The London Coliseum has come a long way since it first opened its doors in 1904 as one of many London venues to emerge at this time and one of many to feature designs from architect Frank Matcham. It has now stood on its site on St Martin’s Lane in London for over a century, welcoming an array of different shows, firstly under the Sadler’s Wells Opera and eventually under the newly-renamed English National Opera (ENO). So it is now one of the premiere locations to witness the very best in opera and dance, standing up alongside other venues like the Royal Opera House as a place to experience classic shows inside a historic venue.
Frank Matcham, the architect, was well known in the London theatre scene as one of the most prolific designers in the capital. As he designed so many surviving London theatres during his time it is safe to say that he shaped the capital and had a huge influence on the architecture of some of its most famous buildings. In addition to the London Coliseum, he also designed the London Palladium, the Hackney Empire and the Victoria Palace Theatre, whilst also training Bertie Crewe and WGR Sprague – two other architects that designed many other London venues.
So The London Coliseum has an important place in the history of the London theatre scene. But what about the productions it has welcomed to the stage? The theatre has regularly been the home to some of the most prestigious shows in town, from Sir Frederick Ashton’s version of “Romeo and Juliet” to the Guangdong Acrobatic Troupe’s production of “Swan Lake” in 2011. These are just two of many productions to appear at the Coliseum, which have played a huge role in attracted abundant crowds to the venue time and time again.
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