First look inside London’s stunningly restored Trafalgar Theatre

Last Updated on 13 June 2021 by Showcall Editorial Team

Trafalgar Entertainment has released images and video of the Trafalgar Theatre, previously Trafalgar Studios, which has been restored to its original Art Deco-style glory

Trafalgar Theatre London
New-look Trafalgar Theatre

The stunning interiors of the new Trafalgar Theatre in London have been unveiled today after a multimillion-pound project to renovate the Grade II-listed building.

Previously Trafalgar Studios, it has been restored back to its original 1930s designs, including Art Deco-style finishes, some of which have not been seen for over 90 years.

The images and video released today show a single 630-seat auditorium, with new specially designed comfortable seats, instead of its previous incarnation split into two smaller spaces.

There is also a new stalls bar, a spacious new foyer and improvements to the toilets, including more women’s toilets.

The restoration project was carried out by Foster Wilson Size for owner Trafalgar Entertainment, headed by leading theatre impresarios Sir Howard Panter and Dame Rosemary Squire who previously co-founded Ambassador Theatre Group.

Panter said: “Underneath the shell of the Trafalgar Studios, there was a remarkable Art Deco building, and through the painstaking restoration work we have completed alongside all the relevant historical partners, we have a beautiful genuinely unique theatre fit for 21st-century audiences to come and enjoy Jersey Boys and many more shows to come.

“The theatre is complete and ready, the set is built, the cast are signed and we now just long to be allowed to let the audience return and enjoy being back in the theatre from July 28th.”

Trafalgar Theatre London

The theatre at the top of Whitehall, off Trafalgar Square, was built in 1930 as the Whitehall Theatre, designed by Edward A Stone with interiors by Marc-Henri Levy and Gaston Laverdet. After a brief spell as TV studios in the late 1990s, its new owner Ambassador Theatre Group converted it to Trafalgar Studios in 2003.

It was bought by Trafalgar Entertainment in 2017 and will reopen on 28 July 2021 as the new home of long-running musical Jersey Boys.

Trafalgar Theatre London

Within the auditorium, the newly restored decoration and lighting is black with silver, bronze and gold metallic hints, reflective of the original interior’s colour palette.

Using historical photographs as a reference, the auditorium carpet and seating fabric replicate the original designs patterns, with greens, creams and yellows to contrast against the monochrome walls.

The balcony front – that had been carefully stored away for a number of years when the theatre was two studio spaces – has been beautifully restored and refitted, along with the grand ceiling and proscenium arch.

The new entrance foyer provides more spacious bars and a new box office with tiling and details inspired by the original 1930s foyer design. Technical facilities have been fully upgraded throughout, with extensive service upgrades that include more powerful and energy-efficient ventilation systems.

Trafalgar Entertainment

Squire said: “Trafalgar Theatre is steeped in cultural significance and has been lovingly restored back to its original heritage design. During the restoration process there was great care and attention to detail with all the design elements and we carried out huge amounts of research to ensure that the renovation was authentic in terms of design and style.

“Trafalgar Theatre, in its many guises, has always been a culturally important building, whether serving as a television studio, a museum or a theatre. We are proud to be the custodians of the theatre at this time and feel honoured to have overseen this restoration project during our tenure.

“The restoration carried out by Foster Wilson Size is a great reset for the theatre and a new beginning for everyone. By returning the theatre to its former glory we are honouring its history as we continue to share stories on its stage.”

Foster Wilson Size has previously led projects at the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, Barbican Concert Hall, the Apollo Victoria Theatre and the Southampton Mayflower.

Jonathan Size, partner at Foster Wilson Size, said: “By converting the theatre back to its original form as a single split-level auditorium it will enable the theatre to host longer runs of shows, allowing people to enjoy the legacy of the building for years to come.”

Trafalgar Entertainment also owns the upcoming 1,575-seat Olympia Theatre which will be the biggest new permanent theatre to open in London since the 1970s and Sydney’s 1,200-seat Theatre Royal due to open in September. It also owns the new luxury members club cinema complex, Chiswick Cinema, opening later this month in Chiswick in London. Trafalgar Entertainment has also acquired HQ Theatres and Hospitality including 12 theatres across the UK.


Whitehall Theatre





About Mark Ludmon 318 Articles
Mark Ludmon has been a journalist for over 20 years, specialising in theatre, hospitality and drinks after starting in regional daily newspapers. He has an MA in early modern literature and history, focusing on Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and a theatre studies MA from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. He is a former panellist for the Olivier Awards. He tweets at @MarkLudmon.