Saturday, September 18, 2010

Savoy Theatre Colors 'Legally Blonde' - The Venue

The Savoy Theatre originally was built and completed in 1881 to host the operas by Gilbert & Sullivan (‘Pirates of Penzance’). The main entrance is situated along the courtyard of the Savoy Hotel which was famously featured in the film "Notting Hill" where Hugh Grant and his friends drive up to interrupt a press conference for the Julia Roberts character. The theatre is decked out in silver splendor keeping with the stainless steel exterior of the hotel.

In 1990 while under refurbishment, a fire gutted the building except for the stage and backstage areas. It was rebuilt in 1993 with a seating capacity of over 1,100 on three levels. This is one of a few theatres in London where the entire auditorium is below street level. I was surprised when the usher directed me to the stalls (orchestra) level down three sets of stairways.

The large marquee of the current theatre tenant "Legally Blonde" obscures the Savoy Hotel facade while it undergoes refurbishment. The theatre and hotel are located along the busy Strand and a short stroll from Covent Garden.


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