The Theatres Trust

Embassy Theatre (London)


The theatre was adapted in 1928 by Andrew Mather from the Hampstead Conservatoire of Music, previously the Eton Avenue Hall. The mixture of architectural styles reflects the history of the building, now part of the adjoining Central School, which is itself a warren of interconnecting old buildings. The complex has grown from a double-fronted stucco Italianate Victorian villa, much altered and extended over many years. The theatre, reduced from an earlier concert hall at the rear of the original house, is approached by way of an entrance foyer with box office and corridor to the auditorium. It was a simple high-ceilinged hall with pilastered walls and and end balcony. After the 2003 improvements the auditorium became a single rake extending back into the rear bay cut off in 1928, while the stage was given a full fly tower. The Embassy was a famous repertory theatre from the 1920s, and this continues today with school productions open to the public.

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  • Other names
    Eton Avenue Hall, Hampstead Conservatoire
  • Events
    • 1890 Design/Construction: as a concert hall (successor to a smaller hall)
      • Unknown - Architect
    • 1928 Alteration: converted to theatre
      • Andrew Mather - Architect
    • 1928 Owner/Management: Embassy Theatre Ltd (John Jay), owner; Herbert Jay & Sybil Arendale, managers
    • 1930 Owner/Management: Embassy Theatre Ltd, Alec Rea, lessee; Ronald Adams, manager
    • 1932 Owner/Management: Embassy Theatre Ltd, Ronald Adams, lessee
    • 1945 Alteration: repaired and reopened after war damage
      • Unknown - Architect
    • 1953 Owner/Management: Sidney Bernstein
    • 1956 Owner/Management: Central School of Speech & Drama, lessee
    • 1956 Alteration: rear of auditorium partitioned off
      • Unknown - Architect
    • 1989 Alteration: workshops added
      • Cullum & Nightingale - Architect
    • 2003 Alteration: completion of improvement works to theatre and workshops
      • Cullum & Nightingale - Architect
  • Capacities
    • Later: 1932: 700 1972: 680
    • Current: 266
  • Listings
    • Grade Not listed
  • Stage type
    • Proscenium
  • Dimensions
    • Stage dimensions: Depth: 20ft Width: 35-40ft
    • Proscenium width: 25ft

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Plaque at the St Bride Foundation Institute
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Side Elevation of The Redgrave Theatre, Farnham, 1999
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