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St. George's Hall

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St. George's Hall was a theatre located in Langham Place, Regent Street in London, built in 1867, which closed in 1966. The hall could accommodate between 800 and 900 persons, or up to 1,500 persons including the galleries. The architect was John Taylor of Whitehall.

The hall was known for many years for its presentation of the German Reed Entertainments, as well as other musical works and lectures, then

After the German Reed Entertainments closed in 1895, the building changed its name to the Matinee Theatre, on 17 April 1897, presenting "high class Vaudeville," but it was not very successful. A series of German plays were then produced, but in 1904 the hall closed.

Maskelyne's entertainments were called Maskelyne's Theatre of Mystery.

In 1905, magician John Nevil Maskelyne renovated, expanded and reopened the 'St George's Hall, England's New Home of Mystery' on 2nd January 1905 with Edward Bulwer-Lytton's "The Coming Race". Adapted for the stage by David Christie Murray and Nevil Maskelyne, both Maskelyne's corroborated on the special effects for the play with its giant prehistoric lizards, tumbling boulders, exploding tunnels, airships and hovering robots, it was an ideal subject for J. N. Maskelyne to produce as a play, as he was well known for creating such magical special effects for the stage. Unfortunately, it did not prove to be as popular as the Bulwer-Lytton's book and closed after eight weeks.

On the 10th April, 1906 the theatre opened specially for the first show to be organised by the members of the newly formed Magic Circle. Mr G. Gordon Powell with two of the founder members, Ernest H. Adams and Neil Weaver formed the select committee organising this extravaganza. Happily ticket sales went well, at least 200 of the two shilling tickets were sold the previous month.[1]

The theatre went on to host further meetings of The Magic Circle and Maskelyne continued to give magic shows for many years. One was called Maskelyne and Devant's Mysteries, which was presented in August 1910.

The building was demolished in 1966, and together with the site of the adjacent Queens Hall – original home of the Henry Wood promenade concerts – the location was used for the construction of the St Georges Hotel and Henry Wood House.

Magicians that have performed

References

  • St. George's Hall: Behind The Scenes At England's Home Of Mystery by Anne Daventport and John Salisse Published by Mike Caveney. (2001)
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  1. Selbit, P.T. 'The Magic Circle.' The Wizard Vol 1 (March 1906): Page 112