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Royal Court Theatre

Walter Emden

alias New Court Theatre, New Chelsea
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)16.4.1870 | conversion
Chapel was converted in 1870 into a theatre called the New Chelsea, opened on 16th April.
(detail)1888 | opening
The theatre was designed by Walter Emden and W. R. Crewe. Opened with Mamma! a farcical comedy (from the French Les Surprises du Divorce) by Sydney Grundy, preceded by Hermine, a play in one act by Charles Thomas.



The first theatre of this name was on the south side of Sloane Square, and opened as the New Chelsea on 16 Apr. 1870. It was a badly transformed Nonconformist chapel, and had no success at all, in spite of changing its name to the Belgravia, until Marie Litton took it over and reopened it as the Royal Court on 25 Jan. 1871 producing several plays by W. S. Gilbertwith some success.  Before the theatre was demolished in 1887 it housed a series of successful farces by Pinero —J Magistrate (1885), The Schoolmistress (1886), and Dandy Dick (1887). It finally closed on 22 July 1887. 


In: Hartnoll, Phyllis, ed. The concise Oxford companion to the theatre. 1st ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1972.   ISBN 0-19-281102-9. 



A new theatre on the east side of Sloane Square, replacing the earlier building, and opened on 24 September 1888 as the New Court Theatre. It ceased to be used as a theatre in 1932 but was used as a cinema from 1935 to 1940, until World War II bomb damage closed it. The interior was reconstructed by Robert Cromie, the number of seats being reduced to under 500. The theatre re-opened in 1952.



Author: Hartnoll Phyllis

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