"London’s finest dance venue"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
The walls of Sadler’s Wells are lined with drawings illustrating the theatre’s past, and it’s certainly been a colourful one, from 1680 to the present day. Since Dick Sadler opened the venue, it has been a spa (thanks to the discovery of a medicinal well on the site, hence the name Sadler’s Wells), a wrestling ring, music hall, cinema, operatic theatre, fighting arena and roller-skating rink. Despite its many incarnations it eventually fell into demise, and closed down in 1915.
The role of rescuing the venue fell to Lilian Baylis, manager of the Old Vic. Under her management Sadler’s Wells ran a programme that mainly encompassed opera, drama and ballet. Today, Sadler’s Wells is synonymous with dance of all genres: whether it’s flamenco, hip hop, manga-inspired contemporary dance or classical tango. Not only that, but it is in fact London’s premier dance venue, with top choreographers like Pina Bausch and Merce Cunningham having premiered works here, and you’re just as likely to see a performance of The Nutcracker as the musical West Side Story.
The main building encompasses the main auditorium as well as the Lilian Baylis Studio, both of which have been creatively designed to ensure you can always see the performer’s feet, no matter where you are sitting. In addition the Peacock Theatre is also owned by Sadler’s Wells, however this is located just off Kingsway, near Holborn.
There are refreshments provided at the bar and snacks at the outdoor café, but best of all is the restaurant, which has a small yet perfectly formed selection of dishes to appease most palates, from corn fed chicken to comforting fruit crumble, all prepared freshly on the premises.
Leila reviewed Sadler's Wells Theatre on Tue 12 Jul 2011