Designed by C I Phipps and decorated by Collinson & Locke, the most beautifully fitted theatre in Europe opened its doors on 10th October 1881 with a transfer from the Opera Comique of Gilbert and Sullivan's opera Patience.
Built at the instigation of Impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte, who wanted his own theatre in order to stage the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, the Savoy Theatre became famous as the first public building in the world to be lit by Incandescent electric lights.
On 3rd June, 1929, the Victorian auditorium was invaded by workmen and demolished and, 135 days later “a gleaming palace had sprung up”, a magic miracle of modernism built by Rupert D’Oyly Carte with Frank Tugwell as the architect and decorative designs by Basil Ionides. The Theatre re‑opened on 21st October 1929 with a revival of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, designed by Charles Ricketts and conducted by Dr Malcolm Sargent.
Recent productions have included Legally Blonde the Musical, nominated for five Olivier Awards and winning three, including the Best New Musical award; The Sunshine Boys, with Danny DeVito and the late Richard Griffiths; Soul Sister; Cabaret starring Will Young; Let It Be; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Robert Lindsay; Gypsy, winner of four Olivier Awards and starring Imelda Staunton, Peter Davidson, Lara Pulver and Gemma Sutton and Guys and Dolls with Sophie Thompson and David Haig.