THE AMBASSADORS THEATRE, LONDON
The Ambassadors Theatre: History
The Ambassadors Theatre London, and the St Martin's Theatre were conceived by their architect, W.G.R. Sprague, as companions, born at the same time in 1913, but World War I interrupted the construction of the latter for three years. The Ambassadors was built with the intention of being an intimate, smaller theatre and is situated opposite the renowned restaurant The Ivy, favourite haunt of the theatrical elite.
The auditorium is decorated in an elegant Louis XVI style and the horseshoe shaped single balcony is only a few steps up from ground level, while the stalls are built underground. Charles B Cochran recognised the Ambassadors lent itself perfectly to intimate revue and a period of sophisticated 'miniature revues' were performed at the Ambassadors at the beginning of the First World War.
The world's longest running and most famous play, The Mousetrap, started its run at The Ambassadors Theater, with Richard Attenborough and his wife Sheila Sim, who were the first of generations of casts to perform in what has become a seemingly permanent tourist attraction. Since The Mousetrap, The Ambassadors has enjoyed numerous other successes, including the Royal Shakespeare's hit production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in the 80s.
ATG took over The Ambassadors and it became the home for new writing. In 2007, it was announced that ATG had sold the venue to Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen, who began an extensive programme of refurbishments.
Recent Productions at The Ambassadors Theatre:
Stones in his Pockets (21 July 2003 – 1 May 2004) by Marie Jones
The Shape of Things (17 May 2004 – 12 June 2005) by Neil LaBute
Guantanamo: Honour Bound to Defend Freedom (23 June 2004 – 4 September 2004) by Victoria Brittain and Gillian Slovo
Sweeney Todd (13 October 2004 – 5 February 2005) by Stephen Sondheim
Ying Tong: A Walk with The Goons (14 February 2005 – 19 March 2005) by Roy Smiles
Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (19 April 2005 – 18 June 2005) by Frank McGuinness
Telstar (24 June 2005 – 10 September 2005) by Nick Moran and James Hick
Journey's End (22 September 2005 – 28 January 2006) by R.C. Sherriff
Hamlet (20 February 2006 – 22 April 2006) by William
Shakespeare, starring Ed Stoppard and Anita Dobson
On the Third Day (22 June 2006 – 29 July 2006) by Kate Betts
Waiting for Godot (September 2006 – November 2006) by Samuel Beckett
Love Song (24 November 2006 – 24 February 2007) by John Kolvenbach
Whipping it Up (22 February 2007 – 16 June 2007) by Steve Thompson, starring Richard Wilson and Robert Bathurst
Little Shop of Horrors (29 June 2007 – 8 September 2007) by Alan Menken, starring Sheridan Smith and Alistair McGowan
The Ambassadors Theatre current production:
Stomp (4 October 2007 – ) by Steve McNicholas and Luke Cresswell