As many other theatres in London the Prince of Wales did not open under this name. Formerly know as the Prince's, it was designed by C.J Phipps and opened in January 1884. It is only in 1886, 2 years after it opened that it changed its name to the Prince of Wales.
One of the things not to be neglected for a theatre to fill its auditorium is its location. The Prince of Wales Theatre is ideally situated on the corner of Coventry and Oxendon Street. The crowds of travellers walking from Piccadilly Circus going to Leicester Square or vice versa can simply not miss the gigantic white artificial-stone building. This has certainly helped to fill its 1,140 seats since it was rebuilt in 1937.
The Prince of Wales Theatre saw lots of stars and great comedian such as Sid Field, Hollywood star James Stewart and another legendary movie star, Mae West. By the end of the 1950s American comedies and musicals took over and became the principal fare from then on! Even legendary Barbara Streisand starred in Funny Girl for a limited run while she was pregnant.
In the 1990s, the Prince of Wales Theatre hosted many musical hits such has Copacabana, Smokey Joe's Café, West Side Story and smash-hit Musical The Full Monty. Today, the Prince of Wales is the new home of most popular Mamma Mia!