Gillian Lynne Theatre History and Timeline

The Middlesex Music Hall opens on site

The Middlesex Music Hall opens on site

1851-01-01

In 1847, the Mogul Saloon is built, housing entertainment such as glee clubs and sing-songs. Over the next four years, the building is renamed the Turkish Saloon and the Mogul Music Hall until it finally settles on The Middlesex Music Hall in 1851. Between 1872-1892, reconstruction takes place to accommodate larger audiences.

Oswald Stoll renames the building the New Middlesex Theatre of Varieties

Oswald Stoll renames the building the New Middlesex Theatre of Varieties

1911-01-01

In 1911, a new building is erected on site under Oswald Stoll and is renamed the New Middlesex Theatre of Varieties.

The Winter Garden is built

The Winter Garden is built

1919-01-01

In 1919, the building is acquired by George Grossmith and Edward Laurillard, who redecorated the interior and renamed the building The Winter Garden.

Jerome Kern's Sally opens at the Winter Garden Theatre

Jerome Kern's Sally opens at the Winter Garden Theatre

1921-01-01

Jerome Kern's musical Sally opens at the Winter Garden Theatre after a successful stint on Broadway. Starring George Grossmith Jr. and Leslie Henson, Sally ran for an impressive 387 performances.

Jerome Kern's The Cabaret Girl opens

Jerome Kern's The Cabaret Girl opens

1922-09-19

Jerome Kern's second musical The Cabaret Girl opens at the Winter Garden Theatre. A musical comedy, The Cabaret Girl featured three acts and was set to star Dorothy Dickson, George Grossmith Jr, Geoffrey Gwyther and Norman Griffin, who was later replaced by Leslie Henson. The production ran for a successful 361 performances, closing in 1923.

The Beauty Prize tops Kern's hat-trick

The Beauty Prize tops Kern's hat-trick

1923-09-05

Another musical comedy by Jerome Kern, The Beauty Prize was the third musical of his in a row to be staged at the Winter Garden Theatre. Featuring much of the same cast, the production did not receive great response and closed after 214 performances.

Gershwin musical Primrose staged

Gershwin musical Primrose staged

1924-01-01

Primrose is staged, written by Guy Bolton and George Grossmith Jr., with lyrics by Desmond Carter and Ira Gershwin, and music by George Gershwin. The Three-act musical love story ran for 255 performances.

Tell Me More opens

Tell Me More opens

1925-01-01

Another George Gershwin musical is staged, Tell Me More. The story of three couples and their romantic entanglements did not fare well in New York, but was well-received in London.

Kid Boots runs at the Winter Garden

Kid Boots runs at the Winter Garden

1926-01-01

Kid Boots by Harry Tierney, marketed as ‘a musical of Palm Beach and golf’, is staged. The previous Broadway run starred Eddie Cantor, a song and dance man known for his comedic performances.

The Vagabond King impresses audiences

The Vagabond King impresses audiences

1927-01-01

Rudolf Friml's operetta The Vagabond King entertains audiences at the Winter Garden Theatre. Running for an impressive 480 performances, The Vagabond King then went on to tour extensively and also received a Broadway revival.

Fred and Adele Astaire star in Gershwin's Funny Face

Fred and Adele Astaire star in Gershwin's Funny Face

1929-01-01

Funny Face opened in the US in 1927, featuring music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin. After a successful run on Broadway, Fred and Adele Astaire transferred with the company to bring Funny Face to London.

Sophie Tucker twinkles in Follow a Star

Sophie Tucker twinkles in Follow a Star

1930-01-01

Sophie Tucker twinkles in Vivian Ellis' production Follow a Star.

Walk this Way opens at the Winter Garden Theatre

Walk this Way opens at the Winter Garden Theatre

1932-01-01

Gracie Fields stars in a successful production of Walk this Way at the Winter Garden Theatre.

Lewis Casson stars in On the Rocks

Lewis Casson stars in On the Rocks

1933-01-01

Lewis Casson stars in an adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's On the Rocks at the Winter Garden Theatre. Casson was a dedicated member of the Royal Court Theatre.

Wendy Hiller stars in Love on the Dole

Wendy Hiller stars in Love on the Dole

1935-01-01

Actress Wendy Hiller stars in musical Love on the Dole, adapted from Walter Greenwood's novel about working class poverty. Love on the Dole later went on to become a film starring Deborah Kerr and Clifford Evans.

The Winter Garden reopens

The Winter Garden reopens

1942-01-01

The Winter Garden reopens after several years of closure during the war.

Winter Garden Theatre hosts a Donald Wolfit season

Winter Garden Theatre hosts a Donald Wolfit season

1945-01-01

A Donald Wolfit season comes to the Winter Garden Theatre, featuring a huge variety of plays by William Shakespeare.

Agatha Christie's drama comes to the Winter Garden Theatre

Agatha Christie's drama comes to the Winter Garden Theatre

1953-10-28

Agatha Christie's drama Witness for the Prosecution entertains audiences at the Winter Garden Theatre, opening on October 28th 1953. Produced by Peter Saunders, the production was directed by Wallace Douglas. Witness for the Prosecution later went on to Broadway.

Alec Guinness stars in Hotel Paradiso

Alec Guinness stars in Hotel Paradiso

1956-05-02

Alec Guinness stars in Hotel Paradiso, alongside Douglas Byng, Irene Worth and Billie Whitelaw, opening at the Winter Garden Theatre on May 2nd 1956. Hotel Paradiso later went on to become a 1966, starring Alec Guinness in the lead role once more.

Tyrone Power stars in The Devil's Disciple

Tyrone Power stars in The Devil's Disciple

1956-07-01

Tyrone Power takes the lead role on The Devil's Disciple, which was later made into a feature film in 1959.

Vivian Ellis' The Water Gipsies opens

Vivian Ellis' The Water Gipsies opens

1956-01-01

A new musical by A. P. Herbert and Vivian Ellis entertains audiences at the Winter Garden Theatre in 1956.

The Iceman Cometh to the Winter Garden

The Iceman Cometh to the Winter Garden

1958-01-01

Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh opens at the Winter Garden Theatre in 1958, becoming the final production to play at the venue before it is demolished.

The Winter Garden Theatre is sold

The Winter Garden Theatre is sold

1959-01-01

In 1959, the Winter Garden Theatre is sold to a property developer, stripped and stands idle for a number of years.

The Winter Garden Theatre is demolished

The Winter Garden Theatre is demolished

1965-01-01

After years of standing idle, the Winter Garden Theatre is demolished. Plans to build a new theatre were soon put in place.

New London Theatre opens with Marlene Dietrich

New London Theatre opens with Marlene Dietrich

1972-11-24

Under the supervision of Bernard Delfont, the New London Theatre opened in 1972 with a televised recording of Marlene Dietrich's one-woman show.

New London Theatre makes an official opening

New London Theatre makes an official opening

1973-01-01

In 1973, the new, contemporary New London Theatre opened as we know it now. Its official theatre opening was with Peter Ustinov's The Unknown Soldier and His Wife, starring Ustinov, his daughter Tamara Ustinov and Brian Bedford.

Richard Gere stars in Grease at the New London Theatre

Richard Gere stars in Grease at the New London Theatre

1973-06-01

A then-unknown Richard Gere starred as Danny Zuko in the London production of Grease, opposite Stacey Gregg. A young Elaine Paige also featured in the cast!

Shelia Hancock stars in Deja Revue

Shelia Hancock stars in Deja Revue

1974-01-01

Directed by Victor Spinetti, Sheila Hancock and George Cole star in the revue, Deja Revue at the New London Theatre.

Bruce Forsyth stars in a one-man show

Bruce Forsyth stars in a one-man show

1975-01-01

National treasure Bruce Forsyth performs his one-man show at the New London Theatre to great success.

Brian Protheroe stars in Leave Him to Heaven

Brian Protheroe stars in Leave Him to Heaven

1976-01-01

In 1976, Brian Protheroe stars in rock musical Leave Him to Heaven, alongside Steven Pacey and Anita Dobson.

X marks the spot with Treasure Island

X marks the spot with Treasure Island

1976-01-01

Bernard Miles stars in his own production of Treasure Island, with Mermaid Theatre.

Lionel opens at the New London Theatre

Lionel opens at the New London Theatre

1977-01-01

In 1977, Lionel opened at the New London Theatre, starring Avis Bunnage, Marion Montgomery, Clarke Peters and a young Todd Carty. Lionel featured work from the legendary Lionel Bart.

New London Theatre becomes a television studio

New London Theatre becomes a television studio

1977-01-01

In the years between 1977 and 1980, the New London Theatre became a successful television studio, hosting broadcasts of championship snooker and popular show This is Your Life. New London Theatre also acted as a temporary conference centre.

Steven Berkoff stars in Metamorphosis

Steven Berkoff stars in Metamorphosis

1977-01-01

Steven Berkoff stars in his own production Metamorphosis, adapted from Kafka's original. In 1978, Berkoff returns with his productions of East and The Fall of the House of Usher.

Cats opens at the New London Theatre

Cats opens at the New London Theatre

1981-05-11

Andrew Lloyd Webber's innovative new musical Cats opens in the West End, earning Olivier Awards for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score. Giving a record 8,949 performances at the New London Theatre, Cats closed on its 21st birthday in 2002. It was London's longest-running musical until 2006, when it was surpassed by Les Miserables. Cats starred Brian Blessed, Elaine Paige, Wayne Sleep, Paul Nicholas, Sarah Brightman and Bonnie Langford. For this production, the auditorium rotated!

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group purchase the theatre

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group purchase the theatre

1991-01-01

In 1991, the New London Theatre is purchased by Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group.

New London Becomes a Really Useful Theatre

New London Becomes a Really Useful Theatre

2000-01-01

In 2000, the New London Theatre becomes a Really Useful Theatre as Andrew Lloyd Webber and Bridgepoint Capital purchase Stoll Moss Theatres.

Umoja impresses London audiences

Umoja impresses London audiences

2002-09-02

Fresh from South Africa, dance troupe Umoja: The Spirit of Togetherness came to the West in 2002 to entertain London audiences. Combining traditional tribal music and dance with gospel and jazz, the production earned praise from audiences and critics alike! Umoja closed in 2003.

Joseph dazzles audiences with his Technicolor Dreamcoat

Joseph dazzles audiences with his Technicolor Dreamcoat

2003-03-03

Stephen Gately, Ian Hawkins and Darren Day star in Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Opening at the New London Theatre in 2003, Joseph earned amazing reviews. Suzanne Shaw later joined the cast as the Narrator. Joseph closed in 2005.

Blue Man Group bring the party to New London Theatre

Blue Man Group bring the party to New London Theatre

2005-11-10

New York entertainment group Blue Man Group brought their bizarre blue faces to the New London Theatre in 2005. Wowing audiences with various crazy antics involving drums, mime, comedy and a live band, Blue Man Group were the off-the-wall smash-hit that had London audiences flocking to the theatre! In 2007, Blue Man Group packed their bags and embarked on a worldwide tour.

Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group take full ownership of the theatre

Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group take full ownership of the theatre

2005-01-01

In 2005, the New London Theatre comes under the full ownership of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group.

Ian McKellen stars in the RSC's King Lear and The Seagull

Ian McKellen stars in the RSC's King Lear and The Seagull

2007-11-14

The RSC bring King Lear and The Seagull to the New London Theatre for a limited season, after first opening in Stratford. Opening in the West End in 2007, the productions starred Sir Ian McKellen, Frances Barber, Romola Garai and William Gaunt and received critical praise.

Gone With the Wind earns blustery reviews from the critics

Gone With the Wind earns blustery reviews from the critics

2008-04-22

Margaret Martin and Trevor Nunn's new musical opens in 2008, starring Darius and Jill Paice. Reviews for the production were less than complimentary, and the production closed after just over a month of performances.

Imagine This premieres in London

Imagine This premieres in London

2008-11-19

An entirely new pre-War musical by Shuki Levy, David Goldsmith and Glenn Berenbeim opens at New London Theatre in 2008. Despite the four star reviews, Imagine This closed one month after it opened.

War Horse becomes New London Theatre's most successful show

War Horse becomes New London Theatre's most successful show

2009-03-28

War Horse rides in to the New London Theatre after receiving rave reviews when it premiered at the National Theatre. Adapted from Michael Morpurgo's beloved novel, the play used clever puppetry to bring to life the story of War Horse. Closing in 2016, War Horse embarked on a UK tour.

School of Rock blasts into the New London Theatre

School of Rock blasts into the New London Theatre

2016-10-24

After originally being scheduled to open at the London Palladium, Andrew Lloyd Webber's smash-hit Broadway musical School of Rock sets UK transfer dates at the New London Theatre. Set to open in October 2016, the musical is the hit adaptation of the well-known film starring Jack Black.

Show Boat dazzles critics in the West End

Show Boat dazzles critics in the West End

2016-04-09

Daniel Evans' musical delight Show Boat transfers to the New London Theatre after a successful opening at the Sheffield Crucible. Earning five star reviews across the board, Show Boat was scheduled to run until 2017, but set an early closing date of August 2016.

School of Rock keeps on rockin'!

School of Rock keeps on rockin'!

2017-01-09

Andrew Lloyd Webber's smash-hit musical School of Rock extends its booking dates to May 2017, following tremendous success at the West End's New London Theatre!

School of Rock wins an Olivier Award!

School of Rock wins an Olivier Award!

2017-04-09

Following 3 nominations at the 2017 ceremony, including Best New Musical and Best Actor in a Musical for David Fynn, School of Rock scoops the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music.

Stephen Leask joins School of Rock

Stephen Leask joins School of Rock

2017-11-01

School of Rock announces that Stephen Leask is taking over as Dewey Finn. Leask’s previous credits include One Man, Two Guvnors (West End) and Troilus and Cressida (RSC). Joining him in the adult cast are Alan Pearson (Avenue Q, West End) as Ned Schneebly, Michelle Francis (Mack and Mabel, Oklahoma!, Chichester) as Patty Di Marco and Craig Gallivan (Stella, Sky One) as the Dewey Finn alternate.

Andrew Lloyd Webber book launch

Andrew Lloyd Webber book launch

2018-03-13

Andrew Lloyd Webber is hosting An Evening with Andrew Lloyd Webber to celebrate the launch of his autobiography, Unmasked. The Telegraph Legends Series event is hosted by Graham Norton. A selection of songs from his most popular musicals will be performed, and ticket holders also receive a copy of the book.

Past Shows at Gillian Lynne Theatre