Savoy Theatre

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The Savoy Theatre is a West End theatre located in the Strand in the City of Westminster, London, England. The theatre opened on 10 October 1881 and was built by Richard D'Oyly Carte on the site of the old Savoy Palace as a showcase for the popular series of comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan, which became known as the Savoy Operas as a result.

The theatre was the first theatre, and the first public building in the world, to be lit entirely by electricity.[1] In 1889, Richard D'Oyly Carte built the Savoy Hotel next to the theatre. For many years, the Savoy was the home of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, and it was run by the Carte family for over a century. Richard's son Rupert D'Oyly Carte rebuilt and modernised the theatre in 1929, and it was rebuilt again in 1993 following a fire. It is a Grade II* listed building.[2]

Apart from The Mikado and other famous Gilbert and Sullivan premières, the theatre has hosted such notable premières as Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit in 1941. In recent years it has presented opera, Shakespeare and other non-musical plays, as well as musicals, including revivals of Fiddler on the Roof and Carousel, and new shows like Never Forget. The original London production of Legally Blonde has been playing at the theatre since December 2009.

Contents

History of the site

The House of Savoy was the ruling family of Savoy descended from Humbert I, Count of Sabaudia (or "Maurienne"), who became count in 1032. The name Sabaudia evolved into "Savoy" (or "Savoie"). Count Peter (or Piers or Piero) of Savoy (d. 1268) was the maternal uncle of Eleanor of Provence, queen-consort of Henry III of England, and came with her to London.

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