Watford Palace Theatre from the outside in 2008
|Address||20 Clarendon Road|
|Public transit||Watford Junction railway station|
|Opened||14 December 1908|
Watford Palace Theatre, opened in 1908, is an Edwardian Grade II listed building in Watford, Hertfordshire.The 600-seat theatre on Clarendon Road was refurbished in 2004. It houses its own rehearsal room, wardrobe, cafe and bar.
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. [ citation needed ]The opening proprietors were the Watford Palace of Varieties Co., the Managing Director: Mr. T.M. Sylvester.
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.
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
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.
In October 2015, the theatre won the Promotion of Diversity Award (joint winners with Leicester Curve) at the UK Theatre Awards 2015.
RIFCO Arts is resident theatre company.
The theatre has been producing work for over 100 years. Alongside touring productions, the theatre provides programmes in new writing.
John Le Mesurier was an English actor. He is perhaps best remembered for his comedic role as Sergeant Arthur Wilson in the BBC television situation comedy Dad's Army (1968–1977). A self-confessed "jobbing actor", Le Mesurier appeared in more than 120 films across a range of genres, normally in smaller supporting parts.
Arthur Lowe was a British actor. His acting career spanned nearly 40 years, including starring roles in numerous theatre and television productions. He played Captain Mainwaring in the British sitcom Dad's Army from 1968 until 1977, was nominated for seven BAFTAs and became one of the most recognised faces on television.
Major David John Croft, was an English writer, producer and director. David Croft produced and wrote a string of 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!
Watford is a town and borough in Hertfordshire, England, 17.5 miles northwest of Charing Cross.
Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti is a British Sikh writer. She has written extensively for stage, screen and radio. Her play Behzti (Dishonour) was cancelled by the Birmingham Rep after peaceful protests by Sikhs turned violent against the play and alleged death threats forced Bhatti to go into hiding.
Arthur Ian Lavender is an English stage, film and television actor. He is best known for his role as Private Pike in the BBC sitcom Dad's Army.
Russell Edward Brand is an English comedian, actor, radio host, writer, and activist.
James Perry, was an English script writer and actor. He devised and co-wrote 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.
John Walter Lawrence Clegg is an Indian-born English actor, best known for playing the part of 'Mr. La-di-da' Gunner 'Paderewski' Graham in the BBC sitcom It Ain't Half Hot Mum.
Michael Sydney Knowles is an English actor and scriptwriter. He is best known for his roles in BBC sitcoms written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft. He is often seen alongside Donald Hewlett with whom he first starred in It Ain't Half Hot Mum.
Frank J Williams is an English actor best known for playing vicars and other members of the clergy, most notably Timothy Farthing, the vicar in the BBC comedy Dad's Army. Ian Lavender and Williams are the series' last surviving major cast members. He reprised the role of Farthing in the 2016 film adaptation of the series.
The Way Ahead (1944) is a British Second World War drama film directed by Carol Reed. The screenplay was written by Eric Ambler and Peter Ustinov. The film stars David Niven, Stanley Holloway and William Hartnell along with an ensemble cast of other British actors, including Ustinov in one of his earliest roles. The Way Ahead follows a group of civilians who are conscripted into the British Army and, after training, are shipped to North Africa where they are involved in a battle against the Afrika Korps.
Janet Kathleen Davies was an English actress best known for her recurring role as Mrs. Pike in the long-running sitcom Dad's Army.
Mavis Gladys Fox Pugh was an English actress who made many appearances as mainly upper class ladies in several sitcoms including Dad's Army, Are You Being Served? and Fawlty Towers, as well as having a regular role in You Rang, M'Lord?. Before appearing on television, she had a long and successful career doing rep theatre, including at Arthur Brough Players.
Dad's Army: A Nostalgic Music and Laughter Show of Britain's Finest Hour was a 1975 stage adaptation of the BBC sitcom Dad's Army. Following the success of the television programme, the stage show was commissioned by Bernard Delfont in the spring of 1975.
Dad's Army is a BBC sitcom about the British militia called the 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.
Richard Dormer is an actor, playwright and screenwriter from Northern Ireland. He is best known for his role as Beric Dondarrion in the HBO television series Game of Thrones and Dan Anderssen in Sky Atlantic's Fortitude.
Rifco Arts is a theatre company which focuses on bringing British Asian stories to the stage, and audiences from the community into theatres. The company was founded in 1999 by director Pravesh Kumar.
Robert Lankesheer was a stage, radio and television actor, best known for playing the character Leamington Sparr in the radio soap The Dales between 1963 and 1966 and Chamberlain in Doctor Who in 1965.