Situated on The Broadway in Wimbledon, London, the New Wimbledon Theatre was built by the entrepreneur and theatre lover J B Mulholland.
Designed by Cecil Aubrey Massey and Roy Young, the Grade II listed Edwardian Theatre might be the only theatre to have included a Victorian-style Turkish bath in the basement.
The New Wimbledon Theatre opened on 26 December 1910 with Jack and Jill, a traditional pantomime. The theatre most famously was home to the World Premieres of Lionel Bart’s Oliver! which then transferred to the Albery (now the Noel Coward) Theatre and Tommy Steele in Half A Sixpence prior to its West End transfer.
With 1670 seats over three levels, the New Wimbledon is in the ten largest theatres in London. During its lifetime it has undergone two major refurbishments in 1991 and 1998. The theatre also has a studio space which adjoins the main auditorium seating up to 80 people.
Situated atop the theatre’s dome is a golden statue, often referred to as the theatre’s angel, she is, in fact, the Roman goddess of Gaiety, Laetitia. The statue is holding a laurel crown as a symbol of celebration. Removed during the second world war under suspicion that it might be a direction finding device for German bombers it wasn’t replaced until 1991.
Now operated by the Ambassador Theatre Group, The New Wimbledon Theatre plays host to pantomimes, large scale touring musicals, dance, concerts and ballet.
The theatre is located a short walk from South Wimbledon Tube and is close to Wimbledon rail, tube and tramlink.