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Sadler's Wells Theatres

Group  From 1683 

Categories: Dance, Theatre

From Sadler's Wells: Sadler’s Wells began with "the discovery of a mineral spring in 1683. Richard Sadler built a music house around the spring to rival the already fashionable Tunbridge and Epsom wells. By the beginning of the 18th century, visitors to Sadler’s Wells could see entertainments that included jugglers, tumblers, ropedancers, ballad singers, wrestlers, fighters, dancing dogs and even a singing duck."  In 1765 Thomas Rosoman had the theatre rebuilt. Over the years it was rebuilt a number of times and British History Online has images of some of its incarnations. 1862, the theatre was converted into a skating rink and then a cinema. It closed in 1915.

In 1925 Lilian Baylis, who had been running the Old Vic began fundraising to rebuild Sadler’s Wells as a sister theatre in North London. The new theatre opened on 6 January 1931. Reported to have been designed by Frank Matcham but he'd died in 1920 so it was his firm that designed the building shown in our image. Ninette de Valois was employed to stage dance productions at both theatres. Out of the Vic-Wells ballet company and school grew the Royal Ballet, and the Royal Ballet School. After 4 years Baylis decided that ballet and opera would be concentrated at Sadler's Wells. 1994 the theatre was reconstructed again, as a purpose-built dance theatre.

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Sadler's Wells Theatres

Information Commemorated at

New Sadler's Wells Theatre

The Lilian Baylis tree was replanted on the 4th March 1996 in the presence of...

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