The musical theatre store Dress Circle, which was damaged this summer in an unsolved arson attack, will re-open on 23 Nov 02 with a Gala Opening featuring guests from all sections of London’s theatreland, including Claire Sweeney.

In August this year arsonists had reduced 25 years of London’s Theatre History to sodden ashes, and for a few days the future of the shop hung in the balance. However, on 23 November 02, Claire Sweeney will cut the ribbon on the shining new shop, rebuilt, repainted, restocked, and ready to serve the theatre world and its fans for another 25 years and beyond.

Throughout the day there will be a running cabaret of West End singers, an open mike spot for aspiring stars, and events for the public and professionals alike to relax and enjoy "The unique atmosphere of this London landmark".

Dress Circle editor Tanya Lees says, “We know it’s been missed – we have had calls , letters and emails from all around the world, from customers, tourists, actors, singers, composers, wishing us well, offering help, letting us know that we are essential to the theatre world – we are the only shop anywhere dedicated to Showbiz and Musicals.

“The fire was devastating – we lost almost all the stock, some of it irreplaceable. But in fact we were able to start trading again almost immediately, because we had invested so much time and thought into our website – a computer, a phone line and a lot of help from our regular suppliers, and we were open for business within days – 24 hours a day, all over the world.

“But the heart of the business is the shop – a place where professionals, students, tourists, can gather to browse CDs, videos, books, gifts, memorabilia, where new shows and new talents can be promoted, and classic shows celebrated. It will be good to back right at the heart of the West End.”

Customers can drop in on Saturday 23rd to join the staff, stars and Master of Ceremonies Tim McArthur, for glitter, glamour, cabaret, competitions, cake and above all, a rousing welcome home for the "Greatest Showbiz Shop in the World".

WHAT: Dress Circle Showbiz Shop Gala Re-opening
WHEN: Saturday November 23 2002:-
Open from 10.00am, official opening 1.00pm, cabaret shows 1.30pm and 5.45pm, open mike sessions, competitions and special events throughout the day. WHERE: Dress Circle, 57-59 Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9DG

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