at , London, WC2N 5DG United Kingdom
The Playhouse Theatre is a West End theatre in the City of Westminster, located in Northumberland Avenue, near Trafalgar Square. The Theatre was built by F. H. Fowler and Hill with a seating capacity of 1,200. It was rebuilt in 1907 and still retains its original substage machinery. Its current seating capacity is 786.HistoryEarly yearsBuilt by Sefton Henry Parry as the Royal Avenue Theatre, it opened on 11 March 1882 with 1200 seats. The first production at the theatre was Jacques Offenbach's Madame Favart. In its early seasons, the theatre hosted comic operas, burlesques and farces for several years. For much of this time, the low comedian Arthur Roberts, a popular star of the music halls, starred at the theatre. By the 1890s, the theatre was presenting drama, and in 1894 Annie Horniman, the tea heiress, anonymously sponsored the actress Florence Farr in a season of plays at the theatre. Farr's first production was unsuccessful, and so she prevailed upon her friend, George Bernard Shaw, to hurry and make his West End début at the theatre with Arms and the Man in 1894. It was successful enough to allow him to discontinue music criticism to focus full-time on play writing. The legendary actress Gladys Cooper managed the theatre for some years.
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