Queen’s Theatre to be renamed the Sondheim Theatre when Les Miserables reopens
Currently home to Les Miserables until 13th July, the Queen’s Theatre is set to close until December to undergo restoration and renovate wartime bomb damage. In the meantime, a concert version of Les Mis will run at the Gielgud Theatre.
Then, when Les Miserables returns to the theatre – the touring production will run in place of the original production – the theatre will be unveiled as the Sondheim Theatre, to honour legendary musical composer Stephen Sondheim, who turns 90 next March.
Cameron Mackintosh, who owns the theatre, announced last year that he planned to rename the Ambassadors Theatre the Sondheim Theatre. However, in late 2018, he sold the theatre to ATG.
Announcing the change, Mackintosh said: “I have been lucky enough to have been a friend and colleague of Steve’s since our first collaboration in 1976 on the musical revue Side by Side by Sondheim at the Wyndham’s Theatre. After 112 years Shaftesbury Avenue will have a theatre named after a living legend and house the world’s longest running musical, the legendary Les Misérables as it enters its phenomenal 35th year.
“When Les Misérables re-opens in December with the new production, the re-built and restored theatre will be re-named the Sondheim Theatre – a perfect companion to the Gielgud Theatre next door, named after the great actor John Gielgud, and the Coward and Novello Theatres, named after the two celebrated British writers and composers.
In a statement, Sondheim also said: “I have loved British Theatre since I saw my first play here in 1958. I have treasured Cameron Mackintosh’s support and friendship ever since he produced Side by Side by Sondheim in 1976.
“Cameron is synonymous with British Theatre, so the confluence on this occasion is truly exhilarating. I am chuffed, as you say in British English, to a degree I wouldn’t have imagined. Or as we say in American English, it’s awesome.”
Photo credit: Chicago Tribune and Jerry Jackson