22 Jun 2021

First Look Inside Newly Restored Art Deco 'Trafalgar Theatre' in London's West End

It's back to its original form as a single split-level auditorium!

© Tom Lee


Following a multi-million pound restoration, architect Foster Wilson Size has transformed the Grade II listed Trafalgar Theatre in London’s West End back to its original form as a single split-level auditorium.

The new boutique 630-seat theatre celebrates the building’s art deco heritage and includes major improvements to the front of house, backstage areas, ventilation and theatre technical facilities.

Originally opened as the Whitehall Theatre in 1930 and among the first theatres in Britain to champion ‘an architecture of light’, the building saw a number of different uses and customisations over the years and in 2004 was reconfigured into two intimate theatres. s. Due to the listed building consent, this adaptation was intended to be fully reversible and key architectural features were retained so the building could be restored to its original configuration in future years. With the turn of the decade seeing an increased demand for theatre venues, Trafalgar Entertainment was keen to see the theatre restored to its original form, enabling the theatre to attract a broader range of shows with anticipated longer runs.

Internally, all original decorative features have been uncovered and repaired and the choices of layout, material and colour palette are guided by the theatre’s original art deco aesthetic, creating a sophisticated setting throughout. The stage has been restored to its original form and the original decorative circle front in the auditorium has been reinstated.

© Tom Lee

New seating has been introduced throughout to provide greater comfort for visitors. In the auditorium, the new decoration and lighting scheme is a careful restoration of the original interior in black with silver, bronze and gold metallic hints. The seating fabric, comprised of greens, creams and yellows to contrast against the monochrome walls, and the bespoke auditorium carpet are replicas of the original patterns which can be seen in historic photographs of the theatre.

Externally, the entrance canopy has been restored to its original design with new light box signage above. Additional glazing has also been added to improve the transparency of the entrance foyer, bringing light through into the space.

To herald this new era for the Trafalgar Theatre, the Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning musical Jersey Boys will be the first major musical production to play at Trafalgar Theatre when it returns to London’s West End on 28 July 2021.

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