The Palladium Theatre London is known as the most popular theatre venues in the British capital and probably in the entire U.K. The show’s popularity can mostly be attributed to the musical variety shows that were televised during the 1960 and 1960s and because of some of the great celebrities who have performed here over its years of evolution. A century old edifice, it was built in 1910 by Walter Gibbons and was initially called ‘The Palladium’ theatre. It came to be known with the same name until 1934, when ‘London’ was added to its name.
During its initial days, the venue acted as a circus, an ice rink and a cinema. Once the Second World War ended in 1945, Val Parnell took up the management of the house and brought here many acclaimed stars from United States including Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, an act that annoyed British stars of those days.
Since 1955, the popular show ‘Sunday Night at the London Palladium’ has been hosted here for coming 12 years. The show was aired on ITV for a very successful and popular run. The show was latter revived during the late 1980s and was called ‘Live from the Palladium’. The show under the current management staged performances of shows like The King and I, The Sound of Music and Sister Act the Musical. In 2002, to address the need of the show Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the stage of the show underwent a major transformation, efforts resulted in positive outcomes as the show went on to become a record breaking one as the longest running musical staged here running for 1,400 performances. The Wizard of Oz opened up here that was based on the story of a young girl who was taken away from her home to a magical land by a tornado. It featured songs from the 1939 MGM film including ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’. The show ran here from March 2011 and September 2012.
The centenary of the venue was celebrated on Boxing Day 2010 with gala performances that staged many of the popular faces who have graced its stage for years. In the following year, the venue was extremely refurbished installing new box office facilities and arrangements for audiences to allow them enjoy drinks at many of the bars of the venue. A Grade II listed venue, it can accommodate 2,286 audiences at a time.
The venue is these days home to A Chorus Line that has been directed by ace choreographer and director Bob Avian. A revival of the 1976 classic that won the Olivier Award for the Best Musical, the show brings before audiences a glimpse of the life and struggle that the stage actors undergo before making it big. It is the story of a group of performers who have arrived for audition of one of the show. Their talents are being scrutinized by Zach and his assistant Larry. As the musical proceeds, the story about life of each of the one who have come for audition begins to surface upon.