The Cambridge Theatre

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Scottish architects Wimperis, Simpson and Guthrie designed The Cambridge theatre, which opened in 1930. The auditorium could seat more than 1200 people on three separate levels. The impressive West End theatre is situated in the perfect location of Seven Dials andthe eye-catching art deco building soon became a popular destination for London’s theatre going public.

Serge Chermayeff and sculptor Anthony Gibbons Grinling were responsible for the elegant interior design of the Cambridge theatre. In 1950 the Cambridge was refurbished and the original gold and silver was painted over in red. Chandeliers were also added at the time, however, in 1987 Carl Thomas was brought in to restore the original décor.

Upon entering the theatre’s circular entrance foyer you are greeted by Grinling's bronze frieze depicting nude figures in exercise poses. The theme continues into the main foyer with dancing nudes, which are tastefully lit by concealed lights.

Notable theatre productions

The first show opened in 1931 and was a musical production of the King Kong story called Kong starring Oscar Asche and Ursula Jeans. Other notable productions include Peter Pan, the very first Christmas show staged at the Cambridge and Breath of Spring by Peter Coke, which starred Joan Sims.

In 1964 the critically acclaimed Little Me opened. The musical starred Bruce Forsythe alongside Avril Angers and ran for 334 performances. In the summer of 1976 The Cambridge staged Chekov’s iconic Three Sisters, which would become the most commercially successful Chekhov production in West End history.

During the late 1970s, the Kander and Ebb musical Chicago opened at The Cambridge following a hugely successful run on Broadway. The London production starred Ben Crossand Antonia Ellis who were both nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for their performances. Chicago ran for over 600 performances at The Cambridge and was nominated for Musical of the Year. The revival of this fantastic show returned to The Cambridge theatre in April 2006 and ran until 2011.

Return to the Forbidden Planet, the jukebox musical by playwright Bob Carlton opened in September 1989 and ran until early 1993 and during that time scooped the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Based on Shakespeare's The Tempest, Return to the Forbidden Planet features classic rock n’ roll songs from the 50’s and 60’s such as Great Balls of Fire, Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, Teenager in Love, and Johnny B. Goode.

In 1995 the stage premiere of the musical Fame opened at The Cambridge. The show was loved by audiences but failed to garner any awards or critical acclaim. The production, which ran for over a year before transferring to a different venue, starred Sonia Swaby, Scott Sherrin, Richard Dempsey and Josefina Gabriell.

Matilda Matilda

Matilda the Musical

The Current production at the Cambridge Theatre is Matilda The Musical, a show based on the story of the same name by Roald Dahl and is performed by the RSC. It features a brilliant original score by musical comedian Tim Minchen. The show transferred to The Cambridge in 2011 after a sell out run in Stratford Upon Avon.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s company, Really Useful Theatres, currently owns the Cambridge Theatre.

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