The new St James Theatre in Westminster launched its architectural centrepiece, a 200-tonne solid marble staircase, last night (4 September 2012) at an event featuring theatrical star Simon Callow, sports personalities Sean Fitzpatrick and Mark Bright and former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read.

They appeared alongside the St James Theatre's artistic director David Gilmore and the staircase installation's designer Mark Humphrey.

The St James Theatre, which replaces the demolished Westminster theatre in Victoria, will boast a 312-seater main theatre, a 100-seater studio space and broadcasting facilities for its own Sky TV channel.

The venue opens to audiences with its first show, the London premiere of Bully Boy, on 18 September, which will be followed by more extensive seasons in the main theatre and studio space.

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PHOTOS BY DAN WOOLLER FOR WHATSONSTAGE.COM.