West End theatre
West End theatre is a common term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of "Theatreland" in and near the West End of London. Along with New York City's Broadway theatre, West End theatre is considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world. Seeing a West End show is a common tourist activity in London. Society of London Theatre has announced that 2017 was a record year for the capital’s theatre industry with attendances topping 15,000,000 for the first time since the organization began collecting audience data in 1986. Box office revenues exceeded £700,000,000. Famous screen actors and international alike appear on the London stage. Theatre in London flourished after the English Reformation; the first permanent public playhouse, known as The Theatre, was constructed in 1576 in Shoreditch by James Burbage. It was soon joined by The Curtain. Both are known to have been used by William Shakespeare's company. In 1599, the timber from The Theatre was moved to Southwark, where it was used in building the Globe Theatre in a new theatre district formed beyond the controls of the City corporation.
These theatres were closed in 1642 due to the Puritans who would influence the interregnum of 1649. After the Restoration, two companies were licensed to perform, the Duke's Company and the King's Company. Performances were held in converted buildings, such as Lisle's Tennis Court; the first West End theatre, known as Theatre Royal in Bridges Street, was designed by Thomas Killigrew and built on the site of the present Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. It was destroyed by a fire nine years later, it was replaced by a new structure designed by Christopher Wren and renamed the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Outside the West End, Sadler's Wells Theatre opened in Islington on 3 June 1683. Taking its name from founder Richard Sadler and monastic springs that were discovered on the property, it operated as a "Musick House", with performances of opera. In the West End, the Theatre Royal Haymarket opened on 29 December 1720 on a site north of its current location, the Royal Opera House opened in Covent Garden on 7 December 1732.
The Patent theatre companies retained their duopoly on drama well into the 19th century, all other theatres could perform only musical entertainments. By the early 19th century, music hall entertainments became popular, presenters found a loophole in the restrictions on non-patent theatres in the genre of melodrama. Melodrama did not break the Patent Acts; these entertainments were presented in large halls, attached to public houses, but purpose-built theatres began to appear in the East End at Shoreditch and Whitechapel. The West End theatre district became established with the opening of many small theatres and halls, including the Adelphi in The Strand on 17 November 1806. South of the River Thames, the Old Vic, Waterloo Road, opened on 11 May 1818; the expansion of the West End theatre district gained pace with the Theatres Act 1843, which relaxed the conditions for the performance of plays, The Strand gained another venue when the Vaudeville opened on 16 April 1870. The next few decades saw the opening of many new theatres in the West End.
The Criterion Theatre opened on Piccadilly Circus on 21 March 1874, in 1881, two more houses appeared: the Savoy Theatre in The Strand, built by Richard D'Oyly Carte to showcase the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan, opened on 10 October, five days the Comedy Theatre opened as the Royal Comedy Theatre on Panton Street in Leicester Square. It abbreviated its name three years later; the theatre building boom continued until about World War I. During the 1950s and 1960s, many plays were produced in theatre clubs, to evade the censorship exercised by the Lord Chamberlain's Office; the Theatres Act 1968 abolished censorship of the stage in the United Kingdom. "Theatreland", London's main theatre district, contains forty venues and is located in and near the heart of the West End of London. It is traditionally defined by The Strand to the south, Oxford Street to the north, Regent Street to the west, Kingsway to the east, but a few other nearby theatres are considered "West End" despite being outside the area proper.
Prominent theatre streets include Drury Lane, Shaftesbury Avenue, The Strand. The works staged are predominantly musicals and modern straight plays, comedy performances. Many theatres in the West End are of late Victorian or Edwardian construction and are owned. Many are architecturally impressive, the largest and best maintained feature grand neo-classical, Romanesque, or Victorian façades and luxurious, detailed interior design and decoration. However, owing to their age, leg room is cramped, audience facilities such as bars and toilets are much smaller than in modern theatres; the protected status of the buildings and their confined urban locations, combined with financial constraints, make it difficult to make substantial improvements to the level of comfort offered. In 2003, the Theatres Trust estimated that an investment of £250 million over the following 15 years was required for modernisation, stated that 60% of theatres had seats from which the stage was not visible; the theatre owners unsuccessfully requested tax concessions to help them meet the costs.
From 2004 onwards there were several incidents of falling plasterwork or performances being cancelled because of urgent building repairs being required. These events culminated in the partial
The civil service is independent of government and is composed of career bureaucrats hired on professional merit rather than appointed or elected, whose institutional tenure survives transitions of political leadership. A civil servant or public servant is a person employed in the public sector on behalf of a government department or agency. A civil servant or public servant's first priority is to represent the interests of citizens; the extent of civil servants of a state as part of the "civil service" varies from country to country. In the United Kingdom, for instance, only Crown employees are referred to as civil servants whereas county or city employees are not. Many consider the study of service to be a part of the field of public administration. Workers in "non-departmental public bodies" may be classed as civil servants for the purpose of statistics and for their terms and conditions. Collectively a state's civil servants form its civil public service. An international civil servant or international staff member is a civilian employee, employed by an intergovernmental organization.
These international civil servants do not reside under any national legislation but are governed by internal staff regulations. All disputes related to international civil service are brought before special tribunals created by these international organizations such as, for instance, the Administrative Tribunal of the ILO. Specific referral can be made to the International Civil Service Commission of the United Nations, an independent expert body established by the United Nations General Assembly, its mandate is to regulate and coordinate the conditions of service of staff in the United Nations common system, while promoting and maintaining high standards in the international civil service. The origin of the modern meritocratic civil service can be traced back to Imperial examination founded in Imperial China; the Imperial exam based on merit was designed to select the best administrative officials for the state's bureaucracy. This system had a huge influence on both society and culture in Imperial China and was directly responsible for the creation of a class of scholar-bureaucrats irrespective of their family pedigree.
Appointments to the bureaucracy were based on the patronage of aristocrats. In the areas of administration the military, appointments were based on merit; this was an early form of the imperial examinations, transitioning from inheritance and patronage to merit, in which local officials would select candidates to take part in an examination of the Confucian classics. After the fall of the Han dynasty, the Chinese bureaucracy regressed into a semi-merit system known as the nine-rank system; this system was reversed during the short-lived Sui dynasty, which initiated a civil service bureaucracy recruited through written examinations and recommendation. The first civil service examination system was established by Emperor Wen of Sui. Emperor Yang of Sui established a new category of recommended candidates for the mandarinate in AD 605; the following Tang dynasty adopted the same measures for drafting officials, decreasingly relied on aristocratic recommendations and more and more on promotion based on the results of written examinations.
The structure of the examination system was extensively expanded during the reign of Wu Zetian The system reached its apogee during the Song dynasty. In theory, the Chinese civil service system provided one of the major outlets for social mobility in Chinese society, although in practice, due to the time-consuming nature of the study, the examination was only taken by sons of the landed gentry; the examination tested the candidate's memorization of the Nine Classics of Confucianism and his ability to compose poetry using fixed and traditional forms and calligraphy. In the late 19th century the system came under increasing internal dissatisfaction, it was criticized as not reflecting the candidate's ability to govern well, for giving precedence to style over content and originality of thought; the system was abolished by the Qing government in 1905 as part of the New Policies reform package. The Chinese system was admired by European commentators from the 16th century onward. In the 18th century, in response to economic changes and the growth of the British Empire, the bureaucracy of institutions such as the Office of Works and the Navy Board expanded.
Each had its own system, but in general, staff were appointed through patronage or outright purchase. By the 19th century, it became clear that these arrangements were falling short. "The origins of the British civil service are better known. During the eighteenth century a number of Englishmen wrote in praise of the Chinese examination system, some of them going so far as to urge the adoption for England of something similar; the first concrete step in this direction was taken by the British East India Company in 1806." In that year, the Honourable East India Company established a college, the East India Company College, near London to train and examine administrators of the Company's territories in India. "The proposal for establishing this college came from members of the East India Company's trading post in Canton, China." Examinations for the Indian "civil service"—a term coined by the Company—were introduced in 1829. British efforts at reform were influenced by the imperial examinations system and meritocratic system of China.
Thomas Taylor Meadows, Britain's consul in Guangzhou, China argued in his Desu
Gangster No. 1
Gangster No. 1 is a 2000 British crime drama film directed by Paul McGuigan and starring Paul Bettany in the title role. It is based on the play Gangster No.1 by Louis Mellis and David Scinto, features Malcolm McDowell, David Thewlis and Saffron Burrows. The film opens with an unnamed British veteran gangster attending a boxing match with friends. Hearing in conversation that another gangster, Freddie Mays, is to be released from prison after 30 years, he becomes upset and leaves without a word; the narrative flashes back to the 1960s. He comes to the attention of an influential London gangster, Freddie Mays, who recruits him as an enforcer; the Gangster is eager to please. The Gangster becomes obsessed with and jealous of Mays' glamorous lifestyle and success; the Gangster discovers that Lennie Taylor, is planning to kill Mays. Instead of warning his boss, the Gangster decides to let the attack take place, he kills the only other member of his own gang who knew of the impending attack, it goes as planned, the Gangster sits in a car nearby to watch as Lennie and his gang shoot and stab Mays, slit the throat of Mays' fiancée, Karen.
That night, the Gangster goes to Lennie's flat, shoots him in the leg, tortures him to death. The Gangster discovers the next day that Mays was hospitalised. Mays is unjustly sent to prison for 30 years. With Mays out of his way, the Gangster becomes leader of the gang and consolidates his power over the city's underworld. In a sequence spanning the years between 1968 and 1999, he organizes a bank heist, opens a casino, fixes horse races, builds his gang to over 300 men; the narrative returns to the aged Gangster at the boxing event. The Gangster discovers that Karen survived and is due to marry Mays, who has left prison a changed man; the men meet in Mays' old flat. The Gangster angrily denounces Mays, who has no fight left in him, wanting only to marry Karen and retire in peace; the Gangster threatens Mays with a gun gives Mays the gun and begs Mays to kill him. The film closes with the Gangster, having lost his mind and committing suicide by stepping off the top of a building, his last words: "I'm number one".
Malcolm McDowell as Gangster 55 Paul Bettany as Young Gangster David Thewlis as Freddie Mays Saffron Burrows as Karen Kenneth Cranham as Tommy Jamie Foreman as Lennie Taylor Eddie Marsan as Eddie Miller Andrew Lincoln as Maxie King Martin Wimbush as Judge Sean Chapman as Bent Cop Jamie Foreman is the son of real-life gangster Freddie Foreman. The film was met with a positive critical reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it holds a score of 71% based on 52 reviews, with an average rating of 6.4/10. The site's consensus reads: "Gangster No. 1 is brutally violent, yet compelling." Critics praised the performances and style. On Metacritic the film has a score of 60 out of 100, based on reviews from 15 critics. Clark Collis of Empire magazine gives the film 3 out of 5 stars. Collis calls the film "A stylistically superb jaunt through psychotically Swinging London" and praises the "scene stealing" performances of Bettany and McDowell but reserves his highest praises for photographer-turned-director McGuigan.
Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian calls it "a powerful and serious film a miasma of hysteria and anxiety - a real addition to the British crime canon." The film grossed $30,915 at the North American box office. Gangster No. 1 on IMDb Gangster No. 1 at Rotten Tomatoes
All the Way Up
All The Way Up is a 1970 British comedy film directed by James MacTaggart based on Semi-Detached, a 1962 play by Midlands dramatist David Turner. It stars Warren Mitchell, Pat Heywood, Kenneth Cranham, Richard Briers, Adrienne Posta and Elaine Taylor. A social climbing father uses everything from poison pen letters to blackmail in order to gain promotion and wealth for his children through marriages. Warren Mitchell - Fred Midway Pat Heywood - Hilda Midway Elaine Taylor - Eileen Midway Kenneth Cranham - Tom Midway Vanessa Howard - Avril Hadfield Richard Briers - Nigel Hadfield Adrienne Posta - Daphne Dunmore Bill Fraser - Arnold Makepiece Terence Alexander - Bob Chickman Frank Thornton - Mr. Driver All the Way Up at British Comedy Guide All the Way Up on IMDb
Valkyrie is a 2008 historical-thriller war film directed and co-produced by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie and Nathan Alexander. The film is set in Nazi Germany during World War II and depicts the 20 July plot in 1944 by German army officers to assassinate Adolf Hitler and to use the Operation Valkyrie national emergency plan to take control of the country; the film was released by American studio United Artists and stars Tom Cruise as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, one of the key plotters. The cast included Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Eddie Izzard, Terence Stamp, Tom Wilkinson. Cruise's casting caused controversy among German politicians and members of the von Stauffenberg family due to the actor's practice of Scientology, viewed with suspicion in Germany; because of this, the filmmakers had difficulty setting up filming locations in Germany, but they were given access to film in locations, including Berlin's historic Bendlerblock. German newspapers and filmmakers supported the film and its intention to spread global awareness of von Stauffenberg's plot.
The film changed release dates several times, from as early as June 27, 2008, to as late as February 14, 2009. The changing calendar and poor response to United Artists' initial marketing campaign drew criticism about the studio's viability. After a positive test screening, Valkyrie's release in North America was changed to December 25, 2008. United Artists renewed its marketing campaign to reduce its focus on Cruise and to highlight Singer's credentials; the film received mixed reviews in the United States and in Germany, where it opened commercially on January 22, 2009. During World War II, Wehrmacht Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg is wounded during an RAF air raid in Tunisia, losing his right hand, the ring and little finger on his left hand, his left eye, is evacuated home to Nazi Germany. Meanwhile, Major General Henning von Tresckow attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler by smuggling a bomb aboard the Führer's personal airplane; the bomb fails to detonate, Tresckow flies to Berlin in order to safely retrieve it.
After learning that the Gestapo has arrested Major General Hans Oster, he orders General Olbricht to find a replacement. After recruiting Stauffenberg into the German Resistance, Olbricht presents Stauffenberg at a meeting of the secret committee which has coordinated previous attempts on Hitler's life; the members include General Ludwig Beck, Dr. Carl Goerdeler, Erwin von Witzleben. Stauffenberg is stunned to learn that no plans exist on the subject of what is to be done after Hitler's assassination. During a bombing raid on Berlin, he gets the idea of using Operation Valkyrie, which involves the deployment of the Reserve Army to maintain order in the event of a national emergency; the plotters redraft the plan's orders so that they can dismantle the Nazi régime after assassinating Hitler. Realizing that only General Friedrich Fromm, the head of the Reserve Army, can initiate Valkyrie, they offer him a position as head of the Wehrmacht in a post-Nazi Germany and request his support, but Fromm declines to be directly involved, stating he will not side with them so long as Hitler is alive.
With the rewritten Operation Valkyrie orders needing to be signed by Hitler, Stauffenberg visits the Führer at his Berghof estate in Bavaria. Fromm's influence allows Stauffenberg to bring the copy directly before Hitler, in the presence of Joseph Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler, Hermann Göring, Wilhelm Keitel and Albert Speer, his inner circle, Hitler praises Stauffenberg's heroism in North Africa and signs the orders without examining the modifications, believing Stauffenberg's changes "are for the best". At Goerdeler's insistence, Stauffenberg is ordered to assassinate both Hitler and SS head Himmler at the Führer's command bunker, the Wolf's Lair. At a final briefing, Colonel Mertz von Quirnheim instructs the committee members in the use of pencil detonators. Stauffenberg persuades General Fellgiebel, who controls all communications at Wolf's Lair, to cut off communications after the bomb blast. On July 15, 1944, Stauffenberg attends a strategy meeting at Wolf's Lair with the bomb in his briefcase, but with Himmler not present at the meeting, Stauffenberg does not get the go-ahead from the committee leaders, by the time von Quirnheim defies the others and tells him to do it anyway, the meeting is over.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Army is mobilized by Olbricht, unbeknownst to Fromm. With no action taken, Stauffenberg safely extracts himself and the bomb from the bunker, the Reserve Army is ordered to stand down, believing that the mobilization was a drill. Back in Berlin and Stauffenberg are threatened by Fromm that if they try to control the reserve army again he will have them arrested; when Goerdeler demands that Stauffenberg be relieved, Beck informs him that the SS has issued a warrant for his arrest, that he must leave the country immediately. On July 20, 1944, Stauffenberg and his adjutant Lieutenant Haeften return to Wolf's Lair. To Stauffenberg's dismay, he discovers only after the timer has been activated that, due to the warm weather, the conference is being held in an open-window summer barrack, whereas the plotters had intended to detonate the bomb within the walls of the bunker for maximum damage. While his adjutant waits with the car, Stauffenberg places the briefcase with the bomb armed at the meeting as close to Hitler as possible.
Stauffenberg leaves the barrack, returning to the car. However, one of the officers at the meeting moves the bomb behind a table leg, which will inadvertently protect Hitler from most of the blast. Wh
Entertaining Mr Sloane
Entertaining Mr Sloane is a play by the English playwright Joe Orton. It was first produced in London at the New Arts Theatre on 6 May 1964 and transferred to the West End's Wyndham's Theatre on 29 June 1964. Mr Sloane is a young man looking for a place to board, who happens by the home of Kath, a middle-aged landlady whose home is on the outskirts of a rubbish dump. Kath is eager to have Mr Sloane as a tenant at her home, which she shares with her nearly blind father, Kemp. In getting to know Mr Sloane, Kath is open with Mr Sloane about a previous relationship she had, which led to her bearing a child, whom her brother insisted on her giving up for adoption as it was conceived out of wedlock. Mr Sloane reveals he is himself an orphan, though vague about his parents' death, except that they "passed away together". Kath's father has an immediate distrust of Mr Sloane, believing he is the same man who killed his employer some years earlier. After an altercation between Kemp and Sloane, resulting in Sloane being stabbed in the leg, Kath begins to make somewhat subtle advances toward the young man.
When Mr Sloane attempts to reciprocate, Kath warns him facetiously not to betray his trust. Kathy's brother Ed arrives soon after to find the visitor staying with his sister, much to his dismay. Kemp has an estranged relationship with his son as he found him to be "committing some kind of felony in the bedroom" as a teenager. Despite Ed's initial opposition to Mr Sloane staying with his sister, after speaking with Sloane, Ed relents and goes so far as to offer him a job as his chauffeur; as Sloane recovers from his injury earlier in the evening, Kath returns wearing a transparent negligee and seduces Mr Sloane as the lights go down and Act One ends. The action resumes "some months later" and begins with Mr Sloane recounting an evening in which a young woman gave him her telephone number. Kath ambiguously hints at her jealousy, before revealing she is pregnant and concerned that her brother will disapprove. Ed arrives soon after and discovers that Mr Sloane had taken his car out joyriding the night before with his friends.
Upon finding out that they had a woman with them, Ed divulges that he feels women are crude, misleading. Ed advises Sloane to pack his things; when Sloane leaves the room to pack, Kemp mildly attempts to reconcile with his son, conveys that Kath and Sloane have been sleeping together and believes Kath is now pregnant. When confronted, Sloane confirms he has been sleeping with Kath, but claims she "threw herself" at him. A short time Ed departs to buy cigarettes, Kemp returns to confront Sloane as his employer's murderer. Sloane attacks Kemp, resulting in his death. Upon finding his dead father, Ed is insistent that justice be served and Sloane be turned over to the police. However, Sloane persuades Ed to fabricate a story to make the death appear an accident, in exchange for his servitude; when Kath discovers the dead body, she is apprehensive to stray from the truth given Sloane's intention to go and live with her brother. Sloane finds himself in a predicament: if he stays with Kath, Ed will report the murder to the authorities, vice versa if he chooses to leave with Ed.
A compromise is reached that will result in the pair "sharing" Mr. Sloane a few months at a time; the play premiered in the West End in 1964, thanks to the financial support of Terence Rattigan, who had seen the play at the New Arts Theatre, rated it and put up £3,000 in sponsorship. It was directed by Patrick Dromgoole and starred Madge Ryan as Kath, Dudley Sutton as Sloane, Charles Lamb as Kemp, Peter Vaughan as Ed, it was designed with costumes supervised by Tazeena Firth. The Broadway production, directed by Alan Schneider, opened at the Lyceum Theatre on 12 October 1965 and closed after 13 performances, it starred Sheila Hancock as Kath, Dudley Sutton as Sloane, Lee Montague as Ed, George Turner as Kemp. William Ritman designed the costumes; the play was revived as part of the Joe Orton Festival at the Royal Court Theatre in London. Directed by Roger Croucher, it opened on 17 April 1975 and subsequently transferred to the Duke of York's Theatre in July, it starred Beryl Reid as Kath, Malcolm McDowell as Sloane, James Ottaway as Kemp, Ronald Fraser as Ed. Harry H. Corbett took over as Ed and Kenneth Cranham as Sloane.
John Gunter designed Deirdre Clancy supervised the costumes. It closed in October 1975. A subsequent London production at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith in 1981 was directed by Kenneth Williams and starred Barbara Windsor as Kath. Windsor reprised the role for a national tour in 1993. In 1985 Greg Hersov directed a production at the Royal Exchange, Manchester with Adam Ant as Sloane, Sylvia Sims as Kath and James Maxwell as Ed; the Roundabout Theatre Company revived the play in 2005 under the direction of Scott Ellis. It starred Alec Baldwin as Ed, Chris Carmack as Sloane, Jan Maxwell as Kath, Richard Easton as Kemp; the design team included Allen Moyer, Michael Krass, Ken Posner, John Gromada. In 2007, the Melbourne Theatre Company staged a production at the Fairfax Theatre in the Melbourne Arts Centre in Melbourne, Australia. Directed by Simon Phillips, it starred Richard Piper as Ed, Ben Guerens as Sloane, Amanda Muggleton as Kath, Bob Hornery as Kemp, it was designed with music by David Chesworth.
From 29 January 2009, a production at the Trafalgar Studios in London starred Imelda Staunton as Kath, Mathew Horne as Sloane, Simon Paisley Day as Ed and Richard Bremmer as Kemp. Horne collapsed during a performance on 2 April 2009 with a suspected virus; the show played at the Trafalgar
The Old Vic
The Old Vic is a 1,000-seat, not-for-profit producing theatre, located just south-east of Waterloo station on the corner of the Cut and Waterloo Road in Lambeth, England. Established in 1818 as the Royal Coburg Theatre, renamed in 1833 the Royal Victoria Theatre, in 1871 it was rebuilt and reopened as the Royal Victoria Palace, it was taken over by Emma Cons in 1880 and formally named the Royal Victoria Hall, although by that time it was known as the "Old Vic". In 1898, a niece of Cons, Lilian Baylis, assumed management and began a series of Shakespeare productions in 1914; the building was damaged in 1940 during air raids and it became a Grade II* listed building in 1951 after it reopened. The Old Vic is the crucible of theatres in London today, it was the name of a repertory company, based at the theatre and formed the core of the National Theatre of Great Britain on its formation in 1963, under Laurence Olivier. The National Theatre remained at the Old Vic until new premises were constructed on the South Bank, opening in 1976.
The Old Vic became the home of Prospect Theatre Company, at that time a successful touring company which staged such acclaimed productions as Derek Jacobi's Hamlet. However, with the withdrawal of funding for the company by the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1980 for breaching its touring obligations, Prospect disbanded in 1981; the theatre underwent complete refurbishment in 1985. In 2003, Kevin Spacey was appointed artistic director. Spacey served as artistic director until 2015. In 2015, Matthew Warchus succeeded Spacey as artistic director; the theatre was founded in 1818 by James King and Daniel Dunn, John Thomas Serres the marine painter to the King. Serres managed to secure the formal patronage of Princess Charlotte and her husband Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, named the theatre the Royal Coburg Theatre; the theatre was thus technically forbidden to show serious drama. When the theatre passed to George Bolwell Davidge in 1824 he succeeded in bringing legendary actor Edmund Kean south of the river to play six Shakespeare plays in six nights.
The theatre's role in bringing high art to the masses was confirmed when Kean addressed the audience during his curtain call saying "I have never acted to such a set of ignorant, unmitigated brutes as I see before me." More popular staples in the repertoire were "sensational and violent" melodramas demonstrating the evils of drink, "churned out by the house dramatist", confirmed teetotaller Douglas Jerrold. When Davidge left to take over the Surrey Theatre in 1833, the theatre was bought by Daniel Egerton and William Abbot, who tried to capitalise on the abolition of the legal distinction between patent and minor theatres, enacted in Parliament earlier that year. On 1 July 1833, the theatre was renamed the Royal Victoria Theatre, under the "protection and patronage" of Victoria, Duchess of Kent, mother to Princess Victoria, the 14-year-old heir presumptive to the British throne; the duchess and the princess visited only once, on 28 November of that year, but enjoyed the performance, of light opera and dance, in the "pretty...clean and comfortable" theatre.
The single visit scarcely justified the "Old Vic" its billing as "Queen Victoria's Own Theayter". By 1835, the theatre was advertising itself as the Victoria Theatre. In 1841, David Osbaldiston took over as lessee, was succeeded on his death in 1850 by his lover and the theatre's leading lady, Eliza Vincent, until her death in 1856. Under their management, the theatre remained devoted to melodrama. In 1858, sixteen people were crushed to death inside the theatre after mass panic caused while an actor's clothing caught fire. In 1867, Joseph Arnold Cave took over as lessee. In 1871 he transferred the lease to Romaine Delatorre, who raised funds for the theatre to be rebuilt in the style of the Alhambra Music Hall. Jethro Thomas Robinson was engaged as the architect. In September 1871 the old theatre closed, the new building opened as the Royal Victoria Palace in December of the same year, with Cave staying on as manager. By 1873, Cave had left and Delatorre's venture failed. In 1880, under the ownership of Emma Cons it became the Royal Victoria Hall and Coffee Tavern and was run on "strict temperance lines".
The "penny lectures" given in the hall led to the foundation of Morley College. An endowment from the estate of Samuel Morley led to the creation of the Morley Memorial College for Working Men and Women on the premises, which were shared; the adult education college moved to its own premises nearby in the 1920s. With Emma Cons's death in 1912 the theatre passed to her niece Lilian Baylis, who emphasised the Shakespearean repertoire; the Old Vic Company was established in 1929, led by Sir John Gielgud. Between 1925 and 1931, Lilian Baylis championed the re-building of the then-derelict Sadler's Wells Theatre, established a ballet company under the direction of Dame Ninette de Valois. For a few years the drama and ballet companies rotated between the two theatres, with the ballet becoming permanently based at Sadler's Wells in 1935; the Old Vic was damaged badly during the Blitz, the war-depleted company spent all its time touring, based in Burnley, Lancashire at the Victoria Theatre during the years 1940 to 1943.