Wednesday, October 13

Andrew Lloyd Webber to refurbish London Palladium for Wizard of Oz

Andrew Lloyd Webber and a host of musical theatre stars including Michael Ball, Jason Donovan, Elaine Paige and Jonathan Pryce were at the London Palladium yesterday to mark its Centenary.

The celebration included a toast and the cutting of a cake which was an edible replica of the theatre. 82 year old Bruce Forsyth hosted Sunday Night at the London Palladium for many years and joined Lloyd Webber in unveiling a commemorative plaque in the foyer to mark the occasion.

Lloyd Webber also took the opportunity to announce his plans for the complete refurbishment of the front of house areas of the theatre, with building work starting as soon as Sister Act finish their run on 30th October 2010.

The work includes repairing and refurbishing the entrance facade, doubling the number of ladies’ toilets, providing a new box office with direct access to the theatre and the installation of a lift to improve accessibility to the stalls and toilets.

He is restoring the revolving stage which always played a big part in the finale at the end of Sunday Night at the London Palladium. All the words are to be completed before the first preview of The Wizard of Oz starring Michael Crawford on 7th February 2011. 

The current box office will be converted into three new function spaces, one of which will have the historic roof light reinstated and a new spiral staircase will link it with the existing bar.

To celebrate the theatre's centenary a series of guided tours are taking place covering displays of memorabilia throughout the building and areas not usually open to the public. The 1 ½ hour tours are currently scheduled to take place on selected dates between 13th October and 29th October 2010.

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