Hotels near the Victoria Palace Hotel London
This site has housed music halls since the 1850's and after London's oldest licensed music hall was demolished on Victoria Street in London's Victoria, Frank Matcham designed a new theatre opening as the Victoria Palace in November 1911.
The architecture of this building is enchanting and over the years the theatre has managed to retain a lot its original character. Having once seated 1,700 it now seats 1,550, the auditorium, front of house and dressing rooms have been beautifully refurbished and the grey marble, gold mosaic and white Sicilian marble pillars look the same as they did when the venue was first erected. The sliding roof is the favoured feature, proving popular in the early days when the theatre was a smoking free-for-all venue.
In the beginning years it was best associated with variety shows and revues, but by the 1930's, variety hit a low and the venue began presenting 'legit' plays, seeing the suffix 'theatre' tagged on to the name in 1934. The first hit, of sorts, from this time was 'Young England' by Walter Reynolds. As a serious, patriotic melodrama, it was ironically so badly mocked by audiences that it became something of a cult following - a play you simply had to see.
In 1937, a revival of 'Me and My Girl' was the next big success, playing here until WWII broke out, closing the theatre down. It was revived for a short time in 1944 making 'The Lambeth Walk' an English iconic song along the way. However it was the British larrikins who formed 'The Crazy Gang' that the theatre is more popularly associated with. After transferring their comical double-acts from the London Palladium in 1947, their almost non-stop run of craziness reigned at the Victoria Palace Theatre until May 1962.
Notable productions in recent years include Elizabeth Taylor's London stage debut in 1982's 'Little Foxes', the record-making musical 'Buddy' began its six year run in 1989 before moving to the Novello Theatre (AKA Strand Theatre), the Olivier Award winning musical 'Jolson' followed in October 1995 with other productions including 'The New Rocky Horror Show', 'Fame', 'Kiss Me, Kate' and 'Grease'. Ben Elton's comedy/musical 'Tonight's the Night' opened in October 2003, telling the story of a quiet, shy guy who longs to be like his idol Rod Stewart, hoping that Rod's soul, passed on to him by the Devil, will provide a little help (or not) with wooing a woman he is secretly in love with.
The current show running at the theatre is the musical adaptation of one of Britain's most successful films 'Billy Elliot'. Put together by the same team behind the film, the production is made even more fabulous with the musical genius Sir Elton John on board.
Victoria rail and underground station is the closest to the Victoria Palace 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 most 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.