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Noël Coward and Gertrude Lawrence had a strong relationship with the theatre; the first production there starred both of them, and they referred to it as "our theatre".
The Phoenix Garden, a community garden built on a former car park, is located behind the theatre.
Its previous production of Blood Brothers was its longest-running, having been there since 1991.
The production of Blood Brothers starred several popstars in its cast history – including the Spice Girls’ Mel C, Blue’s Antony Costa, Atomic Kitten’s Natasha Hamilton, X Factor contestant Niki Evans and four of the Nolan sisters!
Predating the Phoenix Theatre was the Alcazar Music Hall, a venue which unusually hosted three acts simultaneously in one space. Unfortunately, the fate of the Alcazar spiralled slightly downwards into a gambling house as well as the old-time equivalent of a peep show. Replacing the seediness was the Phoenix Theatre, built on this site in 1930. Despite some early struggles as both a venue for theatre and variety shows, its future was assured by Noel Coward plays.
Noel Coward had a close relationship with the Phoenix Theatre; its debut production was his Private Lives, and his 1936 return with three one-act plays collectively called Tonight at 8:30 were the theatre’s biggest success in years. His contribution to the Phoenix was so overwhelming that his 70th birthday present was naming the foyer bar after him.
The 1940s kept the theatre in business with productions from playwrights John Gielgud and Terence Rattigan, funding towards a 1966 makeover. But the Phoenix Theatre’s biggest hit to date came in 1968 with a musical adaptation of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales which ran for 2000 performances. Musicals turned out to be the Phoenix Theatre’s lifeblood for many years to come through Stephen Schwartz’s The Baker’s Wife, Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods and finally Willy Russell’s groundbreaking Blood Brothers. The story of twins separated at birth was staged from 1991 and broke The Canterbury Tales’ record for the Phoenix’s longest-running show.