Art was once an exclusive aristocratic indulgence, and this allowed the nobility to reign supreme in the land. England's' traditions reveal that the theatre has always enthralled and attracted the most distinguished of patrons. Today, London has a plethora of theatres in the city, all of which serve to showcase incredible talent and masterpieces of the craft.
Some of the best theaters that London has to offer include the Playhouse Theatre, Sadler's Wells Theatre, National Theatre, Victoria Palace Theatre and many more. The theaters continue to stage the latest plays and dramas drawing several thousands of admirers in their audience.
Originally called the Royal Avenue Theatre, when it was opened in 1882, the Playhouse Theatre speedily lost the Royal prefix. Starting with Offenbach's Madam Favart, the plays that continued to grace the halls were mainly of a comedic nature or burlesque. A few years down the line, the focus shifted to drama and Florence Farr was sponsored to perform in a series of plays. The plays didn't fare well, but a friend of Farr was convinced to set up his first production, and thus the first play of George Bernard Shaw was performed.
The Sadler's Wells Theatre belongs historically on Islington, and the company decided to build an entirely new building on that site. The theatre company was temporarily shifted to the Peacock Theatre on Kingsway, during this time. When the inauguration of the new premises was carried out, the old one was refurbished and still bears proudly the Sadler Wells' name.
The National Theatre comprises of three different auditoria within its confines. There is the Olivier Theatre, named after the legendary Sir Laurence Olivier, which has the largest seating capacity at 1150 seats. Then there is the Lyttelton Theatre, christened in honour of the Viscount Chandos, Oliver Lyttelton and his family. This particular theatre, while large enough to seat 890 guests, retains a certain flexibility to adjust the stage as per the play requirements. Lastly, there is Cottesloe Theatre, named after the chairman of the South Bank Board. This organization was responsible in a great way for the construction of the magnificent theatre. It is the smallest of the halls, able to hold about 300 people. Theatre professionals sometimes consider this hall to be exceptionally influential, due to its small size.
What used to be Moy's Music Hall in 1832 slowly evolved into the Victoria Palace Theatre. Most famously, there was a gold-leaf figurine of the prima ballerina Anna Pavlova perched on its pinnacle, put there by the owner Alfred Butt in her honour. In 1939, the figurine was taken down, and lost forever. Now a replica resides in its place.