visitors till the present time. Although after the restoration the building of the theater became very comfy, its constant visitors mention some drawbacks.
Thus there’s no enough room for legs at some seats. The seats at the right side of the theater are not comfortable as not each movement of actors can be noticed from there. The big staircase is quite tricky and there are no handrails, so for people, who have any problems with legs or are simply not fit, this staircase is a great challenge. But the shows there are really great!
Prince of Wales Theatre Plays
During two centuries of its existence Prince of Wales Theatre produced various popular plays.
As for the modern shows, which are held here, some of them are worth to be mentioned too. The musical “Let It Be” tells us about the cult music group “Beatles” and many other famous musical bands of 60s. To visit this performance is a great relax after the long and hard working week.
The other show, that was held here not long ago, is called “Mamma Mia”. It was the first show that opened the theater in 2004. The play is devoted to the cult band “ABBA”.
If you visit this theater in autumn, 2015, you will be able to see the play “The Book of Mormons”. Even if you know nothing about Mormons, you should visit this performance. It is very funny; you will laugh all the time during the show. But keep in mind, that this play is supposed for adult spectators only. If you plan to visit this play, you should know its time and prices for tickets.
Prince of Wales Theatre Opening Hours
Book of Mormons” is the owner of various nominations and awards. To visit it is a must have for theater lovers.
It is held at Prince of Wales Theater from Monday to Saturday at 19:30. There are two additional performances at a daytime on Thursday and Saturday. The prices for the show start from £35.00. The price depends on the seat you’ve chosen. The most expensive seats cost £254.00.
To get the tickets, you should contact the box office of the theater on phone, online or personally. The opening hours of the box office are from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 19:45.
The performance lasts 2 hours and a half with one intermission. During this intermission, you can have a drink in the bar.
How to Get to Prince of Wales Theater
Prince of Wales Theatre address is Coventry Street, London, W1D 6AS. The cheapest and the most convenient way to get there is by underground. There are two big tube stations nearby – Piccadilly Tube Station and Leicester Tube Station. You can get off at any of them.
You can come by bus too. In this case choose the following numbers – 38, 18, 19 and some others.
There are some car parks available nearby, so you can come here by car. Make sure, you have booked the place at car park in advance as it is a bit overcrowded, especially at weekends.
Prince of Wales Theater Shops and Restaurants
Several lovely bars are located just in the building of the theater, so if you are in mood to have a glass of cool Prosecco during the intermission, you are welcomed here! The prices are quite high, but it is a night out, so you can relax and get it!
If you are the lover of “Book of Mormons” you can get numerous souvenirs that are connected with this play at the Gift Shop, situated just here. Books with the text of the play, cups with citations and T shirts with the name of the play – if you like things of this kind, you are welcomed!
Prince of Wales Theater Contacts
This theater belongs now to Delfont Makintosh Theater Group. To contact the box office of the theater, you should phone – +44 0844 482 51 15
Or email at email@example.com!