The Queen's Theatre is a West End theatre located in Shaftesbury Avenue on the corner of Rupert Street in the City of Westminster. It opened on 8 October 1907 as a twin to the neighbouring Hicks Theatre (now the Gielgud Theatre) which opened ten months earlier. Both theatres were designed by W.G.R. Sprague.
Original plans were to name the venue Central Theatre, however after lengthy debate, it was named The Queen's Theatre and a portrait of Queen Alexandra was hung in the foyer.
The first production at the Queen's Theatre was a comedy by Madeline Lucette Ryley called The Sugar Bowl. It was poorly received and ran for only 36 performances, however the theatre received glowing reviews.
In September 1940, a German bomb landed directly on the theatre, destroying the facade and lobby areas. The production at the time was Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca starring Celia Johnson, Owen Nares and Margaret Rutherford. The theatre remained closed until a ₤250,000 restoration was completed by Westwood Sons & Partners almost 20 years later. The auditorium retained its Edwardian decor while the lobbies and exterior were rebuilt in a modern style. The reconstructed theatre opened 8 July 1959 with John Gielgud's solo performance in Shakespeare speeches and sonnets, Ages of Man.
Since April 2004, the theatre has played host to Cameron Mackintosh's production of Les Misérables which transferred after 18 years at the nearby Palace Theatre. The musical celebrated its 20th anniversary at the venue on 8 October 2005 and overtook Cats as the longest running musical of all time a year later on 8 October 2006.
The theatre was Grade II listed by English Heritage in June 1972.
An extensive refurbishment was undertaken in the latter half of 2009 which improved public areas and increased capacity with new seating and boxes reinstated at dress circle level.
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|Geographical coordinates||51.5117521, -0.1325878|
|Address||City of London, Shaftesbury Avenue|
|More information||official website|