Originally named The Waldorf, this theatre is a twin with the Aldwych Theatre on the other side of the Waldorf Hotel. The theatre's name was changed to the Strand Theatre in 1909, then to the Whitney Theatre in 1911 and in 1913 it reverted back to the Strand Theatre, which has stayed ever since. The theatre was refurbished in the 1930 which included the removal of the boxes around the rear of the Dress Circle. The theatre was again refurbished in the early 1970's.
Productions here include in 1942 Joseph Kesselring's black comedy Arsenic And Old Lace which enjoyed a run of 1,337 performances. The 1955 production of Sailor Beware run for 1,231 performances and made a star out of Peggy Mount.
In 1963 Stephen Sondheim musical comedy A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To the Forum had the unfortunate co-incidence of opening the same day as that American President J F Kennedy was assassinated. It managed a run of some 22 months, closing in December 1965. The longest running comedy in the UK, No Sex Please We're British, opened here on 3 June 1971 and continued until it transferred to the Duchess Theatre on 2 August 1986. During the run the theatre was completely redocorated, reseated and refurbished. (No Sex Please - We're British finally closed at the Duchess Theatre on 5 September 1987 after a total run of 6,761 performances). More recent productions include Lost in Yonkers, Saint Joan and the musical bio Buddy which, after six years at The Victoria Palace Theatre, transferred to this theatre in October 1995 for a further 61⁄2 years.
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Members of Mandy who have worked for Novello Theatre