The Novello Theatre, one of London's more impressive theatres, first opened in 1905 designed as a companion for the almost identical Aldwych Theatre, positioned on the other side of the Waldorf Hotel.
Located on Aldwych by The Strand, it was originally named the Waldorf Theatre, changing in 1909 to the Strand Theatre, again in 1911 to the Whitney Theatre, reverting back to the Strand Theatre (as it is commonly known) in 1913.
There are many good hotels within walking distance of the theatre. Most are located in the Covent Garden area.
The year 1930 saw the theatre undergo its first round of renovations, followed by more in 1970. However it was in mid 2005 when the theatre underwent six months of major work and, when you see the results including the beautiful foyer and marbled floored auditorium, you'll appreciate the no expense spared refurbishment.
The theatre reopened in December 2005 under the new name the ´Novello Theatre´, in honour of the great Welsh actor, composer and playwright Ivor Novello who lived in a flat above the theatre for many years.
The theatre has had a successful history, with the first long-runner, ´Mr Wu´, opening in November 1913. Comedian Leslie Henson presented a series of farces beginning in 1930 with ´It's A Boy´ followed by ´It's A Girl´ then ´Aren't Men Beasts´ in 1936 and in December 1942 Joseph Kesselring´s new comedy ´Arsenic and Old Lace´ began its record breaking run of 1,337 performances.
Successes in the following years include Peggy Mount's star-making performance in the 1955 comedy ´Sailor Beware´ and Stephen Sondheim's UK premiere of the Broadway production ´A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum´ opened in 1963.
A succession of comedies began in 1970 opening with ´Lie Down, I Think I Love You´, ´When We Are Married´, followed the UK´s longest running comedy ´No Sex Please - We're British´, which starred Michael Crawford, and is the theatre's most successful production to date.
Barry Humphries and his alter ego ´Dame Edna Everage´ starred in over 200 sell-out performances in ´Back With a Vengeance´ during 1987, the rock´n´roll musical ´Buddy´, a musical-bio on Buddy Holly, ran for almost 7 years until 2002 and the spectacular production ´The Rat Pack´, celebrating Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jnr and Dean Martin, began its run here in June 2003.
The Royal Shakespeare Company has recently been presenting a fantastic season at the Novello from December 2005 - March 2006 with the last of four plays, ´As you Like It´, finishing its run at the end of March.
Following in April 2006 was the musical adaptation of the classic 1980´s Kevin Bacon film ´Footloose´.
Charing Cross underground and rail station and Covent Garden underground station are the closest to the Strand Theatre.
When purchasing tickets for mainstream theatre productions, it is important to keep the following in mind. The cheapest way to buy tickets is to buy directly from the theatres´ box office where the show is playing. Or, purchase your tickets from the ´Half Price Ticket Booth´ (AKA ´tkts´) located in Leicester Square, where they sell ´on the day´ tickets for all of the West End shows at a discount rate.
The booth is open Monday to Saturday from 10am - 7pm and Sundays from 12pm - 3.30pm. There is a service fee of £2.50 per ticket and a maximum of 4 tickets per person.
Avoid touts hanging about the theatres and any other ticket agencies around the West End that appear a little dodgy as tickets may not be legitimate.
Always ask if your seat is in a restricted viewing area. You can also purchase a theatre and hotel package which saves money all round. However, the best thing to do if you have your heart set on seeing a particular show is to book ahead. You will be guaranteed a good seat, a great view and a fab night out.
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|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||0.38 miles|
|Temple Station||1||District - Circle line||0.38 miles|
|Holborn Station||1||Central - Piccadilly||0.57 miles|
|Charing Cross Station||1||Bakerloo - Northern||0.57 miles|
|Embankment Station||1||District - Bakerloo - Northern - Circle line||0.58 miles|
|Charing Cross London Station||0.61 miles|
|London Waterloo International Station||1.06 miles|
|London Waterloo East Station||1.09 miles|
|London Blackfriars Station||1.10 miles|
|London Waterloo Station||1.14 miles|