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Encyclopedia > London Coliseum
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The London Coliseum

The Coliseum Theatre is one of London's largest and best equipped theatres, opening in 1904. It underwent extensive renovations between 2000 and 2004 and has the widest proscenium arch in London as well as being one of the earliest to have electric lighting. It was built with a revolving stage although this was rarely used.


Originally designed for the productions of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company to specifications drawn up by W. S. Gilbert it was known as the London Coliseum. Becoming the Coliseum Theatre between 1931 and 1968 (651 performances of the musical comedy White Horse Inn, starting April 8, 1931), it reverted to the original name in 1968, when purchased by English National Opera.


It remains the home of the English National Opera (ENO), previously known as the Sadler's Wells Opera Company (they changed their name in 1974) who had moved from the Sadler's Wells Theatre.


As a 14th birthday treat, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was taken by her parents to a West End show, to see Sir Charles Hawtrey at the London Coliseum (on August 4, 1914). On the same day her future father-in-law, King George V, summoned the Privy Council and declared war (see World_War_I) on Germany.


The above event is commemorated in a poem by the Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion celebrating her 100th birthday in 2000.


The theatre was the settting for the 2004 Royal Variety Performance in the presence of HRH the Prince of Wales


External links

  • English National Opera site (http://www.eno.org)
  • Theatres trust - London Coliseum page (http://www.theatrestrust.org.uk/curtains_detail.asp?theatreName=coliseum&town=13&originalDateFrom=&originalDateTo=&architect=&Search=Search&ID=1806)

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London Coliseum - definition of London Coliseum in Encyclopedia (276 words)
It underwent extensive renovations between 2000 and 2004 and has the widest proscenium arch in London as well as being one of the earliest to have electric lighting.
Gilbert it was known as the London Coliseum.
As a 14th birthday treat, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was taken by her parents to a West End show, to see Sir Charles Hawtrey at the London Coliseum (on August 4, 1914).
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