New 1,575-seat theatre set to open in west London

Trafalgar Entertainment is signed up to run a new theatre due to be completed in 2025 as part of the redevelopment of Olympia

Olympia theatre London
Artwork: Heatherwick Studio / We are Narrativ

A new 1,575-seat theatre is set to open in west London in 2025, run by leading theatre operator Trafalgar Entertainment.

Part of the £1.3 billion redevelopment of the Olympia area, the new theatre is currently under construction with designs by award-winning theatre architects Haworth Tompkins.

Developers Yoo Capital and Deutsche Finance International (DFI) have agreed a lease of up to 70 years on the building with Trafalgar Entertainment group which comprises London’s Trafalgar Theatre as well as HQ Theatres, operator of 12 theatres across England and Wales.

Its joint CEOs, Sir Howard Panter and Dame Rosemary Squire, previously founded leading theatre operator Ambassador Theatre Group.

To meet the expectations of modern audiences, the Olympia theatre will have a “stacked” auditorium which means that every comfortable seat should feel close to the stage. It also promises to have high standards of ventilation throughout.

It will have bar, hospitality and VIP facilities as well as spacious, glazed front-of-house areas offering views across London. It is scheduled to open in mid to late 2025.

Panter said: “Looking forward to a new golden age of theatre, Olympia presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity – it is quite simply one of the most exciting new theatres London has seen for many years and we’re delighted to be playing our part as operator.”

Today’s announcement comes as Trafalgar Entertainment prepares to reopen the Trafalgar Theatre, formerly Trafalgar Studios, in Whitehall in July after a major multi-million-pound restoration, providing a new home for hit West End musical Jersey Boys. Alongside new UK tours of The King and I and The Rocky Horror Show, Trafalgar Theatre Productions is behind West End shows including Anything Goes at the Barbican Theatre and Death Drop at the Garrick Theatre.

Panter added: “Trafalgar Entertainment is determined to help the return of live entertainment across the UK: we know that audiences want passionately to return to the unique magic that is live theatre.”

John Hitchcox, chairman of Yoo Capital, added: “Sir Howard Panter and Dame Rosemary Squire have a unique track record in exceptional live entertainment and we are delighted to welcome Trafalgar Entertainment as the latest tenants of Olympia.

“Our vision is to create a new cultural hub in west London and we are looking forward to opening the largest new permanent theatre in the city for 45 years.

“This will be a big boost for the city’s entertainment industry and the local economy, providing the very best productions for theatre lovers and heralding a new era for theatre and entertainment in London.”

About Mark Ludmon 248 Articles
Mark Ludmon has been a journalist for over 20 years, specialising in theatre as well as hospitality and drinks after starting out on 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 has also been on the judging panel for the Olivier Awards. He can be found tweeting as @MarkLudmon and writing about theatre at https://markludmon.com.