Gillian Lynne Theatre

Gillian Lynne Theatre

166 Drury Lane London WC2B 5PW
West End

Andrew Lloyd Webber has announced that in 2018, the New London Theatre – currently home to School of Rock – will be renamed the Gillian Lynne Theatre, after the legendary West End choreographer.

The New London Theatre originally opened in 1847 as the Mogul Music Hall, and from 1919 to 1965 it was named the Winter Garden Theatre. It was renovated and reopened in 1973 as the New London Theatre, and was home to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, which was the longest-running musical in West End history when it closed in 2002.  It was also used as a television studio, and was the home of Masters Snooker for two years in the 70s.

Since the closure of Cats, the theatre has hosted productions of Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and musical adaptation of the 2003 film School of Rock. It has also hosted the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of King Lear, starring Sir Ian McKellen directed by Trevor Nunn, and the transfer of the National Theatre’s hugely successful production of War Horse, based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo.

In 2018, Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose Really Useful Group have owned the building since 1991, announced the theatre would be renamed the Gillian Lynne Theatre, the first London theatre to be named after a woman.

Dame Gillian Lynne started her dancing career as a ballerina, joining the Sadler’s Wells Ballet during the Second World War, and performing her first major solo at the opening of London’s Royal Opera House on her 20th birthday. She went on to join the Royal Ballet, and became a dancer in the West End, appearing as a star dancer at the London Palladium, and major productions such as Can Can at the London Coliseum.

Lynne quickly became renowned as a choreographer and director, working on productions with the English National Opera, Royal Shakespeare Company and many West End and Broadway shows. She may be best-known for her collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber: she choreographed the musicals Cats (which opened at the New London Theatre in 1981), The Phantom of the Opera (the second-longest running West End musical) and Aspects of Love (which ran in the West End and Broadway).

Lynne received a Special Award at the 2013 Olivier Awards for her continued services to theatre, and in 2014, she was made a Dame in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Past Productions

Show Opened Closed Links
School of Rock November 2016 - Review
Show Boat April 2016 August 2016 Review
War Horse April 2009 March 2016 Review
Imagine This - A New Musical November 2008 December 2008 Review
Gone With the Wind - A New Musical April 2008 June 2008 Review
The RSC's King Lear & The Seagull November 2007 January 2008

King Lear Review


The Seagull Review

Blue Man Group November 2005 June 2007  
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat March 2003 September 2005 Review
Umoja September 2002 February 2003  
Cats May 1981 May 2002 Review
Travel Info
Nearest tube: 
Covent Garden
Tube lines: 
Railway station: 
King's Cross St Pancras
Bus numbers: 
(High Holborn) 134, 242; (Kingsway) 1, 59, 68, 91, 168, 171, 188, 243, 521, X68
Night bus numbers: 
(High Holborn) 242, N68, N207; (Kingsway) 188, 243, N1, N91, N171
Car park: 
Drury Lane, Parker Street (1min)
Within congestion zone?: 
Directions from tube: 
(5mins) Go right on Long Acre; turn left at Drury Lane and you’ll see the theatre 100 metres away on a corner.
Image description: 
Gillian Lynne Theatre
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