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Ambassadors Theatre history

Designed by the talented theatre architect W.G.R. Sprague, who also designed the Aldwych, the Ambassadors opened on 5th June 1913 and is a Grade II listed building. It's a tiny place with just 418 seats over two levels. The stage itself is just 6.25 metres deep, very small by West End standards. And the intimate auditorium has a proscenium arch over the stage, ideal for revue-style productions.

The Ambassadors was designed as a companion to St Martins theatre, which opened three years afterwards. The venue's inaugural production was a play by Monckton Hoffe entitled Panthea, which only ran for three weeks because, at the time of opening, there had been a downturn in theatre attendances.

The Guardian observed that the theatre, "is built in accordance with the latest ideas of theatrical architecture, decorated in a scheme of ivory, gold, and violet, and will seat – and this is the novelty – no more than five hundred people. Whatever be the chances for new large theatres nowadays, there certainly is a place for a small theatre, so much more suitable for many of the most interesting modern plays." The Times described the theatre as "a new and dainty little playhouse”.

In November 1921 the great Ivor Novello made his London West End stage debut at the Ambassadors in Sacha Guitry's play Deburau, presented in English by Harley Granville Barker. It was also here, in 1935, that the young Vivien Leigh made her West End stage debut in Ashley Dukes’s comedy The Mask of Virtue. Her performance was well received and she signed a £50,000 film contract just days after the opening night, a dream come true.

Other notable productions include Helene Hanoff's play 84 Charing Cross Road, adapted and directed by James Roose-Evans and starring Rosemary Leach, which opened in November 1981 and enjoyed a 16-month run. Following a spell at the Barbican Pit Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Laclos’s play Les Liaisons Dangereuses, adapted by Christopher Hampton, transferred in October 1986 and stayed just under four years. And Marie Jones’ award-winning comedy Stones In His Pockets opened here in May 2000 before transferring three months later to the Duke of York’s theatre, where it stayed for just over three years.

Between 1986 and 1999 the venue was used by The Royal Court Theatre from September to stage their famous ‘Theatre Upstairs’ studio-based works, while their own theatre in Sloane Square underwent major reconstruction. After a run of five years at the Vaudeville theatre, the music-making extravaganza Stomp transferred to the Ambassadors in October 2007.

Past productions

Mindgame

Mindgame

Booking from: Friday, 18 May 2018
Booking until: Saturday, 2 June 2018
All or Nothing The Mod Musical

All or Nothing The Mod Musical

After its five-week sell-out run at Arts Theatre, All Or Nothing transfers to the Ambassadors Theatre for nine weeks from 28 March. It follows the end of the National Theatre’s limited run of Beginning at the theatre that for the last 15 years...
Booking from: Thursday, 29 March 2018
Booking until: Saturday, 2 June 2018
Beginning

Beginning

After its opening production run even finished at the National Theatre, Beginning had announced its West End transfer to the Ambassadors Theatre. It opens across the river from 15 January 2018, with Justine Mitchell and Sam Troughton reprising their...
Booking from: Monday, 15 January 2018
Booking until: Saturday, 24 March 2018
Running time: 1 hour 35 minutes
The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Booking from: Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Booking until: Sunday, 7 January 2018
Running time: 55 minutes
Stomp

Stomp

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A wholly British theatrical sensation and a phenomenon in its own lifetime, Stomp has been raising the London stage for 13 years. And it keeps on changing, constantly morphing into something ever-more fantastic, exhilarating and LOUD, with new...
Booking from: Thursday, 20 September 2007
Booking until: Sunday, 7 January 2018
Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Othello - National Youth Theatre

Othello - National Youth Theatre

Booking from: Tuesday, 26 September 2017
Booking until: Friday, 8 December 2017
Jekyll & Hyde - National Youth Theatre

Jekyll & Hyde - National Youth Theatre

Booking from: Wednesday, 27 September 2017
Booking until: Wednesday, 6 December 2017
Cat The Play

Cat The Play

Booking from: Tuesday, 25 April 2017
Booking until: Wednesday, 26 April 2017
Running time: 90 minutes
DNA - National Youth Theatre

DNA - National Youth Theatre

Booking from: Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Booking until: Friday, 25 November 2016
Running time: 1 hour
Romeo & Juliet - National Youth Theatre

Romeo & Juliet - National Youth Theatre

Booking from: Tuesday, 20 September 2016
Booking until: Wednesday, 23 November 2016
Running time: 2 hours
Pigeon English - National Youth Theatre

Pigeon English - National Youth Theatre

Booking from: Monday, 26 September 2016
Booking until: Tuesday, 22 November 2016
Running time: 2 hours
The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden

Booking from: Wednesday, 27 July 2016
Booking until: Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Running time: 1 hour 15 minutes (No interval)
Hector

Hector

Booking from: Wednesday, 9 December 2015
Booking until: Wednesday, 9 December 2015
Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights

Booking from: Friday, 25 September 2015
Booking until: Friday, 4 December 2015
Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Merchant of Venice

Merchant of Venice

Booking from: Tuesday, 29 September 2015
Booking until: Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Consensual

Consensual

Booking from: Friday, 18 September 2015
Booking until: Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Be Bop A Lula

Be Bop A Lula

Booking from: Wednesday, 4 March 2015
Booking until: Wednesday, 6 May 2015
Running time: 2 hours 20 Minutes
National Youth Theatre Season: Private Peaceful

National Youth Theatre Season: Private Peaceful

Booking from: Tuesday, 23 September 2014
Booking until: Friday, 28 November 2014
Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes
National Youth Theatre Season: Selfie

National Youth Theatre Season: Selfie

Booking from: Wednesday, 17 September 2014
Booking until: Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Running time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Macbeth (National Youth Theatre Season)

Macbeth (National Youth Theatre Season)

Booking from: Friday, 19 September 2014
Booking until: Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes
The Confessions of Gordon Brown

The Confessions of Gordon Brown

Booking from: Tuesday, 3 June 2014
Booking until: Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Running time: 90 minutes
Oliver Reed: Wild Thing

Oliver Reed: Wild Thing

Booking from: Tuesday, 1 April 2014
Booking until: Tuesday, 8 April 2014
Running time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Double Bill: Romeo & Juliet and Prince of Denmark

Double Bill: Romeo & Juliet and Prince of Denmark

Booking from: Wednesday, 2 October 2013
Booking until: Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Running time: 3 hours
Prince Of Denmark

Prince Of Denmark

Booking from: Monday, 23 September 2013
Booking until: Monday, 25 November 2013
Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Tory Boyz

Tory Boyz

Booking from: Tuesday, 24 September 2013
Booking until: Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Running time: 1 hour
Charley Bear

Charley Bear

Booking from: Wednesday, 5 December 2012
Booking until: Monday, 24 December 2012
Running time: 45 minutes
Santa Claus and the Christmas Adventure

Santa Claus and the Christmas Adventure

Booking from: Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Booking until: Saturday, 31 December 2011
Running time: 1 hour
The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas

Booking from: Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Booking until: Friday, 24 December 2010
Running time: 60 minutes