Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London.
The Lyric Theatre, a listed building, is the oldest theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue. Designed by C.J. Phipps it was opened in 1888 following the construction of Shaftesbury Avenue. After three decades of neglect the Shaftesbury Avenue facade urgently required attention. Decorative stonework had delaminated and was in parlous condition and leaking gutters and poor external joinery was seriously damaging the internal finishes of the theatre. The front-of-house entrance, canopy, lighting and decorations were all in a very dilapidated state.
The restoration was undertaken in two phases over a ten week period completing just before Christmas in 2012, exactly 124 years from the day the theatre first opened. Following a thorough high pressure water wash, the building's stonework, brickwork and joinery was extensively repaired, lead-work replaced and the whole façade redecorated. The street canopy was restored and reglazed with clear glass and new external lighting installed along the whole Shaftesbury Avenue façade. Previously the theatre exuded a very gloomy and run-down air not at all fitting to its prominence in Shaftesbury Avenue, but following the extensive renovation, the Lyric Theatre now fittingly greets visitors to London's West End theatre land from Piccadilly Circus.