Adelphi Theatre

Venue Type & Location


Site Name: Adelphi Theatre
Location: London
County: London (city-county)
Location Type: Town - in town at determined location


  • Address: 411 Strand. For a current map, Click Here. For historical maps showing the venue (in addition to the one excerpted at right), Click Here, Here, or Here.


  • Alternate Names: Sans Pareil


  • Performance Space Description: Information about this venue has not yet been compiled; however, some sense of the performance space may be gleaned by following the links at right. In particular:


  • See the 'Bibliographic Sources' link for a provisional list of venue-relevant resources (both primary and secondary). Wherever possible (i.e. when the pertinent text is relatively short and/or easily condensed) this material has been transcribed, and appears beneath the appropriate bibliographic citation.


  • See the ‘Events at venue’ link for a listing of blackface/minstrelsy-related events that took place in this performance space (with attached bibliographic references).

    Beth Marquis

Events at Adelphi Theatre

Event Date Venue Location Troupe
Dramatic 16 January 1843 - 21 January 1843 London, London (city-county) Yankee Notes Troupe (London-Adelphi, 43), Jim Crow Rice
Dramatic 30 January 1843 - 4 February 1843 London, London (city-county) Jim Crow Rice
Dramatic 20 March 1843 - 25 March 1843 London, London (city-county) Jim Crow Rice
Dramatic 27 March 1843 - 1 April 1843 London, London (city-county) Jim Crow Rice
Magic Show 19 June 1843 - 19 June 1843 London, London (city-county) Virginia Minstrels, The (1843)
Variety 26 June 1843 - 1 July 1843 London, London (city-county) Virginia Minstrels, The (1843)
Magic Show 3 July 1843 - 8 July 1843 London, London (city-county) Virginia Minstrels, The (1843)
Magic Show 10 July 1843 - 15 July 1843 London, London (city-county) Virginia Minstrels, The (1843)
Dramatic 29 December 1845 - 2 January 1846 London, London (city-county) Cannibal Islands Troupe (London-Adelphi, 45/6)
Dramatic 19 January 1846 - 21 January 1846 London, London (city-county) Cannibal Islands Troupe (London-Adelphi, 45/6)
Dramatic 2 February 1846 - 7 February 1846 London, London (city-county) Cannibal Islands Troupe (London-Adelphi, 45/6)
Dramatic 13 April 1846 - 18 April 1846 London, London (city-county) Flying Indians Troupe (London-Adelphi, 46)
Dramatic 20 April 1846 - 25 April 1846 London, London (city-county) Flying Indians Troupe (London-Adelphi, 46)
Dramatic 27 April 1846 - 30 April 1846 London, London (city-county) Flying Indians Troupe (London-Adelphi, 46)
Dramatic 1 July 1846 - 1 July 1846 London, London (city-county) Munyard
Dramatic 7 July 1846 - 7 July 1846 London, London (city-county) Munyard
Dramatic 13 July 1846 - 13 July 1846 London, London (city-county) Munyard
Dramatic 21 July 1846 - 21 July 1846 London, London (city-county) Munyard
Dramatic 8 March 1847 - 10 March 1847 London, London (city-county) Green Bushes Troupe (London-Adelphi, 47)
Minstrel Show 14 May 1847 - 14 May 1847 London, London (city-county) Female American Serenaders
Dramatic 13 September 1847 - 18 September 1847 London, London (city-county) Bedford, Paul
Minstrel Show 18 February 1848 - 18 February 1848 London, London (city-county) Harper, E.R.
Dramatic 30 October 1848 - 30 October 1848 London, London (city-county) Brooke, G.V.
Dramatic 21 October 1850 - 23 October 1850 London, London (city-county) Green Bushes Troupe (London-Adelphi, 50)
Dramatic 19 April 1852 - 24 April 1852 London, London (city-county) Pelham, Richard
Dramatic 22 November 1852 - 27 November 1852 London, London (city-county) Uncle Tom's Cabin Troupe (London-Adelphi, 52)
Dramatic 29 November 1852 - 4 December 1852 London, London (city-county) Uncle Tom's Cabin Troupe (London-Adelphi, 52)

Bibliographic Sources

  • Adelphi Theatre Project, 1806-1900 (Eastern Michigan University). 09/14/2008 (
  • Arthur Lloyd Website. 05/22/2008 (
  • Black’s New Guide to London and its Environs. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1863.

    “ADELPHI THEATRE ROYAL is opposite Adam Street in the Strand. It is a most comfortable theatre, having been lately rebuilt on an enlarged scale, by the lessee Mr. Benjamin Webster, who has long been known as a successful manager. The first house on this site was called the Sanspareil. It was built about sixty years ago by a Mr. Scott, a colour maker. The piece called ‘Tom and Jerry’ was brought out at this house some forty years since, and the combined names have hardly yet died out of recollection. Terry, Sir Walter Scott's friend, became joint lessee and manager with Yates. Afterwards Charles Matthews the elder took the house and brought out his popular ‘At Homes.’ Since Mr. Webster has had the management, a number of comic actors of note have assisted him in giving a high character to the house. There are seats for 1400 persons. The size of the present theatre (of which Mr. T.H. Wyatt was the architect) is about 70 feet in breadth and 107 feet in depth” (211-212).
  • Carthalia - Theatres on Postcards Website. 09/14/2008 (
  • Clarke, Henry Green. London in All Its Glory. London: H.G. Clarke & Co., 1851.

    “ADELPHI THEATRE, Strand. Built by the late Mr. Scott, and formerly called the Sanspareil. A new front was added in 1841, which partakes somewhat too much of the style of the gin palace. Under the management of Madame Celeste it is a highly attractive place of amusement; the rich humour of Mr. Paul Bedford and Mr. Wright being highly relished by crowded houses nightly” (126).
  • Cunningham, P. Modern London; or, London as it is. London: John Murray, 1851.

    ”The ADELPHI THEATRE, over against ADAM STREET, in the Strand, was built (1806) on speculation by Mr. John Scott, a colour-maker. The entertainments consisted of a mechanical and optical exhibition, with songs, recitations, and imitations;and the talents of Miss Scott, the daughter of the proprietor, gave a profitable turn to the undertaking. The old front towards the Strand was a mere house front: the present gin-palace façade was built in 1841. When ‘Tom and Jerry,’ by Pierce Egan, appeared for the first time (Nov. 26th, 1821), Wrench as ‘Tom,’ and Reeve as ‘Jerry,’ the little Adelphi, as it was then called, became a favourite with the public. Its fortunes varied under different managements. Terry and Yates became (1825) the joint lessees and managers. Terry was backed by Sir Walter Scott and his friend Ballantyne, the printer, but Scott, in the sequel, had to pay for both Ballantyne and himself. Charles Mathews, in conjunction with Yates, leased the theatre, and gave here (1828-31) his series of inimitable ‘At Homes.’ Here John Reeve drew large houses, and obtained his reputation; and here Wright and Paul Bedford maintain the former character of the establishment” (177).
  • Davis, Jim & Victor Emeljanow. Reflecting the Audience. London Theatregoing, 1840-1880. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2001.

    Cruchley’s Guide in 1841 described this theatre as “a favourite resort of the laughter-loving gentry … [and] one of the most fashionably attended of the minor theatres” (186)
  • Dictionary of Victorian London Online. 07/27/2008 (

    (Under Theatre and Shows - Theatres and Venues - Adelphi)

  • Howard, Diana. London Theatres and Music Halls 1850-1950. London: The Library Association, 1970.


  • London and its Environs. Leipsic: Karl Baedeker, 1885.

    ”ROYAL ADELPHI THEATRE, N. side of the Strand, near Bedford Street. Melodramas and farces” (38).
  • London as it is To-day. London: H.G. Clarke & Co., 1851.

    The information provided within this source is similar to that given within London in all its Glory, also published by H.G. Clarke, & Co.

    In addition, this source also contains the following:

    “ADELPHI THEATRE, Strand. Built by the late Mr. Scott, whose daughter laid the first stone in 1802, and by him called the Sanspareil; it was first opened for the public, November 17th, 1806. It was afterwards purchased by Mr. Rodwell, when that gentleman named it the Adelphi, a name it still bears. During the management of Mr. Rodwell, was produced the burletta of ‘Tom and Jerry,’ with such fortunate success as to enjoy a run of upwards of three hundred nights, and realizing to the manager a profit of £25,000. Here it was, that between 1828 and 1831, Charles Mathews gave his inimitable ‘At Homes;’ and here, John Reeve, for many seasons, Atlas-like, sustained, by his racy humour, the prosperity of this theatre. […] The chief productions are melo-dramas, burlettas, extravaganzas, and very extravagant farces: the former being very powerfully supported by Messrs. O. Smith, Henry Hughes, Miss Woolgar, and Madame Celeste: broad farce is also very popular here, owing to the rich drolleries of Paul Bedford, the buffoonery of Wright, and the characteristic performances of Mr. Selby. One of the most successful pieces of recent date has been Buckstone's ‘Green Bushes,’ played nearly four hundred nights. Indeed, such has been the success of this drama, that an amusing story is told of a sailor, who, when in London, some four years since, visited this theatre and saw the ‘Green Bushes;’ he then made a voyage up the Mediterranean, and on his return, visited the Adelphi, and again saw the ‘Green Bushes;’ he then sailed for China, and on his return, home paid another visit and still it was the ‘Green Bushes: not that the piece had been played the whole of that time, but its success was such, that with slight intervals, it had been played for four years. Doors open at half-past six o’clock; performances commence at seven. Admission: stalls, five shillings; boxes, four shillings; pit, two shillings; gallery, one shilling. Second price at nine o clock: boxes, two shillings; pit, one shilling; gallery, sixpence” (214-215).
  • The London Stage 1800-1900 (University of Massachusetts). 03/23/2008 (
  • London Theatre Direct Website. 09/04/2008 (
  • London Theatres Website (Templeman Library, University of Kent at Canterbury). 05/22/2008 (
  • Bibliography ID 8559. 09/04/2008 (
  • Theatres in Victorian London Website. 05/22/2008 (
  • Timbs, John. Curiosities of London (1868). London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1868.

    “ADELPHI THEATRE, No. 411, Strand, was commenced in 1802 by John Scott, a colourman, and opened Nov. 27, 1806, as the Sans Pareil, with musical entertainments, and next year with dramas. In 1820-1, Scott sold the theatre to Rodwell and Jones, who named it the Adelphi; in 1825 it was sold to Terry and Yates; after Terry's secession, Yates was joined by Charles Mathews the elder, who gave here his later ‘At Homes.’ The compo front of the theatre was designed by Beazley, in 1840. Yates was succeeded by Webster, with Madame Celeste as directress. One of its chief attractions was the comic humour of John Reeve. The theatre was rebuilt in 1858 upon an enlarged plan, by Wyatt (from the Opera Comique in Paris) for Mr, Webster; style, Italian; decoration, French Renaissance; illuminated by a sunlight (780).

    Also gives the theatre’s capacity (in 1866) as 1800” (789).
  • Timbs, John. Curiosities of London (1855). London: David Bogue, 1855.


    The information provided within this source is much the same as that given within the 1868 edition of the book.
  • "A Tour Among the Theatres". Metropolitan Magazine March, 1847: 280-287.