The London Palladium is a 2,286 seat theatre located near Oxford Circus. It is owned by LW Theatres and has strong connections to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group. Throughout its history, it has hosted plays including The Sound Of Music and a revival of Cats.
The London Palladium opened on Boxing Day 1910 with the first ‘grand variety bill’ featuring acts as diverse as Nellie Wallace and classical actor Martin Harvey. The Frank Matcham-designed building occupies a site which was previously home to a Corinthian Bazaar, Hengler’s Grand Cirque and the National Ice Skating Palace.
During the Second World War, the theatre was hit by a bomb which, after crashing through the roof and embedding itself in the stage, did not explode. Due to this good fortune, the theatre survives mostly in its original condition, although it has undergone some minor repairs and adjustments.
By the 1950s the theatre was known as the ‘Ace Variety Theatre of the World’, a reputation enhanced by the enormous worldwide popularity of ATV’s Sunday Night at the London Palladium.
One of the reasons for the London Palladium’s fame is that it often hosts the annual Royal Variety Performance. It has hosted this event over 40 times.