Taken with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH1 point & shoot in July 2010.
The musical “Priscilla queen of the Desert” ran at the Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London from March 2009 to December 2011.
Commissioned by impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte in the late 1880s, it was designed by Thomas Edward Collcutt. Carte intended it to be the home of English grand opera, much as his Savoy Theatre had been built as a home for English light opera, beginning with the Gilbert and Sullivan series. The foundation stone, laid by his wife Helen in 1888, can still be seen on the façade of the theatre, almost at ground level to the right of the entrance.
The theatre opened as the “Royal English Opera House” in January 1891 with Arthur Sullivan’s Ivanhoe, but lacking any other repertoire the theatre was eventuallyy sold in 1892 to Walter Emden who converted it into a music hall and renamed it the Palace Theatre of Varieties. FRom 1897 films were also screened as part of the theatre’s entertainment programme.
The name of the theatre was finally changed to The Palace Theatre in 1911.
The last decades of the twentieth century saw two exceptional runs at The Palace: Jesus Christ Superstar and Les Misérables. The latter ran for eighteen years, having transferred from the Barbican Centre on December 4, 1985.
In August 1983, Andrew Lloyd-Webber announced that he had purchased the freehold of the theatre for £1.3 million and subsequently set out on a series of works to restore the theatre.
The theatre’s capacity is 1,400 seats and it was Grade II listed by English Heritage in June 1960.