Hit musical Wicked has entertained audiences at the Apollo Victoria Theatre since 2006 and continues to dazzle the West End.
Currently showcasing hit musical Wicked, the Apollo Victoria Theatre has a heritage dating back to 1929, when it opened as a state-of-the-art cinema, commissioned by Provincial Cinematograph Theatres (PCT) to accommodate the growing popularity of ‘talking pictures’. Designed by architect Ernest Walmsley Lewis, the theatre is in an Art Deco style that is now decorated to reflect the glittering Emerald City. Upon its official opening in 1930, the Gaumont British News charmingly called the theatre interior ‘a fairy cavern under the sea, or a mermaid’s dream of heaven’. Known as the New Victoria Cinema, the building was renowned as a place to watch film, big band and variety performances, all within walking distance of the bustling Victoria station.
In 1975, the building was refurbished and reopened as the New Victoria Theatre, shifting its focus on to more musical content. A concert celebrated the new opening, starring Dame Shirley Bassey as the headline act. In following years, the the theatre hosted a series of well-loved musicals in the late 1970’s and early 80’s, including Fiddler on the Roof, The Sound of Music and Camelot, before becoming the venue for the premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s revolutionary new musical Starlight Express. The interior of the auditorium was completely redesigned for the production, with race tracks running through the audience and modifications to incorporate a split-level roller-skating rink.
Starlight Express proved to be a huge success, playing at the theatre for an amazing 18 years before finally closing in 2002 to make way for another Lloyd Webber musical, the Bollywood-inspired Bombay Dreams. A R Rahman’s production ran for 2 successful years before ending in 2004, after which the classic Saturday Night Fever played for a brief time, followed by the Billy Joel musical Movin’ Out. In February 2006, Wicked moved into the theatre, opening in September to rapturous praise and overwhelming commercial success. Wicked continues to be a hugely popular hit, showing little signs of slowing down for the foreseeable future.
Access and Facilities:
- A cloakroom is available
- There are bars on both levels
- There are male and female toilets located on both levels
- Wheelchair access is available on the Circle level