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The Elephantom at the New London Theatre

April 11, 2014 

The National Theatre’s hit show The Elephantom is great fun for all the family.

Following an acclaimed and sold-out season at the National Theatre’s Shed, The Elephantom charges its way into the New London Theatre for a series of daytime performances throughout the summer.

Based on Ross Collins’ much-loved books, The Elephantom is great entertainment for young and old and uses a magical mix of puppetry, movement, dance and music to tell the story of the little girl who is unexpectedly visited by a big blue elephant.

The perfect summer treat for all the family.

THE STORY

The Elephantom is the tale of a little girl who one day finds a big blue elephant has turned up at her door. At first, the little girl is thrilled to have a ghost-elephant living in her house. He makes life so much more fun! But Elephantoms are a bit too big for houses and before long, he’s causing a lot of trouble. Come and join the fun with this intriguing story that fuels the imagination and touches the heart. The story of one little girl and her larger-than-life friend is set to get very messy indeed!

Cinema screening: War Horse live from the New London Theatre

October 18, 2013 

From 27 February 2014

War Horse

War Horse

National Theatre Live will broadcast to cinemas the National Theatre’s internationally acclaimed production of War Horse, live from the New London Theatre in the West End on 27 February 2014.

Based on Michael Morpurgo’s acclaimed novel and adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford, War Horse is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, designed by Rae Smith, with puppet direction, design and fabrication by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler for Handspring Puppet Company, lighting by Paule Constable, and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick, with video design by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer, songmaker John Tams, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt.

LINKS

National Theatre Live

THEATRE: Book tickets to War Horse at the New London Theatre

 

New London Theatre Theatre Box Office – What’s On

February 11, 2013 

What’s playing and coming up at the New London Theatre.

West End Production Of War Horse Now Booking To February 2014 As New Cast Members Join The Company At The New London Theatre

January 29, 2013 

The National Theatre’s internationally acclaimed stage production of War Horse today releases over 100,000 new tickets for sale for the West End production, taking booking at the New London Theatre to 15 February 2014. War Horse, which has now been seen by over 1.6million people in London and by over 3 million people worldwide, received its world premiere at the National Theatre in October 2007.

At the outbreak of World War One, Joey, young Albert’s beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. He’s soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man’s land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home.

Now celebrating its sixth year on the London stage, Nick Stafford’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s book continues to play to sell-out houses at the New London Theatre. The Broadway production of War Horse, which recently completed its run at the Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater, was the winner of six Tony Awards including a Special Tony Award for Handspring Puppet Company. A North American tour of War Horse opened in Los Angeles in June 2012, and continues to tour the US throughout 2013. A new production with an all-Australian cast opened at the Melbourne Arts Centre State Theatre on 31 December 2012, and will go on to play seasons in Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland. A tour of the UK and Ireland begins in September 2013 at Plymouth Theatre Royal and a German language production opens in October 2013 at the historic Theater des Westens in Berlin.

The new West End cast, from 9 March 2013, comprises Gareth Aled (Joey/Topthorn Head), Nigel Allen (Joey/Topthorn Head), Antony Antunes (Topthorn Hind), Derek Arnold (Joey / Topthorn Hind), Alex Avery (Captain Nicholls), Oliver Beamish (Sergeant Allan), Richard Booth (Topthorn Head), Alistair Brammer (Billy Narracott), Ashleigh Cheadle (Baby Joey), Eke Chukwu (Rudi), Darren Cockrill (Joey /Topthorn Heart), Ewen Cummins (Chapman Carter / Soldat Schmidt), Tamsin Fessey (Baby Joey), Nicholas Hart (Joey Head), Paul Hawkyard (Sergeant Thunder), Tom Hodgkins (Arthur Narracott), Jamie Kenna (Ted Narracott), Pieter Lawman (John Greig), Andrew London (Joey Heart), Brian Lonsdale (Thomas Bone), Josh McCord (David Taylor), Dogan Mehmet (Songman), Tom Meredith (Goose /Unteroffizier Klebb), Ben Murray (Songman), Steve North (Dr Schweyk/ Sergeant Fine), Lewis Peploe (Joey/Topthorn Hind), Sergio Priftis (Topthorn Heart), William Rycroft (Captain Stewart), Jack Sandle (Gefreiter Karl), Ian Shaw (Friedrich Muller), Michael Taibi (Joey/Topthorn Heart), Zoe Thorne (Emilie), Emma Thornett (Baby Joey/Paulette), Josie Walker (Rose Narracott), Brendan Wall (Vet Martin/Priest/Johann Schnabel), Sam Wilmott (Joey Hind) and Sion Daniel Young (Albert Narracott).

Directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, War Horse is designed by Rae Smith, with puppet direction, design and fabrication by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler for Handspring Puppet Company, lighting by Paule Constable, and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick;, with video design by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer, songmaker John Tams, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt.

War Horse is produced in the West End by the National Theatre and National Angels.

Release issued by: Premier PR

Book tickets to War Horse at the New London Theatre in London

 

National Theatre’s War Horse Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

October 26, 2012 

The National Theatre’s award-winning production of War Horse last night (25 October 2012) celebrated its fifth anniversary in London with a special performance at the New London Theatre, Drury Lane. Former cast members and the show’s creative team gathered with VIPs and friends to celebrate five years on the London stage.

Since its early experimental days at the National Theatre Studio, War Horse has become a national and international phenomenon. It opened at the National’s Olivier Theatre in October 2007 and transferred to the New London in March 2009. More than 1.6 million people have seen the show in London with over 2.4 million people seeing the production worldwide. A ten month, nine-venue tour of the UK and Ireland will begin in Autumn 2013; productions of the show are currently running in New York, Toronto and on a North American tour, with future productions planned for Australia and Berlin.

Nicholas Hytner, Director of the National Theatre said: “War Horse caught the imagination of audiences from its very first outing at the National, but none of us could have foreseen that this astonishing production would still be engendering the same heartfelt response five years later. It’s a show which could only have been developed in the subsidised theatre, where the ability to risk-take and experiment is beyond price. I salute the hundreds of theatre-makers, puppeteers and artists who have been part of War Horse’s remarkable journey.”

Michael Morpurgo, author of the original novel said: “From a Devon meadow a hundred and more years ago, to the battlefields of the First World War, to London, to New York, and soon to Australia and Berlin, our Joey keeps on running. It’s five years since the National Theatre took this little known story, and transformed it, told it their way, wonderfully. Since that night in the Olivier when Joey first trotted out into the spotlight, millions of grown-up children and children around the world have come to know and love Joey’s story, through play, film, concert and book. So thank you National Theatre, thank you Joey, and thank you especially to those actors and puppeteers who go on every night and make War Horse the unique theatrical event it has become.”

Marianne Elliot and Tom Morris, co-directors of War Horse added: “We can’t believe that War Horse is celebrating its fifth anniversary. We are so proud of our show. It was a huge team that made it happen – much bigger than any of the teams either of us have worked with before or since. What we ended up with was something far greater than any one of us could have ever imagined.”

War Horse is the powerful story of a young boy called Albert and his beloved horse, Joey, who has been requisitioned to fight for the English in World War I. Caught in enemy crossfire, Joey ends up serving on both sides during the war before landing in no man’s land, while Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home. A remarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship, War Horse features ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company which brings breathing and galloping horses to life on stage.

War Horse is based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford and presented in association with Handspring Puppet Company. Directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, it is designed by Rae Smith, lighting is by Paule Constable and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick. The puppetry directors are Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler, with video design by 59 Productions Ltd, song-making by John Tams, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt.

War Horse Facts and Figures

  • War Horse received its World Premiere at the National Theatre on 9 October 2007 (press night: 17 October) and played in the Olivier for 92 performances until 14 February 2008 and was seen by over 104,000 people.
  • War Horse returned to the National Theatre for a second run playing from 10 September 2008 – 18 March 2009 for a total of 114 performances and was seen by a further 130,000 people.
  • War Horse transferred to the West End in 2009 with its first performance at the New London Theatre on 28 March 2009.
  • War Horse is currently booking until 26 October 2013 at the New London Theatre.As of October 2012, more than 1.6 million people will have seen War Horse in London, with over 2.4 million seeing the production worldwide.
  • War Horse has been seen by The Queen, Prince Phillip, Princess Anne, Prince William and Prince Harry as well as many other famous faces from stage, screen and entertainment.
  • The New York production of War Horse opened on 14 April 2011 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center and will run until 6 January 2013.
  • Having seen the show at the New London Theatre, Steven Spielberg turned Michael Morpurgo’s novel into a film starring Jeremy Irvine, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston and Emily Watson, which premiered in January 2012.
  • The Toronto production opened in February 2012 at the Princess of Wales Theatre and will run until 6 January 2013.
  • A North American tour began in Los Angeles in June 2012 and will visit 27 cities in its first year.
  • An Australian production will open at the Melbourne Arts Centre State Theatre on 31 December 2012 and will go on to play seasons in Sydney and Brisbane.
  • In autumn 2013 a German language production will open at the historic Theater des Westens in Berlin.
  • A UK Tour will begin in Autumn 2013, visiting Plymouth, Birmingham, Salford, Edinburgh, Southampton, Sunderland, Bradford and Cardiff, and also Dublin.
  • The puppets in War Horse were created by Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones of South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, based in Cape Town. They are made of cane and stretched georgette and are operated by puppeteers.
  • War Horse has 18 puppets, including horses Joey and Topthorn, as well as a goose, two swallows and two crows.
  • Over 850 people have been employed worldwide on War Horse
  • Among its many international awards, War Horse won six Tony Awards, including ‘Best Play’ and a ‘Special Tony Award’ for Handspring Puppet Company.

Release issued by: Premier PR

LINKS

Book tickets to WAR HORSE at the New London Theatre

140,000 New Tickets Released For London Production Of War Horse

August 31, 2011 

The National Theatre’s Laurence Olivier award-winning production of War Horse at the New London Theatre has released 140,000 new tickets for sale, taking bookings up to 16 February 2013.

Nick Stafford’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s book has been playing to packed houses at the New London Theatre since March 2009. The Broadway production of War Horse, which recently opened at the Lincoln Center’s Vivien Beaumont Theatre, was the winner of six Tony Awards including a Special Tony Award for Handspring Puppet Company. A further production is due to open in February 2012 at the Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto, with a US tour scheduled to start in Los Angeles in June 2012. Later this year Stephen Spielberg’s film version of War Horse will be released.

At the outbreak of World War One, Joey, young Albert’s beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. He’s soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man’s land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home.

Directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, War Horse is designed by Rae Smith, with puppet design and fabrication by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler for Handspring Puppet Company, lighting by Paule Constable, and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick; the puppetry directors are Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler, with video design by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer, songmaker John Tams, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt.

War Horse is produced in the West End by the National Theatre and National Angels.

Release issued by: Premier PR

LINKS

Book tickets to War Horse at the New London Theatre

War Horse – 290,000 Tickets Released For Sale In London

June 6, 2011 

MICHAEL MORPURGO’S WEST END HIT GALLOPS INTO OCTOBER 2012

Today, 6 June, the National Theatre’s award-winning production of War Horse at the New London Theatre will release over 290,000 new tickets for sale, taking bookings up to 20 October 2012.

Nick Stafford’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s book has been playing to packed houses at the New London Theatre since March 2009. The Broadway production of War Horse, which recently opened at the Lincoln Center’s Vivien Beaumont Theatre, has won 8 awards as well as being nominated for 5 Tony Awards. In addition Handspring Puppet Company will receive a Special Tony Award at this year’s ceremony on 12 June.

A further production is due to open in February 2012 at the Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto, with a US tour scheduled to start in Los Angeles in June 2012.

At the outbreak of World War One, Joey, young Albert’s beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. He’s soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man’s land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home.

Directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, War Horse is designed by Rae Smith, with puppet design and fabrication by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler for Handspring Puppet Company, lighting by Paule Constable, and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick; the puppetry directors are Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler, with video design by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer, songmaker John Tams, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt.

The current West End cast comprises Stuart Angell (Joey/Topthorn heart), Nigel Betts (Arthur Narracott/Sgt. Thunder), Nicholas Bishop (Captain Nicholls), Joshua Blake (John Greig), Hannah Boyde (Annie Gilbert), Pascale Burgess (Paulette), Ellie Burrow (Baby Joey heart/hind) Emily Cooper (Joey/ Topthorn hind/Goose), Matt Costain (Topthorn hind), Ewen Cummins (Chapman Carter/Colonel Strauss/Soldat Schmidt), Danny Dalton (David Taylor), Salvatore D’Aquilla (Klebb/Sentry Shaw), Matthew Forbes (Joey hind), Thomas Goodridge (Joey/Topthorn hind), David Grewcock (Joey/Topthorn head), Stephen Harper (Joey/Topthorn head/Goose/Geordie), Christian Jenner (Dr Schweyk/Heine/Sgt. Fine), Curtis Jordan (Topthorn head/Goose), Nicolas Karimi (Topthorn heart/Geordie), Sarah Mardel (Baby Joey head/Emilie), Shaun McKee (Joey/Topthorn heart/Geordie), Jack Monaghan (Albert Narracott), Jack Parker (Baby Joey heart/hind/Coco), Malcolm Ridley (Sgt.Allan/Schnabel/Manfred), Patrick Robinson (Friedrich Muller), Ruth Rogers (Joey head), Saul Rose (Songman), Mat Ruttle (Bone/Heine), William Rycroft (Captain Stewart/Rudi), Eliot Short (Fiddler), Anthony Shuster (Priest/Karl/Vet Martin), Nicola Stephenson (Rose Narracott), David Walmsley (Billy Narracott/Coco/Ludwig), Andy Williams (Ted Narracott) and Thomas Wilton (Joey heart).

War Horse is produced in the West End by the National Theatre and National Angels.

Release issued by Premier PR

LINKS

Book tickets to War Horse at the New London Theatre

New Cast For London Production Of Michael Morpurgo’s West End Hit War Horse As Show Welcomes Its One Millionth Visitor

March 1, 2011 

From Wednesday 9 March 2011 Nicola Stephenson and Patrick Robinson will join the West End cast of the National Theatre’s hit production of War Horse which is currently taking bookings at the New London Theatre to 18 February 2012. Nicola Stephenson will play Albert’s mother, Rose Narracott, and Patrick Robinson will play German soldier Friedrich Muller.

Now in its fifth year, Nick Stafford’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s book has been playing to packed houses at the New London Theatre where the production has recently welcomed its 1 millionth visitor. In 2010 War Horse played to 97% capacity throughout the year and repeatedly broke the record for the highest weekly gross for a play in the West End. On 15 March this year previews will begin for the Broadway production of War Horse at the Vivien Beaumont Theatre at the Lincoln Center, with opening night scheduled for 14 April 2011. A further production is due to open in February 2012 at the Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto.

At the outbreak of World War One, Joey, young Albert’s beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. He’s soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man’s land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home.

Directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, War Horse is designed by Rae Smith, with puppet design and fabrication by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler for Handspring Puppet Company, lighting by Paule Constable, and movement and horse choreography by Toby Sedgwick; the puppetry directors are Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler, with video design by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer, songmaker John Tams, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Christopher Shutt.

Nicola Stephenson is best known on television for playing Nurse Julie Fitzjohn in the long running BBC drama Holby City and Suzie Davidson in the BBC’s Clocking Off. She has also appeared on television in Law and Order, Larkrise to Candleford, Superstorm, The Chase, Northern Lights, Legless, Waking the Dead, Dead Man Weds, The Hitch, Without You, Big Bad World, My Wonderful Life, Wokenwell, Out of the Blue and Brookside. Her theatre credits include Edmund and His Girl Friday for the National Theatre and A Patriot for Me for the Royal Shakespeare Company and on film her credits include All in the Game, The Walk, Christmas Lights, State of the Party, Go Back Out and The Rainbow.

As well as his extensive theatre career, Patrick Robinson is best known on television for playing Nurse Martin ‘Ash’ Ashford in the long-running BBC medical drama Casualty as well as Detective Constable Jacob Banks in ITV’s The Bill. His many theatre credits include Mappa Mundi for the National Theatre, Much Ado About Nothing, King John, King Lear, Richard III, All God’s Children Got Wings, The Great White Hope, Class Enemy, and Romeo and Juliet for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Rough Crossings for Headlong, Gem of the Ocean and Guantanamo for the Tricycle Theatre, Festen for the Almeida Theatre and in the West End and Dangerous Corner for West Yorkshire Playhouse and West End. His other television credits include Tracy Beaker, Who Dares Wins, Daylight Robbery, Julius Caesar, Troublemakers and Total Eclipse. His film credits include Belly of the Beast in which he played opposite Steven Seagal, as well as The Bee Stung Wasp, Monument, Driven and Four Days to Zero.

From 9 March the West End cast comprises Stuart Angell (Joey/Topthorn heart), Nigel Betts (Arthur Narracott/Sgt. Thunder), Nicholas Bishop (Captain Nicholls), Joshua Blake (John Greig), Hannah Boyde (Annie Gilbert), Pascale Burgess (Paulette), Ellie Burrow (Baby Joeyheart/hind) Emily Cooper (Joey/ Topthorn hind/Goose), Matt Costain (Topthorn hind), Ewen Cummins (Chapman Carter/Colonel Strauss/Soldat Schmidt), Danny Dalton (David Taylor), Salvatore D’Aquila (Klebb/Sentry Shaw), Matthew Forbes (Joeyhind), Thomas Goodridge (Joey/Topthorn hind), David Grewcock (Joey/Topthorn head), Stephen Harper (Joey/Topthorn head/Goose/Geordie), Christian Jenner (Dr Schweyk/Heine heart/Sgt. Fine), Curtis Jordan (Topthorn head/Goose), Nicolas Karimi (Topthorn heart/Geordie), Sarah Mardel (Baby Joey head/Emilie), Shaun McKee (Joey/Topthorn heart/Geordie), Jack Monaghan (Albert Narracott), Jack Parker (Baby Joey heart/hind/Coco heart), Malcolm Ridley (Sgt.Allan/Schnabel/Manfred), Patrick Robinson (Friedrich Muller), Ruth Rogers (Joeyhead), Saul Rose (Songman), Mat Ruttle (Bone/Heine hind), William Rycroft (Captain Stewart/Rudi), Eliot Short (Fiddler), Anthony Shuster (Priest/Karl/Vet Martin), Nicola Stephenson (Rose Narracott), David Walmesley (Billy Narracott/Coco hind/Ludwig), Andy Williams (Ted Narracott) and Thomas Wilton (Joeyheart).

War Horse is produced in the West End by the National Theatre and National Angels.

Release issued by: Premier PR

LINKS

Book tickets to War Horse at the New London Theatre

War Horse the Movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch, directed by Steven Spielberg

January 30, 2011 

One of Steven Spielberg’s big projects for 2011 is a movie version of War Horse.

Steven Spielberg on the set of War Horse

Steven Spielberg on the set of War Horse

Already an enormous hit for the National Theatre – first at their South Bank home and currently at the New London Theatre – the movie goes back to Michael Morpurgo’s novel and features a screenplay by Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall and Love Actually’s Richard Curtis.

Dreamworks, which now sits within Disney, has moved forward the planned release date of the film to 28 December 2011 such is the excitement surrounding the project.

The cast features rising young star Jeremy Irvine as Albert, plus Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch as Major Stewart, who is about to star in Frankenstein at the National Theatre. The movie also includes Tom Hiddleston as Captain Nichols, David Thewlis as Lyons, Emily Watson as Albert’s mother and Patrick Kennedy as Lt. Waverly.

Music comes courtesy of close Spielberg collaborator John Williams (ET, Schindler’s List, Indiana Jones).

CAST

Jeremy Irvine

Jeremy Irvine

Benedict Cumberbatch as Major Stewart
Tom Hiddleston as Captain Nichols
David Thewlis as Lyons
Emily Watson as Albert’s mother
Toby Kebbell as Geordie
Peter Mullan as Albert’s Father
David Kross as Gunther
Jeremy Irvine as Albert
Niels Arestrup as Grandfather
Geoff Bell as Sgt. Sam Perkins
Sarah Jane O’Neill as French Refugee
Christian Black as British Soldier

Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch

Patrick Kennedy as Lt. Waverly
Nicolas Bro as Friedrich
Rainer Bock as Brandt
Michael Koltes as German Lieutenant
Mark Shrimpton as WWI British Lewis Gunner
Michael Kranz as Young German Officer
Pauline Stone as Devon Villager
Peter Benedict as German Officer on the Bridge
Robert Emms as David Lyons
Chris Bowe as Scottish Highlander
Leonhard Carow as Michael (as Leonard Carow)
Celine Buckens as Emilie
Irfan Hussein as Sgt Major Singh

LINKS

Book tickets to War Horse at the New London Theatre

Andrew Lloyd Webber keeps theatres

December 15, 2010 

Andrew Lloyd Webber has pulled out of a deal to sell four of his West End theatres to a consortium led by Michael Grade.

The original deal for the theatres was rumoured to be around £50 million and the consortium buying the theatres was led by former BBC Chairman and ITV Chief Executive Michael Grade and theatre agent Michael Linnit.

A statement released by Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group regarding the sale to the GradeLinnit consortium said that “at the eleventh hour, GradeLinnit raised issues relating to a long-standing contractual agreement between one of the theatres and a production company about a possible future production. GradeLinnit decided that they would not want to take this contract forward as owners of the theatre. The Really Useful Group has chosen to continue with the agreement and therefore the sale will not be going ahead.”

The deal had included the New London Theatre, current home to War Horse, the Palace Theatre, where Priscilla Queen of the Desert is playing, Chicago venue the Cambridge Theatre and Her Majesty’s Theatre, which has run Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera since 1986.

Andrew Lloyd Webber and his Really Useful Group will continue to own the four theatres and West End flagship venues the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, currently housing Oliver! and then Shrek The Musical, the London Palladium, which sees Lloyd Webber’s The Wizard of Oz open in February, and a 50% stake in the Adelphi Theatre, home to Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies.

It is expected that Michael Grade will be particularly disappointed that the sale has not gone through. His family’s history is entwined with London theatre, with his uncle Lew Grade staging Sunday Night at the London Palladium in the 1950s and 60s for his ATV network. Michael has recently recorded a Radio 2 history of the venue timed for its centenary this December.

His uncle Bernard Delfont converted the London Hippodrome into the Talk of the Town restaurant in 1958, bringing in a host of entertainers including Frank Sinatra, Eartha Kitt and Judy Garland, and staging the Folies Bergère. In the early 1990s Bernard Delfont struck a deal with Cameron Mackintosh to take on his Prince Edward and Prince of Wales theatres, creating the company Delfont Mackintosh, which today owns seven West End theatres.

Lloyd Webber has been slowly divesting of his theatre assets. In 2005 Really Useful sold four theatres to Nimax Theatres – the Lyric, Apollo, Garrick and Duchess for £11.5 million. And in a frank interview with the Daily Mail in July, Lloyd Webber talked of the stress involved in keeping the theatres going and the large debt owed on them: “We’ve got an overdraft of about £100 million against the theatres, which is too much… it’s simply beyond me.”

Producers associated with the venues that were to be sold include Cameron Mackintosh, producer of The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Broadway producers Barry and Fran Weissler and their production of Chicago at the Cambridge and Liz Koops and Garry McQuinn at Back Row Productions, producers of Priscilla at the Palace Theatre.

It has long been rumoured that Cameron Mackintosh would like to buy the London Palladium and the Theatre Royal Drury Lane for his Delfont Mackintosh company, but Lloyd Webber has so far been unwilling to divest of the venues.

LINKS

More information on the New London Theatre, Cambridge Theatre, Her Majesty’s Theatre and Palace Theatre

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