The Strand , London , WC2R ONH
Charing Cross (Northern Line, Bakerloo Line)
As its name suggests, the Vaudeville revelled in producing revues and vaudeville when it opened in 1870. The building is unusual as it is a medley of all three preceding theatre structures on the site. The four storey high Portland stone frontage by C. J. Phipps dates back to the second construction. It is set off by an attractive and newly restored stained glass canopy. The Vaudeville was also the setting for the launching of the career for one of Theatreland’s biggest stars of yesteryear, the actor and manager Henry Irving. He was offered a weekly salary of ten pounds to join the company, so he accepted and shone on stage. His talent was recognised by American impresario Colonel Bateman who promptly whisked him off to the Lyceum Theatre where he made his name.
The Vaudeville has been fortunate enough to have set some records in its time. The 1875 record four year comic run of Our Boys saw bus conductors shouting the name of the production as the bus pulled into the nearest stop. And the 1954 production of Salad Days was the longest running production in the country since Chu Chin Chow. Its current show Stomp has dominated the stage since 2002, proving light, good natured entertainment has always been the theatre’s most successful bet.
What's on at Vaudville Theatre