Gieldgud Theatre - Current Show: The Ladykillers

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33 Shaftesbury Avenue, London Chinatown, London, W1D 6AR? - Gieldgud Theatre Tickets: 020 7850 8740?

Gieldgud Theatre in London West End

Gieldgud Theatre, London West End

The Gieldgud Theatre is currently showing The Ladykillers.

The theatre opened on December 27, 1906 as the Hicks Theatre in honour of actor, manager and playwright Seymour Hicks, for whom it was built. Designed by W.G.R. Sprague in Louis XVI style, the theatre originally had 970 seats, but over the years boxes and other seats have been removed. The theatre is a pair with the Queen's Theatre, which opened in 1907 on the adjacent street corner.

The first play at the theatre was a musical called The Beauty of Bath by Hicks and Cosmo Hamilton. My Darling, another Hicks musical, followed in 1907, followed by the successful London production of the Straus operetta, A Waltz Dream in 1908.

An astonishing event occurred midway through the run of the theatre's next major work, The Dashing Little Duke (1909), which was produced by Hicks. Hicks' wife, Ellaline Terriss, played the title role (a woman playing a man). When she missed several performances due to illness, Hicks stepped into the role possibly the only case in the history of musical theatre where a husband succeeded to his wife's role