The building housing the New End Theatre was constructed in 1980 as the mortuary of the former New End Hospital. A tunnel connecting the hospital and mortuary allowed the bodies to be transported under the road. The theatre is said to be haunted.
The building was converted into a theatre in 1974 by Buddy Dalton. It soon formed its reputation for presenting new writing. Early productions included the world première of Jean Anouilh’s YOU WERE SO SWEET WHEN YOU WERE LITTLE with Angela Pleasance: THE SINGULAR LIFE OF ALBERT NOBBS with Susannah York, and Stephanie Beacham and Julia Foster in A TRIBUTE TO LINA LAMONT with the late Gloria Grahame.
1981 saw the world premières of Steven Berkoff in his one man show, and the London premiere of Anthony Minghella’s WHALE MUSIC. Performances of alternative comedy with Cambridge shows featuring Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Tony Slattery and Emma Thompson, and Oxford shows with Richard Curtis, Angus Deayton, Phil Pope and Helen Atkison–Wood also starred in this year. Judi Dench and Michael Williams also appeared in Bernard Shaw’s VILLAGE WOOING.
The theatre was renovated and refurbished in 1986 when Roy and Sonia Saunders bought it. Between 1986 and 1991 productions included TALK TO ME with Alan Dobie, EXCEPTION with Jill Bennett, and Bernard Kops’ musical SOPHIE!
In 1992 Jon Harris became artistic director. Successes during this period included a major revival of JR Ackerley’s THE PRISONERS OF WAR, Sue Lefton’s productions of Ibsen and Strindberg, Mike Leigh’s ECSTASY and MARIA with Fenella Fielding. West End transfers included A DAY IN HOLLYWOOD, A NIGHT IN THE UKRAINE transferring to Broadway: Tom Kempinski’s FLASHPOINT, Steven Berkoff’s DECADENCE: Arnold Wesker’s ANNIE WOBBLER and the Besht Tellers’ THE STORY OF THE LAST OF THE JUST.
1997 saw Pluto Productions take up residence with the objective of presenting the best in new writing with occasional classic revival. These have included THE DEAD MONKEY starring David Soul which transferred to the West End, and BRIEF CANDLE with the late Denis Quilley. There have been some wonderful musicals including a revival of Sondheim’s ASSASSINS, Sylvia Freeman’s world première of THE LEGENDARY GOLEM, and the international film director, Ken Russell making his theatrical directorial debut with WEILL & LENYA. Three recent plays produced at the New End have transferred to the West End. These were THE DEAD MONKEY, PERSONALS and LITTLE WOMEN.
A few of our many recent successes include: LAST SONG OF THE NIGHTINGALE with Tracie Bennet, BENCHMARK with Jerry Hall, LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR & GRILL with Dawn Hope, AND ALL THE CHILDREN CRIED with Sharon Maughan, TAKE A CHANCE ON ME an all–star cast which included Helen Lederer and Joe McGann, and the off–Broadway transfer EDGE starring Angelica Torn.
27 New End
020 7794 0022
Members of Mandy who have worked for New End Theatre