Now showing at the Cambridge Theatre
Cambridge Theatre history
From the outside
The wedge-shaped, bold Art Deco splendour of London’s Cambridge Theatre provides a dramatic visual focal point on the corner of Camden Town’s Seven Dials, on Earlham Street. Its simple lines and elegant façade led to a Grade Two listing in 1999, so its expressionist shapes and modern outlines are being preserved for future generations to enjoy. Inside is also an exercise in restrained Art Deco style with sweeping lines and typical early 1930s motifs.
London’s Cambridge Theatre architecture and history
Despite being so large, the Cambridge Theatre is comfortable and cosy, with a smaller stage than you might expect, which makes it the perfect venue for musicals with small casts and plays that demand an intimate, intense setting. Apart from being used for trade film shows in the late 1930s, and as a cinema for a short time in 1969, it has always been used to show live theatrical performances.
The theatre opened in 1930, designed by the architects Wimperis, Simpson and Guthrie in a conscious rebellion against traditional music hall and theatre style. With a splendid period interior partly by Serge Chermayeff and bronze friezes by the prestigious sculptor Anthony Gibbons Grinling, it’s a feast for the eyes if you’re a Deco fan. The entrance foyer is particularly lovely, a circular space featuring a bronze frieze by Grinling's of nudes exercising. The main foyer is superb too, with nude dancers and gorgeous marble up-lighting.
A concrete-covered steel frame building, it’s an excellent example of its kind. In 1950 it was refurbished, which involved covering over the 1930s gold and silver with scarlet and adding dramatic chandeliers. But in 1987 the theatre was reborn again in its original Deco style by Carl Toms.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theatre company, the Really Useful Group, bought the Cambridge Theatre in 2000.
Ghosts at the Cambridge Theatre
Over the years there have been numerous stories about poltergeist activity backstage at the Cambridge Theatre.
Past shows at the Cambridge Theatre, London
Famous Cambridge Theatre productions include the 1942 production of Heartbreak House by George Bernard Shaw’s Heartbreak House, in which Deborah Kerr made her debut. Joan Sims played in Breath of Spring during 1958, Tommy Steele starred in Half a Sixpence in ’63 and Bruce Forsyth raised the roof in Little Me during ’64. Return to the Forbidden Planet spent four years there and won an Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Jerry Springer - The Opera played there, as did Derren Brown on his Something Wicked This Way Comes tour. It hosted the original London production of Chicago in ’77 and Superman in 1983. Plus Fame, Flying Music’s Dancing in the Streets and Our House, the Madness musical.
Cambridge Theatre access
The entrance to the theatre is on the Seven Dials roundabout, and there’s access for wheelchairs and scooters.
The Cambridge Theatre tickets
We’re a popular destination for a wide variety of seat types and prices, with excellent availability on the full range of Cambridge Theatre tickets.
32-34 Earlham Street, London, WC2H 9HU
- Air conditioned
- Disabled toilets
- Infrared hearing loop
- Member of Q-Park scheme
- Wheelchair/scooter access
- Capacity: 1249
- Year built: 1930