History of Novello Theatre:
The theatre, built as a pair with the Aldwych and originally titles the Waldorf Theatre, opened on 22 May 1905. It was renamed the Strand Theatre in 1901, then the Whitney Theatre in 1911, and reverted to the Strand Theatre in 1913.
The theatre has enjoyed many famous productions. In the 1940’s, the black comedy Arsenic and Old Lace ran for 1,337 performances, 1955’s Sailor, Beware! Ran for 1,231 performances, and the 1971 comedy No Sex Please, We’re British ran for 10 years before transferring to the Garrick Theatre (for an additional 6 years).
In 2005, the theatre was renamed The Novello Theatre in honor of composer and actor Ivor Novello, who lived in a flat above the theatre between 1913-1951.
The 21st Century brought success with the 2005/06 Royal Shakespeare Company season, which featured Twelfth Night, The Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like It. A string of musicals followed with mixed results. This included the London premiere of Footloose in 2006, the European premiere of The Drowsy Chaperone in 2007 (which closed after 2 months due to lack of audience), and the world premiere of Desperately Seeking Susan (also in 2007, the show closed after 1 month after unfavorable reviews).
The theatre is currently home to Mama Mia! which transferred after an 8 year run at the Prince of Wales Theatre.