Ginger Hibiscus | News – Sir Cameron Mackintosh Expands his Empire
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News – Sir Cameron Mackintosh Expands his Empire

22 May News – Sir Cameron Mackintosh Expands his Empire

Sir Cameron Mackintosh today announced the purchase and refurbishment of the Victoria Palace (currently home to Billy Elliot) and the Ambassador (Stomp) theatres. They will join the Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales, the Novello, the Queen’s, the Gielgud, Wyndham’s, and the Noel Coward in the Delfont Mackintosh group of theatres.

With planning permission already in place for the Victoria Palace, Mackintosh intends to deepen the stage and renovate the auditorium, closing the theatre for about a year from 2016, with timing planned to coincide with the exterior development in the area. Announcing the move, Mackintosh said, “I am delighted to have the opportunity to take over stewardship of the Victoria Palace Theatre from Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen. I consider its auditorium one of Matcham’s finest, with a remarkable fusion of intimacy and scale, a gloriously rich décor and perfect sight lines from every seat. Despite hosting many long running hits including Buddy, Annie, and the current Billy Elliot, the theatre’s shallow stage has meant that it can’t accommodate many of the big shows that might have played there.” The producers of Billy Elliot, currently resident at the Victoria Palace have confirmed they will continue in the theatre for at least the next two years.

Mackintosh has more radical plans for the Ambassador, including completely rebuilding the auditorium and renaming it the Sondheim Theatre, after composer and lyricist Steven Sondheim. Most excitingly, this will also include a transfer house for regional and subsidised productions. Sondheim responded by saying that, “to have my name attached to such a vivifying contribution to British theatre is an honour as well as a thrill.”

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