HRH Prince of Wales Reopens £7m Prince of WalesDate: 20 May 2004
HRH The Prince of Wales (pictured) will inaugurate his new-look theatrical namesake next month. The West End’s Prince of Wales Theatre has been closed for the past year while undergoing a £7 million refurbishment. At a Royal Gala Charity performance of hit Abba musical Mamma Mia! on Thursday 10 June 2004, it will be officially reopened by Prince Charles.
In addition to the restoration of the theatre’s façade to its original 1930s art deco style, the theatre’s interior has been gutted and rebuilt by owner Cameron Mackintosh, with the 1,100-seat auditorium redesigned to provide greater leg room and more comfortable seats. All other public facilities have also been expanded and improved (See News, 25 Jun 2003).
Tickets for the charity gala are priced from £40 to £250. The £250 tickets include pre-show and interval hospitality as well as an after-show party and can be booked by calling 0870 850 0399. Proceeds raised will go to The Prince’s Trust, the prince’s charity for providing training, mentoring and financial assistance to disaffected young people.
Last week, producers announced that Mamma Mia!’s transfer to the Prince of Wales from its current home at the Prince Edward Theatre, where it celebrated its fifth anniversary last month (See News, 6 Apr 2004), had been delayed by a week because of ongoing drilling work which had disrupted show rehearsals.
Mamma Mia! was due to have its last performance at the Prince Edward, where it opened in April 1999, on 22 May 2004, before reopening five days later, on Thursday, 27 May 2004, at the 1,100-seat Prince of Wales, where the show is booking up to 5 March 2005. Instead, it will play an extra seven performances at the Prince Edward up to 29 May and then transfer to the Prince of Wales on 3 June, with a new press night set for 9 June 2004. Evening performances scheduled for 31 May, 1 and 2 June as well as the 5.00pm matinee on Friday 28 May have been cancelled (See News, 14 May 2004).
- by Terri Paddock