The London Palladium

London Palladium Theatre

1910: The London Palladium was built by Walter Gibbons to compete with Edward Moss's London Hippodrome and Oswald Stoll's London Coliseum. So it was only natural to employ the same architect, Frank Matcham. Built on a former ice rink, it featured a revolving stage and telephones in the boxes so that audience members might call each other.

1928: Initially the theatre housed a broad spectrum of performances from ballet to farce, opera to comedy and then quickly became known for its spectacular revues. Variety performances began in this year.

1940: The theatre was closed due to the Blitz and thankfully re-opened in 1941.

1941: Unfortunately, upon re-opening the theatre is hit by a German parachute mine directly over the stage area. It never detonated, however, thanks to the diligence of the Bomb Disposal Unit but the entire area was immediately evacuated.

1945: When Val Parnell took over as general manager of the London Palladium there was a controversial change in direction owing to his policy of recruiting Hollywood stars.

1955: Bruce Forsyth was first made a star when he hosted Sunday Night at the Palladium alongside Jimmy Tarbuck in 1955.

1963: Beatlemania grips the country as the band performs live on stage in the presence of the Queen Mother.

1968: The rise of the musicals. Sammy Davis Jnr lit up the stage (literally, he was known to always have a cigar in hand) in a performance of Golden Boy.

1973: Slade appear in concert - and such is the enthusiasm of the audience the balcony section very nearly collapses.

1974: Harold Fielding's Hans Andersen starring Tommy Steele opens. Tommy Steele now has a plaque bearing his name as the performer with the most appearances at the theatre.

1979: The King and I starred Yul Brynner and Virginia McKenna. Yul Brynner played the character 4,625 times throughout his career.

1981: Michael Crawford starred in Harold Fielding's landmark production of Barnum.

1991: Andrew Lloyd Webber's new production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat had an enormously successful run with Jason Donovan in the title role.

1994: Cameron Mackintosh's production of Oliver! stars Jonathan Pryce stars as Fagin and is directed by Sam Mendes and choreographed by Matthew Bourne.

2002: The stage spectacular Chitty Chitty Bang Bang opens. It now holds the record as the longest-running show ever to play the London Palladium with 1,414 performances.

2009: Sister Act premieres June 2009.

2011: The opening of The Wizard of Oz presents Andrew Lloyd Webber with the opportunity to refurbish box office facilities, toilets and access areas to the auditorium.

2014: The London Palladium is owned by The Really Useful Group Ltd and the current production is I Can't Sing.

The London Palladium has often been billed as the most famous theatre in the world and has a long tradition of staging spectacular pantomimes, Royal Variety performances and the television show Sunday Night at the Palladium. For this reason the theatre is renowned for the stars that have appeared on stage rather than the actual productions. Notable performers include:

Harry Houdini, Gracie Fields, Sophie Tucker, Burns & Allen and Ivor Novello. Jack Benny, Paul Robeson, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Ethel Barrymore, Josephine Baker, Fats Waller. Tommy Trinder, the Andrews Sisters, Carmen Miranda and Laurel and Hardy. Danny Kaye, Harpo and Chico Marx, Benny Goodman, Max Bygraves, Julie Andrews, Harry Secombe, Terry Thomas, Cilla Black, Norman Wisdom, Des O'Connor, Frankie Howerd, Ken Dodd, Tommy Steele, Ronnie Corbett, Arthur Askey and Dame Shirley Bassey. Dorothy Lamour, Frank Sinatra, Abbott and Costello, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, Jimmy Durante, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope and Gypsy Rose Lee.

Travel Details

You can find the London Palladium on Argyll St right in the heart of the West End. The theatre can be accessed by Oxford Circus tube station.

The theatre is on main bus routes that run down Oxford St including 3, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 23, 25, 53, 73, 88, 94, 98, 113, 137, 139 and 159.

If you are travelling by car to the London Palladium be aware the theatre is located within the London Congestion Zone which operates between 7am and 7pm and currently costs £10.00 per day.

Nearest car park is the MasterPark at Poland Street and another on Kingly St. We would always advice theatre-goers to use the excellent transport links that abound in the area.

Piccadilly Circus Tube Station

5 minutes walk away

Oxford Circus Tube Station

1 minute walk away

Bond Street Tube Station

5 minutes walk away

London Palladium Theatre
Argyll Street, London, W1F 7TF

London Palladium Theatre Seating Plan

Seating capacity: 2,286

Disabled access

The theatre supplies infra-red systems and induction loops for patrons with hearing impairments available from the foyer.

There is an access toilet near the entrance at Ramillies Place and access to this facility can also be gained from the stalls bar.

There are four spaces for wheelchair users and their companions plus transferable seating in the stalls section.

Drinks can be ordered and brought to patrons in the auditorium.

Guide dogs are permitted in the auditorium and the management can also provide a dog-sitting service for up to four guide dogs.

There are two Blue Badge parking spaces available on Ramillies Place and also on Great Marlborough St.

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