The Prince of Wales Theatre is situated on Coventry Street in the West End of London, close to Piccadilly Circus tube station. Built in 1937, this 1125 seat venue is the second Prince of Wales theatre building to have occupied its present site, which nowadays is in the middle of a tourist hotspot, flanked on either side by Planet Hollywood and the London Trocadero.
Originally called the Prince’s Theatre and hastily renamed the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1886, the original venue staged a number of plays but was best known for its musicals and operettas.
The first production at the original Prince of Wales Theatre was the comedy The Palace of Truth, which opened on January 18 1884. Although the first theatre went on to be very successful, the small size of the auditorium became a problem and the building was demolished in 1936. The present theatre opened its doors for the first time in October 1937, with a seating capacity almost double that of its predecessor.
In the 1930s the theatre staged a number of risqué revues featuring lavish costumes and sets with dancers, singers, acrobats and magicians. Among the countless notable shows to have graced its stage since then are Funny Girl, Sweet Charity, South Pacific, Aspects of Love, Copacabana and West Side Story.
Today, the Prince of Wales Theatre enjoys consistent success and has established a reputation for bringing successful Broadway musicals to London’s West End.
Refurbishments were carried out in 2004, increasing the seating capacity once more and modernising the theatre’s facilities. The theatre was reopened by Prince Charles in June of that year, and he attended a gala performance there of the long-running Abba musical Mamma Mia!
Recent successes at the venue include Rent, Fosse, The Witches of Eastwick, The Full Monty, Cliff – The Musical and Mamma Mia!
Whatever you decide to see at the Prince of Wales Theatre, we wish you an entertaining and rewarding visit