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St Martin's Theatre
St. Martins Theatre (2002)
Address
City
Designation Grade II
Architect W. G. R. Sprague
Owned by Willoughby de Broke
Capacity 550
Type West End theatre
Opened 23 November 1916
Production The Mousetrap
www.the-mousetrap.co.uk
Coordinates: 51°30′46″N 0°07′39″W / 51.512778°N 0.1275°W / 51.512778; -0.1275

St Martin's Theatre is a West End theatre, located in West Street, near Charing Cross Road, in the London Borough of Camden. It was designed as one of a pair of theatres with the Ambassadors Theatre by W.G.R. Sprague, in memoriam for the 9th Baron Willoughby de Broke.

Nurtured at an early age through amateur theatricals at Compton Verney, the family seat in Warwickshire, and later developed during the time he spent in London, both as an MP for Rugby, and as a member of the House of Lords. It was his intention to devote a chapter of his autobiography "The Passing Years" to drama, but he died before its completion. His interest was translated into action when in association with B.A.(Bertie) Meyer, who commissioned theatre architect W.G.R. Sprague to design the St Martin's. Originally intended to be one of a pair with the adjacent Ambassadors which opened in 1913, the St Martin's début was delayed by the outbreak of World War I: the first performance of Houpla took place on 23 November 1916.

Many famous British actors have passed through St Martin's. In April 1923 Basil Rathbone played Harry Domain in R.U.R. and in June 1927 Henry Daniell appeared there as Gregory Brown in Meet the Wife.

Bertie Meyer, who was so closely involved in the St Martin's in the early days, ran the theatre intermittently from 1916 to 1967, when his son R.A.(Ricky) took over. Ricky was the administrator for twenty years until his retirement in 1987; he remained as a consultant until his death in 1991.

Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap" transferred in March 1974 - it is still there, now holding a World Record. The theatre was Grade II listed by English Heritage in March 1973.[1]

References

  1. ^ English Heritage listing details: accessed April 28, 2007.
  • Guide to British Theatres 1750-1950, John Earl and Michael Sell pp. 138-9 (Theatres Trust, 2000) ISBN 0-7136-5688-3
  • Who's Who in the Theatre, edited by John Parker, tenth edition, revised, London, 1947, pps: 477-478 and 1184.

External links

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