Designed by C I Phipps and decorated by Collinson & Locke, the most beautifully fitted theatre in Europe opened its doors in October 1881 with a transfer from the Opera Comique of Gilbert and Sullivan’s opera Patience. Built at the instigation of Impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte, who wanted his own theatre in order to stage the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, the Savoy Theatre became famous as the first public building in the world to be lit by Incandescent electric lights and in one way or another it has been blazing ever since.
In June, 1929, the Victorian auditorium was demolished and, 135 days later “a gleaming palace had sprung up”, a magic miracle of modernism built by Rupert D’Oyly Carte with Frank Tugwell as the architect and decorative designs by Basil Ionides. The Theatre re‑opened in October 1929 with a revival of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, designed by Charles Ricketts and conducted by Dr Malcolm Sargent.
Today the Savoy Theatre London is part of the Ambassador Theatre Group and has a musical-based output, with modern productions including the Take That musical Never Forget. The Savoy Theatre was recently the home of the original London production of fabulous musical Legally Blonde, which opened in 2009 to wide critical and public acclaim, followed by the Tina Turner musical Soul Sister and a revival of Cabaret. It is now home to the fabulous Dreamgirls.