Designed by C I Phipps and decorated by Collinson & Locke, the most beautifully fitted theatre in Europe opened its doors on 10th October 1881 with a transfer from the Opera Comique of Gilbert and Sullivan’s opera Patience. Built at the instigation of Impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte, who wanted his own theatre in order to stage the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, the Savoy Theatre became famous as the first public building in the world to be lit by incandescent electric lights.
On 3rd June, 1929, the Victorian auditorium was invaded by workmen and demolished and, 135 days later “a gleaming palace had sprung up”, a magic miracle of modernism built by Rupert D’Oyly Carte with Frank Tugwell as the architect and decorative designs by Basil Ionides. The Theatre re opened on 21st October 1929 with a revival of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, designed by Charles Ricketts and conducted by Dr Malcolm Sargent.
In 1982, Michael Frayn’s Noises Off premièred at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, directed by Michael Blakemore and starring Patricia Routledge, Paul Eddington, and Nicky Henson. It opened to universally ecstatic reviews and shortly after transferred to the Savoy Theatre, where it ran until 1987 with five successive casts. It won the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy.