“The Savoy Theatre is a West End theatre in the Strand in the City of Westminster, London, England. The theatre opened on 10 October 1881 and was built by Richard D’Oyly Carte on the site of the old Savoy Palace as a showcase for the popular series of comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan, which became known as the Savoy operas as a result.
The theatre was the first public building in the world to be lit entirely by electricity. For many years, the Savoy Theatre was the home of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, which continued to be run by the Carte family for over a century. Richard’s son Rupert D’Oyly Carte rebuilt and modernised the theatre in 1929, and it was rebuilt again in 1993 following a fire. It is a Grade II* listed building.
In 1915 Richard D’Oyly Carte’s son, Rupert D’Oyly Carte, took over management of the theatre.
On 3 June 1929 Carte closed the Savoy Theatre, and the interior was completely rebuilt to designs by Frank A. Tugwell with elaborate décor by Basil Ionides. The ceiling was painted to resemble an April sky; the walls, translucent gold on silver; the rows of stalls were all richly upholstered in different colours, and the curtain repeated the tones of the seating. Ionides said that he took the colour scheme from a bed of zinnias in Hyde Park. The entire floor space had been replanned: the old cloakrooms and bar at the back of the theatre were relocated to the side, and instead of 18 boxes there was now only one. The new auditorium had two tiers leaving three levels: stalls, dress, and upper circle. The capacity of the old house, originally 1,292, had been reduced to 986 by 1912, and the new theatre restored the capacity almost completely, with 1,200 seats. The new stage was 29.3 feet wide, by 29.5 feet deep.
The theatre reopened on 21 October 1929 with a new production of The Gondoliers designed by Charles Ricketts and conducted by Malcolm Sargent. In the only box sat Lady Gilbert, the librettist’s widow. There were Gilbert and Sullivan seasons at the Savoy Theatre in 1929–30, 1932–33, 1951, 1954, 1961–62, 1975, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003.”