The Palace Theatre, in the City of Westminster, London, built in 1891
Gielgud as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, 1959
The National Theatre from Waterloo Bridge
The London Palladium in Soho opened in 1910. While the Theatre has a resident show, it also has one-off performances such as concerts. Since 1930 it has hosted the Royal Variety Performance 43 times.
Centre: Marion, Kate and Ellen Terry and, far right, Fred Terry at Ellen's Silver Jubilee matinée, Drury Lane, 12 June 1906. Everyone shown was a member of the Terry family.
Axis view of Royal National Theatre to Olivier Theatre fly tower
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Opened in May 1663, it is the oldest theatre in London.
Noël Coward with Lilian Braithwaite, his, and later Gielgud's, co-star in The Vortex
Detail of the National Theatre showing the grain of the formwork
Original interior of Savoy Theatre in 1881, the year it became the first public building in the world to be lit entirely by electricity.
Mrs Patrick Campbell and Edith Evans, 1920s co-stars with Gielgud
Denys Lasdun's building for the National Theatre – an "urban landscape" of interlocking terraces responding to the site at King's Reach on the River Thames to exploit views of St Paul's Cathedral and Somerset House.
The Lyceum Theatre, home to Disney's The Lion King.
The Old Vic (photographed in 2012), where Gielgud honed his skill as a Shakespearean
Laurence Olivier became the first Artistic Director of the National Theatre in 1963. Shown in a photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1939
Queen's Theatre showing Les Misérables, running in London since October 1985
Mabel Terry-Lewis, Gielgud's aunt and co-star in The Importance of Being Earnest
Facing east; towards the City of London, from Waterloo Bridge. Showing St. Paul's, and other major City buildings – to the right, the illuminated National Theatre.
The restored facade of the Dominion Theatre, as seen in 2017
Peggy Ashcroft in 1936
An artistic lighting scheme illuminating the exterior of the building
The St Martin's Theatre, home to The Mousetrap, the world's longest-running play.
Gielgud in a publicity photograph for Secret Agent (1936)
The statue of Laurence Olivier as Hamlet was unveiled in September 2007
The exterior of the Old Vic
Interior of the Queen's Theatre
The terrace entrance between the mezzanine restaurant level and the Olivier cloakroom level, reached from halfway up/down Waterloo Bridge
The Royal Court Theatre. Upstairs is used as an experimental space for new projects—The Rocky Horror Show premiered here in 1973.
Gielgud and Dolly Haas in Crime and Punishment, Broadway, 1947
The main entrance on the ground floor
West End theatres on Shaftesbury Avenue in 2016
Edmond O'Brien (Casca, left) and Gielgud (Cassius) in Julius Caesar (1953)
The ensemble shows a varying range of geometric relationships.
Gilbert and Sullivan play at the Savoy in 1881
Gielgud, 1953
River Thames and Waterloo Bridge, with National Theatre, centre-right
Victoria Palace Theatre (showing Billy Elliot in 2012) was refurbished in 2017.
Much Ado About Nothing: Gielgud as Benedick and Margaret Leighton as Beatrice, 1959
Gielgud (left) as Joseph Surface, and Ralph Richardson as Sir Peter Teazle, The School for Scandal, 1962
Gielgud in 1973, by Allan Warren

After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art he worked in repertory theatre and in the West End before establishing himself at the Old Vic as an exponent of Shakespeare in 1929–31.

- John Gielgud

A number of other actors made their West End debut prior to the Second World War, including John Gielgud, Alec Guinness and Vivien Leigh.

- West End theatre

These include the Royal National Theatre, the Barbican Centre, Shakespeare's Globe (including the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), the Old Vic, Royal Court Theatre, Sadler's Wells Theatre, and the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre.

- West End theatre

He went on to take over the Memorial Theatre at Stratford, and to create the permanent Royal Shakespeare Company, in 1960, also establishing a new RSC base at the Aldwych Theatre for transfers to the West End.

- Royal National Theatre

Oedipus by Seneca translated by Ted Hughes, directed by Peter Brook, with John Gielgud as Oedipus, Irene Worth as Jocasta (1968)

- Royal National Theatre

One potentially outstanding acting role, Ibsen's Bishop Nicholas, fell through in 1967 when Olivier, with whom he was to co-star at the National Theatre in The Pretenders, was ill.

- John Gielgud
The Palace Theatre, in the City of Westminster, London, built in 1891

3 related topics with Alpha


Olivier in 1972

Laurence Olivier

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Olivier in 1972
The house in Wathen Road, Dorking, Surrey, where Olivier was born in 1907
Interior of All Saints, Margaret Street
Peggy Ashcroft, a contemporary and friend of Olivier's at the Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art, photographed in 1936
Olivier, with his first wife Jill Esmond (left), in 1932
The Old Vic (photographed in 2012), where Olivier honed his skill as a Shakespearean
Olivier, with Merle Oberon in the 1939 film Wuthering Heights
Olivier with Joan Fontaine in the 1940 film Rebecca
Overseas newspaper correspondents visit the set of Henry V at Denham Studios in 1943
Co-director and co-star: Ralph Richardson in the 1940s
Olivier with Leigh in Australia, 1948
Olivier and Leigh in 1957
Olivier, with Joan Plowright in The Entertainer on Broadway in 1958
Poster for Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus, one of two films in which Olivier appeared in 1960
Laurence Olivier in 1972, during the production of Sleuth
Olivier in 1939

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, (22 May 1907 – 11 July 1989) was an English actor and director who, along with his contemporaries Ralph Richardson and John Gielgud, was one of a trio of male actors who dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century.

In 1930 he had his first important West End success in Noël Coward's Private Lives, and he appeared in his first film.

From 1963 to 1973 he was the founding director of Britain's National Theatre, running a resident company that fostered many future stars.

Coward in 1972

Noël Coward

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English playwright, composer, director, actor, and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".

English playwright, composer, director, actor, and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".

Coward in 1972
Coward (left) with Lydia Bilbrook and Charles Hawtrey, 1911
Coward in his early teens
Coward in The Knight of the Burning Pestle in 1920
Coward with Lilian Braithwaite, his co-star in The Vortex and the mother of his close friend Joyce Carey
Coward, 1925photograph
Ivor Novello, top l., Alfred Lunt, top r., Lynn Fontanne, lower l. and Judy Campbell – stars of Coward premières of the 1920s–1940s
Coward, with Norman Hackforth at the piano, performing for sailors aboard in Ceylon, August 1944
"Dad's Renaissance": Coward's popularity surged in the 1960s; this poster features Al Hirschfeld's drawing of Coward rather than the stars of this 1968 revival.
The Noël Coward Theatre
Coward as Slightly in Peter Pan in 1913
Coward in his home in Switzerland in 1972
The Coward image: with cigarette holder in 1930
Coward in 1963

Coward played in the piece in 1911 and 1912 at the Garrick Theatre in London's West End.

Relative Values (1951) addresses the culture clash between an aristocratic English family and a Hollywood actress with matrimonial ambitions; South Sea Bubble (1951) is a political comedy set in a British colony; Quadrille (1952) is a drama about Victorian love and elopement; and Nude with Violin (1956, starring John Gielgud in London and Coward in New York) is a satire on modern art and critical pretension.

Invited to direct Hay Fever with Edith Evans at the National Theatre, he wrote in 1964, "I am thrilled and flattered and frankly a little flabbergasted that the National Theatre should have had the curious perceptiveness to choose a very early play of mine and to give it a cast that could play the Albanian telephone directory."

Shaw in 1911, by Alvin Langdon Coburn

George Bernard Shaw

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Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist.

Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist.

Shaw in 1911, by Alvin Langdon Coburn
Shaw's birthplace (2012 photograph). The plaque reads "Bernard Shaw, author of many plays, was born in this house, 26 July 1856".
Shaw in 1879
William Archer, colleague and benefactor of Shaw
William Morris (left) and John Ruskin: important influences on Shaw's aesthetic views
Shaw in 1894 at the time of Arms and the Man
Gertrude Elliott and Johnston Forbes-Robertson in Caesar and Cleopatra, New York, 1906
Shaw in 1914, aged 57
Dublin city centre in ruins after the Easter Rising, April 1916
The rotating hut in the garden of Shaw's Corner, Ayot St Lawrence, where Shaw wrote most of his works after 1906
Shaw in 1936, aged 80
Garden of Shaw's Corner
"The strenuous literary life—George Bernard Shaw at work": 1904 caricature by Max Beerbohm
Shaw in 1905
Shaw's complete plays
Bust by Jacob Epstein

In the 1890s Shaw's plays were better known in print than on the West End stage; his biggest success of the decade was in New York in 1897, when Richard Mansfield's production of the historical melodrama The Devil's Disciple earned the author more than £2,000 in royalties.

Although Shaw's works since The Apple Cart had been received without great enthusiasm, his earlier plays were revived in the West End throughout the Second World War, starring such actors as Edith Evans, John Gielgud, Deborah Kerr and Robert Donat.

Two further aspects of Shaw's theatrical legacy are noted by Crawford: his opposition to stage censorship, which was finally ended in 1968, and his efforts which extended over many years to establish a National Theatre.