Fortune Theatre

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Fortune Theatre

Fortune Theatre London

 

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The Fortune Theatre is a 432-seat West End theatre on Russell Street, near Covent Garden, in the City of Westminster.The theatre is situated next to Crown Court Church, and dwarfed by the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on the opposite side of the road.

 


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Address – Russell Street London WC2B 5HH UK.
 

Box Office – Daily – Phone – +44 844 871 7627

 

Transport–  Tube:  Covent Garden (Piccadilly line) exit into the piazza 5 Min Walk

Bus –  24, 29 or 176 to Covent Garden

 


Theatre Facilities

 

Wheelchair Access

There are no spaces for wheelchair users who have to stay in their chairs. The best seating option is generally the back of the dress circle level or Box A. Box A is accessible through a side fire exit, which has 5 steps. Wheelchairs and scooters will be stored in a safe place.

 

Hearing

There is a dual channel infra The Fortune Theatre is equipped with a Sennheiser infra-red sound amplification system, available in all areas of the auditorium. To access the infra-red systems please request receiving equipment from the Box Office situated in the main foyer. There are two devices available: Induction Loop – Necklace Suitable for persons wearing a hearing aid, the induction loop necklace is worn around the neck. Whilst wearing the necklace switch your hearing aid to the ‘T’ setting and the sound is amplified. The necklace has an adjustable volume control. Headset – This device amplifies sound through earpieces similar to regular headphones.-red system available with two head sets. Also a Portable induction loop is fitted at the Box Office.

GUIDE DOGS

Guide dogs are not permitted inside the auditorium due to loud sound effects. Staff are happy to look after guide dogs during the performance.

For all Access info and Disabled bookings, please call 0844 871 7677.

 

HISTORY


The site was acquired by author, playwright and impresario Laurence Cowen, and had previously been the location of the old Albion Tavern, a public house that was frequented by Georgian and Victorian actors. The theatre is situated next to Crown Court Church, and dwarfed by the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on the opposite side of the road.

Cowen commissioned architect Ernest Schaufelberg to design the theatre in an Italianate style. Constructed from 1922-4, it was the first theatre to be built in London after the end of World War I. One of the first buildings in London to experiment with concrete, its façade is principally made of bush hammered concrete, with brick piers supporting the roof. Since the demolition of the original Wembley Stadium, the theatre is now the oldest remaining public building designed wholly using concrete as a textured and exposed façade. The theatre’s famous figurine, Terpsichore (perched high above the entrance) was sculpted by M H Crichton of the Bromsgrove Guild, a noted company of artisans from Worcestershire. The theatre is entered through bronze double doors, and internally there is a foyer of grey and red marble, with a beaten copper ticket booth.

With 432 seats in the auditorium, it is believed to be the second smallest West End theatre. It was refurbished in 1960, and Grade II listed by English Heritage in May 1994.

 

PRODUCTIONS


 

The theatre opened, as the Fortune Thriller Theatre on August 8, 1924, with Sinners by Lawrence Cowen. During World War II, the theatre hosted performances by ENSA, entertainers drawn from the armed forces. Since the war, the theatre has been a receiving house, with actors such as Dame Judi Dench, Dirk Bogarde and Maureen Lipman appearing. The Fortune also hosted shows from Flanders and Swann and Beyond the Fringe. Nunsense played at the theatre in 1987.

Since 1989 the theatre has hosted the long running play The Woman in Black, which was adapted by Stephen Mallatratt from the book of the same name by Susan Hill. A celebration was held in 2001 to mark the 5000th performance. From 9 to 13 September 2008, the show was performed in Japanese by Takaya Kamikaya and Haruhito Saito, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the UK and Japan.

The theatre was also used to record the Lily Savage video “Paying the Rent” in 1993, which was later broadcast by Channel 4 in the UK in 1996.