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The theatre used to be called the New Ambassadors from 1999 until 2007; it was cut short when a private buyer bought it from Ambassador Tickets.
The world’s longest-running play, The Mousetrap, was first held at the Ambassadors for 22 years before moving to St Martin’s Theatre in 1974.
Ronnie Wood from the Rolling Stones played a one-night set here in 2010.
Just like the Aldwych and Novello Theatres, Ambassadors Theatre was built as part of a pair with St Martin’s, although the outbreak of World War I meant that there was a significant gap in between the construction of the two buildings – this is why the Ambassadors is relatively low compared to its neighbour.
Its opening show Panthea in 1913 ran for only 15 nights, but its later production history saw much more success. Starting off as a venue for ‘intimate revues’ (satirical skits on hot topics of the time) like those that originated in Paris, a few years later it witnessed the stage debuts of both Ivor Novello and Vivien Leigh. However, the theatre’s probably most famous for being the first home of West End stalwart Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap for 21 years, before it moved home to its sister theatre St Martin’s next door in 1974.
For the next 30-odd years, the Ambassadors Theatre hosted small-sized hits such as the Alan Rickman-fronted Les Liaisons Dangereuses (RSC), The Vagina Monologues and Sweeney Todd. It was also where the winner of the Channel 4 TV competition The Play’s the Thing put on their production On the Third Day. As a building, its main change took place in 1996 when it was refurbished into two separate theatres with an upstairs Royal Court Theatre, but when this ended in 1999 it was reverted back to its old look. It’s been the home of the noisy rhythmic spectacle Stomp since 2007.