Designed by W.G.R. Sprague and originally known as the Waldorf Theatre, the Novello Theatre opened in 1905 and was built to form a pair with the near-identical Aldwych theatre.
The theatre has an attractive classic facade made of Portland stone, leading to a Louis XIV style interior, richly decorated with marble and gilt. Cream and rose were the predominant colours with fleur de péche marble pilasters in the dress and upper circles. It was the last three-tier theatre to be built in London and the second to be constructed without a raked stage.
The theatre was renamed the Strand Theatre in 1909 but the name was changed again to the Whitney Theatre in 1911 and reverted back to the Strand in 1913. The name endured until 2005 when the current owner, Delfont Mackintosh Theatres Limited, completed a £4.5 million refurbishment programme to restore the theatre to its former glory. The theatre became known as the Novello Theatre after the well-known actor and composer Ivor Novello who lived in a flat above the theatre for 38 years from 1913 to 1951.
It currently plays host to the Royal Shakespeare Company's London season every winter.
Transport / Accessibility
Nearest Underground: Covent Garden
Nearest Rail: Charing Cross