Once described as ‘the most intimate of theatres’, the Fortune Theatre upholds this original charm almost a century after its public opening on Saturday 8 November 1924. With a capacity of 432 over three tiers, the venue is considered to be the second smallest theatre in the West End and is nestled in the heart of the Covent Garden area.
Built on the site of the Old Albion Tavern, its design is famous for the entrance door to the theatre which has a statue of Terpsichore, one of the Muses of Greek mythology. It was the first London theatre to be built after World War I, and also played its part during the Second World War as the venue for ENSA - the concert party corps of the Forces.
The Fortune has played host to many celebrated actors and actresses on its stage. Amongst the impressive group are Dame Judi Dench, Dirk Bogarde and Maureen Lipman. The venue was also home to the innovative revue from Cambridge, Beyond The Fringe, with the incredible original line-up comprised of Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Jonathan Miller.
The Fortune Theatre is famously associated with the production The Woman In Black, which is renowned as being a West End classic. This fantastic, enigmatic play first opened at the theatre in 1989 and has been running ever since. It was also remarkably performed entirely in Japanese for five days in September 2008. This unique short run of shows was in celebration of the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Japan.
Both the theatre and the show celebrated 5,000 performances in July 2001 with a fabulous party, which was so big that it had to spread across the Stalls Bar and the auditorium!