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The Lyric Theatre is a West End theatre
West End theatre
on Shaftesbury Avenue
Shaftesbury Avenue
in the City of Westminster. Designed by the architect C. J. Phipps, it was built by the producer Henry Leslie with profits from the Alfred Cellier
Alfred Cellier
and B. C. Stephenson hit, Dorothy (he made £100,000 from this opera),[2] which he transferred from the Prince of Wales Theatre
Prince of Wales Theatre
to open his new venue on 17 December 1888. It was the second theatre to be constructed on this stretch of Shaftesbury Avenue
Shaftesbury Avenue
and is now the oldest in the street. The foyer and bars were refurbished in 1932–33, and the facade was restored in 1994. At present it seats 915 on four levels, although originally it was designed with a seating capacity of 1,306. Early in the theatre's history, it staged mostly comic operas, and later it has been a home to light comedies, musicals and straight dramas. The theatre retains many of its original features (including being built behind an original 1767 house front, at the rear to Great Windmill Street, the former house and museum of Sir William Hunter) and the theatre was Grade II listed by English Heritage
English Heritage
in September 1960.[3] The Lyric Theatre still uses water to operate its iron curtain. Water was originally pumped from the river Thames to West End theatres and hotels and used to hydraulically operate heavy machinery like lifts. Hydraulic pressure is now provided by electric pump, but it can also be operated manually by two people. The Lyric Theatre has been owned by Nimax Theatres since 2005 when Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer purchased it from the Really Useful Group (establishing the new Nimax group with the Apollo Theatre, Garrick Theatre
Garrick Theatre
and Duchess Theatre).[4] Notable productions[edit]

1888: Dorothy (transferred to the theatre in 1888, opening elsewhere in 1887) 1889: Doris and The Red Hussar 1892: The Mountebanks 1894: His Excellency 1896: The Sign of the Cross 1899: Florodora 1903: The Duchess of Dantzic 1910: The Chocolate Soldier 1911: The Girl in the Taxi 1919: The Bird of Paradise, which starred Henry Daniell
Henry Daniell
as Hoheno 1922: Whirled into Happiness 1922: Lilac Time 1924: The Street Singer 1926: The Gold Diggers starred Tallulah Bankhead 1931: Strange Interlude 1934: The Royal Family, by George S. Kaufman, directed by Noël Coward, with Madge Titheradge, Marie Tempest
Marie Tempest
and Laurence Olivier 1935: Tovarich 1946: The Winslow Boy 1950: The Little Hut
The Little Hut
– ran for 1,261 performances[5] 1950: Vortex 1955: South Sea Bubble 1958: Irma La Douce 1964: Robert and Elizabeth 1969: Plaza Suite 1972: How the Other Half Loves – ran for 869 performances[5] 1981: Tonight at 8:30; Arms and the Man 1983: Blood Brothers; Pack of Lies 1984: Loot 1989: Steel Magnolias 1990: Five Guys Named Moe 1995: Ain't Misbehavin' 1998: An Ideal Husband 2000: Brief Encounter 2001: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 2002: The Constant Wife 2004: Beautiful and Damned 2005: Death of a Salesman 2006: The Night of the Iguana, Smaller, Grumpy Old Women
Grumpy Old Women
and Cabaret 2008: Hairspray: The School Musical and Flamenco Flamen'ka 2008: Eddie Izzard
Eddie Izzard
(Stripped) 2009: Thriller – Live
Thriller – Live
starring Denise Pearson, A Frisky and Mannish Christmas

References[edit]

^ "Lyric Theatre". nimaxtheatres.com. Retrieved 2 July 2013.  ^ The Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W.1 ^ English Heritage
English Heritage
listing details accessed 28 April 2007 ^ "Lloyd Webber sells four theatres". BBC News. Retrieved 28 June 2017.  ^ a b The Lyric Theatre, London

Guide to British Theatres 1750–1950, John Earl and Michael Sell pp. 124–5 (Theatres Trust, 2000) ISBN 0-7136-5688-3 Who's Who in the Theatre, edited by John Parker, tenth edition, revised, London, 1947, pps: 477–478.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lyric Theatre, London.

Lyric Theatre history with archive programmes and many images Lyric Theatre website

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