30 Argyll Street, London, W1F 7TE
TRAVEL BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT
The nearest underground station is Oxford Circus (Central, Victoria and Bakerloo lines) and Bond Street (Central and Jubilee Lines).
More than 10 bus routes pass close to the London Palladium. Plan your journey here on the TfL website.
If you are planning to drive into the city we recommend that you take advantage of Q-Park’s Theatreland Parking Scheme – simply have your car park ticket validated at London Palladium and the 50% discount will automatically be applied when you pay at the car park pay machine. Find out more on the Q-Park website.
The £10 daily congestion charge for central London applies from 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.
The London Palladium opened on Boxing Day 1910 with the first ‘grand variety bill’ featuring acts as diverse as Nellie Wallace and classical actor Martin Harvey. The Frank Matcham designed building occupies a site which was previously home to a Corinthian Bazaar, Hengler’s Grand Cirque and the National Ice Skating Palace. By the 1950s the theatre was known as the ‘Ace Variety Theatre of the World’, a reputation enhanced by the enormous worldwide popularity of ATV’s Sunday Night At The London Palladium. For many years it played host to the annual Royal Variety Performance, and was the home of London’s most spectacular pantomimes.
The history of performances at The Palladium is by its very nature little more than a list of star names. The great and the good from both stage and screen queued up to top the bill at ‘the world’s most famous theatre’ and audiences flocked to see them.
The Palladium hosted its first Royal Variety Performance in 1930. The following year saw the first Crazy Week, which brought together the famous Crazy Gang. The theatre became their home, with later shows including Life Begins At Oxford Circus and Round About Regent Street. Other stars of the 1930s included Jack Benny, Paul Robeson, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ramon Navarro, Cab Calloway, Ethel Barrymore, Josephine Baker, Fats Waller and Tom Mix.
In 1940 Top of the World played only four performances before being closed by the Blitz, but the theatre soon reopened in 1941 with Max Miller and Vera Lynn in Apple Sauce. Star names of the 1940s included Arthur Lucan (Old Mother Riley) and Kitty McShane, Tommy Trinder, Elisabeth Welch, Tessie O’Shea, Jewel & Warris, Gracie Fields, Betty Hutton, Dinah Shore, the Andrews Sisters, Carmen Miranda, Martha Raye and Laurel and Hardy.
Val Parnell took over as director and general manager in 1945 and began a regular policy of importing major American stars, the first great success being Danny Kaye. Kathryn Grayson, Eleanor Powell, Harpo and Chico Marx, Benny Goodman, Dorothy Lamour, Frank Sinatra, Abbott and Costello, Nat King Cole, Donald O’Connor, Hoagy Carmichael, Judy Garland, Jimmy Durante, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope and Gypsy Rose Lee all followed. Home- grown talents to top the bill were Max Bygraves, Julie Andrews, Alma Cogan, Harry Secombe, Terry-Thomas, Billy Cotton, Charlie Drake, Cilla Black, Norman Wisdom, Des O’Connor, Frankie Howerd, Ken Dodd, Tommy Steele, Ronnie Corbett, Arthur Askey, Bruce Forsyth and Shirley Bassey.
Sunday Night At The London Palladium was first broadcast in 1955 and made stars of its hosts Bruce Forsyth, Norman Vaughan and Jimmy Tarbuck. Sunday Night At The Palladium returned to its home in 2014, and continues to thrill a new generation of TV audiences.