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In the 1990s it was used as a television and radio studio for a short while before being used as a theatre once again.
Called the ‘Whitehall Theatre’ for most of its lifetime, it changed its name in 2004 after refurbishment which split one auditorium into two separate theatres.
In 1942, Trafalgar Studios was the first theatre to have a striptease performed on its stage.
Trafalgar Studios may seem newer at first glance than it actually is, having opened in the not-too-far-gone year of 2004. But it actually dates back to 1930 as the Whitehall Theatre, where a pub had existed from all the way back in 1650.
With its relatively small capacity, it was a good place for fringe theatre with revues and even a striptease during the Second World War, followed by a collection of comedies known as the ‘Whitehall Farces’ in the ‘50s and ‘60s. A five-year run of a nude show from 1969 proved particularly successful, a very controversial show in those times. But perhaps its laying low on the theatre radar didn’t work in its favour so much in the 1970s, as it was turned into a money-making tourist museum without obtaining permission, and stopped putting on productions entirely for a few years before the practices were halted.
It was only in 1986 that it reopened after a refurbishment, with a period as a TV/Radio studio in the late ‘90s sandwiched either side with plays and concerts. It was around the early 2000s that a radical transformation was chosen, turning the already small 700-seater theatre into two separate even smaller auditoriums at 380 and 100 seats apiece, individually called Trafalgar Studios 1 and 2. It has become perfect for limited run small-scale productions.