Garrick - Charing Cross Road, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 30.599 W 000° 07.682
30U E 699288 N 5710450
Quick Description: A 100+ year old theatre in the heart of London's theatreland.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 7/24/2011 3:10:15 AM
Waymark Code: WMC4B9
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 4

Long Description:
London''s Garrick Theatre was designed by Walter Emden, with CJ Phipps brought in as a consultant to help with the planning on the difficult site, which included an underground river. The beautiful gold leaf auditorium was restored in 1986 by the stage designer Carl Toms and in 1997 the front facade had a facelift.

The theatre has mostly been associated with comedies or comedy-dramas. Recent productions include No Sex Please We''re British, which subsquently transferred to the Duchess Theatre in August 1986. On 24th October 1995 the Royal National Theatre''s multi-award winning production of JB Priestley''s An Inspector Calls opened here, having played successful seasons at the Royal National Theatre''s Lyttelton and Olivier theatres as well as the Aldwych Theatre and a season on Broadway.


It now seems clear (Hugh Maguire: Theatre Notebook 1988) that the design of the theatre is essentially Emden’s. The contribution made by Phipps, who was still under a cloud as a result of the Exeter fire, was a matter of argument at the time and the relationship between the two architects seems to have been an uneasy one. The long façe occupies a key position at the curved southern end of Charing Cross Road, where it widens into an approximately triangular space enclosed on the south side by the classical stone flank elevation of the National Portrait Gallery. The corresponding eastern enclosure is formed by the Portland and Bath stone theatre façe. This is divided into three related but independent elements. On the left, the main entrance is classical with colonnaded loggia at first floor level. On the right, two less elaborately articulated compositions relieve the long flank of the auditorium. The entrance canopy was hideously altered in post-war years, but reinstated to its original design in 1997. Excellent three-balconied auditorium in a free, but not excitable Italianate manner. The U-shaped balcony fronts are stacked one vertically above the other, differentiated only by their plaster relief ornaments. Like its neighbour the Duke of York’s, which it almost touches at the rear boundary, there is no proscenium frame as such, the stage opening being defined by flat box fronts whose flanking coupled columns and pilasters carry arched supports to the proscenium wall and twin caryatids at the gallery abutment. The present decoration scheme, in pale veined marbling, is by Carl Toms. The gallery has been disused for some time and still has the character of a late Victorian top tier, but the sight lines from the centre are good and plans have been discussed for bringing it back into use. The Northern line, which passes under the auditorium, can occasionally be heard in the theatre. As is commonly the case in West End Theatres of pre-1914 date, the front of house accommodation is tightly constrained and past alterations have led to the waste of some of the better spaces as rooms denied to the public.

Text source: (visit link)
Theater Name: Garrick

Country: United Kingdom

2 Charing Cross Road
London, United Kingdom

Venue: Dinner Theater

Type of Productions:

Restored Building: yes

Date of Construction: 24th April 1889

Architect/Designer: Walter Emden & C J Phipps

Stage Type: Proscenium

Seating Capacity: 732

Web Site: Not listed

Special Productions/Events/Festivals: Not listed

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MeerRescue visited Garrick - Charing Cross Road, London, UK 3/15/2012 MeerRescue visited it