star Vaudeville Theatre

404 Strand, London, WC2R 0NH

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Hetty Feather

Hetty Feather
Hetty Feather was abandoned as a newborn baby and brought up by foster parents. But now she's six she has to return to the Foundling Hospital to start her education. You'll TREMBLE as she faces Matron Stinking Bottomly; THRILL as she discovers the squirrel house and Tanglefields Travelling Circus; GASP as she endures a night locked in the attic; QUAKE as she braves the scary streets of Victorian London and CHEER as she overcomes all in the search to find her real mother and a true family of her own. Adapted from best-selling children's author Jacqueline Wilson novel, the tale of plucky Hetty Feather is brought to life on stage by Emma Reeves, the award-winning scriptwriter of BBC TV's hit Wilson adaptation The Story of Tracy Beaker, and Olivier-nominated director Sally Cookson, whose previous five-star productions include Peter Pan, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and Stick Man. With an original score by Benji Bower, dazzling circus skills and a huge heart, Hetty Feather is a terrific adventure story and the perfect treat for the whole family. more

'An excellent adaptation', Daily Mail

Directions

(5mins) Head out onto the main road Strand. Cross street where possible and go right 100 metres – it’s just after the Adelphi Theatre.

Tube

Charing Cross, Covent Garden, Embankment.

Train

Charing Cross, Victoria, Waterloo.

Bus

1, 4 , 6, 9, 11, 13 , 15, 68, 76, 171, 176, 188.

Parking

Upper St Martins Lane NCP, Trafalgar Square Masterpark.

History

Vaudeville Theatre

The Vaudeville Theatre's current building only dates to 1926 but the theatre actually first opened way back on April 16 in 1870. William Wybrow saw a way to turn a profit in theatre and leased the theatre to three actors who opened with a first performance of For Love Or Money and Dos Carlos.The architect was the famous C J Phipps and the decorations came courtesy of George Gordon. The theatre was designed to hold over 1000 patrons but, as the theatre was squeezed behind two houses on the Strand, there wasn't much room and the facilities were somewhat cramped and the entrance was a little hard to find.

Early notable productions include Two Roses starring Henry Irving as Digby Grant in Two Roses. This ran for an unprecedented 300 nights which was really rather extraordinary. The theatre did have a knack for extended runs though with H J Byron's Our Boys going for 500 showings from 1875 and then, later, a massive one thousand.

Thomas Thorne one of the three actors, bought out the whole of the lease in the early 1880s and a few years later he made room for a larger foyer again designed by the same achitect. This also allowed the theatre to be redesigned to make room for more roomy seating and a brand new ceiling. The official reopening was in 1891 with performances of The Note of Hand and Woodbarrow Farm.

However, just a year later, the Gatti family who were the owners of the Adelphi bought out the lease and instantly reprised the famous Our Boys show. The theatre was owned for a short time by Weedon Grossmith but the Gatti family clung on to it and started putting on comic musicals such as The French Maid. Some notable performances around this era include The Catch of the Season, Quality Street, Bluebell in Fairyland, The Cherry Girl and, turn of the century success story, The Belle of Mayfair which ended up running for over 400 performances.

The theatre was completely redesigned during a closure in 1925 and the capacity was rather drastically reduced. The next year the theatre reopened. The Gattis held on to the theatre until 1969 when it was bought by Sir Peter Saunders who ordered another redesign of the interior. Since then there have been a string of different owners including Michael Codron, David Sutton and Stephen Waley-Cohen. More recently Max Weitzenhoffer, sold it to Nimax Theatres Limited in 2005.

Some of the more notable productions include the worldwide hit Stomp, The Importance of Being Earnest, Private Lives and Woman in Mind.

Food and Drink

There are three bars and you can also buy ice cream and confectionery.

Accessibility

Staff will look after guide dogs. The theare is accessible to a wheelchair user able to walk short distances and up a few stairs and half price tickets are available for disabled theatregoers and one companion on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

Musicals