Watford Palace Theatre

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Watford Palace Theatre
Palace Theatre, Watford.jpg
Watford Palace Theatre from the outside in 2008
Address20 Clarendon Road
Location Watford, England
Coordinates 51°39′26″N0°23′50″W / 51.6572°N 0.3972°W / 51.6572; -0.3972 Coordinates: 51°39′26″N0°23′50″W / 51.6572°N 0.3972°W / 51.6572; -0.3972
Public transit Watford Junction railway station
TypeTheatre
Capacity 600
Construction
Built1908
OpenedDecember 14, 1908 (1908-12-14)
Renovated2004
ArchitectH.M. Theobald
BuilderBarker Brothers
Tenants
RIFCO Arts
Website
watfordpalacetheatre.co.uk

Watford Palace Theatre, opened in 1908, is an Edwardian Grade II listed building in Watford, Hertfordshire. [1] The 600-seat theatre on Clarendon Road was refurbished in 2004. It houses its own rehearsal room, wardrobe, cafe and bar.

Listed building Protected historic structure in the United Kingdom

A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England in England, Historic Environment Scotland in Scotland, Cadw in Wales, and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency in Northern Ireland.

Watford Town & Borough in England

Watford is a town and borough in Hertfordshire, South East England, 15 miles (24 km) northwest of central London.

Contents

History

The theatre was originally built for the Watford Hippodrome Co., Ltd. The foundation stone of what was to become the Palace Theatre was laid on 3 June 1908. Five days later Mr H.M. Theobald, the architect, lodged the notification of his intention to build the theatre. Construction was undertaken by Barker Brothers of Maidenhead, and took six months, opening on 14 December 1908. [2] The opening proprietors were the Watford Palace of Varieties Co., the Managing Director: Mr. T.M. Sylvester.[ citation needed ]

Maidenhead town and unparished area in Berkshire, England

Maidenhead is a large market town in Berkshire, England, on the south-western bank of the River Thames. With an estimated population of 67,441, Maidenhead is the largest town in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. The town is situated 25.7 miles (41.4 km) west of Charing Cross, London, 11.7 miles (18.8 km) northeast of the county town of Reading, 28.3 miles (45.5 km) southeast of Oxford, 8.0 miles (12.9 km) east-south-east of Henley-on-Thames and 5.8 miles (9.3 km) northwest of Windsor.

In early days it put on variety shows and plays, mostly imported from other theatres. Variety artists who appeared at the Palace included Marie Lloyd, Evie Greene and Lottie Lennox.[ citation needed ] The theatre also puts on regular Christmas pantomimes.

Variety show entertainment made up of a variety of acts

Variety shows, also known as variety arts or variety entertainment, is entertainment made up of a variety of acts including musical performances, sketch comedy, magic, acrobatics, juggling, and ventriloquism. It is normally introduced by a compère or host. The variety format made its way from Victorian era stage to radio and then television. Variety shows were a staple of anglophone television from the late 1940s into the 1980s.

Marie Lloyd English music hall singer, comedian and musical theatre actress

Matilda Alice Victoria Wood, professionally known as Marie Lloyd ; was an English music hall singer, comedian and musical theatre actress. She was best known for her performances of songs such as "The Boy I Love Is Up in the Gallery", "My Old Man " and "Oh Mr Porter What Shall I Do". She received both criticism and praise for her use of innuendo and double entendre during her performances, but enjoyed a long and prosperous career, during which she was affectionately called the "Queen of the Music Hall".

Evie Greene British actor and singer

Edith Elizabeth ("Evie") Greene was a much-photographed English actress and singer who played in Edwardian musical comedies in London and on Broadway. She is most notable for starring as Dolores, the central character in the international hit musical Florodora. She also sang on the world's first original cast album, recorded for this musical.

For almost a decade (around the early 1960s), when Peter Cleall began his career at the Palace , the theatre was managed by actor Jimmy Perry, best-known for co-writing the television series Dad's Army [3] [4]

Peter Cleall is an actors' agent and former actor who is probably best known for playing wise-cracking Eric Duffy in the London Weekend Television comedy series Please Sir! which ran from 1968 to 1972.

Jimmy Perry English writer, scriptwriter, producer, author and actor

James Perry, OBE was an English script writer and actor, best known for devising and co-writing the BBC sitcoms Dad's Army (1968–77), It Ain't Half Hot Mum (1974–81), Hi-De-Hi (1980–88) and You Rang, M'Lord? (1988–93), all with David Croft. Perry co-wrote the theme tune of Dad's Army, "Who Do You Think You Are Kidding, Mr. Hitler?" along with Derek Taverner, for which Perry received an Ivor Novello Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors in 1971.

<i>Dads Army</i> Classic British comedy TV series

Dad's Army is a BBC television sitcom about the British Home Guard during the Second World War. It was written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft, and broadcast on the BBC from 1968 to 1977. The sitcom ran for nine series and 80 episodes in total; there was also a radio version based on the television scripts, a feature film and a stage show. The series regularly gained audiences of 18 million viewers, and is still repeated worldwide.

In September 2004, the theatre re-opened after a two year £8.8million Lottery funded refurbishment, which included more public space, two bars, a daytime café, air cooling and new seating. Access to the building was improved by the introduction of a lift to all levels, ramps and automated front doors.

National Lottery (United Kingdom) national lottery in canada

The National Lottery is the state-franchised national lottery in the United Kingdom.

In October 2015, the theatre won the Promotion of Diversity Award (joint winners with Leicester Curve) at the UK Theatre Awards 2015. [5]

RIFCO Arts is resident theatre company. [6]

Productions

The theatre has been producing work for over 100 years. Alongside touring productions, the theatre provides programmes in new writing. [7] [8]

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Major David John Croft, was an English writer, producer and director. David Croft is particularly noted for producing and co-writing a string of popular BBC sitcoms with Jimmy Perry and Jeremy Lloyd including Dad's Army, Are You Being Served?, It Ain't Half Hot Mum, Hi-de-Hi! and 'Allo 'Allo!

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References

  1. Russell, Eugenia; Russell, Quentin (31 August 2015). Watford and South West Herts in the Great War. Pen and Sword. p. 89. ISBN   978-1-78346-374-9.
  2. Cooper, John (15 July 2016). Watford History Tour. Amberley Publishing Limited. p. 30. ISBN   978-1-4456-5778-3.
  3. McCaighey, Mark (3 March 2015). The Dad's Army Movie Dossier: The Making of Jimmy Perry and David Croft's Classic Film. Andrews UK Limited. p. 8. ISBN   978-1-78538-143-0.
  4. McCann, Graham (18 December 2015). Dad's Army: The Story of a Very British Comedy (Text Only). HarperCollins Publishers. pp. 23–4. ISBN   978-0-00-738942-1.
  5. "UK Theatre Awards". www.uktheatre.org. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  6. Caines, Matthew (13 January 2015). "Rifco theatre company chief: 'diversity does not always mean cost'". The Guardian.
  7. "Palace Theatre Watford". Archived from the original on 25 June 2004.
  8. Kanaber, Daniel (24 March 2014). Shiver. A&C Black. pp. 12–15. ISBN   978-1-4725-7922-5.