The building of the theatre is massive and extremely white – that’s why your heart is filled up with sweet emotions, when you just look at it. There are faces of some statues at the façade of the venue. The building is decorated with moldings. The windows are quite small and square, and it makes the building look too inaccessible and untouchable at least for people who like huge round windows and open balconies.
Victoria Palace Theatre is worth to be included in your tour, if you plan to come to London and make the list of sights you are going to attend.
Victoria Palace Theatre History
The building of the theater looks very natural among other buildings in historical aristocratic London. This theater is one of the main sites in the capital of Great Britain. No wonder, because it was built long ago, in the 19th century and till now it is popular and attended by thousands of tourists every year.
The theater was founded in 1832. Then it was just a small room that was situated on the second floor of the old building of a hotel. Under the premise of the theater the stable was situated, that’s why during the performance spectators could hear horses neighing. In spite of this fact the small theater became very popular. Funny light minded musical plays were staged there. Then it had no special name and was called just “Music Hall”.
In 1850 the wealthy businessman John Moy has bought the theatre and rebuilt it. He called it Moy’s Music Hall. The repertoire of the theater wasn’t changed, remaining light minded and relaxing.
Later it was bought by another rich man, Alfred Brown. He restored the building of the theater, made it much bigger and more modern and called Royal Standard Music Hall.
In 1910 Music Hall was demolished. The new, extremely expensive building was created on the place of former music hall. ₤12,000 were spent to create beautiful and well decorated modern building. In fact, not far from former Music Hall Victoria Station was built. It was one of the first railways in the country. The station nearby made the place vivid and very active! The theater was supposed to become very popular. That’s why the architect, Frank Matcham, has got a very difficult task. He coped with it perfectly and created really massive and solid building, decorated with moldings and statues; the floor and the walls inside of the building were trimmed in golden and multicolored glass.
The theater was designed with the latest technology (as it was in 1910). The roof of the building was sliding. Thus even in hot July the atmosphere inside of the theater was always fresh and cool. Nowadays, due to conditions, it is possible to cool the air even without moving its roof, but still the roof is slide away during the summer months – it is a tribute to tradition.
Victoria Palace Theatre Plays
As it was mentioned above, Victoria Palace Theatre used to be a music hall. Of course, the main part of its plays consisted of musicals and burlesques and nobody was expected to watch a serious dramatic play here.
The troupe of the theater had made a great work, trying to change people’s opinion about the repertoire of the venue.
In 1910 the theater was opened with a variety show. The impresario of the theater used to be famous in those times Alfred Butt. Under his supervising, many variety stars acted on the stage of Victoria Palace Theatre at the beginning of the former century.
In 1934 the troupe of the theater decided to stage popular “Young England”. This play was really famous that year and many London theaters had already staged it. Patriotic melodrama seemed to be too serious for light minded music hall. The play got many negative reviews from critics, but unexpectedly, the negative feedback made the play so popular, that it was shown more than 200 times at the stage of the theater and thus became cult!
After that play many various performances were given in the theater. Thus people could admire “Me and My Girl” in 1948, “The Crazy Gang” in 1946, in 70s people could admire the film stars, who acted on the stage of the theater. Thus they could see Elizabeth Taylor, Max Bygraves, Basil Brush and many others.
Of course, modern plays that are staged at the theater are also worth your attention. The most popular among modern plays is “Billy Elliot”. It was staged in 2005 for the first time and the tickets will have been sold till the 17th of December, 2016. The show lasts three hours, including 20 minutes of interval, so three hours of pleasure are guaranteed to the audience!
Victoria Palace Theatre Opening Hours
Victoria Palace Theatre is opened daily from 10:00 am till 19:45 . The day off is Sunday. So, from Monday to Saturday you can come inside of the theater admire its beauty and golden moldings. You can watch the statue of dancing ballerina (they say, it is Anna Pavlov) and pop into the box office. If you plan to visit some show, you should get the ticket in advance. The price for tickets for every show is different. An average price is £25; there are some discounts for children.
The time of every show is defined separately, so you should learn it in advance too, not to be late.
Victoria Palace Theatre Address: Victoria St, London SW1E 5EA, United Kingdom
As it was told, Victoria Railway Station is situated nearby, so you can come by train. The bus routes are also affordable here, so take one of them and come to the theater!
Bus routes are 11, 36, 8, 211, 24, 73, 511 38. You choice depend on direction you are going to come from.
If you have a car, you can use it to get here. There are some car parks nearby, but keep in mind, that they can be occupied, as the capacity of the theater is more than 1,500 seats, so it is better to book in advance!
Victoria Palace Theatre Shop and Restaurants
When you plan the visit to the theater, of course, you want to have great dinner in the restaurant too or to get various souvenirs. Unfortunately, there are no shops or restaurants just in the building of Victoria Palace Theatre but there are plenty of them within 5 minutes walk.
Thus you can visit “Cardinal Place Shopping Centre” and get some chocolate there or pop into the vintage shop “Cornucopia” and get some souvenirs. Go to “Next” and get some new fashionable clothes or visit “Moss Bros” to get solid men’s suit for the next visit to the theater, probably.
To have dinner it is possible at “Zizzi Victoria”, “Eat Café” or “Wagamama”. They are situated within 1 minute walk from the theater.
Victoria Palace Theatre Сontacts
To contact Victoria Palace Theater, use the phone number: +44 (0) 844 248 5000. It is the number of the box office. Otherwise you can contact them via email: VPEnquiries@delfontmackintosh.co.uk.
Victoria Palace Theater is the place, you should come to!