The West End’s largest independent theatre was also the last to be built in Shaftesbury Avenue, where it held its first performance on Boxing Day 1911. The Three Musketeers were the protagonists that day, at what was then called the New Prince’s Theatre, and it was only after an EMI purchase in 1962 that it became the Shaftesbury Theatre that is so well-loved today. Saved from redevelopment in the 1970s after part of the ceiling fell down, the theatre was finally added to the ‘Statutory List of Buildings of Special architectural or Historic Interest’ in 1974, and remained much the same until March 2006, when a comprehensive internal refurbishment saw the auditorium and front of house areas given a facelift. Motown the Musical, a jukebox musical revolving around the famous Detroit record label, currently holds the stage, so fans of Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson and company should get their Shaftesbury Theatre tickets while they last.
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