Location: Savoy Court (just off the Strand)
Currently Showing: Dreamgirls
Access: Charing Cross – exit into the Strand
Ownership: Ambassador Theatre Group
The theatre was opened on 10th October 1881. It was built by Richard D’Oyly Carte on the site of the old Savoy Palace (which was destroyed by rioters during the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381) as a venue for Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas. The entrance was originally on Embankment but was moved to its current location when Carte built the Savoy Hotel in 1889. The theatre is state of the art and was the world’s first building to be completely lit by electricity. The theatre had a successful season of operas.
In 1901, Richard D’Oyly Carte died. The theatre closed in 1903 but reopened a year later under John Leigh’s and Edward Laurilland’s management. In 1915, Rupert D’Oyly Carte, Richard’s son, took over management. He closed the theatre to rebuild the interior in June 1929, and it reopened on 21st October 1929 with The Gondliers by Charles Ricketts. Under his management, Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit and Oscar Wilde’s Salome were shown at the theatre along with Gilbert and Sullivan operas. Rupert died in 1948 and management of the theatre was taken over by his daughter, Bridget D’Oyly Carte who died childless in 1992, ending the family line.
During renovation in February 1990, a fire destroyed the inside of the building. A proposed new design for the interior of the Savoy was rejected by the theatre’s insurers and English Heritage. The theatre was restored as close to the 1929 plan as possible.
The Savoy Theatre opened on 19th July 1993 with a royal gala and a specially commissioned ballet, the Savoy Suite. Since then, there have been many notable productions shown here including, Relative Values, Communicating Doors, When We Were Married (which starred Alison Steadman and Dawn French), Importance of Being Earnest, Pirates of Penzance, Return to the Forbidden Planet, Carousel, Let It Be, Legally Blonde, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Gypsy (which starred Imelda Staunton), and Funny Girl (which starred Sheridan Smith).
The current owners, the Ambassador Theatre Group, assumed ownership in December 2013.
The Savoy Theatre is located on the Strand. This is a very central location, with Embankment, Aldwych Crescent, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus all within close proximity to the theatre.
Our favourite restaurants nearby are:
- Salieri – The Strand, Italian, wide ranging menu
- Cucina Asellina – The Strand, Italian, expensive
- Pizza Express – The Strand, chain, vouchers available
- Zizzi – The Strand, chain, vouchers available
- Joe Allen – Exeter Street, American cuisine, special vegetarian menu
- Strada – Tavistock Street, chain, vouchers available
The Savoy Theatre is a very small theatre. All levels are down from the box office. The bar areas are very small and quite cramped. The theatre is maze-like, with a lot of small staircases and swing doors. The auditorium is well kept and comfortable.
The view from most seats are very good. However, in the first few rows of the stalls, the view can be obstructed. The floor is not adequately sloped and so if you happen to get a taller person in the seat in front of you, your view can be compromised.
The exits to all bars and other facilities are to the right of the auditorium.
Where to buy tickets
The Savoy Theatre is owned by the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG). Therefore, the best place to buy tickets for Dreamgirls is through ATG Tickets where you will buy the tickets at face value (with a booking fee).
ATG offer an ATG theatre card which means you don’t get charged a booking fee on any transactions on the ATG website (for shows playing in ATG owned theatres) and you get a discount at the bars of any ATG owned theatres.
Reviews from the Savoy
Guys and Dolls – ★★★ “…an excellent show, with high quality singing and dancing with a swing style.” Read more >>>
Dreamgirls – ★★★ “Despite a lacklustre plot, Dreamgirls is a powerhouse of a musical” Read more >>>