Welcome to today’s celebration of London theatre spaces. This time I am looking at those beginning with ‘L’.
Landmark Arts Centre
Open since 1995 in the former church of St Alban the Martyr, the Landmark Arts Centre is located in Teddington and features exhibitions, comedy and music.
The Landor, a pub theatre in Clapham, opened as the Cage in 1994 but had changed its name within a year. Sadly in 2016 the theatre was forced to leave its home above the Landor Pub and has since then been seeking new permanent premises. At the time of its closure its artistic director was Robert McWhir.
The Landor Space now resides above the pub as a venue for hire; it occasionally hosts small fringe theatre productions.
The Leicester Square Theatre was opened in 1953 as the Notre Dame Hall. Owned by artistic director Martin Witts (London International Arts Theatre), the 400 seat space includes two bars and has been long associated with music, cabaret and comedy, although it also stages theatre productions.
Lion & Unicorn
A 60-seat space above the gastropub of the same name in Kentish Town, the Lion & Unicorn Theatre opened in 1998 under the directorship of David Jubb. It has since been relaunched twice; most recently in 2019. Its current artistic director is David Brady.
A puppet theatre in Islington, the Little Angel opened in 1961 in a former temperance hall. The current artistic director is Samantha Lane. The theatre is closely involved with its local community through its creative learning department.
The London Theatre in New Cross opened in 2011 and can accommodate an audience of 36-50 patrons. Its artistic director is Harry Denford. It is home to theatre companies Shakespeare in the Park and Practical Productions, as well as the London Comedy Course.
The London Coliseum is the home of English National Opera, but in recent years has also staged musicals in its main hall plus concerts in the balcony bar. Designed by Frank Matcham and opened in 1904, the Coliseum is Grade II* listed and for intermittent periods until 1968 was utilised for film screenings.
A short stroll from Oxford Circus station, the Palladium is known as the home of variety and was opened in the West End in 1910. A Grade II* listed building, it was for many years the home of TV’s Sunday Night at the London Palladium. It is currently owned by the Really Useful Theatres Group.
The 2,100 seat West End theatre opened in 1834 and was primarily operated as an opera house. It was later closely associated with actor-manager Henry Irving, and is now owned by ATG. Since 1999 it has been the home of hit musical The Lion King. The building is Grade II* listed.
Opened in 1888, the Lyric is a West End theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. For the past decade it was home to Thriller Live! Owned by Nimax, the theatre is the oldest of the group situated together on the street and is Grade II listed.
The Lyric in Hammersmith was built in 1895 by Frank Matcham. In 1966 it was due to be closed and demolished but was dismantled and reinstalled piece by piece within a modern shell in the current premises on King Street, reopening in 1979.
As well as this main house, the Lyric also has a studio which hosts children’s shows and occasional visiting productions. The current artistic director is Rachel O’Riordan.