The building which now houses the Donmar Theatre was a Vat and Hop storage room for a local brewery throughout the nineteenth century. During the 1920's the space was used as a film studio and a banana ripening room, for stocks at Covent market. The site was bought by Theatre enthusiast Donald Albery in 1961. Albery converted the building into a private acting studio and rehearsal room for the London Festival Ballet- a company he formed with legendary ballerina and personal friend Margot Fontaine. It is the combination of their Christian names that the Donmar Warehouse get its name. During the late seventies the Royal Shakespeare Company bought the venue to gain a presence in London, as well as Stratford. In 1989 the site was acquired by Capital Theatres, which the intention of developing the theatre and modernising its basic facilities. Sam Mendes became involved with the Donmar in 1990- becoming Artistic Director and taking on Carol Newling as Executive producer. Over the next couple of years Mendes oversaw the redevelopment of the venue, whilst taking care to preserve the characteristics of the building. The Donmar Warehouse is now considered a consistent producer of talent and works, attracting actors like Nicole Kidman and William H Macy. The Donmar is easily access via Covent Garden Underground Station.
Donmar Warehouse Picture Gallery
We've put together a list of what we think are London's greatest theatres.
A reputation aligned with theatrical excellence, the artistic leadership of Sam Mendes and at least six productions a year; The Donmar Warehouse is a true heavyweight of London theatre. Located in the heart of Covent Garden the theatre is an informal space that consistently dazzles.