The Gielgud Theatre

The Gielgud Theatre on the corner of Shaftesbury and Rupert

Next along the row of theatres is the Gielgud on the corner. The Gielgud opened in 1906 as the Hicks Theatre, as it was constructed for Seymour Hicks, a British actor, playwright, and manager. W. G. R. Sprague designed the theatre in the elegant and neoclassical Louis XVI style. By 1909, the theatre had been renamed the Globe–a name it held for 85 years until Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre was recreated. It was named the Gielgud in honor [honour] of Sir John Gielgud, one of the ‘trinity’ of British stage actors. We studied his work in my theatre major at McMurry University 1968-1973.

The Gielgud looking toward Rupert Street at the corner

The London Observer described it as

…one of the prettiest and most comfortable in London. Its only doubtful features are the large boxes, which when seen filled with spectators seem to protrude rather awkwardly in front of the stage.

(30 Dec 1906, p. 4)

Earlier in the year, At the Play column wrote of the Hicks Theatre:

One of the tow new homes of the drama–or of musical comedy–now in process of construction in Shaftesbury-avenue, is it seems, to bear the not too euphonious name of Hicks’s Theatre.

(The Observer, 15 Jul 1906, p. 7)

It was renamed the Globe July 11, 1909 and opened with “La Femme” in September.

This entry was posted in London, Neo-Classical, Theatres and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Gielgud Theatre

  1. Betty says:

    My pictures from my long ago Europe trip are on a CD. Once our libraries reopen later this month, I’ll be able to download my photos. I am looking forward to looking at my Europe photos after looking at yours. Perhaps I will see some similarities. I keep thinking about the other theater where the roof collapsed during a performance! Love seeing those ornate, old buildings!

    Liked by 1 person

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