Alexandra Theatre

Alexandra Theatre

Infobox Theatre
name = Alexandra Theatre



caption = The main entrance
address = Station Street
city = Birmingham
country = England
designation =
latitude = 52.476264
longitude = -1.900683
architect = Owen & Ward (1900), Roland Satchwell (1935), John Madin Design Group (1967), Seymour Harris Partnership (1992)
owner = Live Nation (Venues) UK Limited
capacity = 1,347
type =
opened = May 27 1901
yearsactive = 1901-present
rebuilt =
closed =
othernames = Lyceum Theatre
website = http://www.alexandratheatre.org.uk/ www.alexandratheatre.org.uk
The Alexandra Theatre, commonly known as The Alex, is a theatre on Station Street in Birmingham, England.

Construction of the theatre commenced in 1900 and was completed in 1901. The architects were Owen & Ward.cite book |last= Foster |first=Andy |title=Birmingham |series=Pevsner Architectural Guides |origyear=2005 |year=2007 |pages=200 |publisher=Yale University Press |isbn=978-0-300-10731-9] The theatre was opened May 27 1901 as the "Lyceum Theatre" [cite web |url=http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/GenerateContent?CONTENT_ITEM_ID=1830&CONTENT_ITEM_TYPE=0&MENU_ID=10114 |title=Chronology of Birmingham 1883 - 1950 |publisher=Birmingham City Council |accessdate=2008-04-05] on John Bright Street however it was met with few theatre goers. As a result, it was sold to Lester Collingwood for £4,000, who renamed it "Alexandra" on December 22 1902.cite book |last=Kemp |first=David |title=The Pleasures and Treasures of Britain |pages=231 |year=1996 |publisher=Dundurn Press Ltd. |isbn=1550021591] Collingwood was killed in a road traffic accident in 1910 and was succeeded by Leon Salberg, who died in his office at the theatre in 1938. His ghost is said to inhabit the theatre. Other ghost sightings include that by a cleaner of a woman dressed in grey in 1987. It was rebuilt with a fine Art Deco auditorium in 1935 to a design by Roland Satchwell. Upon Leon Salberg's death, Derek Salberg took over the running of the theatre. The Salberg family ran the theatre from 1911 to 1977. [cite book |last=Barker |first=Clive |coauthors=Simon Trussler |title=New Theatre Quarterly 62 |pages=147 |year=2000 |publisher=Cambridge University Press |isbn=0521789028] Following World War II, the theatre became very popular with the local population. By 1950, 85% of season ticket holders lived within the boundaries of Birmingham. [cite book |title=Birmingham and Its Regional Setting: A Scientific Survey |last=Kinvig |first=R.H. |others=British Association for the Advancement of Science |year=1950 |publisher=Local Executive Committee |pages=333]

Although the main entrance was originally situated on John Bright Street, a new main entrance block was built on Suffolk Street between 1967-1969 to a design by the John Madin Design Group, with a wide bridge linking the two - from the inside, the appearance is that of a single building. Satchwell's interior was refurbished in 1992 by the Seymour Harris Partnership. The Alex was sold to Apollo Leisure in the 1990s. Derek Salberg's autobiography "Much Ado About Theatre" had its foreword written by Laurence Olivier. Under Leon Salberg, the Alex was famous for its pantomimes such as "Mother Goose".

The theatre currently seats 1,347 and hosts a busy programme of touring drama, West End shows and stand-up comedy. [cite web |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/stage/venues/a_f/alex.shtml |title=The Alexandra Theatre |publisher=BBC Birmingham |accessdate=2008-04-05] It was the home of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company between 1990 and 1997.

Neville Chamberlain delivered a speech at the theatre on October 13, 1918. [cite book |last=Rifkind |first=Simon Hirsch |title=The Basic Equities of the Palestine Problem |pages=23 |year=1977 |publisher=Ayer Publishing |isbn=0405102798]

Arthur Lowe died of a stroke in his dressing room before a performance of "Home at Seven" on April 15, 1982 aged 66.

References

External links

* [http://www.alexandratheatre.org.uk/ Official website]


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