Phoenix Theatre

Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0JG
Phoenix Theatre History and Timeline
Dirty Dancing returns to the West End

Dirty Dancing returns to the West End

2016-12-06

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage sambas back into the West End for a short run over the Christmas period.

The Phoenix Theatre opens

The Phoenix Theatre opens

1930-09-24

The new venue was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, Bertie Crewe and Cecil Massey. The first play at the theatre was the world premiere of 'Private Lives' by Noel Coward. The author starred in the production himself, alongside Gertrude Lawrence and Laurence Olivier. This began the venue's long affiliation with the writer, and in 1969 the foyer bar was renamed the Noel Coward bar on his 70th birthday.

Noel Coward's Tonight at 8.30 runs at the Phoenix

Noel Coward's Tonight at 8.30 runs at the Phoenix

1936-01-01

After the venue found little success as a Variety Theatre, Noel Coward returned to the theatre with productions of his one-act plays. These were extremely popular with audiences, and he often starred alongside Gertrude Lawrence. This played for 157 performances, and one of the most popular plays, 'Still Lives' was turned into the popular film 'Brief Encounter'.

Two Terence Rattigan plays, Harliquinade and The Browning Version opened

Two Terence Rattigan plays, Harliquinade and The Browning Version opened

1948-09-08

This popular public school drama was one of Rattigan's most popular plays and enjoyed a successful run at the Phoenix, following on from its tradition of housing shorter one act plays. Peter Scott-Smith starred as John Taplow and transferred with the production to Broadway, where it was not met with the same critical reception.

The Canterbury Tales opens at the Phoenix

The Canterbury Tales opens at the Phoenix

1968-03-21

An adaptation of The Canterbury Tales ram at the theatre for just under 2,000 performances. This musical adaptation of Chaucer's middle English poem features music by John Hawkins and Richard Hill, with lyrics and book by Nevill Coghill. The show was particularly successful in the UK and later transferred to Broadway where it played for 121 performances. It was directed by Vlado Habunkey and Martin Starkie, and featured Martin Starkie as Chaucer, Michael Logan as the Host and Gay Soper as Alison, the Wife of Bath.

Winnie the Pooh has its stage premiere

Winnie the Pooh has its stage premiere

1970-12-17

A.A Milne's popular books were brought to life in an impressive stage production of Winnie the Pooh. The cast included Paul Bacon, Julian Orchard, Jimmy Thompson, Betty Sharpe and Derek Smee, recreating the colourful world of Christopher Robin, Tigger, Eeyore and Pooh Bear.

Night and Day by Tom Stoppard opens

Night and Day by Tom Stoppard opens

1978-11-08

Tom Stoppard's post-colonial play ran for over two years and was one of the most successful plays at the venue. It starred John Thaw and Diana Rigg in the central roles and featured set and costumes by Carl Toms. The play was a satire on the British media and is narrated through the subconscious thoughts of Ruth Carson, blending both fiction and non fiction. Stoppard was one of the most popular contemporary writers of the 1970s and continues to write plays and screenplays.

One Mo' Time transfers from Broadway

One Mo' Time transfers from Broadway

1981-07-14

Vernal Bagneris' musical about the black vaudeville performers in New Orleans transferred to the Phoenix Theatre after a successful run of three and a half years in New York. In London the production was performed in front of Queen Elizabeth II as part of the Royal Command Performance and was nominated for the Society of West End Theatres awards for Outstanding Musical.

Are You Lonesome Tonight? Opens

Are You Lonesome Tonight? Opens

1985-08-13

This Elvis inspired play was one of the first and early forms of juke box musical. Written by Alan Bleasdale, it featured the songs 'Heartbreak Hotel', 'Blue Suede Shoes', 'Hound Dog' and the title song. The show featured Simon Bowman as young Elvis, and opened initially at the Liverpool Playhouse before the West End run. Bill Kenwright was producer and director, and the play earned good notices.

The London premiere of Into the Woods opens

The London premiere of Into the Woods opens

1990-09-25

Stephen Sondheim's 1988 musical fairytale opened at the Phoenix in a brand new production. Instead of transferring the successful Broadway production, it was redirected by Richard Jones with new designs by Richard Hudson. The London production was much darker than its New York counterpart and featured new music and story elements. The cast included Julia McKenzie as the Witch, Imelda Staunton as the Baker's Wife and Clive Carter as the Wolf/Cinderella's Prince. It ran for 197 performances.

The London revival of Blood Brothers opens

The London revival of Blood Brothers opens

1991-11-21

After originally opening in the West End in 1983, Blood Brothers won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. In 1988 the show was revived by Bill Kenwright, and transferred to the Phoenix Theatre in 1991 where it remained for 24 years and over 10,000 performances. The success of the show is remarkable, and it continues to tour the UK each year. The original cast included Kiki Dee, Warwick Evans and Con O'Neill, but countless others joined the show over its epic run, including Marti Pellow, Carl Wayne, Lyn Paul, Melanie Chisholm and four of the Nolan sisters. The musical is the third longest running musical in the West End.  

Once the Musical opens

Once the Musical opens

2013-03-16

Following a highly successful New York debut, Once the Musical transferred to London's Phoenix Theatre. After winning the Tony Award for Best Musical, the show gained much critical acclaim and audience attention. The original London production starred Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cvitešić as the Guy and Girl.

Guys and Dolls opens

Guys and Dolls opens

2016-01-25

Guys and Dolls took Chichester Festival by storm in 2014 and continued its success across the country. With an initial West End run at the Savoy Theatre, the hit show then took residence at the Phoenix Theatre following the closure of Bend it Like Beckham. Guys and Dolls embarked on a UK tour in April 2016 following many 5* reviews from the Savoy Theatre run.

Peppa Pig surprises the Phoenix Theatre

Peppa Pig surprises the Phoenix Theatre

2016-12-15

Peppa Pig's Surprise returns to the West End for a limited festive season. Entertaining Christmas audiences, this show is based on the hit children's television series.

Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace perform in their final London show

Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace perform in their final London show

2016-09-22

Argentine Tango champions Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace finish a tour of the UK with a final show at the Phoenix Theatre. This production marks their last dance together on a London stage, having had much success with other dance shows including Midnight Tango and Dance Til' Dawn.

The Girls blooms in the West End

The Girls blooms in the West End

2017-02-22

After a hugely successful opening at the Phoenix Theatre, The Girls extends to July 2017, earning Olivier Award nominations and five-star reviews from critics in the process.

The Girls opens on the West End

The Girls opens on the West End

2017-02-21

Gary Barlow and Tim Firth's new musical The Girls comes to the West End. Opening at the Phoenix Theatre, The Girls is based on the hit film Calendar Girls, which follows the real story of women who dare to bare all for a charity calendar. Previews began on January 28th, with an official opening night on February 21st 2017.

The Baker's Wife opens

The Baker's Wife opens

1989-11-27

Trevor Nunn directed the London premiere of Stephen Schwartz's musical The Baker's Wife at the Phoenix, which only ran for just 56 performances. The cast included Myra Sands, Jill Martin, Alun Armstrong and Sharon Lee-Hill. Just like the Broadway production, it was ill fated despite good audience feedback and critical reviews. It was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Musical of the Year, and developed a cult following in the UK for the musical.  

Past Shows at Phoenix Theatre