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Matilda The Musical (Cambridge Theatre) (London, Great Britain)

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Matilda The Musical (Cambridge Theatre)

Matilda The Musical (Cambridge Theatre)

The Cambridge Theatre is a West End theatre, on a corner site in Earlham Street facing Seven Dials, in the London Borough of Camden, built in 1929–30 for Bertie Meyer on an "irregular triangular site". Matilda the Musical commenced performances at The Cambridge from 18 October 2011, with an official opening night on 22 November 2011. Matilda became the longest-running production in the theatre's history.

It was designed by Wimperis, Simpson, and Guthrie; interior partly by Serge Chermayeff, with interior bronze friezes by sculptor Anthony Gibbons Grinling. The theatre is built in steel and concrete and is notable for its elegant and clean lines of the design. The theatre was refurbished in 1950—the original gold and silver décor was painted over in red, and candelabras and chandeliers were added. In 1987, to restore the original décor, the theatre was once again refurbished, this time by Carl Toms. The theatre has a circular entrance foyer, with Grinling's bronze frieze depicting nude figures in exercise poses, the theme continues into the main foyer, with dancing nudes, marble pilaster up lighters, and concealed lighting.

An early and notable production, was that produced on October 19, 1930, by Ninette De Valois future creator and for many years the central figure of the Royal Ballet. She both choreographed (Danse sacree et danse profane, Debussy), and danced (Nicholas Legat's Variations and Coda, Glinka, partnered by Anton Dolin).

Productions at the Cambridge Theatre have been characterized by relatively short runs interspersed with several dark periods and the theatre was used for trade film shows in the late 1930s and again in 1969 as a cinema.

Notable productions include Joan Sims in Breath of Spring by Peter Coke in 1958, Tommy Steele in Half a Sixpence in 1963 (678 performances), Bruce Forsyth in Little Me in 1964 (334 performances), The Black Mikado (1975–76), and in the late 1970s, the Kander and Ebb musical Chicago ran for 590 performances. More recently the rock and roll musical Return to the Forbidden Planet, which was based on Shakespeare's The Tempest and used 1950s and 1960s songs opened in September 1989 and lasted until early 1993, winning the Olivier Award for Best New Musical—beating the favorite, Miss Saigon.

The controversial show Jerry Springer: The Opera had a run from 14 October 2003 – 19 February 2005. This was followed by a month run of illusionist Derren Brown's Something Wicked This Way Comes tour, before the London première of Flying Music's Dancing in the Streets, which opened on 7 July 2005. This finished its run on 22 April 2006 and Chicago moved across Theatreland from the Adelphi Theatre to continue its London run into its tenth year at the theatre that originally hosted the show in the 1970s. It opened at the Cambridge on Friday 28 April. Chicago canceled all performances post 27 August 2011, when it closed at the theatre. Matilda the Musical commenced performances at The Cambridge from 18 October 2011, with an official opening night on 22 November 2011.

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