Author & Researcher: Nathanial for Hotel-Assist London
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Closest tube: Covent Garden
Parking: NCP - Upper St Martins Lane
Buses: 24, 29, 176
The Fortune Theatre was the first theatre to be built in London after the First World War. It seats 432, and is one of the West Ends most intimate venues. Since 1989 it has been home to the wildly successful Woman In Black, which has run up until the time of writing (2011) and shows no sign of stopping any time soon.
The building was designed by Ernest Schauffelberg, and is Grade II listed, and, since the demolition of the original Wembley Stadium, is now the oldest public building designed wholly using concrete as a textured and exposed facade that still remains standing in the United Kingdom. Also high up on the facade, you will find the figurine of Terpsichore, who was one of the nine muses. Terpsichore represented delight in dancing, and she rules dance and the dramatic chorus. The front doors are bronze, and ticket booth is of beaten copper.
The theatre opened as The Fortune Thriller Theatre in 1924, and housed a great variety of productions, not limited to just plays and musicals. During the Second World War it was home to a number of productions by ENSA the armed serviced entertainment corps that organised concert parties. It has also housed a number of revues, from Flanders and Swann to Beyond The Fringe. More recently it housed Maureen Lipmans performance of Joyce Greenfell monologues Re-Joyce!. However, its greatest success has been The Woman In Black.
Adapted by Stephen Mallatratt from the novel by Susan Hill, The Woman In Black has succeeded in spooking audiences for more than two decades now. In 2001, a special celebration was held in the stall bar and in the auditorium for the plays 5,000th performance. In September 2008 there were a number of performances of the play in Japanese to mark the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Britain and Japan. Famed for its use of sound effects and the intimate, almost claustrophobic feel of the Fortune Theatre, The Woman In Black continues to draw crowds, and looks to be one of the more permanent fixtures in the West End.
Situated right opposite the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, the Fortune Theatre is in the heart of the West End, just moments from Covent Garden, the Strand, and Leicester Square. The nearest tube is Covent Garden, although the theatre is within easy walking distance of the mainline station at Charing Cross, and well as Leicester Square tube, Temple tube and Embankment tube. You could also walk across the bridge from Waterloo. The theatre is relatively near the river, about five minutes walk, so you could easily spend a day on the Thames before retiring to the Fortune Theatre for your evenings entertainment.
Whilst it might not provide the most varied theatrical programme, the Fortune Theatre is ideal for those who would like to see The Woman In Black. It has proved to be a consistent winner over twenty years of performances, and if you are intrigues by the chilling story you should definitely check it out during your visit to London.
|HOTEL / APARTMENT||POSTCODE||MILES||STAR||12 Dec||13 Dec||14 Dec||15 Dec||16 Dec||17 Dec||18 Dec||19 Dec|
|Covent Garden Station||1||Piccadilly||0.24 miles|
|Holborn Station||1||Central - Piccadilly||0.47 miles|
|Temple Station||1||District - Circle line||0.54 miles|
|Leicester Square Station||1||Piccadilly - Northern||0.57 miles|
|Charing Cross Station||1||Bakerloo - Northern||0.58 miles|
|Charing Cross London Station||0.63 miles|
|London Waterloo International Station||1.19 miles|
|London City Thameslink Station||1.23 miles|
|London Blackfriars Station||1.23 miles|
|London Waterloo East Station||1.24 miles|