The Church and the Theatre
St Paul’s is widely known as the Actors’ Church. The connection with the theatre began as early as 1662 with the establishment of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and was further assured in 1723 with the opening of the Covent Garden Theatre - now The Royal Opera House. Those two theatres became the starting place for ‘the west end’ theatre, and both were, and are, in our Parish.
On 9th May 1662, Samuel Pepys notes in his diary that the first “Italian puppet play” took place under the Portico of the church which marks the start of “Punch and Judy” as we know it - today, we continue to host and international Punch and Judy festival each May.
Memorials in the church are dedicated to many famous theatrical personalities, including Charlie Chaplin, Noel Coward, Gracie Fields, Vivien Leigh, Ivor Novello and Richard Bekensale. The ashes of Ellen Terry and Dame Edith Evans rest at St Paul’s.
George Bernard Shaw also set the opening scene of Pygmalion - the play that formed the basis for My Fair Lady - under the Portico. In 2016, in association with Emma Brunjes Productions and Cameron Mackintosh Ltd, we were proud to present the 60th anniversary concert performance of My Fair Lady in homage. There is a memorial plaque to Alan Jay Lerner, the lyricist and playwright of My Fair Lady, unveiled by his widow, Liz Robertson.
Today, we continue our traditions with the theatre by having an in-house professional theatre company Iris Theatre who put on productions throughout the year. We support other theatre companies by hosting their productions and stage many theatrical events such as West End Bake Off and an annual fundraising gala for TheatreMAD.
Baby Gospel - New Year Concert
Join members of CK Gospel Choir for a fun morning of music that all ages will enjoy. "It’s like baby rhyme time but FAR cooler…” (The Secret Life Of Mum)
Simone Tavoni - Free Lunchtime Concert
Join Simone Tavoni for a free lunchtime concert, a selection of stunning classical piano pieces. Frescobaldi: Toccata no 1 and no 8 Scarlatti: Sonata K22,29,52 Clementi: Sonata op 40 no 2
Songs from the Baroque to the 20th Century - Free Lunchtime Concert
Besa Llugigi presents a selection of songs from from the Baroque to the 20th Century - Free Lunchtime Concert Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739) arr. Parisotti: ‘Quella fiamma che m’accende&ap
Concert in Support of Quaker Action - Free Lunchtime Concert
A selection of songs from Isobel Lane in support of Quaker Action Songs by Gustav Mahler Gabriel Faure and Samuel Barber. In support of Quaker Social Action; Quaker Social Action is an inde
London Show Choir in Concert
London Show Choir return live in the West End!