Since 1906, the Gielgud Theatre has been home to many traditional and modern classics.
Known originally as the Hicks Theatre, the 986 seater opened with a production of The Beauty Of Bath in 1906, a play co-written by Seymour Hicks. In 1909, its name was changed to the Globe, before being renamed as the Gielgud in 1994, to distinguish itself from the newly opened Shakespeare’s Globe and as a homage to Sir John. John Gielgud made his first of 15 appearances at the theatre in 1928.
Productions at the theatre have included three of A A Milne’s plays in the 1920s (the Winnie The Pooh author who was also a popular playwright) and While The Sun Rises – a wartime comedy romance which ran for 1154 performances, boosting morale throughout 1944 and 1945. Notable performances include Edith Evans as Lady Bracknell in The Importance Of Being Earnest in 1939, directed by John Gielgud, and Judi Dench’s first appearance with the Royal Shakespeare Company in over ten years in All’s Well That Ends Well in 2004.
In 2006, Delfont Mackintosh Theatres took over operational control of the Gielgud, and presented a series of acclaimed productions including The Crucible with Iain Glen, Frost/Nixon with Frank Langella and Michael Sheen, Equus with Daniel Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths and Macbeth with Patrick Stewart. More recent successes include Yes, Prime Minister which played at the theatre twice and Graham Linehan’s highly entertaining stage adaptation of the classic Ealing comedy The Ladykillers.
In 2013, the National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time transferred to the Gielgud, closing in 2016. The production won 7 Olivier Awards in 2013, at the time equalling the record held by Matilda The Musical.