Situated in the middle of theatreland, the Novello Theatre opened in 1905, originally called the Waldorf Theatre. It wasn’t until 2005 when the theatre was renamed after the composer and actor who lived in the flat above for nearly 40 years. Over the years the theatre has hosted famous plays such as ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’, ‘No Sex Please, We’re British’ (which ran here for no less than 10 years) and Stephen Sondheim’s ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’, all hugely successful. The theatre also survived heavy bombings in both World Wars; lunchtime Shakespeare plays during World War II continued despite the performers having to step over rubble as they made their way to the stage. The building was deemed Grade II listed in 1971.
Nowadays, the Novello Theatre is as likely to show Shakespeare as Tennessee Williams, from Broadway musicals to less successful film adaptations such as ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’. Tickets can cost from as little as £15 to £80 or more for a seat in the stalls.