24 September: On this day in 1930… The Phoenix Theatre opened in London

On this day in… 1930

The Phoenix Theatre opened in London

The Phoenix Theatre, currently home to ONCE The Musical, opened on 24 September 1930.

This day also saw the premiere of Noel Coward’s comedy Private Lives at this theatre, starring Coward and Gertrude Lawrence.

Other theatrical highlights at the Phoenix have included John Gielgud’s Love for Love in the 1940’s, Terence Rattigan’s Harlequinade and The Browning Version in 1948, a long-running musical version of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales that ran for 2,000 performances from 1968, Tom Stoppard’s Night and Day in 1978, Sondheim’s Into the Woods in 1990 starring Julia McKenzie, and a 21 year run of Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers from 1991 to 2012.


  • Theatre opened: 24 September 1930
  • Designed by: Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, Bertie Crew, and Cecil Masey
  • First production: Private Lives, written by and starring Noel Coward
  • Number of seats: 1012
  • Other info: Built on the site of the Alcazar Music Hall
#2635353 Gertrude Lawrence, Noel Coward (1899 – 1973), Laurence Olivier and Adrianne Allen in Noel Coward’s play ‘Private Lives’ at the Phoenix Theatre. (Photo by Sasha/Getty Images)/ gettyimages.com


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