History of Duke Of York’s Theatre:
The theatre opened on 10 September 1892 with a production of Wedding Eve. For its two first years, it was known as the Trafalgar Square Theatre before it was changed to Trafalgar Theatre and then finally to the Duke of York’s in 1895 to honor future King George V.
The theatre had many early successes, including Go-Bang, a musical comedy in 1894, Jerome K Jerome’s Miss Hobbs in 1900 and Belasco’s Madame Butterfly. Puccini, who would later adapt it for one of his most famous operas, saw this production (his version would open in the theatre in 1932). 27 December 1904 saw the debut of J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, now one of the most famous pieces of children’s theatre.
The Theatre continued to show a diverse range of works throughout the 1930’s, including The Ballet Rambert (which helped to raise the popularity of ballet in Britain) and Grand Guignol, naturalistic horror shows that had proven popular in Paris.
In 1960, the building received Grade 2 listing, and was closed in 1979 for refurbishment, opening again only a year later. The theatre’s purchase by the Ambassador Theatre Group in 1992 coincided with one of the most talked about shows of the time; the Royal Court’s production of Death and the Maiden. A successful Royal Court Classics Season would follow this collaboration in 1995, as well as the acclaimed production of The Weir (which would enjoy a two year run).
The theatre continues to host a diverse range of theatrical entertainment, whilst also serving as the London HQ for the Ambassador Theatre Group, and the producing offices for Sonia Friedman Prodcutions.