NOEL COWARD THEATRE
St Martin's Lane
London WC2N 4AU

 

Boekl Coward Theatre

The Noël Coward Theatre was formerly known as the Albery Theatre and opened on 12th March 1903 as the New Theatre. The theatre was built by Sir Charles Wyndham and designed by W G R Sprague with an interior in the Louis XVI style with the predominant colours being white and gold. The beauty of the stage curtain and box drapes made of rose du barri silk brocade and antique rose velvet were remarked upon in the journals of the time.

Charles Wyndham ensured that the stage lighting and electrics were state of the art and that all seats had a clear view of the stage.

Noël Coward made his West End debut here in 1920 in his own light comedy called I'll Leave It To You, which closed after five weeks.

During the Second World War the theatre became home to the Old Vic and Sadler's Wells companies when their own theatres were damaged. The Vic-Wells ballet gave their first West End performance of Les Sylphides, Façade and Dante Sonata starring Dame Margot Fonteyn and Frederick Ashton here in 1941. Between 1941 and 1944 they premiered eight ballets with lengthy queues round the block being an indication of the calibre of the Old Vic seasons. It was standing room only when Lawrence Olivier appeared as King Lear, with Alec Guinness as the Fool, or with his wife, Vivien Leigh, in The School for Scandal and Antigone.

In 1960 Lionel Bart's musical Oliver! opened here with an advance of just £145 and was an instant hit, going on to become the longest running musical of its generation, finally closing in September 1967 after 2,618 performances. Ten years later Cameron Mackintosh brought the show back to the theatre for a three year run starring Roy Hudd as Fagin.

The theatre changed its name from the New to the Albery in 1973 to commemorate Sir Bronson Albery who managed its fortunes for many years. Bronson was succeeded by his son, Donald and grandson Ian. The Albery family made a unique contribution to the history of the theatre between 1903 and 1987.

In 2005 the long lease on the theatre reverted from the Ambassador Theatre Group to the Salisbury Estate who granted a new lease to Delfont Mackintosh Theatres. Since then it has been extensively refurbished with the foyers and corridors redecorated and re-carpeted. The balcony has been rebuilt and the auditorium seats have been replaced and are upholstered in the damask rose colour that was an original feature of the theatre.

The stalls bar (now Noël's Bar) has been restored to its original size and completely refurbished. Backstage the two principal dressing rooms are now called Noël and Gertie after Noël Coward and his favourite leading lady, Gertrude Lawrence. The Noel Coward There has 872 seats on four levels and is now a Grade II Listed structure.

The theatre reopened on 1st June 2006 for the London premiere of Avenue Q as the Noël Coward Theatre.

HOW TO GET TO THE NOEL COWARD THEATRE

Click on map for detailed image

underground

 

Tube : Leicester Square (approx 100 metres)
Train: Charing Cross (approx 200 metres)
buses to Her Majesty's Theatre
24, 29, 176
nearest car park
MasterPark at China Town and Trafalgar Square. NCP at Upper St Martin's Lane.

 

DISABLED ACCESS TO NOEL COWARD THEATRE

Infra-red headsets held at the Box Office. A deposit of £10 is required which will be returned at the end of the performance. The box office have a portable Induction Loop 'T' system for window sales for patrons who use hearing aids.
Guide dogs are not allowed into auditorium, but staff are happy to dog-sit.
There is a ramp through the second side exit door on St Martin's Court. Box M has 2 spaces for wheelchair/scooter users, or 1 wheelchair user and a companion. Companions can also be seated in the Royal Circle. Transfer seating available to any aisle seat in Royal Circle.
Toilet on Foyer level by Cloakroom.