The Phoenix Theatre is a West End theatre in the London Borough of Camden, located on Charing Cross Road (at the corner with Flitcroft Street). The entrances are in Phoenix Street and Charing Cross Road. Phoenix Theatre was built on the place where was a factory and then Music hall Alcazar before.

The theatre was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, Bertie Crewe and Cecil Massey. It has a restrained neoclassical exterior, but an interior designed in an Italianate style by director and designer Theodore Komisarjevsky. Vladimir Polunin copied works by Tintoretto, Titian, Pinturicchio and Giorgione. It has a safety curtain that holds Jacopo del Sellaio's The Triumph of Love.[1]

There are golden engravings in the auditorium, and red seats, carpets and curtains. This look is based on traditional Italian theatres. There are decorated ceilings and sculpted wooden doors throughout the building.

It opened on 24 September 1930 with the première of Private Lives by Noël Coward, who also appeared in the play, with Adrienne Allen, Gertrude Lawrence and Laurence Olivier. Coward returned to the theatre with Tonight at 8:30 in 1936 and Quadrille in 1952.

On 16 December 1969, the long association with Coward was celebrated with a midnight matinee in honour of his 70th birthday, and the foyer bar was renamed the Noel Coward Bar.

The Phoenix has had a number of successful plays including John Gielgud's Love for Love during the Second World War. Harlequinade and The Browning Version, two plays by Terence Rattigan, opened on 8 September 1948 at the theatre.

In the mid-1950s, Paul Scofield and Peter Brook appeared at the theatre. In 1968, a musical version of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales opened and ran for around two thousand performances. Night and Day, a 1978 play by Tom Stoppard, ran for two years.

The theatre hosted many musicals in the 1980s and 1990s, including The Biograph Girl with Sheila White, The Baker's Wife by Stephen Schwartz directed by Trevor Nunn, and Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim, starring Julia McKenzie. There were also a number of plays by William Shakespeare. Its first pantomime was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs starring Dana in 1983.

The production of Blood Brothers, the Willy Russell musical that transferred from The Albery Theatre in November 1991, ended a 21-year run on 10 November 2012 after becoming the longest-running production at the theatre. Following limited engagements of Goodnight Mr Tom and Midnight Tango. The theatre then played host to the original West End production of Broadway musical Once, which opened in April 2013 and closed on 21 March 2015.

Bend it Like Beckham: The Musical, Guys and Dolls and The Last Tango played in 2016, with Dirty Dancing and Peppa Pig's Surprise comprising the 2016 Christmas season.

The Girls, a new musical by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth based on The Calendar Girls film, Played at the Phoenix Theatre with previews from 28 January 2017, and officially opened on 21 February 2017, The production closed on 15 July 2017 [2]

In December 2017 it was announced that Chicago the Musical will play at the Phoenix Theatre with previews starting on 26 March 2018 and will run to at least 30 June 2018.[3]

The theatre is owned by the Ambassador Theatre Group. Since 1973 it has been a Grade II Listed Building.[4]

See also


  1. ^ The Phoenix Theatre, London – London Theatre Direct
  2. ^ Shenton, Mark. [1]'The Girls', Musical by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, to Premiere in West End" Playbill, 16 September 2016
  3. ^ Wood, Alex. " 'Chicago' set for West End return at Phoenix Theatre in 2018" whatsonstage.com, 15 December 2017
  4. ^ Historic England (1973-10-23). "The Phoenix Theatre (1242926)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2015-03-25. 
  • Guide to British Theatres 1750–1950, John Earl and Michael Sell pp. 131 (Theatres Trust, 2000) ISBN 0-7136-5688-3