Palace Theatre, Manchester

Palace Theatre, Manchester

The Palace Theatre Manchester, Oxford Street, is one of the main theatres in Manchester, England. It, and its 'sister' theatre the Manchester Opera House on Quay Street, are operated by the same parent company, Live Nation. The original capacity of 3,675 has since been reduced to its current 1,998.

The theatre, originally known as 'The Grand Old Lady of Oxford Street', opened on 18 May, 1891, having been built at a cost of £40,500. The opening presentation, to a capacity audience, was the ballet "Cleopatra"; however its initial presentations failed to gain popular support and for several years it struggled to make a profit. Only when it broadened its scope to include more popular performers was it a resounding success. During the early part of the 20th century it came into its own, with artists such as Danny Kaye, Gracie Fields, Charles Laughton, Judy Garland, Noel Coward and Laurel & Hardy making appearances.

In the 1970s, audience numbers declined as they did in many live venues, and it was threatened with closure. The Arts Council supported it in the 1980s, and after major internal refurbishment and an enlarged stage facility, it was run by a charitable trust, Norwest Holdings.

It is now one of the best equipped and popular theatres outside London. In its repertoire it hosts major touring musicals often with major celebrities and performances of opera and ballet along with various other comedy acts and one night concerts.

The Palace Theatre Ticket Centre is situated to the right of the building and sells tickets for the Palace, Opera House and Apollo, plus a range of Live Nation theatres and other selected venues across the UK.

Continuing a long tradition of tour openings in Manchester, the hit Broadway and West End musical The Producers opened at the theatre in February 2007 for a run until May when it continued on tour around the UK. Peter Kay starred as Roger Debris for the Manchester dates.

Other notable shows to have played successful seasons at the Palace Theatre include, amongst others, the regional premiere of Les Miserables which ran for 13 months from 1992-1993, regional premiere of Miss Saigon in 2001, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 2006 and Mamma Mia over the 2006/2007 Christmas season. Broadway musical 'The Wedding Singer' will have its UK premiere at the theatre in 2008 and in December 2008 to March 2009 the theatre will host a season of the UK tour of Mary Poppins, one of only 6 theatres in the country to accommodate the tour, both events further cementing the theatre's reputation as the flagship venue of the North of England.

External links

* [ Book Tickets via Ticketmaster Official Box Office]
* [ Theatre website]
* [ Reviews of Manchester Theatre]
* [ What's On At The Palace Theatre]
* [ Palace Theatre History]

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