A report on West End theatre and John Gielgud

The Palace Theatre, in the City of Westminster, London, built in 1891
Gielgud as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, 1959
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.
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
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
The Lyceum Theatre, home to Disney's The Lion King.
The Old Vic (photographed in 2012), where Gielgud honed his skill as a Shakespearean
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
The restored facade of the Dominion Theatre, as seen in 2017
Peggy Ashcroft in 1936
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 exterior of the Old Vic
Interior of the Queen's Theatre
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
West End theatres on Shaftesbury Avenue in 2016
Edmond O'Brien (Casca, left) and Gielgud (Cassius) in Julius Caesar (1953)
Gilbert and Sullivan play at the Savoy in 1881
Gielgud, 1953
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
The Palace Theatre, in the City of Westminster, London, built in 1891

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Photograph by Napoleon Sarony, c. 1882

Oscar Wilde

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Irish poet and playwright.

Irish poet and playwright.

Photograph by Napoleon Sarony, c. 1882
The Wilde family home on Merrion Square
Oscar Wilde at Oxford
Photograph by Elliott & Fry of Baker Street, London, 1881
1881 caricature in Punch, the caption reads: "O.W.", "Oh, I eel just as happy as a bright sunflower, Lays of Christy Minstrelsy, "Æsthete of Æsthetes!/What's in a name!/The Poet is Wilde/But his poetry's tame."
Wilde lectured on the "English Renaissance in Art" during his US and Canada tour in 1882.
Keller cartoon from the Wasp of San Francisco depicting Wilde on the occasion of his visit there in 1882
Caricature of Wilde in Vanity Fair, 24 April 1884
No. 34 Tite Street, Chelsea, the Wilde family home from 1884 to his arrest in 1895. In Wilde's time this was No. 16 – the houses have been renumbered.
Robert Ross at twenty-four
Wilde reclining with Poems, by Napoleon Sarony in New York in 1882. Wilde often liked to appear idle, though in fact he worked hard; by the late 1880s he was a father, an editor, and a writer.
Wilde by W. & D. Downey of Ebury Street, London, 1889
Sheet music cover, 1880s
Plaque commemorating the dinner between Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle and the publisher of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine on 30 August 1889 at the Langham Hotel, London, that led to Wilde writing The Picture of Dorian Gray
Jokanaan and Salome. Illustration by Aubrey Beardsley for the 1893 edition of Salome.
Lake Windermere in northern England where Wilde began working on his first hit play, Lady Windermere's Fan (1892), during a summer visit in 1891.
Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas in 1893
St James's Theatre, London in the 1890s. The Importance of Being Earnest was Wilde's fourth West End hit in three years.
The Marquess of Queensberry's calling card with the handwritten offending inscription "For Oscar Wilde posing Somdomite [sic]". The card was marked as exhibit 'A' in Wilde's libel action.
Wilde in the dock, from The Illustrated Police News, 4 May 1895
Oscar Wilde's visiting card after his release from gaol
Oscar Wilde on his deathbed in 1900. Photograph by Maurice Gilbert.
The tomb of Oscar Wilde (surrounded by glass barrier) in Père Lachaise Cemetery
A Conversation with Oscar Wilde – a civic monument to Wilde by Maggi Hambling, on Adelaide Street, near Trafalgar Square, London. It contains the inscription, "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars".
Oscar Wilde Memorial Sculpture in Merrion Square, Dublin

Peter Raby said these essentially English plays were well-pitched: "Wilde, with one eye on the dramatic genius of Ibsen, and the other on the commercial competition in London's West End, targeted his audience with adroit precision".

The memorial, above the monument to Geoffrey Chaucer, was unveiled by his grandson Merlin Holland, while Sir John Gielgud read from the final part of De Profundis and Dame Judi Dench read an extract from The Importance of Being Earnest.

The London Coliseum, home of English National Opera

English National Opera

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Opera company based in London, resident at the London Coliseum in St Martin's Lane.

Opera company based in London, resident at the London Coliseum in St Martin's Lane.

The London Coliseum, home of English National Opera
Detail of the interior of the London Coliseum, 2011
Emma Cons
The old Sadler's Wells, demolished to make way for Baylis's theatre
Lilian Baylis
Covent Garden – rival and potential senior partner
Janáček, championed by Charles Mackerras and the company
Colin Davis, musical director, 1961–65
Charles Mackerras, musical director 1970–77
Messiah, staged in 2009
ENO has presented and premiered several Philip Glass operas

In the years after the First World War, Baylis's Shakespeare productions, which featured some of the leading actors from London's West End, attracted national attention, as her shoe-string opera productions did not.

The company, retaining the title "Sadler's Wells Opera", opened at the Coliseum on 21 August 1968, with a new production of Mozart's Don Giovanni, directed by Sir John Gielgud.