The Duke of York's Theatre is a West End Theatre in St Martin's Lane, in the City of Westminster. It was built for Frank Wyatt and his wife, Violet Melnotte, who retained ownership of the theatre, until her death in 1935. It opened on 10 September 1892 as the Trafalgar Square Theatre, with Wedding Eve. The theatre, designed by architect Walter Emden became known as the Trafalgar in 1894 and the following year became the Duke of York's to honour the future King George V.
In 1900, Jerome K. Jerome's Miss Hobbs was staged as well as David Belasco's Madame Butterfly, which was seen by Puccini, who later turned it into the famous opera. This was also the theatre where J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up debuted on 27 December 1904. Many famous British actors have appeared here, including Basil Rathbone, who played Alfred de Mussett in Madame Sand in June 1920, returning in November 1932 as the Unknown Gentleman in Tonight or Never.
In the late 1970s the freehold of the theatre was purchased by Capital Radio and it closed in 1979 for refurbishment. It reopened in February 1980 and the first production under the patronage of Capital Radio was Rose, starring Glenda Jackson. The Ambassador Theatre Group bought the theatre in 1992 and this coincided with London's hottest show, The Royal Court's production of Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden. A host of successes followed including Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show (celebrating its 21st Birthday) and the hugely successful Royal Court Classics Season in 1995.
Today, the theatre is the London headquarters of the Ambassador Theatre Group
, forming part of their portfolio of eight venues. It is also the producing offices of Sonia Friedman Productions
, whose revival of In Celebration
starring Hollywood leading man Orlando Bloom
played until 15 September 2007
. An updated version of Jonathan Larson
's Rent - The Musical
, titled 'Rent Remixed', opened on 2 October 2007
. Although initially booking until April 5 2008
, the production closed on February 2 2008
. The theatre is currently host to That Face
by Polly Stenham
, which is booking until July 5 2008
The theatre was Grade II listed by English Heritage in September 1960.
Recent and present productions
- After Mrs Rochester (22 July 2003 - 25 October 2003) by Polly Teale
- Sweet Panic (12 November 2004 - 7 February 2004) by Stephen Poliakoff
- Calico (3 March 2004 - 3 April 2004) by Michael Hastings
- The Holy Terror (14 April 2004 - 8 May 2004) by Simon Gray
- Dirty Blonde (16 June 2004 - 28 August 2004) by Claudia Shear
- Journey's End (5 October 2004 - 19 February 2005) by R.C. Sherriff
- The Dresser (28 February 2005 - 14 May 2005) by Ronald Harwood, starring Nicholas Lyndhurst and Julian Glover
- Hedda Gabler (27 May 2005 - 6 August 2005) by Henrik Ibsen, starring Eve Best and Iain Glen
- Tom, Dick and Harry (23 August 2005 - 29 October 2005) by Ray Cooney and Michael Cooney, starring Joe, Stephen and Mark McGann
- I Am My Own Wife (10 November 2005 - 10 December 2005) by Doug Wright, starring Jefferson Mays
- Embers (1 March 2006 - 24 June 2006) by Sandor Marai, adapted by Christopher Hampton, starring Jeremy Irons and Patrick Malahide
- Eh Joe (27 June 2006 - 15 July 2006) by Samuel Beckett, starring Michael Gambon
- Rock 'n' Roll (22 July 2006 - 24 February 2007) by Tom Stoppard, starring David Calder, Emma Fielding, Dominic West, Rufus Sewell, and Nicola Bryant
- Little Shop of Horrors (12 March 2007 - 23 June 2007) by Alan Menken, starring Sheridan Smith, Paul Keating and Alistair McGowan
- In Celebration (5 July 2007 - 15 September 2007 ) by David Storey, starring Orlando Bloom, Tim Healy, Lynda Baron, Gareth Farr, Paul Hilton, Ciaran McIntyre and Dearblah Malloy
- Rent Remixed (16 October 2007 - 2 February 2008), by Jonathan Larson, starring Denise Van Outen (succeeded 24 December 2007 by Jessie Wallace)
- The Magic Flute (8 February 2008 - 12 April 2008)
- That Face (1 May 2008 - 5 July 2008) by Polly Stenham, starring Lindsay Duncan, Hannah Murray and Matt Smith
- Under the Blue Sky (25 July 2008 - 20 September 2008) by David Eldridge, starring Catherine Tate, Francesca Annis and Dominic Rowan
- No Man's Land (7 October 2008 - ) by Harold Pinter, starring Michael Gambon, David Walliams, David Bradley and Nick Dunning
Nearby Tube Stations
- Who's Who in the Theatre, edited by John Parker, tenth edition, revised, London, 1947, p.1183-4.
- Guide to British Theatres 1750-1950, John Earl and Michael Sell pp. 108-9 (Theatres Trust, 2000) ISBN 0-7136-5688-3