The Novello Theatre opened on 22 May 1905 as the Waldorf Theatre. Managed by the Shubert Organisztion, the theatre was built as a pair with the Aldwych Theatre in a design by W. G. R. Sprague. The theatre has had several name changes, the first occurring in 1909 when it became the Strand Theatre, likely due to its location being just off the Strand. In 1911 the name was changed to the Whitney Theatre before reverting back to the Strand Theatre in 1913. This is how it remained until 2005 when Sir Cameron Mackintosh bought the theatre through Delfont Mackintosh Theatres and renamed it the Novello Theatre after Ivor Novello, who owned a flat above the theatre, which he lived in from 1913 to 1951.
The theatre has been refurbished three times in its lifetime, once in 1930, again in the early 1970s and most recently in 2005 when it was lovingly restored by Cameron Mackintosh’s company for its 100th anniversary.
The Novello Theatre has played host to several successful productions, including the 1941 premiere of the black comedy Arsenic and Old Lace, which enjoyed a run of 1337 performances. The comedy Sailor, Beware! Opened in 1955 for a run of 1231 performances. Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum had its West End premiere in 1963 and stayed for two years, and the hugely successful comedy No Sex Please, We’re British ran for 10 years from 1971 before transferring to the Garrick Theatre.
The auditorium has four levels - Stalls, Dress Circle, Grand Circle and Balcony.
Productions since renovation and name change
(Transferred from Prince of Wales Theatre)
|Derren Brown: Svengali||July 2012||August 2012|
|Noises Off||March 2012||June 2012||Review|
|Crazy for You||October 2011||March 2012||Review|
|Betty Blue Eyes||March 2011||September 2012||Review|
|Onassis||October 2010||January 2011||Review|
|Tap Dogs||June 2010||September 2010|
|Grumpy Old Women Live 2 - Chin Up Britain||April 2010||June 2010|
|Cat On A Hot Tin Roof||December 2009||April 2010||Review|
|An Inspector Calls||September 2009||November 2009|
|Spring Awakening||March 2009||May 2009|
|The RSC's The Taming of the Shrew||February 2009||March 2009|
|The RSC's A Midsummer Night's Dream||January 2009||February 2009|
|The RSC's Hamlet||December 2008||January 2009|
|Eurobeat - Almost Eurovision||September 2008||November 2008||Review|
|Into the Hoods||March 2008||August 2008|
|Shadowlands||December 2007||February 2008||Review|
|Desperately Seeking Susan||November 2007||December 2007||Review|
|The Drowsy Chaperone||June 2007||August 2007||Review|
|The RSC's The Tempest||March 2007||March 2007||Review|
|The RSC's Antony and Cleopatra||January 2007||February 2007||Review|
|The RSC's Much Ado About Nothing||December 2006||January 2007||Review|
|Footloose - The Musical||April 2006||November 2006||Review|
|The RSC's As You Like It||March 2006||March 2006||Review|
|The RSC's A Midsummer Night's Dream||February 2006||February 2006||Review|
|The RSC's The Comedy of Errors||January 2006||January 2006|
|The RSC's Twelfth Night||December 2005||December 2005||Review|