Designed by the architect Robert Cromie, the Prince of Wales opened on 27th October 1937. These days, like so many of the city's remarkable venues, it's a Grade II listed building.
The first theatre on the site was the Prince's Theatre, designed by C. J. Phipps. It opened in January 1884 but was demolished in 1937 to make way for the larger, present-day theatre. On 17th June 1937 the foundation stone of the current theatre was laid by the northern actress Gracie Fields. Alterations were made to the stage area in 1963 and the venue was re-opened in spring the next year.
Notable productions at the Prince of Wales theatre include 1959's The World of Susie Wong, Funny Girl in 1966, starring Barbara Streisand, Sweet Charity in 1967 and Guys and Dolls in 1985, all big hitters. In January 1989 the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Aspects of Love opened at the Prince of Wales and ran for a monster 1325 performances, the venue's longest-running production. And Barry Manilow's musical Copacabana played for just over a year in 1994.
Before Mamma Mia! transferred in June 2004, the theatre enjoyed a serious facelift, extensively refurbished by the architects RHWL. Major works included adding an extra row of seats to the rear of the circle, with a small increase in the seating capacity. Prince Charles re-opened the venue in June 2004.
The Book of Mormon began previews at the Prince of Wales theatre in February 2013, officially opening at the end of March the same year. It still sells out every night and is one of the West End’s most popular shows.