History of Savoy Theatre:
Built on the site of the old Savoy Palace and opening on 10 October 1881, the Savoy Theatre was the first public building in the world to be lit solely by electricity. Its first production was Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience. The theatre would go on to present the final eight of their comic operas (such as The Mikado in 1885 and The Gondoliers in 1889), inspiring the phrase ‘Savoy Opera’ as a description for the genre.
The theatre would continue to host operatic performances until the early 20th Century. In December 1922, the theatre produced an adaptation of Treasure Island, which proved so popular it was revived every year until the beginning of the Second World War. After a brief closure in 1929, the theatre hosted regular seasons of Gilbert and Sullivan, as well as major non-musical works (for example, the premiere of Blithe Spirit in 1941, and the first public performances in England of Salome in 1931).
In 1990, a fire swept through the building, claiming everything except for the stage and backstage areas. Thanks to the preservation of the original plans, the theatre was restored and reopened in 1993. The 1990’s and 2000’s played host to a mixture of Gilbert and Sullivan revivals, and successful dramatic works (like The Importance of Being Oscar and Hay Fever). More recently the theatre played host to the West End premiere of Legally Blonde, which ran from 2010-2012.