At the beginning of the last century, if we may believe contemporary accounts, Marylebone was a small village, "nearly a mile distant from any part of the metropolis. About two years afterwards the ground was laid out, and the circular plantation in the centre enclosed, planted, and surrounded by a parapet wall and wooden railings. The buildings, however, seem to have been proceeded with very slowly; for several years elapsed before either the square or the surrounding streets were actually completed.
Consequently in December the Theatre, which is one of the most well known in London's West Endcelebrated its th anniversary. Yet despite its size, even today, the Theatre is surprisingly intimate, with actors and audiences alike always adoring it.
In the s the first Earl of Aberdeen lived there until his death in when the building was demolished and the land excavated so as to build 'Bonded Wine Cellars. The land was later acquired by Charles Hengler, who had worked in the Circus all his life. He altered and renamed the building Hengler's Grand Cirque which opened in The original architect for this building was J.
Robinson and it had a capacity of 1, but the building was eventually condemned as it was made entirely out of wood. In Hengler had the building enlarged and almost completely rebuilt by C. However, when Hengler died ineven though his sons continued with the enterprise, Circus was already on its way out.
Another Circus Showman called Edward Wulff took over the running of the building for a short period but was unsuccessful so in the place was turned into a skating ring, called the National Skating Palace, which was famed at the time for having real ice.
Ten years later in another go at Circus was tried out in the building when it was renamed The Royal Italian Circus see programme right. But this venture failed as the London Hippodrome had already opened and was a major success with its new form of Circus and Music Hall combined, and the London County Council had near enough condemned the building demanding major alterations and improvements which were too expensive for the present owners, consequently the building closed down and the lease became the property of a syndicate who were already drawing up plans for a new Music Hall on the site, namely the London Palladium.
In the great Palm Court at the back of the stalls, one thousand persons can be comfortably served with tea. This is a very striking feature of the Palladium and the Palm Court is of all Norwegian Rose granite which, especially, looks extremely attractive.
In this Palm Court a ladies' orchestra will play daily between performances. The decorations are very beautiful, Rose du Barri hangings adorn the boxes, and upholstery of the same colour has been employed in the stalls, while the orchestra is enclosed by a marble balustrade, Generally speaking, the colour scheme of the walls is pink, white and gold, with coloured marbles, and certainly there is not a dull note anywhere.
The walls of the main vestibule are painted silver. Perhaps the most unique feature is the box to box telephone that has been installed. It will therefore be possible for the occupants of one box, recognising friends in another box, to enter into conversation with them.
Charles Gulliver took over in and ran the Theatre hard by putting on twice nightly shows and three matinees a week. Left - A variety programme for the week commencing 8th October at the London Palladium during Charles Gulliver's management.
Then there was 'Sky High' inwhich ran for performance see photograph aboveand 'Folies Bergeres,' 'Palladium Pleasures of Life,' inand 'The Apache,' inall of them successful.
In The Theatre was bought by The General Theatre Corporation and remarkably theyturned it into a Cinema, but this was a dismal failure and only lasted three months. George Black took over the running of the Theatre shortly afterwards and his own style of spectacular Variety Shows was extremely successful.
Pantomime was a regular feature at the London Palladium for many years, and the Pantomime 'Peter Pan' became so popular that it was a fixture at Christmas at the Theatre every year from to The George Black style continued under Val Parnell until when he tried his hand at Variety for the Theatre again, and with spectacular success.
The Intermission was enhanced by the Skyrocket's Orchestra playing 'Tortilla' under the direction of Woolf Philips, and then the show continued with an all star second half with Jose Moreno, Peter Sellers, and Gracie Fields. Sunday Night at the London Palladium And of course, who can forget television's 'Sunday Night at The London Palladium', a variety show produced by Val Parnell as the main attraction for the debut weekend of ATVfirst airing on the 25th of Septemberand hosted by Tommy Trinder, who had been a much loved regular at the Palladium since with his 'Gangway' review shows.
Sunday Night at the London Palladium was an immediate success, a regular 'must see' for just about everyone in Britain on a Sunday night from toand again fromproduced by Val Parnell, and later with his son Jack Parnell leading the orchestra. Tommy Trinder hosted the show from to and then Bruce Forsyth was tried out for a four week run which quickly made him a star and boosted the Sunday night audience to over 14 million, ensuring Forsyth would remain as the much loved host of the show for many years on and off.
With its famous Tiiller Girls, Forsyth's game show segment 'Beat the Clock, its revolving stage curtain calls, and its host of top name stars every week, Sunday Night at the London Palladium was the biggest show on Television for many years.
In January the show reached its largest audience ever when Cliff Richard and the Shadows headlined the show hosted by Bruce Forsyth, reaching a staggering 20 million viewers, all watching live, there was no catch up TV back then, and TV Company's could only dream of reaching such a large audience today.
The original show ended on ATV in but returned from toand then again under the new name of 'Tonight at the London Palladium' on ITV inand yet again from to as 'Sunday Night at the Palladium'. More information on Sunday Night at the London Palladium can be found here.
I have transcribed the text from the Backstage article below, along with its many images of backstage areas of the London Palladium in the s by Dave Grimley. NOW firmly established as the Ace Theatre of the World, the famous London Palladium occupies the site of what was once the town residence of the Duke of Argyll hence Argyll Street which adjoined the town residence of the Duke of Marlborough hence Great Marlborough Street where the stage-door is situated.
All that remains of the old building, which was later taken over by the Earl of Aberdeen, is a "crinoline staircase" leading from street-level to the manager's office and other Palladium offices next door to the present spacious Booking Hall, which is the most up-to-date in the country The Palladium Box Office - probably one of the largest theatre box offices in the world.
The original old building was pulled down inand a hall known as the Corinthian Bazaar erected on the site. After further reconstruction during the years - 4 the building housed the famous Hengler's Circus, and the present safety-curtain which is lowered and raised in the presence of each audience shows the building as it was in those days Above - The man responsible for the co-ordination of all the Palladium back-stage staff - stage director, Tommy Hayes, seen here in the prompt corner, which is on the right hand side of the stage, seen from the Auditorium.
In this was converted into an ice-skating rink known as the National Skating Palace, and in Mr.Wall Street is increasingly worried over Tesla’s sales results and future competition from other automakers.
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