As an entertainment venue dating back to the 17th century, what is now known as the Gillian Lynne Theatre was once a tavern, evolving into The Mogul Saloon in the mid-19th century followed by the Middlesex Music Hall where performances were hosted for 500 people – only half of what it holds today.
It was transformed yet again into the Winter Garden Theatre in 1919, redecorated and with the original Mogul saloon incorporated as the stalls bar. This theatre was successful for several years before being sold off and demolished.
After a few short seasons and a phase as a television studio in the late 1970s, Cats opened at the then-named New London Theatre for 21 years. At the time, Cats was the longest-running West End musical. The opportunity was taken to renovate it with new features as “a theatre for the future”, and it reopened in 2003.
The Gillian Lynne Theatre has also been home to the National Theatre transfer of War Horse. In 2020, Carrie Hope Fletcher will star as the title character in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella from October 2020.