The Cambridge Theatre opened in 1930, and was one of five theatres to open in London that year. The theatre occupies a triangular site on Seven Dials near Covent Garden and has interior designs by Serge Chermayeff and Anthony Gibbons Grinling, who sculpted the friezes still seen today. The Cambridge Theatre underwent restoration in 1987 after a series of internal changes.
The Cambridge Theatre opened with a production of Masquerade, a revue type show by André Charlot which starred Beatrice Lillie.
The original décor, ornate gold and silver finishes inspired by German theatres, was painted over in red in 1950 and the lighting was augmented with candelabras and chandeliers. These changes were implemented by new owners Tom Arnold and Prince Littler. Another conversion of the theatre in 1984 saw the house become London’s first theatre for magic, newly titled The Magic Castle of Seven Dials. The scheme was a disaster and closed after a year of performances. The theatre was then bought by Stoll Moss Theatres Ltd in 1986 and under the supervision of Carl Toms was restored to its original décor.
Listed as a Grade II building in 1999, the building became part of the Really Useful Group Ltd portfolio of theatres and has remained such since. Andrew Lloyd Webber premiered The Beautiful Game in 2000, with previous musicals including Chicago and Jerry Springer – The Opera. Matilda opened at the Cambridge Theatre in November 2011.
Cambridge Theatre Seating Information
The auditorium has three levels – Stalls, Royal Circle and Grand Circle.
The Stalls is not affected by the overhang from the Royal Circle, but the rake is rather shallow which may cause some issues with sightlines.
The Royal Circle is set rather far back, and with a shallow rake in the seats the audience seated here may feel detached from the action. The overhang of the Grand Circle is obvious from Row G onwards.
The Grand Circle is steeply raked which offers good sightlines but does feel far from the stage.