History of Garrick Theatre:
Financed by W. S. Gilbert and named after influential Shakespearean actor David Garrick, the Garrick Theatre opened on 24 April 1889. One of its early successes was the comedy A Pair of Spectacles which opened in 1890 and ran for five years. After the follow-up production The Notorious Mrs. Ebbsmith, the theatre suffered a period of decline.
Leased by Arthur Bourchier, the theatre began staging successful productions once more, such as J. M. Barrie’s The Wedding Guest in 1900 and Rutland Barrington’s The Water Babies in 1902. These productions would continue through various management changes that would eventually leave the theatre unemployed between 1939 and 1941. When actor-singer-dancer Jack Buchanan began managing the theatre in 1947, the theatre began presenting a string of highly successful comedies.
After a refurbishment between 1965-66, the theatre found itself under threat by the GLC proposed redevelopment of Covent Garden in 1968. The Save London Theatres Campaign successfully led to the abandonment of the scheme. In modern times successful productions have included 1982’s No Sex Please We’re British, which ran for four years before transferring to the Duchess Theatre, 1995’s An Inspector Calls (a successful transfer from the National Theatre), and 2006’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, starring film actor Christian Slater.
The theatre has recently seen a string of musicals take residence in the theatre, such as A little Night Music in 2007, Loserville in 2012, and Rock of Ages in 2013.