Just to the north of Covent Garden, the magnificent red brick Palace Theatre looms imposingly over Cambridge Circus.
It opened in 1891 as the Royal English Opera House, intended as a home for the lavish 19th century genre known as ‘grand opera’, but its success was short-lived. After stints as a music hall and even an occasional cinema, it was renamed the Palace in 1911 and soon became famous for its large-scale musical productions.
Fred Astaire, the Marx Brothers and Laurence Olivier all trod the boards of the Palace Theatre, and some of London’s most famous productions have played there for thousands of nights each, including The Sound of Music, Les Miserables and several of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s biggest hits.
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